After a pilot that showcased its potential and a bit clunky second episode–it wasn’t as loud of a clunk as it could have been–we come to the third episode for Constantine. One of the drawbacks with the show so far is that I’ve been finding it a little… tame. With all the death and demons around you’d think we’d get a little more punch than a couple of twitching possessed people and some earth monsters. Well, I definitely got my wish here as even before the flames and tortured souls opening titles we are served a happy helping of blood splatter as a music producer listening to a cursed acetate record first gets his ears ripped off and then a screwdriver to the head. Nasty indeed.
Said music producer’s death (he was an old friend) leads John and new acquaintance Zed to track down another musician whose wife found the acetate disc, made as the musician recording it was collected by the Devil after making a bargain for fame, and to stop its sinister influence that compels people to play it. In their way, however, we meet a new player to the game: Voodoo priest Papa Midnite.
Gotta love a good cursed object story. This one has some particularly gory effects as people go mad from hearing the voice of the Devil. John’s way of combating it is a pretty funny and engenious method: listening to an MP3 of Sex Pistols; “Anarchy In The UK”. John is a good old punk rocker, no mistake; there’s even a mention of his band Mucous Membrane and I’m really hoping for a flashback to those days in the near future. There’s also a nice little twist on the “selling your soul to the Devil” story.
Papa Midnite is a pretty well introduced, if a little typical, recurring villain. Ruthless and after his own agenda, he will hold a deadly grudge against anybody who gets in his way.
More successful is the second outing for Zed. She’s resourceful, knowledgable and even helps John out of a jam. There’s a bit of setting up for her “mysterious past”, and we won’t be getting the payoff for that for some time I expect, but right now, I like her.
The show is at least still maintaining the atmosphere I’ve been enjoying, with the standout scene of the episode being one where John uses a Hand of Glory to speak to his dead friend in a morgue. As he strikes up the conversation, all the dead bodies in their bags start writhing and twitching in agony. Very nice horror imagery.
Constantine‘s still got the attitude and I’m still really enjoying it, but I’m hoping it’ll be hitting its stride in the next few episodes.