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REVIEW: Constantine 1×12 “Angels and Ministers of Grace”

Every Friday I have to mentally prepare myself for the emotional roller coaster that is Constantine. The problem is that it is a kiddie coaster, and the only things that I normally feel are boredom, disappointment, a dash of anger, and the great longing for that one lucky bullet in a fun game of Russian Roulette.

At least, that is how I would normally feel.

Thankfully this was not one of those days. I actually enjoyed the episode, surprisingly. It is not a great episode, by any means, but it is far ahead of most of what this show has given us.

Constantine (Matt Ryan) casts a spell on Manny (Harold Perrineau), which temporarily removes his powers and forces him into a human body. Meanwhile Zed (Angélica Celaya) remains a patient at a hospital after having an attack.

This is not a show that can really be taken seriously. Part of the reason for this is that the show itself sometimes takes itself too seriously, such as playing extremely over-the-top dramatic music in order to try and get a reaction out of viewers. This is a technique that works less with modern audiences, who have a greater innate understanding of film and television than previous generations. Scenes should be tense and gripping without the need for music, while music should be used to enhance those feelings. Music, in most cases, should not be the driving force behind trying to get an emotional reaction from us. The killer’s scenes attempted to use the score to scare us, and it was hilarious. It just comes off as trying too hard. These scenes were only saved because the kills themselves were brutal, which shut my laughs right up. Anyway…the point is this episode tried too hard to scare us and it didn’t work.

The main driving force of this episode was it’s heart. We have known, since the beginning, that John is haunted by his failing to save Astra. It drives him to work hard. He has to make tough decisions in order to be someday achieve his goal. A couple weeks ago Chas (Charles Halford) got his own episode, which showed his pain and his goals. Angels and Ministers of Grace is Zed’s episode. She learns that she (most likely) has a brain tumor. More importantly, we learn that her psychic abilities exist because of the tumor. Her inevitable decision to not have the tumor removed is one of the most difficult decisions that a character has had to make (possibly) in the history of the show.

Manny is forced into the body of a human and starts to develop human emotions. Multiple ridiculous things happen because of this, topped off by him having sex with a nurse in one of the hospital’s closets. After experiencing our emotions he is a changed angel by the time he transforms back. Oh, and it turns out that he was the solution to their problems the whole time. Everything seemed too perfectly prepared or silly, and yet I don’t care. It was an enjoyable episode and that is all that really matters. Especially since there is only one episode left.

Final Grade: B-

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About the author

Nick Doblovosky