Constantine 1.02 – The Darkness Beneath
“I don’t seek answers to questions that needn’t be asked.”
In this week’s episode, entitled ‘the Darkness Beneath’, John travels to a small mining town in Pennsylvania to investigate a couple of unexplainable deaths of mine-worker. Chas isn’t able to come with him as we’re told there’s a warrant out for him after an incident involving a succubus and a train (can’t wait to hear more about that one). So John has to travel alone. Shortly after arriving in the small town of Hedditch, John bumps into a young woman named Zed Martin carrying a charcoal drawing of John and seems stunned to have seen the man she has been drawing for so long in real life. Feeling like Zed is probably a con-artist and a fraud, John dismisses Zed to get on with his work until he realises he can use her clairvoyance powers to his advantage and the two of them decide to team up.
More than anything I feel like this episode was aimed at introducing us to Zed’s character and her relationship to John rather than fighting the actual demons themselves. Nevertheless, the writers manage to do a good job at joining together the two plot threads and it makes for an exciting, funny episode with lots of memorable moments. I love the vibe that’s been set up between Zed and Constantine and their relationship/partnership could really go either way and that makes it all the more intriguing. Angelica Zelaya plays Zed with credibility and adds mysteriousness to her character and makes us question her true motives.
One of the things that I enjoyed the most about the episode is how incredibly well they incorporated the use of history, mythology, and mining lore into the plot and made the monsters very believable. We find out they are Welsh spirits of dead miners who knock on walls to warn the miners when a cave-in is about to happen. On a personal level, the myth of the Knockers is one of my favourites, as I live in the area where this myth originated. I’ve been told stories about it so many times and I was excited to see it in a TV show like Constantine. As far as I can remember, I can’t recall another TV series that’s actually used this particular lore as the centre of the story.
The complexity of John’s character and all the traumas that he’s had to live through and with really showed in this episode. It becomes quite clear that no matter how much John relies on his wits and charms, there’s a lot of hurt inside him that he holds back. It made me more intrigued to find out about John’s past as I imagine there is a lot yet to be revealed. We are only two episodes into the season but so far this show has a lot going for it and it looks promising. I like that all characters seem to have their own personal story arc intertwined into the main plot and that not everything is solely focused on John and his quest.
However, my only worry with this show so far is that it could turn cliché very quickly and become much like its counterpart shows, Supernatural and Sleepy Hollow to name a few as they all have very similar elements in the way the story is told. It should be mentioned perhaps that what makes Constantine stand out is that John himself is very much a tormented anti-hero and that puts a different edge to this show.
Nevertheless episode left us with several unanswered questions and my favourite ones being; ‘Who is Zed?’, ‘What’s her story?’ and ‘What’s her part in all of this?’.
“There’s a darkness arriving John, people can feel it.”
Indeed and I for one can’t wait to find out what that darkness it and what it will bring for John, Zed and Chas.