Hello all! We meet again for our weekly dose of Constantine and as far as I can tell, I was really under the influence of the heat wave that won’t leave southeastern Brazil since the beginning of the month, because contrary to my surprise with episodes 6 and 7, episodes 8 and 9 didn’t impress me at all.
“The Saint of Last Resorts”, a story that takes two episodes to be told, brought three demons together and shed some light over the rising darkness which has been coming to Constantine since episode 2.
To start, John is contacted by Anne Marie (the girlfriend who got him into the arts of the occult), and then another member of the Newcastle crew we’ve heard about as many times as we’ve heard the mentioning of “the rising darkness”. Anne Marie is now a nun in a suspiciously misty convent in Mexico, she thought marrying God would be a good way to pay for her sins.
Since telephones seem to be non-existent in Mexico, she uses bi-location, which consists of the power to be in two places at the same time (still wondering if that’s not black magic and should probably be avoided when living in sacred territory) to contact John because she needs his help to rescue a newborn that has been taken from his mother inside the walls of the building by one of Eve’s sisters, Lamashtu, the first of the demons of the night. Pause for a question: It’s the year 2015, are not there hospitals in Mexico?
John, Anne Marie and Chas follow Lamashtu to the sewers — she has now taken a second baby and she mouths that La Brujeria, a clan of powerful South American warlocks she’s been working for, plans to merge Hell with Earth so that supernatural beings will rule the world.
Now this is the rising darkness coming.
John is in the sewers with an ex-girlfriend who hates him, the place is wet and stinky, Lamashtu is likely to have bad breath given the fact she has horrible teeth, the second demon of the night, an Invunche, shows up and Anne Marie shoots him and leaves him to die down there, try and go in the man’s shoes, what would you have done?
I’ll tell you what John did, he ignored Nietzche’s advice and rule of thumb for exorcists: “he who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.” Constantine invited a third devil into his body to defeat the Invunche, the Pazuzu, thus making Manny REALLY mad.
From this point on, part 2 starts and everything looks like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with a lot less depth. The cherry of the cake is the exorcism of John Constantine.
– Matt Ryan’s performance of a demon-possessed Constantine was lots of fun. Constantine was playful as usual and managed to get a few jokes right at last.
– Chas. The man is the Yang for Constantine’s Yin. What a great guy, always there, a helping hand.
– We’ve seen Constantine feature a ‘demon-of-the-day’ in every episode so far and tell us very little about them. The whole Newcastle-demon-darkness trinity the characters discuss every week is too vague to be followed. If you haven’t read Hellblazer, chances are you’re totally lost, and if you have read Hellblazer, you’re not really entertained.
– The Exorcism of John Constantine: isn’t it ironic that in a show where everyone is or once namely was a master of something, no one seems to get their sh** right? Constantine, Midnite and now Anne Marie.
– When Constatine asks Manny if they (God and His Heavenly angels) really had no idea that the Brujeria was behind the rising darkness, the angel replies: “Some evil is so powerful it can hide from heaven itself.” Whaaaaat? Lame. We’re all screwed.
– Zed’s sequence is boring as hell and again, any idea who those people trying to abduct her are? I’m going to help you with this one: they are the knights of the Resurrection Crusade — a dangerous Christian cult who believe that Zed will conceive an angel’s baby, which will be the next Messiah. Would you have guessed?
Notes of interest:
– Lamashtu is only one of Eve’s sisters. John recites their names while trying to figure out which of them was in disguise in the convent. They are Lilith, Durgia, and Naamah.
– Pazuzu is the evil spirit that possessed the character of Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist (1973). In actual folkore, he is an evil spirit, but because it’s an evil spirit that wards off evil spirits, it can also protect people.
– In Constantine’s earliest appearances in Swamp Thing, La Brujeria warlocks were responsible for creating the Invunche. They would create an Invunche by taking a six-month old infant, breaking its joints, and then enchanting it with a spell. Now you know why Lamashtu needed those babies.
See you all on the weekend for episode 10!