Sooner or later, it was bound to happen. Fed up with Manny’s pledge of non-interference, John Constantine, full of piss, vinegar and more than a little arrogance, decides to force the angel’s hand and pull him into the mortal coil as they find breadcrumbs leading them onto the trail of the Black Diamond.
Pulling up research on the Rising Darkness, John goes to see a meditating Zed. Still rattled by her most recent scars, he reminds her that she needs to get back on the horse. “This is the labyrinth we chose to walk,” he tells her. Soon after, Manny pops in and sets John onto a new case; Taylor, a woman whose condition goes much further than the purported drug overdose that landed her in the hospital. Using Chas as their in, the trio get into the hospital with John and Zed getting a closer look at the black veined and comatost Taylor. Zed touches her and sees
Light of the brightest of stars…a figure cloaked in wings.
Before she too is enveloped in uncontrollable seizures. While Zed gets a bit of alone time with an MRI, John and Chas examine Taylor’s body and find a complete absence of vitality. Her husk is completely encased in dark matter. Needing a bit more information on it, Constantine dispatches Chas to the millhouse for some research as he checks in on his protégé. He arrives after Zed gets the bad news; she has a small mass forming on her temporal lobe, something that could ultimately be responsible for her visions.
Lost and feeling even more guilt, John blames Manny for Zed’s condition. He demands the angel fix it but his hands are tied. “You can set yourself on fire with anger or you focus on what you can control,” he tells John. Mr. Constantine takes Manny’s advice and binds the angel into the body of Dr. Bob Carol. Cut off from the source of his powers, Manny is completely mortal. Having Manny’s bollocks in a vice—or until the binding spell wears off—Constantine searches for the pulsating energies of the dark matter and find the second victim; the hospital maintenance man. He digs into the corpse to find a heart of darkness. Manny recognizes this as the work of the Black Diamond. Thought to be a legend, it was formed when a sorcerer of vile evil was smote by the Almighty’s heavenly light. His evil was reduced into the Black Diamond, shattered by the sword of an angel. Its fragments were scattered by the Great Flood. There is some serious mojo going down and the two split up to cover more ground.
While Manny does a bit more research into the two victims (and has a mighty personal tete-a-tete with one of the nurses), Constantine finds a lead, namely Jasper’s fragment of the Black Diamond. He uses Chas as a test subject to discover the effects on a mortal. Simply touching a fragment transforms the person into an caricature of themselves, doubling their strength and thirst for evil. He relays the Black Diamond info to Manny and the latter has the 411 on the victims; both had issues with substance abuse they couldn’t shake. They surmise the killer may be one who harbors a deep-seated anger for people who blow their second chances. Morris—a former burn victim and angry man—is a person of interest, one Constantine goes to check out instead of going to speak to Zed. Manny takes his place and the two commiserate on John’s difficulty in communicating. In a moment of doubt, Zed wonders if her visions are from God or something more sinister. He doesn’t give her the answer she wants, instead offering her a cryptic “You have all the answers you need.”
On his way to question Morris, Constantine arrives as a deformed giant attacks the scarred man, killing him and eliminating their only lead. Where to go now? Once again Manny reminds Constantine of his avoidance of Zed. The exorcist expresses his fears that Zed’s condition is his fault. Manny tries offering solace, providing Dr. Galen as an example of fighting through scars and, just like that, they have their killer. The shrapnel Galen put in his chest is actually shards from the Black Diamond. Constantine confronts him with the piece from Jasper’s collection but Galen retreats into the hospital. John and Manny follow him and Zed sees it again…
Light of the brightest of stars…a figure cloaked in wings.
She catches up to the two and realizes what has to be done. Constantine must release Manny from his mortal binding; only then will they be able to save the doctor. The monstrous form of Galen closes into the trapped Constantine and Zed when the newly released Manny calls Galen home. The heavenly light, it’s the only thing that can fight dark matter. The Black Diamond shards are expelled as Galen is called to Heaven. The day has been won.
As Zed prays in a church, Constantine shares with her an intimate part of himself. He spends the first few minutes of his day meditating on all his friends dead. “So, when it inevitably happens…it lessens the blow.” Manny pops in once more and this time, he’s visible to Zed. She reiterates her question about her gifts: are they from God or something more sinister. His answer is cryptic but abundantly clear. “I’m here, aren’t I?”
- At its heart, Constantine has always been about the scars received when fighting the good fight. These scars range from the obvious physical scars to the deeper gashes that mark us emotionally and spiritually. Despite his brash, contrarian arrogance, John Constantine is haunted by the scars of his failure. Though he continues to fight, he cannot resolve the guilt of losing so many friends and admitted that his only way to keep going is coming to terms with the fact that, sooner or later, everyone he cares for will be gone. In effect, his brashness is armor, protecting John from the most tenacious and unforgiving of enemies: himself.
- This marks the second week in a row where we’ve been diverted from the season’s narrative arc and focused more on the main players against the Rising Darkness. Constantine wasn’t the only one dealing with personal demons. The discovery of the mass in Zed’s temporal lobe has the psychic questioning her actions. Has she been tapping into powers of good or is she being punished for touching evil? She asks the question more than once to Manny and both times the angel gives her a cryptic answer. It’s a reminder to Zed—to us all—that, no matter the influence, we are masters of our own fate and more often than not, somewhere inside of us, know the answers to many of the questions we ask. Sometimes all we need is a nudge in the right direction.