Constantine: Evil Gets Clever, But So Does Manny

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Courtesy of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

A preacher of a small church and an even smaller congregation goes to the ‘God will protect me as I handle these venomous snakes’ bit in an effort to increase popularity and attendance. Yep, never ends well. The preacher gets hit one time and is out for the count in about 20 seconds flat. Then his sister attempts CPR on a poison victim. He dies. Then something in his left hand (looks a little like a maple leaf) illuminates and life is shot back into the preacher. He quickly hides the trinket in his pocket. Then a young man who has lost a portion of his right leg approaches. For he feels the spirit of the Lord. The preacher puts his palm to the man’s chest. The remained of the man’s leg appears.

In an art class, Zed gets a vision that she is standing in snakes. Avoids a potential date with the model and races to Constantine. She charges right in so to match her, Constantine does the same. Both spewing all kinds of drivel at the same time. Until John catches the word ‘snakes’.

Once in this one light town, Zed is skeptical that this preacher is anything more than someone taking advantage of those searching for something to believe in. Having a man remove his sunglasses and proclaiming that he can now see is one thing. Watching a preacher’s hand remove signs of disease from a man’s flesh is something else entirely.

We have our first Enochian reference of the series. The preacher falls to his knees and begins chanting or reciting something in Enochian and John recognizes it immediately.

Enochian: n. A language consisting of less than 1,000 words thought to be literally the language of the Angels.

The man with the regenerated leg is in a doctor’s exam room. To the doctor it is a miracle. Fully functional, tissue and all. Then the patient complained of the warmth in the room. He begins to sweat and eventually the iris of his eye goes blood-red. Then he assaults the doctor, eventually killing him.

John and Zed stand outside waiting to be blessed with the healing hand. Which is kind of an issue. The moment Zed touches his hands, she’s going to see what’s behind his new-found power. The images in her vision suggest something that John is not going to like. He may actually have the power of the angels. For now.

The once amputee is now walking down a country road, looking very different. The kind of different that suggest a slow demonic transformation. Or something to that effect. A police officer circles back but he’s gone. Just long enough to get the drop on the officer and beat him to death.

Zed believes that the preachers intentions are sincere. If there’s darkness behind this, it’s not of the preachers doing. John leads her to a pond. Where all of the fish are dead floating on the surface. This power has a trade-off and apparently, the toll of this trade-off will be seen in the surrounding lands first. John calls on Manny to get some ‘guidance’ on what exactly this is. Manny doesn’t show. Which is annoying since Zed just now found out that John knows an angel. The humorous irony comes when Manny does arrive. Taking over Zed, so she couldn’t see him anyway.

When John told Manny that this ‘creature’ was speaking in Enochian, it got his attention. You must face the sun to hear it. Zed (sans Manny) faces the sun and hums. Shortly thereafter, the same melody is heard from a different location in the woods. The arrive at the source of the song. A woman lays making essentially a snow angel in leaves. She stands to reveal massive angel wings.

The angel’s name is Imogen. When transporting a dying soul, a single feather was plucked from her wing, trapping her on the mortal plane. Once that information was uncovered, Manny appeared. Visible to only Imogen and John, much to Zed’s chagrin. They need to recover the feather that undoubtedly is in Zachary’s (the preacher) possession before Imogen’s soul is extinguished.

John attempts to reason with Zachary by telling him he knows about the angel feather. John reaches for it and a ‘power’ accompanied by a white light threw him across the room. He heads outside to find Zed being lifted and strangled by the amputee. After a bit of a struggle, John takes him out for good. The eye reverts back and the presence of whatever it was dissipates.

With John out of the direct picture, the preacher would see him coming, we turn to Zed. Playing up the ‘wanting to believe’ card, she goes in. Including accepting a baptism. Which is just a cover for her to snatch the feather. She does, but at the moment she does other ‘gouled’ people begin to advance. John fights them off with a club, shades of Captain Caveman.

They barricade the preacher inside the church in order to keep the ‘goules’ out while Zed runs the feather back to Imogen. While they wait, Manny asks Imogen what it’s like to feel pain. There has always been a fascination (in shows and movies like this) to relate human sensations in a way that is understandable to an Angel that doesn’t feel. This conversation between Manny and Imogen would probably lead to a second date if that was even a thing.

I’m getting a Gabriel vibe from Imogen that anyone who has seen the movie (Keanu Reeves) will find familiar. The conversation always comes back to how imperfect humans are and how they never learn from their mistakes. Which leads into a jealousy of the angels. Imogen begins to talk in a way that is no longer just chewing the fat. Manny recognizes it, and takes a step back.

While John holds the door shut, the preacher has an admission. It wasn’t a deer he hit, it was a man. Don’t worry, you didn’t miss anything. Apparently the ‘deer’ predates this episode. So if the preacher had a mortal sin on his soul at the time of death, he wasn’t headed to heaven. He was headed to hell. And if that is when he stole the feather from the angel, then Imogen is not in good standing. Imogen very well could have been a fallen angel which would explain a lot.

The door breaks through about the time John realizes Zed cannot give the feather back to Imogen. She does, and that immediately reverts the goules back to their human form. Good short-term, really bad long-term. Imogen’s wings and clothes transform back into black as she says, “it worked…beautifully”. She hovers above Zed and Manny in her evil darkness.

Manny: You’re fallen.

Imogen attempts to fly out of the barn, but gets knocked to the ground inside the barn. The spell that John put around the barn to keep evil out, is in fact, keeping evil in. Imogen gets to her feet and holds Zed by the throat. This is a predictable but juicy Tarantino moment. If John doesn’t lift the spell, Imogen will kill Zed. John can’t do that and permit Imogen to escape or Zed to die. And Manny can’t do anything. Or at least he is compelled to maintain the balance.

John (pleading with Manny): You’re the only one who can stop this.
Manny: You know I can’t.
John: You mean you won’t. HELP HER! You’re either in the bloody fight with me or you’re not.
Manny: You know the rules.
(a loud thud)
John: MANNY!!!
(Manny has disappeared)
Imogen: Guess you’re on your own…Your angel did what they always do, NOTHING.
Manny (takes over Zed’s form): LIKE HELL…
(Manny punches through Imogen’s torso and rips out her heart)

Manny gives a stern stare to John. John in turn gives Manny a stare of absolute thanks. Manny disappears, leaving Zed holding an almost not beating black heart in her hand.

Back at home John and Manny have a level-headed, sincere, devoid of any attempt to out quip each other type of conversation. It’s refreshing. For the Supernatural fans, I was hoping that this was the arrival of Castiel type of episode. Something that redefines the parameters of our ‘team’. I’m afraid that is still a ways off. However, Manny and John both, seem more than content to accept that at the very least, they are fighting the same fight, with the same intensity.

We find Zed taking a bath. Again. Not complaining, just an observation. Her phone rings. It’s the model from the art class. They had a date, and it slipped her mind. She politely explains that she would not be good company tonight. He hangs up and there is a large man in a white suit with cross around his neck sitting in the back seat who is not pleased that Zed cancelled. The Zed story line may come into focus sooner rather than later.


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