TV: Constantine s1e2: Rage of Caliban

Rating: 9/10

Constantine, following the map that was given to him in the first episode, comes to a mining town where children keep being possessed by a wandering demon. He must do what he can to convince a family that their child is possessed.

This episode is marked 6th, even on the dvd, but watching it you can tell it was meant to be played 2nd. It doesn’t have the woman sidekick Constantine teams up with starting with the “next” episode, and it’s basically him playing it solo in this one.

I really like the angel Manny in this episode, in the first one he was a bit underplayed but here he really comes out as someone who really does have Constantines best interests at heart, even if he operates in mysterious ways. He’s a good counter to John too, being that Manny is an Angel, John’s owns shady past and chaotic dealings with demons puts one as dark and the light and he makes a good contrast. Also, John’s often upfront about who he is and what he does to everyone he meets, even if most people don’t believe him. Meanwhile, the nature of Manny means he has to operate from the shadows, mostly.

This episode had a very slow pace. Which isn’t really a fault being that it feels like John just walked into a retelling of the Omen, which itself was made during a time when most horror didn’t rely heavily on jump cuts and tried to get into your heads. It works pretty well here, though I’m not sure if it has quite the same horror qualities as a 70s or 80s journey into the genre might, especially once John gets involved. It’s like watching one of those horror movies but right when everyone is just starting to suspect something is wrong, a genre-savvy man shows up and explains everything they have to do to solve said problem and then does it without any further problems, more or less. It takes all the scariness, and the stakes, right out of it.

SCORING:

+9: Fairly entertaining, especially if you like old horror movies

-1: Once John gets involved all the stakes kind of flatline

+1: Manny is a great character, hopefully he gets bigger parts in future episodes

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