Well! It seems like it’s been ages since Paul and I tackled the advance review of the pilot of DC’s dark horse, Constantine. But now that the show’s finally being aired, it’s high time we blew the dust off and jumped into this delightful new series. I’m here to do just that, and let me tell ya, expect a lot of gushing because dammit I love this show so far. A quick note before we start up, for those who’ve forgotten – I am uninitiated in the Hellblazer comics that this show is based off of. Hence, while my reviews on the show will be subjective, they will also be non-comparative. I’m judging this off of its own merits, not those of its source material. “YA GOT THAT?!” Anyway, let’s move onward and see what, exactly, the second episode of this show has to offer us. I mentioned, regarding the last episode, that this seems to focus a lot on building the character of John himself by using other characters, and specifically does not create an ensemble cast. It chooses to make John the firm protagonist, as the title of the show may suggest. This episode continues that tradition – not only is John the firm lead, this episode does not feature any of the characters from the pilot. Chaz (Charles Halford) shows up very briefly in the beginning, and is then not seen again. So, not only is John focused on as the lead, progress on the other characters is stunted, showing very blatantly that Constantine himself is the only character this show needs to fuel its own momentum. We do have a new supporting character, Zed (Angélica Celaya), who is actually a fantastic addition to the cast. Her unique tactile psychic abilities give her a specific purpose towards the plot, and even more importantly, she stands alone as a solid character. The female supporting character from the pilot was not exactly well-received, as while she possessed a useful skill and a phoned-in history, her personality wasn’t strong enough for her to really fit into Constantine’s gritty world. Zed, on the other hand, is a plucky little survivor who has an independence and strength of will that makes her a very welcome addition to the cast. While she isn’t entirely attuned to this world of magic and demons, she’s clearly eager to find out and doesn’t care if she takes a few bumps along the way. She’s quite the looker, as well. Another distinct change this episode gives us is that it sets aside the sprawling, overarching plotline that the pilot gave us, settling instead for a more episodic style. Continuing my tradition of comparing this show to Supernatural, we get to see John tackle the social aspects of his job (demon-hunting) in a much less polished manner than the Winchesters – rather than coming in with a fancy suit and a fake badge, Constantine goes where he wants, asks who he wants what he wants, and gets in proper trouble for it. It’s a refreshing spin on something we’ve already been seeing for a while on Supernatural… something it seems like Constantine may turn into a trademark, doing the absolute best with what it has and standing out next to its predecessor. Matt Ryan is still doing an amazing job as the title character. He isn’t losing any steam – he’s intense and loveable all at once. His self-aware, wisecracking, punk-rock swagger is perfectly counterbalanced by his detached, determined, and defensive (heheh, D’s) attitude when the going gets tough. I look forward to a lot more from him. Since the plot of this episode is more or less contained to this episode alone, I won’t go into detail on it for the sake of keeping this spoiler-free. It’s a fun, short chapter in Constantine’s wanderings that introduces a new character, shows us more about the way John works, and is overall very entertaining. Whether this episode’s villain was actually Slenderman is still up for debate. [Editor’s Note for Horror Nerds: The kids in the church called the graffiti “The Tall Man,” who just happens to be the villain of the Phantasm series, the second film of which, just happens to star this episode’s faithless priest, James Le Gros!] Another quick thing I’d like to touch down on, something I only just noticed while watching this episode – the music in this is terrific. Like terrific. In one scene I found myself at the edge of my seat, only to notice that nothing particularly interesting was happening: John was skulking around a work field, looking for clues and whatnot. Nothing really worth being excited over, even if it was necessary to advance the plot. It was the score that got me engaged in it – and, who knows, maybe it was just me, but I started to pay attention to it throughout the episode. It’s subtle but it’s strong, and I really feel like it adds to the overall experience. So, if you haven’t given Constantine a shot yet, seriously, you need to. It’s dark, spooky, charming, grimy, and hilarious all at once, and so far I can’t recommend it enough, even if the second episode wasn’t quite as much of a blast as the pilot. Let’s just all hope that the drawing of the horned man seen early in the episode really was Etrigan the Demon. If he shows up in this show, I’m going to buy the box set and dry-hump it daily. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.