This Constantine review contains spoilers.
Unfortunately, “Waiting for the Man” might have been the final episode of Constantine. The problem is that with certain revelations and character directions that were revealed this episode, it feels more like we’re just getting started.
This week saw a synthesis of the entire season thus far. Other than the absence of Chas (boo) and no call back to Liv, just about every major plot point from the series was touched on. First, we had the Rising Darkness reaching somewhat of a crescendo. No, we still didn’t find out what it really was, but this amorphous coming evil did combine with a very human evil to present Constantine, Zed, and the returning Jim Corrigan with a twisted human serial killer darkly blessed with demonic powers so he could wreak havoc on Earth in the name of his dark masters.
The killer of the week, a bayou redneck simply known as The Man was a special brand of twisted. He would have felt right at home in Deliverance or The Hills Have Eyes. The Man kidnapped young virgins, dressed them in wedding finery, and strangle them to death after a faux wedding. And yeah, he kept their decaying corpses all cozy in a bed surrounded by strips of hanging fly paper. If Constantine is to leave us, at least it’s going out on one of its most twisted notes yet.
Constantine was none too happy with this twisted new killer but things were complicated by a price put on John’s head by the Brujeria, a price that the returning Papa Midnite was more than happy to collect. Papa has been the only recurring Constantine villain and it is always good to see his special brand of voodoo chicanery. Midnite is only hunting John because he was promised by the Brujeria that they would raise his sister from the dead if he did their bidding. So right there, we have two or three intersecting storylines. We got to see Papa create a voodoo zombie and utilize more of his voodoo powers until some sleight of hand involving a corpse allowed John to take Papa down.
Further complicating Constantine’s hunt for little Amberly, the latest of The Man’s chosen victims, were the complications between Zed and Corrigan. Now, Corrigan was a great help, a real, hard nosed detective who bought into all the magic jibber jabber that John was selling and who wasn’t afraid to thrust himself into the heart of darkness to help solve the case. It was Zed’s vision of Corrigan dying and going full Spectre that complicated things. Zed just didn’t know how to confront Corrigan with the foretelling of his dark fate.
I suspected Corrigan would buy it this episode, and actually hoped for it a bit, so I could get a least a little TV taste of this classic Golden Age character in case Constantine doesn’t return for another season, but it wasn’t to be. Story wise, I was glad as it would probably have better served the character if Corrigan died in the midst of an episode focusing solely on him and not as a byproduct of helping John, but man, this might have been the only chance we will ever get to see a live action Spectre and we might have just missed it.
We didn’t get to see the death of Jim Corrigan but we did get to see him in action helping to take down The Man. We also got to see a taste of some vengeful foreshadowing as Corrigan agreed to kill The Man instead of arresting him. Corrigan was disgusted by the brutal nature of The Man’s crimes and decided that vengeance was a better course than arrest. Maybe we did get to see Corrigan go a bit full Spectre after all.
We also got to see Corrigan and Zed share an intimate moment after Zed finally told him about his fate. I applaud the series for not going the obvious route and by having constant sexual tension between Zed and Constantine. Theirs is a relationship built on duty and respect. Seeing Zed and Corrigan hook up just added to the coming tragedy of the future Spectre’s fate.
The show and possibly the series ends (#saveconstantine!) with the revelation that the Rising Darkness is combining with human hosts to form unholy unions of evil, a union that Constantine swears to stop even if it damns him. So John stands tall, and if and when he returns, he will have Zed and her visions, Chas and his almost immortality, and Corrigan and his willingness to do what it takes to combat evil. It seemed that Constantine would also have Manny the Angel in his corner until the final moments of the episode where Manny reveals to Papa Midnite that it wasn’t a demon or a devil behind the Rising Darkness, it was an angel.
Manny was the force commanding the Rising Darkness and the one who put a price on Constantine’s head. After all, the devil is a liar and what better lie for a devil to tell than convincing people he is an angel. We’ve had hints of the Spectre, Eclipso, Dr. Fate and Psycho Pirate in past episodes of Constantine, but tonight, we may have seen the first appearance of Lucifer, the liar, the deceiver, the fallen angel.
#saveconstantine, it just can’t end here. Not after that.
Marc Buxton hopes to see you back next season for more Constantine because he will be very cross if the Helmet of Fate just sits on a dusty old shelf.