Waiting for the Man leaves Constantine on cliffhanger
In a far juster world, we would be at the edge of our seats tonight after Waiting for the Man, the shocking conclusion to the season finale of Season 1 of Constantine anxiously counting down to the fall when Season 2 resumes. Alas, we don’t live in a world where ratings sadly are more important than a passionate fan base and our entertainment lives will be all the poorer with the likely last episode of Constantine.
But someone clearly didn’t bother passing the memo, email or Tweet to the showrunners as they embodied their titular character’s attitude with a bold cliffhanger all but daring NBC not to bring it back for another season.
It’s fitting really as everyone involved with the show didn’t decide to crawl in the fetal position and just limply go through the motions once NBC reduced the season order to 13 episodes. Since that awful bit of news, oddly enough the show has seemed invigorated with solid to great outings each week. And this finale definitely left off on a note that demands further resolution.
While the title of this week’s 13th episode for Friday the 13th could easily double as the status of the show as we’re all waiting on the man, or network, to decide its fate, it’s less complicated than all that.
In a show that’s specialized in crazy and bizarre happenings, this week set a new standard in wacky eerieness. Yes, I’m aware that’s not a word. A nutjob with a Cajun accent wakes three girls from a bed and sends them out to the woods where they find another young girl. They’re a bit too familiar with her and seem to hypnotize her into agreeing to marry The Man.
He’s got his own mission though and chokes out a police officer that comes to check on him. Example No. 42,873 why it doesn’t pay to be a Good Samaritan on TV.
Knowing a couple of folks skilled in dealing with the … unusual, Jim Corrigan (Emmett J Scanlan) calls Constantine and Zed down to New Orleans to help find the missing girl. Touching Corrigan still gives Zed the Spectre-jeebies so she’s reluctant to look him in the eye.
They soon discover the handiwork of the Crazy Cajun, whom Constantine determines is a Satanist. No demon possessed villain or magic wielder tonight. Just a straight up crazy. I’ve enjoyed how the show has been able to keep mixing up the enemy of the week for Constantine and this shows another avenue ripe for exploration. While investigating The Man’s most recent victim, Constantine’s buddy, Gary, inhabits the corpse to warn him of a bounty placed on him.
Constantine blows off the warning and is more preoccupied with finding the girl. He’d probably be a bit more concerned if he knew Papa Midnite (Michael James Shaw) was en route to collect the bounty and sends a voodoo zombie to kill him. I don’t even understand the physics of a voodoo zombie, but it’s cool and I want to see more of that.
Between the girls prepping the new bride-to-be for her marriage, The Man torturing the officer and Midnite’s usual brand of voodoo weirdness, the tone and mood of this episode was very creepy and the ominous music further helped foster the thought that something bad was about to happen.
Corrigan finds that The Man killed his wife after learning she wasn’t a virgin, which explains his penchant for younger girls now.
After his voodoo zombie falls, Midnite sends a crow to track Constantine. Any fan of The Stand knows that crows are just bad, bad news. Constantine must be as well as he sends Zed and Corrigan away after they discover The Crazy Cajun has crucified the officer and the crow is stalking them. Time for a Midnite/Constantine showdown. It doesn’t quite go as expected as Midnite immediately shoots Constantine. Ha, you can’t kill Constantine if Midnite does it first, NBC!
As he’s bleeding out, Constantine gets an apology of sorts from Midnite who said he only collected the bounty as he was told his sister would be freed from eternal damnation if he killed Constantine. That’s not an easy bargain and Constantine realizes the Brujeria are behind the bounty. Too late to do anything as Midnite pulls the trigger, revealing the dead officer. Constantine can play the ‘partner, let me reanimate you’ game as well and knocks out Midnite.
Constantine rushes off to rescue the girl, who decided marrying a nutjob probably wouldn’t get her more Instagram followers. As she runs off, the girls vanish. Constantine arrives with Midnite’s shotgun as while chants and spells are cool and all, sometimes you just need to carry a shotgun to handle a problem. Constantine finds the three girls, long dead in a bed and as he hears something else, he runs into Zed and Corrigan.
Before they can compare notes, the see The Man has found the girl. He’s not too strong of his conviction though and releases her immediately. Constantine and Corrigan quickly catch him. As Corrigan handcuffs him, Constantine asks is The Man really worth imprisoning. Corrigan, in true Spectre-like fashion releases him and one of them kills him. Constantine is not your heroic role model and that felt perfectly in line with both characters.
Midnite gets nabbed by cops and Corrigan hangs with Zed in a bar. She admits she’s seen him dead and as the most sensible man on the show Corrigan tells her that he’s going to make it mean something before he goes and kisses her. Just as Constantine walks in. Zed seems embarrassed, but Constantine feigns indifference and lights back up. By the way, there were probably a grand total of 10 minutes this episode where Constantine wasn’t smoking.
In another sensible reaction, Constantine takes a piss in the alley as Manny arrives. Manny tells him not to give up hope as the work they’re doing is having results and Constantine indignantly tells him he doesn’t start a fight he can’t win as if Constantine ever considered the possibility of losing. Episode writer Daniel Cerone tweeted that Ryan wanted to have a longer trench coat to be more authentic to the comic for this final shot and if that’s the last image we get, it’s a helluva last shot.
But we’re not done. Midnite is being hauled off by the cops, but they become frozen in time. Manny releases him from his handcuffs and informs Midnite he’s canceling the bounty on Constantine.
Say whaaa? Midnite asks if Manny works for The Brujeria, but Manny smiles and says The Brujeria works for him and flies off! Oh c’mon! Don’t leave us like that! What a perfect tease. If the rumors of the show moving to SyFy are true, Constantine has a solid story arc to pick up.
And in case we don’t get a chance to say it again, what a fun ride this blazing trip through DC’s strangest sector has been. I’m all set for the Blu-Ray of the season.
— Angélica Celaya (@AngelicaCelaya) February 14, 2015