‘Constantine’ 1.08 Recap: “This Isn’t God’s Work”

Bizarrely, my DVR recording of last Friday’s episode of ‘Constantine’ listed the episode title as ‘The Saint of Last Resorts, Part 2’, even though we’d never had a Part 1 and this is clearly the first half of a two-parter. Despite an abundance of Zed (I know, I complain about her too much), this is actually one of the show’s best episodes so far.

The episode opens in a Mexican convent, where a cop named Hugo and his wife have just given birth to a baby boy. That night, while Hugo is away, something nasty with sharp claws viciously murders the mother and snatches the baby, locking it in a cage in the sewers. (Note: This is one of those TV babies that only cries when motivated by the requirements of the plot.)

Back at Constantine’s home base, John receives a visit from one of the convent nuns, a woman named Anne Marie. Except that, she’s not really there. She psychically projects an image of herself to communicate over the long distance. (John calls this “bilocation.”) It turns out that Anne Marie is an ex-flame of John’s. In fact, she’s the person who first introduced him to the supernatural. She was also there to witness the Newcastle fiasco, and didn’t exactly end things with him amicably. She’s not particularly pleased to see him again or ask for his help, but she knows that he owes her.

Although Zed offers to come along and translate Spanish for him, John opts leave her behind (perhaps because he’s just sick of her?) and takes Chas instead. While they’re away, Zed goes snooping through the house and finds a door that opens into an endless void. Gee, I wonder if that will come back around later…

John believes the missing baby is still alive. His investigation leads back to the father, Hugo. In front of his house is a tree filled with “human fruit” covered with skin that bleeds when cut. Soon, a second baby is snatched, and it’s Hugo’s grandchild. (It seems that his teenage son got his girlfriend pregnant and didn’t tell dad.) John concludes that whatever is stealing these babies must be targeting Hugo’s family. He does some digging and casts some spells, and identifies the culprit as Lamashtu, evil sister of the Biblical Eve.

Hugo brings John to see his grandmother, who tells them about the family’s connection to “La Brujeria,” an ancient cult of warlocks from prehistoric Chile who are supposedly extinct. John puts the pieces together and concludes that they must be behind the “Rising Darkness” thing he’s been worried about for several episodes now. He believes they have something apocalyptic planned.

John concocts a scheme to lure out Lamashtu by covering a chicken in Hugo’s blood and pretending that it’s a new baby from his bloodline. Anne Marie has to say a prayer to make the offering. Sure enough, Lamashtu takes the bait and grabs the chicken. John and Anne Marie follow her down to the sewers and locate the real babies. When Lamashtu discovers that she’s been conned, John (realizing that she needs the babies alive for whatever offering or sacrifice she intends to use them for) threatens to harm one of the children. He then summons the demon Pazuzu, who’s apparently Lamashtu’s ex-boyfriend or something. Pazuzu manifests as green fire that swallows Lamastu, I think. This scene is very confusing and doesn’t make much sense.

Before John and Anne Marie can get away, a creepy, eyeless “Invunche” demon appears in the sewer. John warns that it will move too fast and they can’t get away from it. Using a gun she grabbed from Hugo, Anne Marie turns on John. She shoots him and leaves him behind to distract the monster while she ferries the babies to safety. “No price is too high to protect the innocent,” she explains. The episode leaves off with John about to get pounced by the demon.

Oh, but we can’t forget the Zed storyline, can we? She finally agrees to go out on a date with the creepy male model Eddie who we know has been stalking her. When she touches his hand, she sees a vision of him in a strange white room with a giant vault door. Although disturbed by this, she pretends that nothing is wrong and invites him back to her place, where she starts to seduce him, but then quickly turns the tables and gets him in an armlock. Realizing that the jig is up, Eddie tells her that, “Your father wants you home” and calls her by her real name, Mary. He later refers to her dad as “our father,” which implies that he’s her brother. Yet he was just making out with her? Eww.

Eddie says some more stuff about a crusade, and Zed being their salvation. Then two intruders enter the lair, a man and a woman. Zed uses Eddie as a human shield, but they don’t care and shoot him dead. They chase Zed through the house. She has a catfight with the woman and (shocker!) tosses her into that void that was foreshadowed earlier. However, the guy sneaks up behind her and drugs her with a needle in the neck.

Both of these cliffhangers will have to wait until after the holidays to get resolved. The show will be off for a few weeks and won’t return until January 9th.

I think I will probably be back with it. I thought this episode does a good job of building the ‘Constantine’ universe, which is finally starting to distinguish itself from the numerous other supernatural series on the air. The show still isn’t anywhere near perfect, but I feel strangely committed to giving it a little more chance to develop before I write it off.

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