Oct 11, 2018
Constantine RECAP: It's Not Too Late for a Halloween Episode, Right? (S1:E6)
Open on a house decorated for Halloween with screaming coming from inside. A man runs up and pounds on the door. Inside, we see a woman twitching under a pile of bricks. There’s blood everywhere, and a man hovering near the ceiling, also covered in blood. He cries for help and falls to the floor, hitting his head. A young girl sits nearby, watching. Hey, at least she’s not rocking back and forth and holding her head. Then I’d have to point out the trope.
Police come to the house, and a policewoman is comforting the little girl, whose name is Emily. She gets into an argument with another mansplaining cop, and the little girl’s eyes black over, X-Files style. A mug full of coffee explodes and two more officers rush in, guns drawn. Everyone’s aiming at the little girl. In this time of trouble with overzealous police officers, is this really the best thing to be putting on your TV show?
John wakes up to a woman telling him to get up. For a minute there I thought it was Zed and was going to be pissed. But it’s just some girl whose boyfriend is on his way home. Crisis averted. He leaves through the window as the boyfriend shouts outside, clearly a classy dude.
Back at Jasper’s house, John and Chas are eating breakfast. The bloody Marauder’s Map tells them to go to Birmingham, which they immediately do. No Zed so far—this could be great!
They pull up at the house from earlier, and Chas recaps the situation. John breaks into the house and licks the wall. Maintaining the integrity of the crime scene, I see. Let’s just hope the cops don’t find John’s DNA. Then Manny shows up, saying it’s time to get serious. John asks him for more information, and in typical fashion, Manny is FUCKING USELESS. John performs a spell to help him see what happened the previous evening, and Manny makes fun of his methods, telling him he’s behind the times. He does discover, though, that the little girl had been possessed by the spirit of a child who is now looking for a new host. Yeah, John definitely should stop using his usual techniques and listen to you, Dumbass Manny.
We cut to a scared little boy, telling his parents that there was someone in his room. His dad condescendingly tells him to quit being afraid and wear a scary Halloween costume. Then the other kids will be scared of him instead, because that’s obviously going to make him more friends. The boy, Henry, seems placated though until there ACTUALLY IS someone in his room—a spirit that quickly possesses him. His parents check on him when he screams, and he creepily says he’s much better now. Yep. Not possessed at all.
John meets a busty paralegal in a bar for information about Emily. Beginning 35 years ago, there has been a string of children acting out and then their parents showing up dead. John thinks they’ve all been possessed by the same demon. The earliest survivor lives nearby—in a mental hospital. John makes an expected joke about his own time spent there and heads immediately to the facility.
An orderly says the man, Marcello, doesn’t receive any visitors and had an especially disturbing childhood. John discovers that Marcello is in a semi-vegetative state and is missing a few fingers, supposedly at the hands of his parents as punishment during his childhood. We’re probably not going to get much information from him.
Back at Henry’s, the dad is wandering the house, following creepy noises and things being pushed off shelves. None of the lights turn on, obviously. The little kid has apparently taken all the light bulbs. That’s a new explanation, at least, it’s not just psychic interference or some shit. There’s an explosion of sparks from the overhead light in the room, and we see Henry standing close and looking really creepsy. The dad’s unsurprisingly surprised and steps backwards into the pile of light bulbs. He falls to the ground with a crash, covered in glass shards. Owwie. The kid pulls out a flashlight, shines it in his dad’s face, and is like, “Be careful, moron. I’m going to bed.” And he leaves his dad right there in the dark, taking the flashlight with him. I mean, I know he was kind of a jerk to you, but that was cold.
Back at Jasper’s, John is surprised Marcello was catatonic—most people who are possessed want to talk about it all the time! I guess he would know? They discover all the affected families lived on the same lay line, “like a mystical railroad for spirits to travel.” Because that’s not the most convenient thing that’s ever happened. Now we just need something to detect the spirit! After Chas tries out a sword that makes you tell the truth, John finds what he’s looking for. He’s too busy and important to tell us what it is, but it involves frankincense.
