With the ‘rising darkness’ growing, can Constantine escape its cancelation rumors? Will the introduction of Jim Corrigan and the return of Papa Midnight help this show grow off last week’s emotionally charged episode?
The official show description from NBC:
In New Orleans, Constanine’s (Matt Ryan) unusual knowledge of a string of crimes get him into trouble with Detective Jim Corrigan (guest star Emmett Scanlan). He must form an unholy alliance with Papa Midnite (guest star Michael James Shaw) when a voodoo ritual to help people communicate with their dead loved ones takes a deadly turn.
We’ve talked in weeks past about the precarious nature of this show with its time slot and ratings. Last week we got an emotional story that deserved attention. This week, the writers throw a couple of elements that drive the show a bit stronger. No, it’s not the demon/spirit of the week. It’s not the sexual tension between John and Zed. And it’s not the unstoppable, undead Chaz. This week we see the return of one of the strongest elements: Papa Midnite. His hate for Constantine (and everyone’s for that matter) drives this episode and introduces themes that power it from the undercurrent of subplots. No Manny this episode. But we did get the skeptic detective Jim Corrigan who added a bit of depth to the cast.
The three spirits in this story were rather bland, but effective. I love how there are no good humans and no bad humans; just people. The real enemy isn’t anything more than an obstacle. If there is real evil in Constantine, it has to do with demons and screwed up magic. The development of Papa Midnight was well done. He doesn’t just come across as a cardboard villain, but a man who is passionate about his dark arts and fully respects the power he’s been given. When confronted with his fault in he investigates without arrogance. You sympathize with him as he becomes real. Corrigan was the skeptical cop without going overboard. He comes around quickly (this is, after all, an hour long show). Thanks to him, we get to peek inside what makes Zed tick and the sexual tension at the hotel was a nice touch. And that Chas! What a beast! Once again, all of the secondary players fell flat, even some of the ghosts. But you totally ignored it while John and Midnite fought about Voodoo or Zed.
Matt Ryan (Constantine) was, as always, perfect and his interaction with all of the players worked well. He was fun playing opposite of both Papa Midnite (Michael James Shaw) and Detective Corrigan (Emmett Scanlan). He became a big brother to the detective, but John and Midnite had a powerful chemistry that heated up the story. We got to see deeper into Papa Midnite to find that he wasn’t only some Voodoo bad guy, but he was a true believer who respected the art. Because of this, Midnite totally loathes Constantine and it shows in every scene they have together. Zed (Angelica Celaya) shows a bit of vulnerability and we get to peek into her background.
Two great episodes in a row and it looks like Constantine is just hitting it’s stride. If they keep with the character development and great guest stars, I think it’s safe to say that this show could very well outlast the critics and bad time slots, fingers crossed!