Angels and Ministers of Grace delivers entertaining penultimate episode
The Constantine show runners have continued to surprise DC fans with all kinds of Easter Eggs goodness from Jim Corrigan, Felix Faust and Dr. Fate’s helmet. This week’s episode, Angels and Ministers of Grace, presumably the second to last one of the series (booooooo) — dug deeper to use another DC artifact to give Crew Constantine fits.
A junkie goes to get fixed, but gets stabbed with her needles courtesy of a towering brute. Constantine and company are unaware as Chas is searching for anything on the scrying map while Zed is still trying to recuperate from her encounter with Felix Faust. Constantine doesn’t want her getting gun shy and tells Zed the best way to get over a hangover is to take another drink or in her case, be open to another vision.
Manny arrives and tells Constantine about the junkie before burning Constantine’s ‘crutch’ — the scrying map. Didn’t quite see the purpose of that as it just makes Constantine more dependent on others.
Constantine, Chas and Zed to the hospital where the junkie was taken and thanks to a distraction from Chas — a screwdriver to the leg — Zed is able to touch her and sees a vision of an angel descending. Unfortunately the act triggers a seizure that reveals Zed has a tumor, which Dr. Gaelen informs her may be causing the visions. Now Zed has to decide if she wants to live longer or help others at the cost of her own life.
Constantine is pissed with the news and demands Manny fix her. Once Manny gives another unsatisfying answer, Constantine knocks him out with some fumes from hell (how long has he been keeping that in his back pocket for Manny you wonder) and casts a spell that binds Manny to his latest human host – Dr. Bob Carroll.
Easily the highlight of this week’s episode was the adventures of Earth-bound Manny as he struggled with his newfound humanity dealing with desires and smells he’s not accustomed to facing. Who would have thought humanizing the show’s angel would provide some of the series’ best comedic moments? The hookup with the hot nurse was especially funny. Besides any time we can get more Constantine/Manny interactions the better.
Constantine and Manny find another victim and they discover the Heart of Darkness and its slivers of black diamonds, an artifact that intensifies the rage of its holder and makes them give in to their more violent nature. Typically that’s associated with the DC wide villain Eclipso and while the show doesn’t feature him, the writers wisely leave the door open for Eclipso to exist elsewhere.
Zed isn’t sure about getting the tumor removed, but Gaelen tells her she definitely doesn’t want something in her that doesn’t belong and mentions shrapnel that is in his chest too close to operate. The writers missed a heck of a chance to get in an Iron Man joke here.
Gaelen’s reveal as the killer upset at people wasting their second chance at life made sense and wasn’t completely predictable. Sadly, his makeup wasn’t up to the show’s usual standards and looked like a bad 80s horror movie. Considering the villain was based around Eclipso, simply ‘shading’ one half of Gaelen’s face probably would have been more effective.
While Constantine tries to use a contained black diamond fragment to stop him, Gaelen is too powerful. Zed tells him only Manny can defeat Gaelen. Constantine reveals he could have reversed the spell at any time (that cheeky bastard) and Manny is released. He reappears and apparently takes Gaelen to heaven.
Constantine finds Zed praying and tells her his secret. Every day he envisions his loved ones are all dead, which helps harden his heart. Manny suggests he just appreciate people while they’re alive and Constantine is surprised to learn that Zed can see him too. Zed says she’s not removing the tumor if it can help others while Constantine uses a prayer candle to light up.
This was another really fun episode with great character bits from Constantine and Zed, a DC comic villain (sorta) and Manny getting some action.
We’ve got one more episode to go. With so much crappy TV on the air, that makes me so annoyed, but Constantine goes out with a blaze of glory as Papa Midnight returns!