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Short Review: Constantine (S1/E3)

Constantine was a cool idea at first, but its novelty has rubbed off on me now.

Constantine is not a bad show. But it’s not a show I’m into anymore.

This episode followed Constantine and Zed to Chicago, where a old vinyl instantly kills people upon hearing it. Okay. Fine. Not incredibly original, but I’ll bite. While recording a vinyl, a man was killed by the devil spirits, which was captured by the vinyl. When touched, a person forces others, or themselves, to listen. Once the song is heard, the listeners die terrible deaths.

But this episode had tons of plot holes. Zed and Constantine breaks into a guy’s house and literally breaks his glass door, shortly to be at gunpoint with the man’s wife. How do you not shoot them on sight, especially when they aggressively attacked your husband? Then when all is explained, Constantine ask for a hug. A stranger, who just broke your house, asks for a hug? And you give it to him?! I understand you have to introduce things to move plot along. You need the hug so Constantine to put the “following nail” in the wife’s coat pocket. You need Constantine alive for there to be a story. But most human beings would have shot Constantine down in similar circumstances. Also, near the end, Constantine hears the vinyl and goes crazy. Zed and Chas outside can also hear the vinyl, but aren’t affected. Maybe they turned the radio off, but when we leave them, the music was still playing in the background.

Oh. Bring everyone back to life by setting a hand on fire. Gimmicky. Cool. But gimmicky (Source: SciFi Now).

Also, when Zed asks why he didn’t break the vinyl, the older gentlemen who witnessed the first death said he tried and it didn’t work. To which I say, no. Vinyls are easy to break. People break those things by accident all of the time. So before you say “it didn’t work”, tell me there’s some mystic thing protecting it from being broken. Something. Anything. Just not that. Anything but that.

The plot itself wasn’t bad, and I’m sure introducing characters from the comic itself was interesting. But I just didn’t feel like the show is accomplishing what its companion shows are. The Flash, GothamAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D., all fun shows (though the latter has had some issues earlier this year) and all drive stories pretty well. However, each of those shows have season-long story arcs. That’s what Constantine is missing: a long-term story, or at least the presence of one in each episode. It was established well in the pilot, but we don’t get any type of update on Constantine’s salvation in the previous two episodes, nor is there really a long-term storyline to follow here. The only exception is Chas finding out if Zed is really a good or bad asset (we get it: she’s probably doing good to reduce how bad she was before…yada yada yada).

But three episodes in, I feel the show is a little lost. They’re unsure on what to do with Chas, and while Zed is supposed to be a mystery, we’re not really on our feet cheering for her either. Constantine is sort of the only interesting thing on the show, and even when he brings in cool magic or gadgets, it feels more gimmicky than cool. Plus, you can always know we’re going to see the same object another time, since it’d probably be important for the story’s plot to continue forward (e.g. the aforementioned “following nails” helped Zed track a handcuffed Constantine, and of course in the nick of time before he was stabbed by a hobo).

Hoe-down like nobody’s watching (Source: NBC).

There are some character chemistry problems and semi-major plotholes. But overall, Constantine‘s main episodic problem is it just isn’t entertaining enough for me, and the boredom may be caused by the show’s writing, acting (Matt Ryan and Angelica Celaya have been underperforming lately), or general direction. It could be anything. I’m just not on board after 3 eps.

But what do you guys think? Is Constantine not doing it for you, or are you still a fan of the NBC’s Friday night drama?

Previously: Episode 2 Review

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