ORBzine - Constantine TV Review


Season 1

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 1] Non Est Asylum
Shown 24 Oct 14

John Constantine (Matt Ryan - ) is a self-admitted inmate in an Asylum. He is there partly in penance for his mistakes, and partly because it is a good place to find people in need of an exorcism.

A young woman named Liv ( Lucy Griffiths ) is being stalked by a murderous demon. She is the daughter of Constantine's friend, so he discharges himself and tries to protect her. He introduces her to the supernatural world, with her acting as an audience proxy. This means we only get voice-over narration at the very start and end of the story.

Constantine has a couple of guys to help him on his quest. Chas Chandler (Charles Halford - ), his oldest friend, chauffeurs him around in a yellow taxi-cab. Manny (Harold Perrineau - Lost ) is an angel sent to watch over him. Ritchie Simpson (Jeremy Davies - Lost ) is a Professor of Metaphysics who helped out on one of Constantine's previous jobs, a mess-up in Newcastle that left a young girl dead.

This seems reminiscent of Lucifer . Beyond the fact that they involve supernatural detectives, both stories are based on comic-books created by British writers.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 2] The Darkness Beneath
Shown 31 Oct 14

A coal miner is killed in Pennsylvania. This is not an at-work accident - he is burned to death in his shower.

John Constantine (Matt Ryan - ) goes to investigate alone. He meets Zed Martin ( Angelica Celaya ), a psychic woman who has been having visions about him. He does not mention the fact she has two first names, and both of them are masculine.

The miners have awakened something buried deep within the Earth. Constantine must take it on single-handed.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 3] The Devil's Vinyl
Shown 07 Nov 14

Zed Martin ( Angelica Celaya ) tracks Constantine down. He is heading off on a mission, and invites her along to help. Despite having the ability to magically locate a number of different demonic hot-spots, this week's case is picked because the victim was a personal friend of the hero. Yes, the writers went with coincidence instead of good plotting.

A woman sold her soul to a demon, via a soul-broker (Sean Whelan - Lois & Clark ). The only way to get it back is to trade it for a cursed item, a vinyl record that has an audio-recording of the demon's voice.

Constantine has a rival in the quest - a voodoo priest. While the so-called villain is reluctant to use lethal force, the so-called hero has no such inhibitions.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 4] A Feast of Friends
Shown 14 Nov 14

John Constantine (Matt Ryan - ) gets a message from an old friend. This friend, a recovering junkie, accidentally imported a dangerous hunger demon that is now running wild. It jumps from body to body, using up one victim after another.

As a last result, Constantine has a secret demon-fighting weapon. He has Manny (Harold Perrineau - Lost ), the angel sent to watch over him.

This episode is more about Constantine's backstory, his tortured past and his distant relationship with his former friends.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 5] Danse Vaudou
Shown 21 Nov 14

A ghostly serial killer is on the loose in New Orleans. John Constantine (Matt Ryan - ) goes to investigate, and brings his sidekicks with him. Zed Martin ( Angelica Celaya ) has visions about the killings before they happen. Chas the cab driver actually helps too, which makes up for his minimal appearance in previous episodes.

The only witness to the killings is a police detective. He has no explanation for what he saw, and his colleagues have put him on desk duty because they think he is crazy. However, he is still unwilling to assume it was a ghost.

Constantine must team up with his old rival, the voodoo priest who calls himself Papa Midnite.

There is some nice outdoor location shooting this week, in an above-ground cemetary. However, this was filmed in Georgia.

The director was John Badham , best known for Hollywood films but now working on TV.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 6] The Rage of Caliban
Shown 28 Nov 14

John Constantine (Matt Ryan - ) selects a black spot on his magic map. It is Birmingham, Alabama, where a poltergeist killed two people. Constantine takes Chaz the cabbie, and leaves the girl behind.

The victims had a young child that survived the incident. Constantine discovers the child was possessed by an evil spirit. The spirit's MO is standard. It makes the child act strangely, in a passive-aggressive manner. When the stress causes the parents to argue among themselves, then the spirit allows itself to get angered and react accordingly.

The spirit jumps from body to body, ever since the first murder in the series. The child from that case, now a grown man, is catatonic in a mental health facility. Reminiscent of Freakdog AKA Red Mist , which itself was reminiscent of an Oz-sploitation film.

The spirit has jumped to a new child. Can Constantine and Chaz get there in time before it kills again?

The director was Neil Marshall , best known for indie UK horror films but now apparently working on TV.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 7] Blessed Are the Damned
Shown 05 Dec 14

A preacher has a near-death experience, and discovers that he can now magically heal people. His sister ( Julia Harkavy ) realises this is too good to be true, but he does not listen. Then the people that he cured become Fast Zombies.

