A missing cases person takes a dangerous twist.
What They Say:
Waiting for the Man – Detective Jim Corrigan asks for John and Zed for help with a case involving a missing girl; Papa Midnite plots his revenge; The truth behind the rising darkness is revealed.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Constantine had a lot of fun with the previous episode with what it did. Not necessarily with the story itself, but the way it drew Manny into things in a firmer way as Constantine bound him to the body of a doctor for awhile, which gave him a chance to experience things that he hadn’t before or at least in that particularly real way. Manny’s reactions to it all was priceless and it definitely made for some very fun material as we get to learn more about him in this way, which was made all the better by the reactions and expressions of the actor who really brought the whole experience to another level.
With this episode, we get a decidedly creepy opening with a man who has a small group of girls all dressed in white that he sends out to basically rescue a redheaded young girl who has a strange old man telling her that she’s going to die. With the girl having snuck out of her house due to problems with her mother, she learns that the other girls are all married to someone that they call The Man, and that he lets them do anything. It’s a bit of recruiting for a new bride for him to be sure, but it has the right kind of childlike innocence about it until the three girls reveal their rings, which is basically a severe kind of bruising around their necks. It’s all very cult like in a proper way, simple to be sure, but sets the stage well enough for the creepy side of things.
What’s welcome is that after the cold open, we get to Detective Corrigan being back in the picture as he’s come to Constantine and Zed to help with a problem involving desiccated bodies and the fact that it may be more than what everyone thinks it may be. Amusingly, while they’re off dealing with crypts and tombs, we get Corrigan hitting on Zed, which almost has Constantine rolling his eyes, but it gets her closer to Corrigan and she starts to see some images of the Spectre from him, not that she knows what any of that means. But for fans, it’s such a wonderful tease to get a little bit of it. As their digging goes on, what they discover in the grave is that the man was branded and was pretty much taken by Satanists, which sets its own path forward. But out of the blue, Gary Lester takes control of the body and reveals to Constantine that there’s a bounty on his head. It’s the kind of weird supernatural aspect that’s played seriously while having comical elements that blends together well.
Of course, with a bounty on his head, it’s no surprise that it’s an opportunity for Papa Midnite to have a little fun and we see him set his own stage for dealing with Constantine, which involves a little sacrifice of others as well. With a lot of different things seeded throughout the season, it’s really neat to see them come back together in a fun way here as there are some very thin but tantalizing connections. So when the focus turns to the investigation to find the girl herself, Vesta, we get the trio doing what they do in being not quite who people think they are. Playing that to what Vesta is experiencing in her new home provides for more creepy material, especially with the other girls. But it also gets revealed through some of what we see with The Man himself as he’s going about his business, which included dealing with a cop that got to close to him and has to be dealt with in a pretty brutal way.
The investigation itself goes off in a pretty decent way with some of the usual tricks and quirks, such as Constantine using his magic abilities to discern where Vesta was taken, which gives them an opportunity to figure out where she may have been taken. That has them going to the abandoned carnival grounds to seek out clues, which of course is where Papa Midnite has sent his undead warrior to collect Constantine to gain the bounty. It’s one of those moments that again proves that Constantine is not a physical fighter for the most part as it takes Corrigan coming in and just shooting the voodoo zombie in the head, point blank. With the knowledge that Papa Midnite is now trying to collect, that certainly raises the stakes in general, but also because he knows Midnite is going to be quite ticked off after having his zombie killed, one that he was directly connected to throughout the fight. The whole carnival experience is kept small, but it provides the clues that they need to start moving forward; not to the end goal, but to their next real lead to finding Vesta and the Satanists that may have her.
Naturally, the show isn’t about the investigation in full because of the bounty issue. So when we get them discovering the cop at his house with what was done to him, it ties into Midnite’s following of Constantine and knowing that he’s there. With the others sent away, it allows for Midnite to show up himself, shotgun in hand, to collect on the bounty directly. Constantine does deal with it in a rather fun way, but it reinforces who has called out the bounty, no surprise in it being the Brujeira, and reinforces what it is that Midnite is after in still trying to save his sisters soul from eternal damnation, and that group may be one of the few that could have the power to actually deal with it. But as we see it all unfold, it’s the fun in seeing how Constantine deals with Midnite through trickery and glamour in order to survive.
The Man, of course, is trying to finalize his wedding to his latest bride, and that allows for Constantine to get closer and find some of the truths within his house, such as how the other girls have been dead for a bit and are rotting away in a room. There’s a good feeling out of Constantine as he sees this and is repulsed, but it also redoubles his intent to take care of this guy because of what he’s done, which times out well for Corrigan and Zed to arrive and help. The capture itself is anticlimactic, but I loved seeing Zed just whacking the hell out of him. What it turns to is an interesting question though as Constantine wants Corrigan to realize that this man is no man. He may not be a demon or something supernatural, but he needs to be taken out of the world. Vengeance must be served for the three dead girls, which we see Constantine provide in a way himself as well beyond the death of The Man.
While not as strong as some other episodes, and one that you could see as not being the best suited for a season or potential series finale, Constantine does what it does here very well and it’s very enjoyable. While I hope that the whole Hellblazer plan comes together with Syfy, in the end I just hope we get more of this series. There’s a ton of great material from the comics world to work with, actors that have brought the show to reality in a great way and some great character material as well. It took a few episodes after the pilot and changes made to find its voice, but when it connected, it connected well and is ready to really hit the ground running even more so now. While there’s a lot of great comic book material on TV today that I really like a lot, this one is definitely different with what it wants to do that it doesn’t feel like it’s competing and can go its own way. Very fun and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.