Last week provided us the stakes in John Constantine—Exorcist, Demonologist, and Master of the Dark Arts—is fighting for. Now it’s time we tag along with him on the road to…well, to where, we’ll just have to find out.Constantine and Zed meet for the first time
This week, Constantine finds his way to a Podunk mining down in the middle of Pennsylvania. Thanks to the Stigmata Map Liv gifted to him at the end of last week, Constantine sans Chas (there’s a thing about a succubus and train derailment) pays a visit to Heddwich. Not long before he arrives Linus, a foreman who doesn’t seem to be the nicest of guys, is flambéed in his shower, a most curious (and painful) of fates. He’s not the only one in town though. Zed, the mystery woman whose room looked like a stalker’s paradise bumps into our favorite “dabbler of the dark arts.” When she recognizes him, Constantine is immediately wary. “An observation always ends in the same way and it’s never in my favor” he quips before using a bit of chickanery to lose her. Of course, Zed’s not without her own tricks, both of the supernatural and five-fingered variety.
Thinking he’s rid himself of a charlatan, Constantine visits the town bar where the good folks of Heddich remember the dead. He finds out that Linus wasn’t the first to die in an unnatural manner and decides a visit to the mine is in order. A bit of knocking on the walls verifies the supernatural mojo affecting the town though a bit more research is in order. He drops in on the wake with a frozen dinner as his contribution and, after making his way through an off limits part of the house meets the grieving widow. Except, there’s something not so grieving about her. She answers his questions about the wild and weird with a story of a Romani girl hoodwinked into marrying a man who’s not what he seems to be. When Constantine brushes off her advances, she makes a scene where Constantine comes face to face with the President of Norpin Mining Company. “You’ve got a not-so-natural disaster in that mine,” he tells the burly man and postulates the prez has also heard the knocking.
Remember Zed? Well, to Constantine’s chagrin, she’s waiting in his hotel room. “You’ve been in my head for months,” she confesses and reiterates her problems having “visions [she] can’t control.” When she touches the dismissive Constantine, she reads his sad and disturbing motivations. Willing to give her a chance, he puts her under and, using the black tar substance absconded from the dead miner’s home, applies it to her hand. She screams, the visions that come to here leading Constantine (after once again ditching her) to St. Asaph church. There he runs into a necking couple, whispers of the Tall Man legend and, after doing his own ritual, the visual of the creatures traversing the mine.“Faith is an unshakeable acceptance with no room for doubt”
A frustrated Zed makes her way to the bar where she sits next to the same man Constantine did on his earlier visit. He introduces himself as Ellis, former priest who lost a son to the mine and his conviction in his priesthood. She leaves the bar and finds the man himself chilling on her couch. They have a little back and forth about running from things and Constantine warning the newbie just what awaits her if she truly wishes to enter into his world. They’re interrupted by a blaring siren signaling a mining collapse. They arrive to pandemonium about the mine but Constantine catches Thad Bowman, the president having a curious discussion with a direct report. Constantine corners the man inside his car and accuses them of digging into places “no mortal man” has any business of going into. Before they can finish up the conversation, the car is filled with mystical mud and both men are dragged underneath the surface. Zed saves Constantine before it’s too late but the other guy’s not as lucky.
Finally, Constantine has the scoop on what’s happening. Coblynau, spirits of dead miners, are the cause, a curious conclusion considering the Coblynau are protective spirits. Playing a hunch, Constantine and Zed return to the bar where Constantine has her sit in the chair Ellis had been in earlier. Her next vision allows them to locate the former priest on Rooster Creek. He gives them a bit more on the dead miners; all were bosses in some form, of which, Bowman’s the only one left. The two mystics return to the mine to find Bowman and his son under the attack of the Coblynau. Constantine’s able to dismiss the spirits after reminding them their true purpose. Unfortunately it’s too late for Bowman. The only thing they can do now is make sure no one else falls prey to the spirits and they blast the mine, part one of a two-part solution. Constantine returns to the widow’s home after making out her role in it all. As a Romani, her access to gypsy magic allowed her to summon and direct the creatures. The rising tide of darkness fueled her power and when she sics the creatures on Constantine, he reminds her of one thing; her dead hubby was a miner and the dark arts dabbler summons the dead man to have his vengeance.
Mission accomplished, Constantine is ready to move onto the next case, though Zed is not letting him go so easily. “Everyone who puts their trust in me dies,” he tells her but she won’t be deterred. “You see, John,” she replies, “I’ve been waiting for you. And you found me.” As they ready for an unknown future, the former priest wipes the ‘former’ from his title as he stands on the porch, awaiting the revival of his flock.
“I suppose it could be liberating. To take a leap of faith. To shrug off the burden of proof for the promise of hope. It takes trust to turn darkness to light. And those who trust risk putting their faith in the wrong hands. For there are those who pray for you and there are those who prey on you. And no matter how careful you are, sometimes, you can’t tell the difference.”
Welcome to the Party
- Though not a strong episode, per se, ‘The Darkness Beneath’ offers two major plot points to Constantine’s journey. First off, the rising tide of evil bubbling from down below acts as a supercharger for those with connections to the supernatural world. Whether or not it will influence a person’s intentions towards darker exploits remain to be seen but, either way, business will continue to pick up.
- And two: Hello Zed Martin. The most noticeable change from the pilot, producers decided to create a new partner for Constantine. Liv was a young and naïve newbie as it relates to the supernatural while Zed, though no veteran, is versed in the unseen. This experience puts her as more of a partner in crime than a student looking to him for direction. And judging by their interaction throughout the episode, this is a positive change making for a much more dynamic relationship.