Henry’s mom comes outside with a knife and pumpkin carving supplies. She goes back inside to get something, leaving the Henry alone with all the nice sharp objects, and when she comes back out, Henry has hacked all the pumpkins to pieces. He gives her the knife back without stabbing her, which surprised me, but continues to creep me the fuck out anyway.
John and Chas use the frankincense to track down Henry and decide to sit outside the house until something happens. Because that’s not just as creepy as oil eye boy almost stabbing his mom. Chas suggests just telling them what’s up, but John says that’s amateur bullshit.
We come back from commercial, and John is creeping on the kid at school this time. On the PLAYGROUND, of all places. I mean I get it, John—you want to protect people. But showing up at a playground and telling the teacher he needs to be paying attention to the kids instead of the man in a trenchcoat who “doesn’t have a kid at this school” is not really going to get you the kind of attention you want. He’s right, though: Henry is getting into an altercation with another kid and slams him into the merry-go-round.
Afterward, the mother tells Henry that the other boy had a fractured skull. The dad tries to defend him (the kid basically put GLASS in your FEET; seriously, shut the fuck up and accept your kid is possessed), but the kid says nothing. The doorbell rings. It’s John! Surprise. He is without the trenchcoat now; guess he learned his lesson. He says he’s with the school board but shows no ID, and he is invited in immediately. Just a trustworthy face, I guess. He holds up a piece of ginger root and the kid freaks out, screaming. John tries to explain that demons are scared of ginger and gives them his card. The dad freaks out too, punching John. He wakes up in prison. Goddamnit, Chas, he told you this wouldn’t work.
Manny shows up in prison, offering guidance supposedly. He guilt trips John a little and disappears. I’m seriously getting fucking tired of writing about this guy.
Menawhile, Mom and Dad are fighting, so Henry blows up his bedroom. Mom and Dad come upstairs and scold the kid a little. Henry and his mom seem to have a moment, and she immediately visits John in jail. God, if people would just listen the first time. She gets him out of jail, and they go to get coffee. John explains the string of deaths, and she believes him and actually wants to help. Which is good, because Zed’s not around and it takes three people to perform a séance.
Later at the house, Henry is drawing creepy pictures and his mom fools him into letting her give him a B12 shot. LIES. IT’S KNOCKOUT DRUG. Good job, Mom.
She then goes with Chas and John to the home of the first possession victim, Marcello. John intends to trap the spirit inside the house since it has a strong connection to that place. John starts getting pretty excited about having a séance. They begin, and the mom starts looking around, threatening to break the circle, which John SPECIFICALLY forbade. Instead of the spirit coming in the front door, we get a three-legged deer. WTF? Henry’s going to wake up soon, and they need a new game plan.
Henry’s already woken up and is showing his dad his scary Halloween costume. John and Henry’s mom come back in and try to talk the dad into being reasonable. He’s not, obviously, and they start fighting again. The spirit DOESN’T LIKE MOM AND DAD FIGHTING. You’d think they’d have noticed this by now. Henry throws a chair at his dad, and John uses a mirror to deflect another attack. The kid runs out of the house and where does he go? A circus-themed haunted house, duh. Because the only thing creepier than possessed children are clowns.
John heads in to track down Henry, still carrying his magic mirror. There’s horror and gore of all kinds, not just clowns, but that doesn’t really make it better.
Part of the scenery breaks John’s mirror, and suddenly Henry appears. Typical that little jerk would appear as soon as our only defense is gone. John reminds the spirit who he is and blabs a little while getting beaten up. Henry’s eyes are blacked over, and he throws John around a little before hacking at him with an ax. John grabs the boy from behind, and exorcises the spirit. Poor little Henry’s back. Turns out, the spirit was actually that of Marcello, who is still alive and living in the mental hospital. The original murder was so traumatic that his spirit left his body and started possessing other little children. John tells us that spirits can’t cross over while their bodies are still alive, so he’s sent the spirit back into the body. Guess it’s maximum security for him.
John leaves us with a manpainy voiceover while smoking a cigarette on the hood of his truck, and it’s totally endearing. Seriously, this episode has been awesome! We didn’t have to deal with Zed, and we got more of Chas. I don’t know what it is, but without her around this show actually works. It’s interesting, scary and fun—everything a show about a chain-smoking demonologist should be.