Constantine “The Darkness Beneath”

By | November 3, 2014

Constantine The Darkness Beneath

Constantine meets Zed

John Constantine heads to a small mining town in Pennsylvania this week and meets up with the artist that has been wildly drawing him for some time.  Their meeting is brief at first but gain each others trust throughout the episode.  They definitely keep you guessing at the true villain the whole episode, which was good in my opinion.  The special effects were right on and more importantly the sets were great.  Loved the church and the camp site and the general feel of the entire town.

This section contains spoilers

Firstly, on the “previously on Constantine” segment we get absolutely no mention or image of poor Liv.  It is her blood on the map though and I think she will come back on the show (if the bridge wasn’t burned when they changed direction with the premise).  Secondly, the title sequence was wicked.  My wife thought it seemed a little dark until I reminded her of the Hellblazer part of the comic’s title.  Then it actually seemed about right to her.

The dried blood on the map is apparently going to dampen and get wet when John needs to hit the road, and this time it’s to a Pennsylvania mining town.  Chas is sitting this one out due to a previous supernatural encounter that got him a warrant for his arrest in the state.  Once there, Constantine pretty quickly meets a confused Zed.  Through some hypnosis techniques he begins unlocking some of her abilities and learns that she can be pretty useful to the cause.  Throughout the course of the episode both talk to Ellis McGee, the former priest of the town (see more in the next section of the article).  After they sort out the business with the mine, Zed convinces Constantine that she should accompany him.  From our previews, looks like she’ll be going with John back to Atlanta.

Thoughts and speculation

A lot of commenters on the Constantine Facebook page observed that John was depicted with cigarettes this episode, but he was actually shown putting one out at the end of the first episode.  This is really an argument I’m tired of hearing.  You can be a chain-smoker without having a cigarette in your mouth 24 hours a day.  I watch this show for the awesome supernatural world and characters.  How many people would tune in to watch a character smoking for the entire show and missing out on the action.  Maybe the entire episodes action could be told in flashbacks narrated by John as he worked his way through a pack?  No, boring! Also, smoking is banned from almost everywhere now (Dennis Leary had it all figured out).  Besides, if I wanted to watch a Constantine where the main emphasis on his character was his smoking I would turn on the Constantine movie starring Keanu Reeves.  Another thing I’m sick to death of reading about is John’s bi-sexuality.  It’s a topic barely touched on in the comic series and hardly defines the character.  It could not be mentioned for 3 seasons and be holding true to the character.  Besides, if you think sexual orientation defines a character (or person) you need to examine your feelings.  Constantine is not a symbol for LGBT rights… he’s not really a symbol for anything.  He’s an antihero, that’s his appeal.  Okay, that’s enough ranting about those two subjects.

John questions Zed about what she may be running from in her life.  She’s pretty reluctant, but I think it’s pretty obvious (if you have some knowledge of the character in the comics) that it’s her father.  He’s kind of a scary guy.  Being the leader of the Resurrection Crusade and all.  It’s hard to have Zed and not tell that story.  It may be the final events of season 2… hopefully we make it that far.  I don’t really see a reason that the show will shy away from some of these stories.  Including what could be an illustration in Zed’s apartment of Ironfist the Avenger, a grotesque being composed of 4 people created by John’s nemesis Nergal.

So many hardcore fans have decided, based on this week’s episode, that Constantine will be a procedural show.  In my opinion, it will have both elements of a procedural drama and a serial drama.  Most people need that tiny bit of closure at the end of an episode, but it’s too early to jump the gun and say the series is a procedural.  I wouldn’t even say that it’s a procedural with serial elements.  I would reverse that.  The serial element so far is the growing evil and whatnot that was discussed during the first episode as well as this one.  I also think that the network of allies that John is making may also be a serial element for a season finale.  This is speculation though and we’ll have to keep watching to find out for sure.  Father Ellis McGee seemed very well versed in one of the prayers John uses when he’s battling demons and devils.  We may see him pulled in to fight the coming evil before the season ends.

Update 11/13: Numbers and Links

Ok, numbers are in.  3.06 million US viewers… still more than the comic fan favorite Arrow’s season 3 premiere.  The one thing that’s disappointing about that number is that it’s more than a million US viewers gone.  I almost wish they had re-shot more of the pilot and did an hour and a half special including the meeting of Zed.  But they didn’t do that, so there’s no since in complaining.  Let’s put this drop into perspective though against other DC television shows that premiered this fall (numbers represent US viewers): The Flash lost 500,000 and Gotham lost 760,000 after their pilots.  Looking back, Arrow lost 590,000 after its pilot and looking way back Smallville lost 1.1 million after the pilot.  So looking at the Smallville number, I’d say it’s a little early to give up on a show based on a million viewer drop after the pilot.  Of course, something else to consider there is that Smallville’s pilot had 8.3 million viewers.  Looking at one of the comic industry’s most popular television adaptations, The Walking Dead, it becomes hard to know what will happen.  Sure, there was some drop after the pilot, but by the end of the first very short season viewership was stronger than it had started.  In fact, the latest season premiere had triple the viewers of the pilot!  5.35 million versus 17.29 million.  So, what I’m trying to say and maybe prove here is that you can’t tell a lot about trends based on initial numbers.  The show does need to make money for it to get another season and the way shows do this is with advertising.  Advertisers care a great deal how many people are viewing, because those are the people that are seeing their commercial.

Well, this is a tired and dreary subject, so here’s a list of the latest links (it will be updated before “The Devil’s Vinyl” to be inclusive for the week):