So NBC has a new show–Constantine. It is based on the DC comic of the same name, where a man named John Constantine battles demons. Warner Brothers is cranking out the DC shows. What did you think of the episode? Check out Josh’s recap of the series premiere, followed by thoughts both Josh’s and Violet’s thoughts about the episode after the jump!
Don’t need the Constantine episode recap for Non Est Asylum? Click here to jump directly to Violet’s thoughts on the episode!
To see Josh’s thoughts on this week’s Constantine episode, Non Est Asylum, click here to get directly there!
Episode Recap of Constantine, Season 1 Episode 1: Non Est Asylum
So the episode begins with our hero (?), in an asylum it would seem, in northern England, about to get some electro-shock therapy. Narration from Constantine tells us he voluntarily went to the mental hospital. He apparently was witness to a girl’s death, and he is talking to a therapist to try to work through it. Only problem is–Constantine believes it is a demon that caused the death, which the therapist doesn’t believe. This girl was dragged to Hell, which is what really got to Constantine–more so than her death.
In a group meeting, Constantine gets distracted by some roaches on the ground, which he then sees many, all heading to a specific location. In a room, we see a woman–with solid white eyes, painting, with a wall of cockroaches crawling about. Constantine doesn’t want to get involved, but then decides to begin an exorcism. Quite the mess is made, but she seems okay. On the wall, the cockroaches have fled, revealing a message: “Liv Die”. Constantine decides to leave the asylum.
In Atlanta, Georgia, a man and woman part ways after a day at work. The lights seem to be having some trouble, and when the woman gets in her car, her rearview camera detects something, but nothing can be seen. She goes to check it out, and the car begins revving on its own–then shuts down. The lights surrounding her then shut down as well. Then, the ground begins crackling, and breaking. A crater opens, bursting with fire, when John Constantine shows up. She freaks out, and threatens to call the police. John gives her his business card, and she isn’t buying his pitch so far.
John ventures into the crater, and he is visited by an angel. This angel refers to himself as Manny, and tells John he was sent to watch him. John tells him to get lost, but Manny isn’t letting him go that easily. Manny also doesn’t think that John is up for what is “on the way”. The cops can be heard coming to the scene, so Manny takes off, leaving John not knowing what is coming.
Liv, the girl that John ran into, is picked up by a friend. and seems safe–until someone pays her a visit, wielding a knife. Oddly, the fortune cookie that she received early that was blank now has a message: “Trust him”. The lights flicker creepily and her friend sees a creepy eye flash on her laptop. Then, the police show up, finding her dead. Liv sees this and is freaked out. She is freaked out further when she sees a symbol carved into her door.
The woman’s body is being transported to the morgue when it begins shifting in the bag. The paramedic checks it out, and she seems possessed, killing the paramedic.
Liv heads to work, and John is waiting for her. She asks him about the marking on his door. John introduces his friend, who made the carving–which was a symbol of protection.
John then mentions Jasper–Liv’s father. Liv doesn’t believe that John knew her father, but there isn’t time for that–the van transporting smashes through her work’s window. Her friend’s possessed body is mangled, and groans, unable to chase her.
Visiting her mother, Liv asks about a necklace that John gave her, which supposedly belonged to her father. While talking to her, she sees her grandmother–but a creepy one that freaks her out. She finds John and asks him what is happening. John explains to her that the necklace allows her to see souls trapped on Earth still. John tells her that she and her father have the ability to see these souls–but he cannot.
While driving in John’s taxi, the driver loses control of the vehicle, and they are hit. in the midst of the accident, John has a dream about Astra, the girl who was dragged to Hell.
He wakes up, and Liv is trapped inside the cab. Power lines gain a mind of their own, and John is able to stop them. John’s friend unfortunately doesn’t make it out, being impaled by the power line as they try to flee.
John takes Liv to a cabin, which John explains belonged to her father. Inside are a lot things that looks like they belong with the occult. John tells Liv that she can find demons, and through a bit of cartography, they learn the location of one.
Manny pays another visit, pausing time for a chitchat. Manny wants some intel that John has but John doesn’t seem to want to share. We learn that John is damned to Hell, but seems to hint that there might be something that can be done about that.
John pays a visit to an old “friend” named Ritchie, who seems to be investigating the “unknown”. Ritchie doesn’t seem keen to help, but John talks him into it.
At the cabin, Liv sees a man in the mirror, and John tells her it is Jasper, but from the past. Our friend who was impaled by the power line, named Chas, seems to be just fine.
John begins his plan to stop the demon. He paints a demon seal on a rooftop. Lights begin to flicker, and a security guard doesn’t look like he is going to have a good time. The guard heads to the roof, and John realizes the guard is possessed.
