Last week I was applauding the show for upping the gore factor, and if it continues at the rate it’s going at, I think by Constantine’s season 1 finale we can expect an utter blood bath. The particular flavour this week is body horror. Entomophobes stay away because, dodgy CGI effects or not, the sight of a swarm of beetles going down someone’s throat is gag-worthy. After that we get excessive face stuffing, shrivelled corpses, and some… eye popping visuals. Then just when you thought it couldn’t get any more fun, tongues get involved.
Following a disastrous trip through US customs, a hunger demon previously trapped in a bottle is let loose in the city. Said bottle was in keeping of Gary Lester, a member of the group John was involved with when Gary inadvertently sent a little girl’s soul to Hell. Now a junkie and wandering the world looking for a fix, Gary believes that exorcising a young man he stumbles across would ease his guilt. Funny how these things never work out.
John meanwhile has been teaching Zed to hone her psychic abilities. They seem to be a bit of a mish-mash of skills still, but one interesting factor is the unintentional psychic feedback and effects she gets from touching someone, kind of an interesting Rogue from the X-Men vibe there. When Gary shows up, John takes it upon himself to clean up his old friend’s unsavoury mess.
The show really is getting stronger each week. This episode gives us another look at the “Newcastle Incident” and John’s guilt acting as a fuel for his work. The demon of the week is suitably threatening, but links back to the ominous rising darkness that Manny, John’s unwanted angelic visitor, has been warning about. It is a pretty dark episode, but still with room for a couple of well placed jokes (John wiping out the counter on a workplace accident sign made me smile). Also I will never badmouth twitchy possessed people again because one here twists with such frightening contortion it actually freaked me out a little.
Matt Ryan is still going a great job as John, and we’re even getting some slivers of John’s less pleasant qualities. He has no qualms in off-handedly giving a gruesome fate to some, but he doesn’t make the big choices easily and when Zed tries to call him out on his actions he shouts her down. The jerk/good guy balance is a tricky one to play and I think they’re getting better with it.
The strongest episode so far, we’re really seeing that potential I saw developing in the show’s first episode. Bring on next week’s blood and black magic-infused installment.