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REVIEW: Constantine 1×06 “Rage of Caliban”

Written by Nick Doblovosky

Thank the gods that it’s over. Not the series, just Rage of Caliban. I was barely able to sit through that steaming pile of crap of an episode.

A spirit has been possessing children and killing their parents. Constantine (Matt Ryan) and Chas (Charles Halford) swoop in to save the day.

I’ll just start with the limited amount of good things that this week had going for it. The cinematography (specifically in the scenes that involve the boy’s father, who looks like Channing Tatum and Jake Gyllenhaal combined) creates a genuinely creepy atmosphere. The directing and pacing of these sections create some of the most suspenseful (and scary) scenes that the show has had so far. When the father walks around the house, searching for an intruder, the show lets him take his time: it isn’t rushed. This allows the audience to feel involved, unlike during the usual fast paced scenes. Still, the show looks beautiful, and as long as it stays that way I’ll always have something to enjoy.

Zed (Angélica Celaya) is nowhere to be found this week, and no explanation is given for her absence. As far as this episode is concerned all you need to know is that “Zed’s dead, baby.” Constantine’s first scene feels very out of place and random. We see him, half naked, fleeing from a woman’s room just moments before her boyfriend shows up. So what’s going on with his relationship with Zed? Apparently this was meant to be the second episode of the series, which would explain a lot since Zed would have then showed up in the next episode. Way to confuse viewers.

Here comes the hate. I hated the little kid that John had to save, the one that was possessed. He made the bad child actors on Gotham look good (the side characters, not Bruce or Selina), but it’s not really his fault. The script was terribly corny and predictable, to the point where I was saying the lines before they were said. That being said, it was a terrible choice to constantly have the kid in close ups of his face when he can’t act and the writing is as bad as it is. Most likely the kid will never appear on the show again, which begs the question of why so much of the episode was focused on him. John is the main character, yet he feels sidelined in this episode.

Why waste Ryan’s talents on this garbage? He feels right for the part, and yet he has felt the same throughout the season. He always plays his character the same way, but I guess that is because his character is written that way. He can’t be challenged as an actor if the writers don’t give the character a challenge. Everything feels too easy for him. The pilot was the only time that he felt really challenged.

While this episode contains some genuinely suspenseful scenes it ultimately falls flat due to terrible (and corny) writing. Maybe this deserves a slightly higher grade…but I found it painful to watch. If I did not have to write this review then I would have shut off my TV fifteen minutes into the episode.

Final Grade: D+

What did you think of the episode? Did you find it as bad as I did? Did you find it corny? What did you think of the scenes that involved the young boy? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Nick Doblovosky