constantine

Constantine and Zed are back in the Big Easy
Constantine and Zed are back in the Big Easy

Called back to New Orleans by Detective Corrigan, John and Zed are brought in on a case involving three missing girls. Going over the particulars gathered by Detective Dupree, who had originally worked the case, John’s theorizes that La Luna Tetrad, or blood moon, plays a key role in things. It’s a bit of a coincidence that this particular night signifies the last such moon in the cycle. While Constantine and the others visit the desiccated corpse of Detective Dupree, a young red head named Vesta Whitney meets three young teens who convince the lost Vesta to become a part of the family by marrying the Man.

When he investigates Dupree’s body, John recognizes the marks of a Devil’s Brand. It confirms the perp they are tracking is a Satanist whose purpose is one of sacrifice. Just as they are about to leave, Gary Lester hijacks the corpse, warning Constantine of the bounty placed on his head by an unnamed entity, though we can pretty well guess it’s the Brujeria. Somewhere close, Papa Midnite takes the life of a murderer and transforms him into a voodoo zombie with only one purpose: find and kill John Constantine.

The next morning John and Zed are at the Whitney house, searching for any clues to Vesta’s whereabouts. Zed’s having a vision free morning so to speak, distracted by Gary’s warning and her own vision of Corrigan dead. She lashes out at John’s flippance about the price on his head, to which he replies “We can all shape our destiny but none of us get to escape our fate.” It’s strong advice to ponder and Zed wanders into the kitchen where Ms. Whitney is pushed to the side by Manny. She’s not sure if she called him and he remarks on her communications on a spiritual level. She openly questions her decision to tell Corrigan of his fate or keep quiet. Manny remarks on the wonderful choices she has, unlike him. “You can act on your visions if you choose to. That’s your gift.”

She regroups with John and Corrigan in Vesta’s room in time to watch Constantine’s unusual appetite for hair manifest…well, not really. He uses Vesta’s DNA to invoke a Tibetan “piercing the veil” chant that connects him to Vesta’s spirit. Finally, they have a lead. They arrive at the location, only to find the security guard’s car. While Corrigan’s trying to maneuver through Zed’s weird behavior, Constantine has the privilege of being tossed around by Midnite’s voodoo zombie. Before it’s able to take him out, Corrigan ends it the only way you can destroy a zombie—brain obliteration. It ups their timetable and John presses Zed to start back up with the visions. She connects with the security guard who provides them trio the address they need. Midnite, never to give up so easily, dispatches a bird to be his eyes and ears to watch over Constantine until he can arrive and collect his bounty.

John and the others arrive at the address only to find the crucified remains of the security guard. When he recognizes the bird watching outside, he sends Zed and Corrigan on their way lest they get caught up with Papa Midnite. His instincts are right when the voodoo priest shows up—ALONE (really?!)—to take down his nemesis. Constantine proves he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, deceiving Papa Midnite with a glamour on the security guard’s reanimated corpse, and taking him out of the fight.

Vesta’s at the altar now and, finally, some sense kicks in to her young, addled brain and she runs from the Man. She doesn’t get far before he tracks her down but it’s her lucky day as John, Corrigan and Zed arrive in time to save her from a decidedly unlucky fate. Corrigan cuffs the man but, after discovering the rotted bodies of the other three girls, John isn’t so keen on arresting the Man. He poses the question to Corrigan on what if this “Man” wasn’t arrested, but had to be taken down. Corrigan struggles with it, saying, “he’s a man” but Constantine’s reply (“A man? Is he, Jim”) sways the detective. He lets the Man go and, as Zed walks Vesta away from the scene, she hears the gunshot.

John Constantine
John Constantine

Constantine puts the souls of the three girls to rest, Midnite’s taken into custody and Zed tells Corrigan of her visions. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. Where,” she says. He takes it in stride and resolves he won’t allow time to pass without it being worth it. He kisses her, just as Constantine walks in. The stare at one another for several seconds before Constantine walks out. He runs into Manny and the master of the dark arts lets forth what of the case truly bothered him. “We now know what happens with the Rising Darkness meets the worst of humanity,” he says. “There’s not an evil in any realm more bloody dangerous than that.” Manny reminds John that what they’ve set out to do is working. They can win.

But is the deck stacked more against our master of the dark arts than he realizes? Papa Midnite, on his way to jail, meets his savior; Manny. The angel cancels the contract on Constantine. “You work for the Brujeria…”

“No. The Brujeria work for me.”

And just like that, everything we thought we knew is turned on its head.

Time in a Bottle

But there never seems to be enough time.

Creating a television show that works isn’t easy. Sustaining one, especially with the fickle natures of a society caught up in social media and set in their ways, even more difficult. Add in a genre show, one that doesn’t follow the standard procedural formula of ‘CSI,’ ‘NCIS,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (or their hundreds of clones), the job’s infinitely more difficult. That’s not to say it can’t work, as many shows have demonstrated but genre shows like ‘Constantine’have to go beyond the conventions of a first season show, limiting the shaky beginnings and missteps as they build towards can’t miss finales and “didn’t see that coming” conclusions. Though it succeeded early on, crafting rich stories and a rather solid narrative, the back quarter of ‘Constantine’’s freshman campaign lost much of the magic and wonder that pulled me in from the beginning.

To do the things you want to do, once you find them.

It’s unfortunate that ‘Constantine’ and its strong start, fizzled out so much at the end. True, the revelation of Manny’s agenda creates more questions and “I need to know!” exclamations than any other moment in the show, “Waiting for the Man” was still the weakest episode of the this season.

I’ve looked around enough to know.

There are very few instances where, as a person, we hope to be wrong, but my assertions of this being the last we’ll see of John Constantine’s adventures against the Rising Darkness on television is one of those times. There is a lot of material and mythology to build upon and our only hope is that an angel of another name (I’m looking at you, Syfy) swoops in to save this promising show from the sharp ax of cancellation and relegation to the abyss. If not, we will never know the answers to such a derth of outstanding questions.

That you’re the one I want to go through time with.