So for the past four episodes we’ve met angels, mine spirits and voodoo practitioners. We’ve sort of met demons but not fully although they’ve certainly been spoken about a lot. In this episode we get up close and personal with something called a hunger demon that ends up in Atlanta after John’s old friend Gary brings it back with him from Sudan. When the episode first starts though we see Zed and John sat in the grass in a park with coffee and John tells Zed how she can learn to better tune into her power and therefore become more powerful. We get a little hint of John’s past when he mentions the use of recreational hallucinogenic drugs which Zed claims to have never touched before in her life. At this point, Zed begins to see coins falling from the sky and as the environment freezes the Angel Manny appears. He tells John that Zed is definitely powerful and warns him to not scare her away because she could become useful to them in their fight against the rising evil which we have yet to find out more about.
Whereas I quite like Manny as an angel, Harold Perrineu portrays him wonderful and makes for a believable celestial being, I would quite like it if there was an actual reason to why he keeps showing up randomly because so far it’s only been to tell John that he needs to help them and keeps pressuring him about the importance of it rather than actually help John himself. Whilst I realise there is probably and certainly a purpose for that where writing is concerned, it gets a bit frustrating. I’m hoping at some point in the near future that maybe Chas and Zed will actually get to see him as well. It also makes me wonder if he is the only angel currently on Earth, if there are others or if he is the one personally responsible for watching John.
When John and Zed get back to the hideout they realise there’s been a break-in. Once they get inside, much to their disgust, they find the place to be covered in bugs and they also find out that the person responsible for the break-in is John’s old friend Gary. A lot of people would probably be happy to see an old friend but John is anything but happy to see Gary, a side of him that seems to not only shock but almost frighten Zed a little. So far we’ve seen John willing to help people and calling people his friends but not Gary. Nevertheless when Gary tells John about how he came across a man in Sudan with a demon trapped inside him and how he freed it from the man and trapped it in a jar and how it has now escaped, John tells Zed to keep an eye on Gary so that he doesn’t escape or does anything else suspicious whilst he’s away.
This episode is incredibly gorey. I’m not one to usually be fussed with a bit of blood and gore where horror is concerned but there were several time’s this episode where I had to turn away because I couldn’t look directly at my laptop screen as it was too much to handle. The Hunger Demon is literally what the name suggests, a demon that feeds on everything and anything it can come across until it eventually leaves the current host, which kills them, to find another one. One of my problems with this episode is that there were so many things happening at the same time which sometimes made it difficult to keep track of it all. Whilst John is trying to find and stop the hunger demon running lose in Atlanta, back at the hideout Zed finds out a little bit more about John as Gary tells her bits and pieces about Newcastle. By pure accident as Zed touches Gary, they share a vision too strong for our psychic to handle and as a result of that she passes out.
I really liked this episode because of many things, one of those being we get to see how emotional a person John can be instead of just the bitter and cynical one we’ve seen so far. We get to see that he to some degree actually cares about Zed and her wellbeing when he comes back home to find out she’s been passed out and seems almost a tad bit jealous when she tells him it was because she touched Gary. John explains that the fact that Gary is a junkie on withdrawal is what probably made Zed react to the vision the way she did, the drug residue still circulating Gary’s system were too much and too intense for her too handle.
John tells them that the reason to why the hunger demon is as unusually strong has to be because of the rising darkness. He once again heads out and leaves Gary and Zed alone (which I found a bit weird considering what happened the last time he did that) and goes to find an old friend of his and the owner of an African restaurant in downtown Atlanta. With the help of psychedelic drugs John is finally able to see how to stop the hunger demon. Unfortunately when he gets back to the hideout history has repeated itself because Zed is once again passed out and Gary is missing. Leaving Zed alone John finds Gary being beaten up in a back alley and manages to rescue him. He takes him to a pub where they end up having a long conversation where Gary tells him he ended up in Sudan because he needed to get away from everything and saving the man from the hunger demon was his way of redeeming himself after what happened to Astra. Instead of having a go at him, John tells Gary that it’s okay and that he saved him back in the alleyway because despite everything he is his friend and forgives him. They head to the theatre where the demon is currently located but once they get there John tells Gary that the only way to really trap it is for it to have a human host that can conceal it and Gary then realises that he needs to be the one to sacrifice himself to trap the demon as he was the one to set it free in the first place. So John carves ancient protective symbols on Gary’s face, chants a summoning spell and eventually the demon takes Gary as its final host.
Back at the hideout Zed is anything but happy about John’s decision to use his friend to trap the demon but John, heartbroken and in distress, tells her that he had warned her from the start that this is his job and that people around him die and that if she can’t handle it then she should leave now. The last thing we see before the end of the episode is John sat in a room with a screaming Gary, holding his hand and Manny there with them.
Whilst this episode certainly showed us the emotional side of John, it also flipped the coins and allowed us to see the darker one too. John isn’t afraid to do what needs to be done for the greater good even if that means sacrificing someone who used to be his friends and this is something that a lot of TV shows wouldn’t do because it’s too dark and too sinister. But I think it is important to realise, as I’ve mentioned before that that is what Constantine is about. He’s not a hero, he’s an anti-hero who knows the world is not a nice place and that sometimes you have to do some not so nice things to survive. All in all I really enjoyed this episode, despite once again the lack of Chas in it but I’m hoping he’ll be in the next one and that we’ll find out more about the true villain of the season and what they’re up against.