Look, it’s like this: if you enjoy good acting, good scripting, amazing stories and beautiful cinematography, you’ll watch Constantine. It’s that simple. It’s a ballsy little show-that-could and it really shows what television entertainment can be at it’s best. That and it’s scary. Like you pee a little bit scary.
Watching “Waiting…” is a little symbolic of the shows situation right now. The rising darkness= the impending cancellation. The Brujeria, NBC. And the action in this episode is not of desperation, but of determination. Other than that it’s a relatively straightforward episode. Back in New Orleans, our old friend Detective Jim Corrigan has called up John to investigate a series of murders and disappearances. Some creepy old southern dude (cue the banjo) is picking off young women to marry them…then kill them on the night of their wedding. Yeah, dude’s batshit. But apparently the devil is making him do it, and John and co. are fighting the clock until his last victim. While all this is happening, Zed is dealing with the fact that she keeps seeing Corrigan’s face as a dead zombie whenever he touches her. She faces a morale dilemma- do I tell him of his impending death, or not?
Meanwhile, John’s old buddy Gary Lester possesses a dead corpse long enough to inform Mr. Constantine that there is a bounty on his head by way of Papa Midnight- if Midnight kills John Constantine, he gets his sister back. After fighting off a Voodoo Zombie, John takes on Midnight himself, tricks him, beats his ass, steals his gun and frames him for murder. This is the show arming itself. The rising darkness is coming and Constantine doesn’t have time to deal with would be executioners…or studio executives. This is John Constantine fully realized- not taking any more shit, not wasting any more time, Midnight’s Winchester in one hand and a lit cigarette in the other. After finding the would-be last victim of “The Man” just in the nick of time, the show experiences one of its darkest and most satisfying moments. It strays from where other comic book shows would have gone and make it very clear that John and Jim straight up murder that child killing bastard. Though John has always been cold and calculating, this is Constantine without any restraints. He wants to do some damn good in the world and he’s going the do it even if he has to scare the pants off of the devil himself.
Unfortunately it’s not all dandelions and roses this week. The one part that seemingly lags behind comes by way of the perfect woman I mean…Zed. Come by way of Zed. While its true that having a vision of the death of your next boyfriend can be disconcerting, she spends nearly the entire episode skulking. It affects her visions and nearly costs a little girl her life. The “war” metaphor is something tossed around quite a bit in this show and, honestly, by this point Zed should have accepted the fact that their might be some casualties. It just goes to show how easily distracted by their emotions women can be, and the alpha males- John and Jim- have to pick up her slack in order to get the job done.
Despite this, it is an otherwise stellar episode. When you’re watching it, you want to yell at the young girl for not questioning the three others ones more about who “The Man” is. You want to yell at the cop for not asking more questions and being more careful around this creepy old southerner. Before he’s made into a zombie, a recent murderer just blindly trusts that Papa Midnight is going to do right by him. But then there’s the ending, with Manny. I won’t spoil anything, but it’s a bombshell. Right there is where you realize that the biggest mistake in not questioning was made by Mr. John Constantine himself.
In the horse race that is the DC Television Universe this season, this may be the episode where “Constantine” pull ahead of any competitors. While it’s true that “Arrow”, “Gotham” and “The Flash” have all had good episodes, there best episodes were not as good as this one, which is just an above average offering from “Constantine”. The writers behind the show may have a little bit of an ace in hole- they don’t have nearly the expanded character list and world to flesh out that the other three shows do. Even though Constantine has been around for nearly long enough to legally buy its main character a pack of smokes, the characters in the other three shows have been around since the 1940’s. This allows the writers to focus more on character development rather than putting a million different references in, and the show is better for it.
So, while it was good to see Jim Corrigan and Papa Midnight again, Zed’s womanly-ness put a slight damper on things and may have kept this episode from being in the seasons upper echelon. And that bombshell about Manny….Jesus!
It was really, really nice to see Papa Midnight and Detective Corrigan again.
Matt Ryan does a stellar job of advancing his character and making him into a true bad ass.
A truly scary villain by way of J.D. Evermore
A huge bombshell dropped at the end by Manny is really doing a great job of setting up an exciting season finale.
Not much this week, primarily just a week show of character on Zed’s part.
Holy Shit Manny! WTF, bro!
Jim Corrigan’s beard doesn’t fit his face, and I’m not okay with this.
I’d imagine Papa Midnight has an amazing immune system. With how much he blows dust into other people airways, the must be sneezing on him constantly.