Constantine Season:01

Welcome to the first full season wrap-up here at Channel: Superhero as Constantine unfortunately didn’t get picked up for a full season and only came away with 13 episodes. There’s still a chance that it will return in some form or another, though fans will have to wait until May when NBC decides on the new crop of pilots to know if they will try their hand at a new show, give Constantine another shot, or ship it off to SyFy which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Though the head of SyFy on Twitter recently said that he hadn’t heard anything about the rumor that Constantine was being considered there. As for my own opinion on the show, I enjoyed it quite a bit. While I don’t rate the episodes or the shows, I would rank it probably just below the Flash as my favorite show for this season. It has some horror elements, but it generally takes a police procedural approach with some magic and humor thrown in for good measure.
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Constantine S:01 E:13

Episode Title: Waiting for the Man
Original Airdate: 2-13-15

After a strong first season as far as the writing goes, even though the ratings didn’t always live up to that, we have made it to the season finale. There is still hope that the show will continue on into a season 2, most likely on SyFy but nothing has been announced yet. On Twitter, those involved with the show seem hopeful and the impression is that NBC as a whole is happy with the show itself and want to work with it to find an appropriate home to continue. I will save my thoughts for the season as a whole for next week, but I will say that this makes a much better season finale than it does a series finale. The episode features the return of many different characters from across the season so far, including Jim Corrigan who will become the Spectre, Poppa Midnight, and even a brief appearance by Gary Lester from beyond. One reason why I do think it is a great season finale rather than series finale is because it sets up so many possibilities rather than wrapping anything up at all, especially a big reveal with Manny at the very end.
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Constantine S:01 E:12

Episode Title: Angels and Ministers of Grace
Original Airdate: 2-6-15

Coming in for the second to last episode of the season brings on one of the funniest episodes to date, and also one with some of the most revelatory character moments where both John and Manny soften up a bit. It does make me sad that the show is ending already, though there is a sliver a hope that she show will get picked up for a second season by SyFy along with a name change to the original Hellblazer along with a stronger focus on the horror and sci-fi elements rather than the current format which is closer to a detective procedural with supernatural elements. This episode has John and Zed investigating a literal black heart of darkness while Zed struggles with her own personal spiritual conflict.
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Constantine S:01 E:11

Episode Title: A Whole World Out There
Original Airdate: 1-30-15

It’s coming down to the end of the season already with only two more episodes to go after this one and unfortunately the ratings aren’t quite living up to the quality of the show as this week dropped off once again from last week’s slight bump. It’s disappointing because I really am enjoying this show and it seems to get better each week as it gets deeper into its own mythology. This episode marks the return of one of the few friends of Constantine who hasn’t died. The professor and tech guy Ritchie from the pilot episode returns as a professor who has some students that invoke a very real ritual to go on an out of body experience and end up releasing the spirit of a someone long trapped in his own plane of existence. It was a really great episode that had quite a few horror elements to it that I wish they would do more of. The one downside was that much of is was fairly predictable, but the characters were all interesting enough to hold it together for me.
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Constantine S:01 E:10

Episode Title: Quid Pro Quo
Original Airdate: 1-23-14

“Quid Pro Quo” is a Latin phrase that means “this for that” which really gets to the heart of what Constantine is all about. There’s often talk of how when it comes to magic in the world of this show, “there is always a price” and we get to see a lot more of that price in this episode. We also get to see a lot more of the backstory of Chas, why he is so loyal to Constantine, and how he is seemingly immortal. While there is several mentions of the rising darkness, this felt much more like a one-off episode that didn’t really further any of the season-long plot lines, but it is a really great character piece that shows how far both Constantine and Chas have come over the past couple years. And it does so without getting into Newcastle any futher aside from one throwaway mention.
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Constantine S:01 E:09

Episode Title: The Saint of Last Resorts Part 2
Original Airdate: 1-16-14

Constantine comes back after a rather short hiatus with the second half of the cliffhanger which left him shot, bleeding out, with a demon coming after him. John being who he is, instead of asking for help he does the first thing that comes to mind and releases the demon king Pazuzu into himself in order to heal his wounds and chase off the demon. Unfortunately he will only be able to contain the demon for a few days before Pazuzu takes control of his body completely and his soul is pushed out into hell. But meanwhile, Pazuzu still manages to have a little bit of fun when John’s defenses are down and dismembers a handful of Mexican gang members while Chas is left in the cold. It’s a race against time with John’s soul on the line and his friends have to take matters into their own hands to perform an exorcism before it’s too late.
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Constantine S:01 E:08

