There are just some things you don’t do. Picking a fight with an inebriated Hulk. Challenging Darkseid to a staring contest. Or trying to best the Flash in a race. Though all those examples won’t end well for the challenger, none are as bad as willingly inviting a demon into you, even if it’s to save your life. John Constantine didn’t get the memo on that particular no-no.
Trapped by the horrificly formed Invunche, Constantine and Anne-Marie try to suss out their means of escape when the latter decides the small bundle of baby innocence is worth more than a master of the dark arts whose soul is already cursed to hell. So, like the ‘I just have to run faster than you to escape the bear’ memes, Anne-Marie shoots her former lover to allow her and the baby egress from the tunnels. Knowing he’s fresh meat for the monstrous creature, Constantine opens himself up for inhabitation by a demon. It works though, after driving the Invunche away, Manny arrives in all his pissed off angelic glory. He rips into the exorcist, making a very fair point in that he never asked the heavenly host for aid, once again taking action without weighing the consequences. “It’s not that I can’t help you,” Manny tells Constantine before walking away, “I won’t.”Not too keen on Constantine’s new look, courtesy of Pazuzu
Chas ventures to the sewers to help his buddy, Constantine confesses that he has a new tenant setting up shop inside of him, namely Pazuzu, a Demon King. He explains that a self-exorcism is his one saving grace though Pazuzu has other ideas, taking over long enough to escape Chas and get Constantine in a bit of a pickle, tearing apart five members of a Mexican gang, which lands him in prison and presents a bit of a problem for his idea of exorcising Pazuzu, considering a very limited window for him to get out of this still in possession of his body.
Needing a bit of help, Chas calls in Zed, who’s just escaped her father’s henchman, and makes her way down to Mexico City. When she arrives, Chas gives her more of the specifics on what’s happened and she postulates using Anne-Marie to use her bi-location skills to locate the wayward wizard. The nun is still brandishing her sanctimonious attitude when Zed sets her straight. “You kneel here night after night hoping against hope that heaven hears your word and, guess what, John has heaven on speed dial.”
On the prison front, John chats it up with Stanley Gibson, British Consulate and tries to express the importance of him getting out of dodge. He taps Julio, an inmate with contacts, to aid in finding some holy items but is first visited by Manny. The angel’s still frustrated and down on Constantine and the master of the dark arts admits that he’s not ready to die, citing that he has a bit more work to do. If it’s up to Julio, that work won’t last long as the latter sells Constantine out to compadres of the murdered gang members. They fair just as well as their compatriots and upon waking surrounded by stunned inmates, Constantine lets everyone know who’s running the yard. He approaches Julio but Anne-Marie’s shade pops up and their conversation is no more civil than last they spoke—though it’s understandable why he’s a bit hacked off. With her pinpointing his location, Zed and Chas sneak their way in (though Chas is a bit less subtle) with all the supplies they need for the exorcism. Though he’s grateful for their support, he feels Pazuzu getting stronger and tells them “it’s my fight from here on out.” Surprise of the day is the originally reticent Anne-Marie showing up, ready to lend her support. She ends up sneaking a word to Zed, telling the woman that, should they all survive, she should leave John and never look back.Let the exorcism begin
Remember Stanley the Consulate? Well, sounds like he’s been working with the Brujeria baddies and is why John’s stuck in prison. His Brujeria contact uses that information and then Stanley’s body to infiltrate the prison and confronts the gang mid-exorcism. Seems to be that he’s the Trixster/Vincente, the original serpent from Eden. He wishes nothing more than for Pazuzu to take charge of John’s body and become an ally in the Rising Darkness. When he kills Chas, Anne-Marie uses the dagger (a last resort to take out John should they fail) on Vincente, either killing the demon or sending it back to hell. When John wakes, he’s in the infirmary with Anne-Marie and Chas. Time’s running out and they need some sort of sedative to slow Pazuzu’s arrival. They use Julio to gather enough herion to put Johnny boy on dream street long enough to get him out of prison and to the Millhouse.
Back at the Millhouse, Zed and Anne-Marie bond a bit more and the former tells the nun about her kidnapping and the past catching up to her. Round two of Exorcising John begins but this time Anne-Marie will be leading it courtesy of a true Roman Catholic ritual. She has lost a bit of faith in herself and, as the ritual starts going south, Zed reaches her. It’s not about strength but forgiveness: Anne-Marie still harbors the guilt of introducing John to the supernatural and only her belief in herself will give her strength to cast out Pazuzu. The pep talk gives Anne-Marie the strength she needs and she sends the Demon King back to its hellish abode kicking and screaming.
As John recovers, Anne-Marie speaks to Zed one last time, expressing to Zed how she needs to come clean to John about what’s going on with her father. Before she leaves, Anne-Marie and John appear to mend the beaten and battered fences between then, parting on fairly good terms. As for Chas and Zed, he warns his two confidants that as bad as things are now, they’ll probably being getting worse…sooner than later. Much sooner.
Patron of Lost Souls
- Action without consequence, it’s a stigma that’s been associated with the world’s defender against the darkness and his showcases it here as well. Though he’s never been on the best terms with heaven, Constantine’s first instinct is to call forth a demon to get him out of the Invunche mess instead of, oh I don’t know, calling for a more blessed aid. He has yet to realize that, if Manny’s been interacting with him in this way, maybe someone upstairs sees his importance and would be willing to listen to his earnest pleas. But, as Anne-Marie said, John doesn’t do sorry. It’s powered him through quite a bit but tends to land him on the wrong side of things.
- Pazuzu hinted at it but we still haven’t gotten the truth behind Chas’s origins. His inability to die paints him as some sort of Phoenix character, sans the fire and rising from literal ashes. Lord knows how many times he’s died in the service of saving John but he’s a major part in the fight ahead. Zed’s past is a bit clearer than Chas’s but even she has shadowy parts of history we’ve yet to find out, most specifically her father’s identity. Something tells me he has a larger part in the Rising Darkness than anyone realizes…
- Speaking of fight, what’s next for our gang of supernatural saints as they face off against the Brujeria? We’ve already met Lilith’s sister and now the Trixster, the original Serpent of Eden! Add to the fact that the Pazuzu exorcism was one of the creepiest scenes to grace the small screen, even with only a handful of episodes left on the shelf, be ready to be taken for one wild ride.