Constantine 1×05 Review: Danse Vaudou
This week’s episode was somewhat better when it comes to giving Chas and Zed quality screen time, but it still felt like they were essentially ghost babysitters, instead of having a large amount of significance to the plot. The ghosts were formidable at least, and we got to see each of Constantine’s companions using their strengths in a meaningful way that further teased who they each are as individuals. In the end, though, it was still Constantine that saved the day. He is the title character, after all, so I suppose that shouldn’t exactly be a surprise. Another highlight of the episode was the growing relationship between Papa Midnite and Constantine, which is not exactly as straight forward as the Devil’s Vinyl initially portrayed it. It’s a complicated thing that seems to mix both antagonism and a reluctant sort of respect towards one another simultaneously. Beyond that, though, the episode felt like filler. It was flashy entertaining filler, but filler nonetheless.
The episode took place in New Orleans, which is a fun and dynamic backdrop for any story that’s going to revolve around ghosts and the macabre. We got two different spirits to start, which quickly splits up our group as they each tackled different parts of the case. Chas keeps watch of the woman in the alley while Zed takes care of the phantom hitchhiker. Zed was then promptly paired with the new police officer ally Jim Corrigan, who seems to accept the new supernatural world quickly, even if he seems disturbed by it all. Zed continues to use her strong people skills and empathetic personality to deal with Corrigan and the phantom hitchhiker, while Chas plays to his own strength when dealing with the masked woman in the alley. Chas’s strength happens to be his as yet unexplained ability to resurrect himself from death, which is rather convenient when confronting a kill happy ghost armed with scissors. I really want to see the entire team together more, but it was still great to see these characters have a bit of room to breathe and develop a little bit on their own. At the same time, none of these other characters were really responsible for saving the day. They acted more as distractions to the ghosts as Constantine worked his (literal) magic to help the spirits move on.
Constantine’s journey has him cross paths with Papa Midnite again. Their relationship seems to be both antagonistic, but cooperative when the need arises, which leads to an awkward partnership. They are very different people and have very different aims, but in this case their goals aligned. Their uneasy partnership also led to the best piece of dialogue of the show so far. Papa Midnite calls Constantine “Jack ass of all trades, master of none.” Their sarcastic barbs back and forth are something I hope to see more of. While they seem to have a deep loathing for one another, I detect a bit of respect for each others’ abilities, though I doubt either of them would ever admit it out loud. They are both far too stubborn to admit that the other might be skilled or, God forbid, even more skilled than they are. But they were in a desperate situation and their willingness to let the other try their own hand at sending the spirits back to rest spoke louder than words. I’m really looking forward to seeing them interact more with each other. I can tell this is going to be an interesting relationship.
I wish I had stronger feelings about anything else during this episode, but there just wasn’t much else happening. We’ve gotten small hints of the impending conflict of the season, which is the mysterious rising of the darkness, but we pretty much know exactly what we already knew in the pilot episode. Darkness is rising. It’s bad. Crazy magic stuff is going on because of it. That’s pretty much it. I keep waiting for an episode to grip me and pull me in, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’m interested enough to tune in every week, but it’s not quite to the point where I’m eagerly counting down the days until the next episode. Hopefully that’ll change soon.
And of course, here’s our Bisexual Counter to wrap things off. The only thing remotely close to mentioning his sexuality in this episode was a brief mention of “everyone” he ever slept with, which leaves it open to either gender, but isn’t exactly an explicit declaration of his sexuality. We’ll continue to wait…
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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