Constantine: “Danse Vaudou”

Constantine - Season 1

In New Orleans, a young woman wearing a surgical mask stops a passerby. She asks them, “Do you think I’m pretty?” When the person says that she’s not, the woman proceeds to stab them with a large pair of scissors. Cop Jim Corrigan witnesses the event and unloads a clip of bullets into the killer, but they escape unscathed. Picking up on the spiritual disturbance John, Zed and Chas head down to the Big Easy where, aided by Corrigan, their investigation once again causes them to cross paths with Voodoo Master Papa Midnite.

It’s a pretty solid effort this week, tracking down murderous and vengeful spirits. I love a good urban legend, so the inclusion of one of my favourites–the Japanese Kuchisake-onna “Slit-Mouthed Woman”–was a nice little touch for me, as was Chas’ method with dealing with her at one point (asking her questions to confuse her), something straight out of the legend. There’s also the classic vanishing hitchhiker making an appearance here with more deadly consequences than usual. The cause of these ghostly rampages is a side effect of Papa Midnite’s latest venture of allowing the guilt-ridden to communicate with the dead (for a decent fee, of course). Papa Midnite and Constantine make an uneasy truce. He dislikes John’s “Jack-ass of all trades” method of magic, but it is pretty enjoyable watching the actors play off each other as they have to send the spirits back to their final rest.

The latest addition to the show’s roster of supporting characters is cop Jim Corrigan because what’s a decent urban fantasy/horror series without a sceptical cop? Played by Emmett Scanlan, whom some of you may know as Simon Monroe from the highly acclaimed BBC zombie drama In the Flesh, he’s also another comic-based addition to the show. In the DC universe, Jim Corrigan becomes The Spectre, spirit of God’s holy vengeance on Earth. Whether this fate is in store for him in the immediate future of the show or not remains to be seen, although one of Zed’s visions shows that it’s highly likely. But a couple of accent wobbles aside, Scalan is doing a decent enough job that I’d like to see more of him. He also has knowledge of Zed’s past as a runaway, but we’re still yet to get the full story. I don’t mind too much, as they’re hinting just the right amount without going full backstory info-dump.

We also get more hints on that rising darkness that has been the cause for a lot of the supernatural goings on so far. Papa Midnite informs John, via his direct communication to the underworld, that his efforts have been in vain and someone close to him will soon betray him to the forces of evil. This is interesting because the most likely candidate at this point is, of course, Zed and so far she’s seemed pretty genuine about wanting to help Constantine. Maybe it’s all been a long con of sorts on her part, or there might be something manipulating her, but it’s not a warning I was expecting and it’ll be interesting to see how John reacts to this information in the coming episodes.

So, good but not great this week, but it’s hardly a dud. The show still has its momentum and I think as we get closer to the midseason, the stakes are going to be raised, and that’s something I’m really looking forward to.

B+

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