John lures the demon into the circle, and begins exorcising it. The demon changes to an image of John himself, but worn and dead looking. The demon warns him that everyone that stands on his side dies. The demon then grabs Liv with some powerlines. John signals for his buddy Ritchie to turn off the power, and lights the demon circle on fire. The demon summons the spirit of Astra, and tells John he will free the spirit if he lets her go. Liv tells John that it isn’t really Astra, and John continues banishing the demon to Hell.
Liv gets a ride home from Ritchie, and he tells her the story of Astra–who was taken by a demon John summoned.
Chas tells John that Liv is heading to California, but tells John to keep fighting. Manny pays a visit again, and is unhappy that John scared Liv away. But the good news for Manny–John has decided to join their cause. The episode finishes up with a woman furiously drawing uncountable numbers of pictures of John.
Josh’s Thoughts: Constantine, Season 1 Episode 1: Non Est Asylum
So this episode was pretty interesting. I have not read any of the comics, and my only experience with the franchise is the movie that Keanu Reeves starred in. I have to say, the episode was pretty creepy. I only watched it on a small laptop screen, and even then it made me jump. I am not the greatest with scary movies, so I will have to see how it goes with this.
It seems to be a good story so far. Demons upping the ante, while John ups his own. I have always liked supernatural stories, as I thoroughly enjoyed both Buffy and Angel when they were airing. I actually put Angel in my top 10 shows of all time, I think. Constantine so far is going for the creepy factor, more so than many other shows (with the exception of things like American Horror Story which probably paved the way for this show to be made). I just hope they are able to make a good story along with the scary factor.
I am curious to learn more about Chas and Manny. Manny seems to be an angel, but I am wondering if he is an angel we have actually heard of, like Michael or Gabriel. Perhaps he thinks a disguise is needed? And Chas–who knows what he is. A demon on the side of good? I suppose that will be answered at some point.
So I am sure we haven’t seen the last of Liv. Her power seems much too useful for it not to be used ever again. I wonder–does that mean Constantine will be heading to California as well?
So far, I want to give the show a shot. We will see how it goes, and find out if it is a hit like the other DC shows so far.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 1 of Constantine: Non Est Asylum
We actually had the chance to see this episode at San Diego Comic-Con, but considering that they were airing the episode at 11pm, after we had been in line for and in Hall H for over 24 hours, and I had already dozed off during the screening of the Gotham pilot earlier, we opted instead to go back to the hotel and get some sleep because we were so tired. This was upsetting because the screening of Constantine had not been announced, so it was a nice surprise, but there would have been no way we could have kept our eyes open for it. Anyway, so this was the first time we saw the episode.
I must say, I actually liked it quite a bit. I’ve always been into the supernatural and the occult, so this was right up my alley. I have no experience with the comics, and I saw the Keanu Reeves Constantine movie awhile back, though I don’t really remember it much, so I can’t really compare the show to its other counterparts. It did remind me of the CW show Supernatural a bit, with its use of angels and demons and symbols. In fact, at the Supernatural panel at San Diego Comic-Con this year, Misha Collins, the actor who plays Castiel, an angel, talked about the similarities between his character and John Constantine, admitting that Supernatural ripped off Constantine to make his character, in terms of costume and personality. However, Misha joked that Supernatural should have squatters rights. While I agree that Castiel and Constantine dress similarly, they are two totally different characters. I really liked Matt Ryan in his performance as John Constantine. I thought he did a great job.
I also thought this episode did a good job of laying out the underlying storyline, and letting us know essentially who John Constantine was, and what his big issue was. I’m sure we will learn more about his backstory as the show goes on, and I’m definitely interested to find out more. There were quite a lot of special effects used in the episode, which I thought all looked really good, with the exception of the woman at the beginning of the episode that was flying around when Constantine was exorcising the demon from her. I especially liked the rain scene, that looked really awesome.
I must also mention the use of not one but TWO actors from one of my favorite shows — Lost! First you meet Manny, played by Harold Perrineau, who played Michael (you know, Walt’s dad??), and then later they bring in Ritchie, played by Jeremy Davies, who played the eccentric scientist Daniel Faraday! So that was pretty awesome to see those two.
My only complaint is the sudden and abrupt disappearance of Liv. She’s there one scene, all helping out Constantine, and then the next thing you know, Chas is telling Constantine that she left for California, and is delivering messages and things to him from her. Weird, why couldn’t she just tell him goodbye herself? Yeah, I just don’t like movies or shows where someone tells someone to tell someone else something, because it usually feels like they couldn’t get the actor on set for some reason, like it felt like here. There’s got to be more to Liv on the show than just this first episode though, considering Constantine’s past with her father, so I’m thinking we’ll see her again. Otherwise that would be really odd.
Looking forward to seeing how this show progresses!
Scenes from Constantine, Season 1 Episode 2, The Darkness Beneath
Here are scenes from the next episode of Constantine, titled The Darkness Beneath: