– Spoiler Review –
Constantine stays in stride this week in “Danse Vadou,” following last week’s confidence by providing an entertaining ghost tale, adding a new and eventually important character, and giving the rest of the cast more to do.
The ghouls of the week led to some entertaining developments, while they themselves were an interesting story. Having killer ghosts be stuck here due more to their loved ones than any magic or voodoo of either Constantine’s or Papa Midnite’s was a development I wasn’t expecting. Sure, it was happening with the help of this “rising darkness” we keep hearing about, but having decently developed backstories showing a character’s guilt for their actions against the ghosts really helped sell the ghouls of the week component of “Danse Vadou.” And it helped the show touch on the power of guilt: how it can not only kill the person who feels that way but also those around them if it’s not dealt with; This reflects back on a statement Constantine has made several times already this season about how people are always dying around him, as he is currently holding a lot of guilt over damning a young girl to hell. Will this guilt come in the way of his fight against the “rising darkness?”
Zed’s role this week was expanded over last week’s, as she played a pivotal part in helping Constantine with the investigation into the ghosts’ surviving loved ones. What I really liked was the use of her power, including the awesome shot of the elevator opening and it leading to some outdoor location only she can see. There was also some revelations about Zed’s past here as a runaway thanks to the detective the team meets, and while I wasn’t expecting to hear those type of details already it was very welcome. However, her biggest moment is her contact with the Detective Jim Corrigan (more on him in a bit) causing her to have a vision which showed an extremely creepy and not so pleasant future for him. I’ve really come to appreciate how this show doesn’t shy away from showing a more gruesome side to things, as anything less wouldn’t work well with the material they’re pulling from.
Papa Midnite is a great adversary for Constantine since they can see-saw back and forth from complete enemies to begrudging allies in this fight against the denizens of hell. He’s also a complex and powerful character, making it hard to predict his next move. And then the reveal he was willing to go so far as to sacrifice his sister so he’d have an insider into Hell is a freaky but awesome surprise. It got me to wondering, but how did that conversation start between the two of them? “Hey sis, can I sacrifice you and damn you to Hell so I have an insider there? ‘Kay, thanks.” And most importantly, was she willing to do it or did he force her? Either way, it’s a unique take on the weapon that is knowledge and shows how far he’s willing to go to fight against the darkness. In that way, he’s eerily similar to Constantine, a comparison I’m sure neither would like to contemplate.
Corrigan’s introduction, drunk and pissing in an alleyway, quickly and entertainingly set the tone for the character. However, his gruffer voice might have been a bit much, but other than that he looks to be an good addition to the show, especially if he’ll become bonded to the spirit of The Spectre as he has in the comics. Ok, it’s probably more of a when, not if, so we just have to play the waiting game. Comicbook.com has a great little write up about Jim Corrigan from the comics, including a link to a pretty cool video about the way The Spectre does his thing from time to time.
The revelation, from Midnite’s sister, that someone close to Constantine will betray him and kill those around him is a very interesting mystery and should be fun to watch how he’ll act around the other characters now. And with really only Chas, Manny, and Zed being ‘close’ to him, it’s not a big list to go through and it’s hard to imagine one of them will be the betrayer, though it might be through an inadvertent action.
Here are a few other things:
- Chas’ ability not to die is one thing I look forward to getting an answer on. His scenes with the alleyway slasher and answering her questions with more questions was pretty funny.
- They got away with a couple puffs on a cigarette this week from Constantine.
- Constantine’s lines against voodoo were hilarious and he continues to be a great character for TV.
Much like “A Feast of Friends,” “Danse Vadou” did a great job of showing what Constantine can be now that it’s out of its several-episodes-as-pilots stage. It also gave Zed, Chas, and Papa Midnite more things to do, as well as introduced us to Jim Corrigan, who’ll be important to the mythology of Constantine as the show goes on. Add in a dash of creepy skull sister and you have another entertaining episode.
+ Papa Midnite’s source
+ Good ghouls of the week
+ A little more Zed, Chas, Midnite
S1, Ep. 13: “Waiting for the Man”
S1, Ep. 12: “Angels and Ministers of Grace”
S1, Ep. 11: “A Whole World Out There”
S1, Ep. 10: “Quid Pro Quo”
S1, Ep. 9: “The Saint of Last Resorts” Part 2
S1, Ep. 8: “The Saint of Last Resorts” Part 1
S1, Ep. 7: “Blessed are the Damned”
S1, Ep. 6: “The Rage of Caliban”
S1, Ep. 4: “A Feast of Friends” (plus reviews for episodes 1-3)