Violet recaps Season 1 Episode 6 of Constantine, titled Rage of Caliban, where Constantine and Chas travel to Birmingham, Alabama to investigate a child possession! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
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Episode Recap of Constantine, Season 1 Episode 6: Rage of Caliban
This episode of Constantine begins with a murder scene with blood everywhere: bricks from a fireplace have fallen on a woman, while a man is floating against the ceiling, bloody, then falls the ground. A little girl watches, unharmed. When the police come to investigate later, two officers argue, and the girl’s eyes go black, and a coffee cup explodes.
The next morning, Constantine wakes up in bed with a woman, who kicks him out because her boyfriend is about to return home. Back at the windmill, Constantine looks at the scrying map, then he and Chas head out to Birmingham, Alabama, to investigate last night’s double homicide. Constantine wants to start by figuring out why the daughter was spared.
When Constantine goes inside the house, Manny decides to make an appearance. Manny tells Constantine it’s time to draw up battle plans to stem the tide of attacks of the rising darkness. When Constantine asks why the girl was spared from the attack, Manny says he can’t tell him that, because when humanity was granted free will, angels lost their power to directly influence events on Earth. Constantine lights some paper on fire, casting a spell near where the coffee mug broke. The smoke allows him to see that the girl was possessed by the spirit of a child, but now it’s loose, and will be looking for a new child to possess.
That night, the spirit possesses a boy named Henry.
Meanwhile, Constantine meets up with a former client who’s a paralegal, who brings him information on similar murders in the area, where the parents were killed, but the children spared. He wants to find out who the spirit was when it was alive, and says that sometimes by just naming them, it releases them from our world. He starts by visiting Marcello Panetti, one of the early survivors, who is now in his 40s, at a local mental hospital.
At the mental hospital, an orderly tells Constantine about Marcello killing his father with an ax, and says that Marcello’s handiwork with an ax is somewhat of a “family tradition”: there’s bloody tree stump outside of the farmhouse where Marcello grew up, and whenever he misbehaved, his punishment was “severe.” When Constantine goes to talk to Marcello, who is sitting in a wheelchair, he discovers that Marcello is catatonic. He also sees that Marcello is missing three fingers.
At Henry’s house, his father hears some noises and gets up to investigate. When he tries to turn on the lights, it seems that the power is out. In the kitchen, Henry is hiding under the table, thumping a light bulb against the table leg. However, when his father bends down to look under the table, nothing is there. However, when he stands up again, we see that there are several light bulbs on the floor behind him. Lights spark, and he steps backward onto the light bulbs, cutting his feet. Henry shows up with a flashlight just then, denying that he did this, claiming he just heard a noise. He tells his dad to be careful.
When Constantine returns to the windmill, he makes a lay line map of the places where the murders took place. He explains that lay lines are like a psychic railroad, making it easy for a child’s soul to travel. To find the next victim, all they have to do is follow the line. Constantine searches his bookshelf for something to help them detect the spirit, and finds something, and also gets some frankincense.
Meanwhile, as Henry walks home from school, a dog that’s tied up barks at him and tries to attack him. But Henry stares it down, and it becomes submissive and whines. When he gets home from school, he and his mom are going to carve pumpkins outside, but he starts without her, and destroys the pumpkins with the knife. She is able to get him to give her the knife without much conflict, but he makes a bird fly into the sliding glass door just as she walks up to it.
Chas and Constantine walk down the street, following the lay line, as Constantine swings a device that is emitting frankincense. The smoke suddenly heads in one direction, and Constantine explains that frankincense flees malevolent energy, so the spirit they’re looking for is located in the opposite direction. They decide to wait for an attack.
The next day, Constantine is watching the playground, and sees Henry and another kid getting into a fight. He tries to notify a playground monitor, but the monitor is more concerned about Constantine’s presence. While the man’s back is turned, Henry uses his power to push the other kid into a spinning merry-go-round.
Henry gets sent home from school, so Constantine stops by pretending to be a school counselor to talk to Henry and his parents. Constantine uses a mandrake root, which malevolent spirits can’t stand, to show Henry’s parents what they’re up against. He explains that he’s an exorcist, and that Henry is possessed. They yell at him to get out, but he leaves his card for them in case something happens. Henry’s dad punches Constantine, and Constantine ends up in jail.
While Constantine is in jail, Manny shows up to offer him guidance, telling him that if he wants to save a child, just remember what it’s like to be one.
Henry’s parents argue, which causes Henry to have an outburst, which breaks the mirror in his room. Henry’s mom sees Henry’s eyes go black in the reflection of the mirror. She takes it upon herself to get Constantine out of jail, because she knows something isn’t right, and wants to do something. He is reluctant to perform a forceful exorcism with young children. Another option is to bind it to one spot, and they’ll need at least 3 people to do a seance. Claire agrees to do whatever it takes to save her son.
She brings a syringe home from work, telling Henry that it’s vitamins, and injects him. But really it makes him go to sleep.
Constantine, Chas, and Claire go to Marcello’s childhood home, intending to trap the spirit in the house. They hold the seance in the room where the murders took place. However, the seance doesn’t work, and Constantine isn’t sure why. Chas suggests maybe Marcello was never possessed, but Constantine points out that it’s on the lay line. Claire insists on an exorcism, and Constantine reluctantly agrees.
Constantine returns home with Claire to do the exorcism, but Henry runs off in his Halloween costume. Constantine follows him into a haunted maze at the local Halloween carnival. He finds Henry holding an ax, and addresses the spirit as Marcello. The spirit makes Constantine float in the air, and then drops him. He then tries to kill him with the ax, but Constantine is able to grab hold of him. Constantine then addresses him as Marcello Panetti, and says that he binds him to his rightful place. The spirit leaves Henry’s body, and Henry is back to normal.
In a voiceover, Constantine explains that he thought Henry was possessed by the soul of a dead person, but that he was in fact possessed by the soul of a living person. Marcello was the oldest survivor on record because he was the first killer, but the act was so traumatic, that his soul fled his body and went on killing. A soul cannot cross over while its body is still alive, so Marcello’s soul returned to his body at the mental institution.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 6 of Constantine: Rage of Caliban
I can’t help but think that this was actually supposed to be the second episode, which would have aired on Halloween, not the sixth, which aired the day after Thanksgiving. There is no mention of Zed, and it feels like Manny’s role is better explained, as well as the rising darkness, and the role that Constantine is expected to play in helping to defeat it. It feels like the season would have gone more smoothly if this episode had been aired on Halloween. It would have given us more time to get to know Constantine and Chas, and understand what’s going on. Instead, Zed was immediately inserted into the show in the second episode, right after Liv left at the end of the previous episode, feeling like she was replacing Liv too soon. In fact, I might not hold so much animosity towards Zed if this were episode two, and then she came in during the mine episode as episode three. Okay, maybe I still would have, but the momentum of the show as a whole wouldn’t have felt so weird.
I feel like this episode would have kept the exciting momentum of the first episode going, because it actually was a pretty good, and interesting episode. Yes, there were the cheap scares, as this was supposed to be a Halloween episode, but this was definitely one of the scariest episodes yet. Well, personally it takes a lot to scare me, so I wasn’t actually scared, but I can see how people would be scared. But anyway, yeah, kids can be creepy sometimes. This episode kind of reminded me of The Omen.
But anyway, the placement of this episode was just really weird, and impossible to go unnoticed. I’m worried how that’s going to affect the series going forward. Production of Constantine has already been halted at 13 episodes, and whether or not it will be renewed for a second season is still up in the air. Hopefully things will start to feel back to normal within the next couple of episodes.
Josh’s Thoughts: Constantine, Season 1 Episode 6: Rage of Caliban
I thought this episode was kind of weird, especially once we learn that the soul that is causing all this trouble is that of a living soul. I haven’t really seen too many horror movies/shows work from an angle that living souls can possess another living thing. I am not sure I am buying that at the moment. I guess this could be an indication that the looming darkness is getting more powerful though.
The very end of this episode was pretty creepy. That “fun house” was pretty scary which is good for a show like this. I have a hard time with children being “possessed” though, as it is hard for me to take it serious. I thought the kid in this actually did a pretty good job acting, but for me, it was tough even then to buy this kid as possessed.
This episode, like Violet mentioned, felt like it was meant to be earlier in the season. Zed is completely absent from the episode, and Manny seems to be providing more “set up” for the season. I think this episode would had fit better at 2 rather than where it is now.
Scenes from Constantine, Season 1 Episode 7: Blessed are the Damned
Here are scenes from the next episode of Constantine, titled Blessed are the Damned: