A Recap, by definition, WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS! Proceed at your own risk!
After a marathon of “Constantine” on SyFy yesterday, we have tonight’s episode “Danse Vaudou, which introduces us to a familiar member of the DC Comics Universe – The Spectre. While not getting to see the green garbed detective, we are served an excellent introduction to Det. Corrigan, played by Emmet Scanlan. Interestingly enough, Scanlan had auditioned for the role of John Constantine so it’s interesting to watch him play another character that is sure to return.
Opening in New Orleans, a tipsy detective enters an alley way to relieve himself. A young woman walking down the same alley way encounters a woman with a surgical mask. The masked woman asks if she finds her pretty and when responded with a “No, I think your crazy”, she is stabbed repeatedly to death. The detective shoots her to no avail and is stunned at what he just encountered.
Constantine, Zed, and Chas make their way to New Orleans to investigate. They meet the detective on scene, revealed to be Jim Corrigan (The Spectre). Constantine assures him that he’s not crazy; just up against another kind of evil. Meanwhile, at the hotel they’re staying at, Zed has a vision of a car accident. This excites Constantine as it is a prospect for another case. Following a flirtatious exchange, Zed’s vision is seen to be in progress as a man picks up a hitchhiker. The young hitchhiker wants to be taken to the city and tells the driver that he doesn’t have anyone waiting for him. The driver, seemingly wanting to take advantage of the young fellow, is startled when the boy disappears. The boy, a strange spectre, reappears causing the man to crash.
While Constantine is on the scene of the accident, following Chas’s police scanner, he is arrested by Corrigan. The detective believes him to be a con man and brings him to the station to interrogate him over the murders. It is here that we learn that the woman with the surgical mass was a model who was slashed in the face by another model. After she was released from the hospital, she took her life by overdosing on a bottle of pills. Her “re-appearance” coincides with Philip, the young spectre. Chas tracks down the woman and stops her from assaulting an unsuspecting passerby only to be stabbed and seemingly killed by her. The paramedics arrive and while taking care of the dead Chas, he gets up with his wounds healing. Corrigan, unsure of what to make of Constantine, allows him to conduct his investigation while hoping he will understand this new spiritual world.
Zed and Constantine start snooping around those closest to the model and young man. They learn that the family members were approached by a man that offered to contact the spirits, a man by the name of Papa Midnite. Constantine goes to visit Midnite and finds him in the process of a voodoo ceremony. Midnite, believing that his magic is only conjuring spirits doesn’t realize that he is actually raising the dead. Constantine, attempting to stop him, has magical dust blown on him by Midnite and is then placed in the trunk of a car. Papa Midnite visits one of the women whom he raised a spirit for and finds the spirit slowly killing her as it drains her energy. Uncertain as to why his magic isn’t working. Constantine blames it on “the rising darkness.”
Zed and Corrigan travel to the location where Phillip had died. They expect his spirit to be there and praying on unsuspecting cars. They pick him up and Zed asks him where he’s going. He says the city but is unsure why he needs to get there. Zed attempts to comfort him by telling Phillip that it was hard for her when she left home. Suddenly, he dissipates and then re-appears in front of the car. They drive through him and are unsettled from the encounter they just had. They decide to stay on the road and keep him from killing anyone else. Finding him later in the night, they proceed to pick him up, repeating the same cycle. This time, however, Zed tells him that she spoke to his grandmother which in turn has him asking them to pull over.
We are then treated to the best scene of the episode. And are once again reminded why NBC’s “Constantine” has become #MUSTWATCHTV. And, yes, I hope this becomes a trending topic. Constantine and Papa Midnite commence the “Danse Vaudou”, a ritual meant for serious practitioners of magic. It is here we learn a little more of the antagonism between Constantine and Papa Midnite, and possibly of their partnership years ago. Constantine, exorcist and petty-dabbler of the dark arts, really is nothing more than a con-man. He’s out for himself and isn’t a terribly likable fellow. Midnite, on the other hand, truly believes in what he does and hopes to help others through his abilities. It is through this scene, playing off of how strong last week’s episode was, that shows the audience of how much the producers have in store for us.
Papa Midnite, after successfully sending back the spirits with Constantine, makes good on a promise to John to ask a mystical skull about “the rising darkness.” His answer, tantalizing the audience, is just another reason to start watching. “Constantine” has started to really show growth in the complexity of story-telling and of how atmospheric a series it is. NBC’s series is very much like CW’s “The Flash”; it is the best, fully realized vision of a popular comic book character, with full respect being paid to the qualities that made them so popular in the first place. What’cha Reading hopes “Constantine” sticks around long enough to save us from “the rising darkness.” After watching, or catching up on a marathon, we believe you will feel the same way too. And if you don’t believe us, just ask Angelica Celaya’s Zed. She probably has a promising vision for you!
“Constantine” airs on Friday nights on NBC. 10 PM ET. Check your local listings.