written by Omar Castillon (@omar_castillon)
John Constantine finally shows a hint of humanity that has been masked with sarcasm and witty quips to his demonic enemies. This episode in particular almost feels like this should have been the pilot instead of the one that the studios went with. If you don’t like bugs or swarms of bugs flying around killing people, then you will turn away multiple times while having fun with this episode.
Right off the top there is a mishap on the handling of a demon carried by Gary Lester who is an old friend of Constantine’s. You’d think that a bottle full of bugs wouldn’t be such an issue if it was released into the air. This particular bottle of bugs is a demon named Mnemoth. Of course Constantine dreads this demon more than anything since he has a problem trying to contain the demon in the many enchantments and rituals that he uses.
Mnemoth is rather disgusting. Since it is a swarm of bugs, they tend to go inside unsuspecting people who have a craving to feed on anything. This also includes things such as fruits, vegetables, raw meat and even the occasional human flesh. The technical aspect behind the visual effects is quite amazing. It is disturbing to witness the emergence of the swarm in one scene inside the sink at an airport. Those creepy bastards crawl out and then the entire swarm invades a person’s body and takes over to become similar to a zombie-like craving.
Constantine and Gary then have to work together to take down the demon, but before we move on to that point let’s talk about the sudden emotional element that fleshed out Constantine and Gary’s past. In a scene with Zed and Gary, Zed touches Gary and she witnesses visions of Gary’s drug addiction. Gary finally explains to Zed why his drug habit became so severe and it all connects to Newcastle and the botched attempt to save Astra. To refresh on the Astra story, she was the little girl that was possessed by a powerful demon and Constantine used a different demon to try to fight it and loses against it sending Astra to hell. Gary spirals into madness and his guilt gets to the better of him. Zed of course is terrified by the realization and also terrified by what she has gotten herself into having to work with Constantine in their fight to ward off demons.
The solution Constantine comes to is helped by a mystic named Nommo and a pretty awesome spiritual journey that leads Constantine to hallucinate as well as exchange eyeballs (just go with it). The vision that Nommo gives Constantine is a very clear way of how to defeat Mnemoth. It also showed how the demon was in a proper vessel before but because the vessel went to find medical health and that caused the demon to spread around, this leads up to everything going on in the episode.
Long story short Constantine makes a tough decision by using Gary to defeat Mnemoth. I won’t explain how he does it but I can say that the scene is emotionally charged and gives a little more dimension to Constantine. Not only does it show Constantine’s personality, but there is also some dimension shown in the actions that Constantine uses in order to defeat the demon he is fighting. Essentially, the people helping Constantine will eventually pay the ultimate price whether or not they see it coming.
As for Chas in this episode, yeah, he was out to repair the taxi…
This week’s episode was one to watch for sure. The production value and the emotional value in the episode will guarantee a positive mark in the series so far. Like most new shows, it does take some time to develop an identity and sort of an overarching theme and Constantine has finally found its identity. Equal parts disturbing, adventurous and thought provoking, here’s hoping the next episode (which will feature Papa Midnite once again) will keep up with the winning formula.