Episode: The Saint of Last Resorts
Original Airdate: 12-12-14

And onto the final cliffhanger midseason finale of the year with the on-the-bubble Constantine. I have been enjoying this show for the most part since it started, it has one of the more morally ambiguous leads than any of the other shows so far aside from possibly Arrow which I don’t actually watch. The monster of the episode this week is one of the Garden of Eden’s Eve’s sisters who is more or less some type of vampire demon who steals a couple babies from the same family. And of course, it turns out that this family has ties to an ancient horror that has been thought long extinct, so much so that Constantine has no idea how to fight it. So of course, that is what is apparently responsible for the rising darkness which aims to destroy the barrier between the spirit world and the real world. Which is unfortunate because that is one of the most cliched storylines when it comes to these types of demon hunter or spirit hunter stories and most of this show has felt better than that. I imagine there’s still a way to spin that story into something interesting, but if I’m not that interested in the impending doom that’s supposed to befall our mighty heroes, then I’m less interested in the show overall. Meanwhile, there’s also the story of Zed who has been left behind while Constantine and Chas goes off to Mexico, even though yet another one of Zed’s talents is the ability to speak fluent Spanish. Or at least passable Spanish as she only speaks a couple lines to Constantine to show off. Anyway, it’s been hinted at in previous episodes that someone close to Constantine will betray him and last episode we saw that there is someone after her. And they finally come to get her here, even though she supposedly would have been safe if she had listened to Constantine and stayed inside the house. We also get to meet another one of Constantine’s old mates who was with him during the botched Exorcism in Newcastle. Anne Marie has a few tricks up her sleeve, though she has since joined a convent and is now a nun in the service of the Lord. Once the monster has been revealed and the plan is in place, Constantine once again tries going the same route he did with Gary in the Feast of Souls episode, but Anne Marie is a bit too smart for that and sees what he is trying to do immediately. And in fact, she actually turns the tables on him near the end of the episode, leaving him shot while some sort of weird looking demon is making his way towards them so that she can escape safely with the two babies. It’s a decent cliffhanger but for whatever reason, I just wasn’t as into the episode as I had been so far. And it didn’t help that it is a two part episode, though it’s helped a little bit that this seems to be one of the first shows out of the gate next year along with Gotham, coming back in the second week of January while the other shows don’t start up again until late January or February, and there’s still no date set that I know of for the new show iZombie. But hopefully the latter half of Constantine is able to pick things up because I still think it has promise and is worthy of more than just 13 episodes.

Constantine S:01 E:07

Episode: Blessed are the Damned
Original Airdate: 12-5-14

After last week’s relatively mediocre episode it was nice to get back to something a little more interesting as well as something that I hadn’t seen much of before here. While I said last week that it was nice to have an episode without Zed, I was actually glad that they didn’t spend much time away from her and brought her back right away. The case of the week here was actually quite interesting where they follow a reverend of a small, backwater church of snake handlers who gets bitten by a venomous snake but comes back to life holding the feather from an angel’s wing. While the angel herself wasn’t quite as majestic as Tilda Swinton’s wings from the movie version, they were still quite impressive for television. I also thought the twist was very well done when they find out that the angel wasn’t actually one of the ones from heaven, but instead she was a fallen angel working for hell. And after several episodes of just popping up and giving Constantine some infuriatingly vague advice, the actual angel Manny finally comes around to finally picking a side and helping Constantine a little bit more, and a lotta bit more at the very end where he does something that he says he will have to face consequences for. But he doesn’t yet say what those consequences might be. And the final tease shows some further possible darker motives for Zed even though I have no idea what it actually means for the future of the show. One thing outside of the episode that I thought was really great was the fact that for some reason William Shatner was livetweeting the West Coast feed.

Constantine S:01 E:06

Episode: Rage of Caliban
Original Airdate: 11-28-14

There’s two things that this episode does well compared to many of the earlier episodes. It finally has a stronger glimpse of horror rather than just a creepy vibe, and even though I’m fond of her character, it’s nice to have an episode that’s just Constantine and a bit of Chas without having to deal with Zed this time around. There’s yet another malevolent spirit, this time it’s inhabiting the body of a child and causes them to kill their own parents via some bloody and gruesome telekinesis. The spirit then moves onto a new host, a young boy who is usually scared of the “monsters” in his closet and under his bed. But now, he becomes very Damien-like with the creepy stares and need to cause harm to those around him. As far as Constantine’s role in all this, there is a hint of his guilt for the child that he had sent to hell, but overall it’s just a basic detective story with a bit of magic and a bit of humor. There are a few more decent scary scenes than usual, but everything else seems to be a bit more by the book. There is yet another moment where Chas gets incredibly hurt, which makes me think at this point in the show there should be someone who shouts “Oh my god! They killed Chas! You bastards!” every time he gets mortally wounded. There’s also more talk about the rising darkness, but it’s also starting to feel more like an ever-present macguffin rather than any sort of tangible threat. It was still a decent episode overall, but there just wasn’t any meat on its bones.

Constantine S:01 E:05

Episode: Danse Vaudou
Original Airdate: 11-21-14

Here we get to find out a few things about our characters that don’t go by the name John Constantine, and also get a life lesson in letting go of the guilt we may still harbor for the loved ones who have left us too soon. There’s also a much more subtle way of introducing a future DC character than the way that Gotham often does. Here we get an early glimpse into detective Jim Corrigan who will eventually become the spirit of vengeance known as the Spectre. Something that the show doesn’t tip off until the very end, unless you’re a Spectre fan already and simply recognize him by his name alone. He is also the mirror into the past of Zed, someone he recognizes as a previous missing persons case. Apparently she left home when she was young and quickly became a bit of a petty criminal, though he doesn’t actually mention what her real name is, only that he knows it. There’s also a nice bit of forced teamwork between Constantine and Poppa Midnight who tried to kill him just a couple episodes back and still remembers the fact that Constantine cost him a valuable artifact. It’s a great strained relationship where the two of them have a common goal, but by no means do they like each other or the fact that they have to work with each other in the first place. The actual ghost story felt a little bit on the heavy handed side as a story with morals and a deeper message rather than just a bit of a horror story. It also ends by sowing the seeds of distrust in both Constantine and the viewer when Poppa Midnight shares the revelation that the Rising Darkness is coming whether Constantine likes it or not. And besides that, someone close to him will betray him which obviously points the finger directly at Zed, but she is not the only possibility from the audience’s perspective. Overall, it was a nice bit of character and world building even though the ghost story was on the weak side of things. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.