Your Constant(ine) Companion: Part 12
Ep 13 — Waiting for The Man
It’s been a long road, getting from the pilot to here. It’s been a long time, but the time is finally near. We can see if the producers’ dreams come alive in the finale. Will John find his mum? They’re not gonna frag Chas no more. No, they’re not gonna make Zed interesting.
‘Cause it’s the end of Constantine. We’re going to watch the finale, and I’ve got faith to believe, this show can stop sucking. It’s got strength in its characters, and no one can say it’s not got potential. The cast can be stars. I’ve got faith. I’ve got faith: faith in this shoo-ooow…
Not been here before? Welcome, but you should probably start with Part 1.
The art of the tease
A hillbilly walks into a bedroom where three teen girls are waiting in wedding dresses. He tells them he needs their help with his wedding day and leads them out under a “blood moon”.
The three find another teen runaway in a closed carnival. They tell the girl how great it is being married to “The Man” and show off their “wedding rings”, bruises around their necks. The girl asks if she can marry him too.
Meanwhile, The Man is waiting in his truck, where he’s interrupted by a cop, whom he promptly kills… roll credits…
It’s weird, given that teasers are the one thing this show has, more-or-less consistently, done well, that the finale’s is convoluted and a bit weird. It’s enough to peek your interest, but it’s so odd it breaks the atmosphere.
What’s that coming over the hill?
“The Man” is just a hick who killed his wife on their wedding night because he found out she wasn’t a virgin. He said Satan made him do it, so the police, apparently, let him go, and he’s been kidnapping virgin teen runaways to force into Satanic marriage ever since. Their “wedding rings” come from him strangling them and enslaving their ghosts to seduce more victims.
It’s still a blood moon as we open on John and Zed meeting Jimmy The Cop from episode five in a bar. The cop from the teaser’s body has shown up mummified and Jimmy is freaked out. John says it’s clearly supernatural.
Zed’s drawing a vision blank, so John electrocutes himself to induce his own vision. Seriously? So John, who smokes upmpteen cigs a day, only needs Zed for the sake of his health? Thankfully for Zed’s job, John’s vision is about as useless as Zed’s normally are.
Minutes to Midnite
Meanwhile, Gary sends a message from beyond to let John know the Rising Darkness have placed a bounty on John’s head. Despite parting with John on good terms, Papa Midnite wants to collect, as he’s been offered his sister’s release from hell in return.
When sending a zombie after John fails, Midnite simply takes his magic rifle and shoots John dead. Wouldn’t that have been a better cliffhanger for the two-parter?
Turns out, it’s an illusion and John uses it to get the drop on Midnite and knocks him out, leaving him for the cops to find next to the body of one of Hillbilly Man’s victims. Possibly the only decent part of the episode.
Worst… detective… ever
In the end, Jimmy gets Hillbilly Man’s vehicle registration from a traffic camera. Why exactly did he need John and Zed?
Dick move, John
Anyway, they arrive just after the girl from the trailer has come to her senses and run the fuck away. Jimmy and John catch him, but decide to let Hillbilly Man “escape”, so Jimmy can hunt him for sport or something.
Chas gets fragged
No Chas in the final episode at all. We didn’t even get chance to say goodbye. Blub.
Zed finally admits to Jimmy that she’s getting visions of his death and they hook up, while John watches ambiguously. He sulks off and runs into Manny, who tells him everything he’s doing is holding back the Rising Darkness and they can win. John responds with generic badass and walks off into the darkness.
Switch to Papa Midnite, who’s in the back of a cop car in a lot of trouble when time freezes. Manny shows up to let him go. Turns out, Manny was the one destined to betray John, as he was the Rising Darkness all along…
…dun dun duu-uun…
So, the final verdict on how the show ends is whimper rather than bang.
Clearly, all the epic stuff was crowbarred into a plain, ordinary episode to try to win a reprieve and failed. The episode has some interesting ideas, but is all rather rushed and ham-fisted. It’s a shame as the Jimmy and Manny stuff has potential, but then the whole show had plenty of potential that it mainly wasted.
I don’t think, if they’re being honest, anyone is campaigning for a continuation of the series in its current form. Rather, we all want to see Matt Ryan’s Constantine get the stories he deserves.
All this makes sense of why Arrow, a much better show, chose to bring the character in for a cameo without any of the trappings from this series. It’s just a shame the agreement was for it to be a one-off, as that episode of Arrow shows what decent writers can do with this character played by this actor.
Speaking of which, we’ll see you next time…