Constantine, Episode 13 “Waiting for the Man” Broadcast February 13, 2015
Written by Cameron Welsh
Directed by David Boyd
“Previously on Constantine,” Manny with wings is shown, John is a prisoner of Papa Midnite, the Rising Darkness is mentioned, Detective Jim Corrigan’s future self is seen by Zed, and John asks Midnite to look into the Rising Darkness, and the Voodoo mage tells him it’s coming, “…Heralded by someone close to you. Someone will betray you.” In the present, the Man comes home and goes upstairs, opening a door to reveal three much younger women–teens–dressed in century old dresses. They smile at his touch when he says, “It’s my wedding night. Look at my sweet babies.” The scene moves to an abandoned amusement park in the woods under a blood moon. A red headed teen explores her surroundings until a man appears, threatening her, “You’re gonna die, girl!” Before he can scare her further, the three child brides appear and frighten him off. The girl asks what the trio are doing out. They show her their wedding rings–brands on their necks. “If you were married to the Man,” one says, “we’d be a family…You want to marry the Man?” She says yes and they walk off. Voicing his pleasure from his parked pick-up, the Man is upset to see a security guard pull up. Telling the guard his battery is dead, the kind hearted watcher has the Man pop his hood so he can give him a jump. The Man uses the jumper cables to strangle the guard. Cue opening title sequence.
The red moon illuminates a crowded street in New Orleans. Constantine is looking at photos given to him by Corrigan. The photo is of an officer who’s been mummified. The body bears the mark of a branding iron and was found the night a girl was kidnapped. In a house, the Man, wearing a plastic smock, comments on the guard’s house. The Man has a branding iron and tells the unseen officer to quiet down. He slowly ascends the stairs with his instrument of torture crimson with heat. In a graveyard, Constantine asks for assistance. Leaving his flirting with Zed, Corrigan takes a crowbar from her, and with his touch she sees him dead, but wearing a glowing green cloak. With the body out of a tomb, John sprinkles holy water on it to reveal that the unfortunate man fell afoul of the Devil’s Branding Irons–torture devices from the Inquisition. The girls were taken by a Satanist. Corrigan leaves to take a call, and the corpse promptly sits up, animated by the spirit of Gary Lester. He warns John that a price has been put on his head. The red moon provides the transition to Papa Midnite’s sanctum, where a willing man assists him to collect the bounty on John.
Wow! This was an exceptional episode that had all the classic elements of the comic in play. The script by Welsh has Constantine at his best–savior, hero, bastard, and sot. Matt Ryan gets to do so much with John, his performance is a joy to watch. The scene in the girl’s bedroom was a classic in the making. I’ll never look at a toothbrush in the same way again. I love John’s impatient flicking of his lighter in that location. There are some excellent clues about something in the Man’s house, and the number of fly strips was grossly clever. The red moon was a nice way to signal trouble and provided some excellent mood to the episode. I really enjoyed the bright green background in the bar that was shown each time the camera focused on Jim–excellent foreshadowing. John’s final scene was pitch perfect, starting with public urination. The coda of the episode was fantastic and left me screaming, and will probably continue to do so if this series is not renewed.
The good: Cameron Welsh’s script, Matt Ryan, Harold Perrieau, Michael James Shaw, the return of Jim Corrigan, The Man being an excellent sick villain, and the clever trio of girls.
Fun lines: “Sound advice,” “You have choices…Now that’s a gift,” “Reduce John Constantine’s life to dust!” and “Oh, shut it.”
The bad: This promises so much for future episodes, there will be hell to pay if it doesn’t continue.
The final line: Outstanding episode that hints at much more to come. I want this to continue. It has to continue! Overall grade: A+