After two disappointing episodes the series seems to be back on the right track.
John Constantine (played by Matt Ryan) tries to fix his friend Gary’s (played by Jonjo O’Neill) problems when a demon goes on a killing spree.
Once again the series delivered an engaging episode, thanks in part to John’s friend. Gary, a junkie and one of Constantine’s old friends, brought John’s guilt over Astra back to the forefront of the story. This was an easy way for the writers to bring emotional weight to the episode, which the last two weeks lacked. While the episode further explored the guilt that Gary and John feel it still left plenty of secrets left unsaid (at least for Zed). A good noir hero generally has secrets from their past that haunt them, and the show does that fairly well for John.
For the last few weeks John has told Zed (played by Angélica Celaya0) that people who get close to him die, and this episode provides further insight into his motivation for trying to convince her to turn back. Until now the only person that has truly been harmed because of him (that we know of) was Astra, but Gary was affected as well. In an attempt to feel better about himself he started taking worse drugs after the disaster with Astra, which of course did not work. Maybe he does hurt everyone that gets close to him, but as Zed says “People change.”
In the past John has at times seemed almost indestructible, spending more of his time tracking down a villain than defeating them. This time his first attempt to subdue a demon backfires and he is forced to make some difficult decisions. Last week he stated that every type of magic has a cost, and the cost was much greater this week. This specific scene should have felt more powerful than it was, though it was still much more emotional than most of the show has been.
The comedic aspects of the episode worked well, partially thanks to Ryan’s acting. The moment that left the best impression was when John changed the “__ days since the last accident” sign to read zero after discovering more of the demon’s victims.
Ryan is, as always, a treat to watch, while Angélica is a little better than she was in the second installment. Jonjo O’Neill did a fine job of personifying John’s guilt, but where was Charles Halford’s Chandler? He is supposed to be John’s best friend, yet we know so little about him. Yes, this is only episode four, but I am impatient. I blame Netflix.
Overall this was a pretty decent episode. It was better than the last two episodes but not as good as the pilot. If this is any indicator of the quality of future episodes than I am not too worried.
Final Grade: B
Did you find this episode engaging? How are you feeling about the series now that we are four episodes in? How do you feel about how the show portrayed John’s guilt? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!