John Constantine (Matt Ryan - ) goes along to investigate. His guardian angel (Harold Perrineau - Lost ) tags along for the ride.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 8] The Saint of Last Resorts
Shown 12 Dec 14

The story starts in a maternity convent in Mexico. A demonic entity murders a pregnant woman and steals her baby.

John Constantine (Matt Ryan - ) gets summoned to solve the mystery. Once again, the story engine is not the main character's job but his personal history. This time the summoner is his ex-lover.

The female sidekick gets left at home to look after Constantine's stuff. Well, to go through it. She discovers she has a stalker, and gets her own subplot. It turns out that she has an ongoing story arc. Like Olivia in Midnight, Texas , her estranged father has sent men to find her.

Both main plot and subplot end on cliffhangers. But at least the characters know who is behind the goings-on.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 9] The Saint of Last Resorts: Part Two
Shown 16 Jan 15

John Constantine (Matt Ryan - ) has discovered that a coven of evil creatures called The Brujuria are behind the rising darkness. However, he has bigger problems he has been used as bait to lure off a demonic entity. Luckily, he has a guardian angel to look after him. However, the angel cannot or will not cure Constantine's wounds. To save himself, Constantine allows himself to be possessed by Pazuzu - the demon from The Exorcist . The bad news is that Pazuzu is a bit anti-social so Constantine ends up in a Mexican prison accused of disemboweling some muggers with his bare hands.

The Latina babe easily defeats her abductor. The whole of the previous episode's subplot is basically negated. She joins Chaz down in Mexico, and goes undercover as a hooker in the prison.

It is established in Legends of Tomorrow that Constantine is bisexual. However, nothing in this episode would indicate he is anything other than hetero-normative. A pity, since he could have been very popular in a prison.

The sidekicks have to break Constantine out of a Mexican prison, and conduct an exorcism before he is completely taken over by Pazuzu. Luckily he has already made an audio-tape of the exorcism spell in fifty different languages, so that no matter what language Pazuzu uses the exorcism will still be valid.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 10] Quid Pro Quo
Shown 23 Jan 15

It turns out that Chaz, Constantine's taxi-driving unkillable buddy, has an ex-wife and a pre-teen daughter. They live in Brooklyn, New York City, so that is where the team go. Several children have fallen into mysterious comas, and one of them is the daughter.

Luckily, John Constantine (Matt Ryan - ) knows a few dodgy magic-users in the NYC area. He visits his old enemies, and eventually discovers who is responsible.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 11] A Whole World Out There
Shown 30 Jan 15

Some tweenagers get drunk and conduct a magical ritual in a crypt. The token black guy is Shamier Anderson ( Wynonna Earp ). They all wake up elsewhere alone, apparently teleported there. One of them sees creepy William Maprother ( Lost ).

The guardian angel (Harold Perrineau - Lost ) tells John Constantine (Matt Ryan - ) that he should check the scry map, because an old friend needs his help. Constantine takes the hint, and looks up the Professor (Jeremy Davies - Sleepy Hollow: Season 4 ).

The tweenagers were students in the Professor's class. Can Constantine save them before they get bumped off one at a time?

Three of the supporting cast appeared in Lost . Perrineau was a regular, Maprother was in Season One and Davies was in the final few Seasons.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 12] Angels and Ministers of Grace
Shown 06 Feb 15

John Constantine (Matt Ryan - ) investigates the mysterious murders of addicts at a local hospital. He also has his female sidekick, Zed ( Angelica Celaya ), examined because of her headaches and other symptoms of a brain tumour.

The guardian angel (Harold Perrineau - Lost ) is a bigger pain in the ass than usual. Constantine locks the angel into his meat-suit. This de-powers the angel, which is not a good move because the only reason Constantine survived so long is because he had supernatural backup.

The angel also gets to lose his virginity to the meat-suit's rapacious girlfriend. She will not take no for an answer, so he is not really guilty of rape-by-deception.

Constantine Constantine [Season 1, Episode 13] Waiting for the Man
Shown 13 Feb 15

Young girls have gone missing in New Orleans. Constantine is called in by the detective from Constantine [Season 1, Episode 5] Danse Vaudou .

There is a subplot about the Brujaria. They have put a bounty on Constantine's head. One of his other enemies, the black Voodoo priest, raises a zombie and sends it to collect the bounty.

This ends on a cliffhanger, with Constantine still waiting to defeat the arch-villains. Unfortunately the show was cancelled mid-Season, so there is no conclusion. However, John Constantine was later recruited as a time-traveler in Legends of Tomorrow .






Constantine Constantine [Season 1 , Episode 1 ]
Shown th October 2016 [Wednesday]

Reviewed in our special supplement Constantine

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