My thoughts on #Constantine: “Blessed are the Damned”

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“Are you kidding me? With all the darkness and
all the scary stuff in the world of John Constantine,
finally there’s something light?” — Zed

Well, well, well… look who stepped up. Not one, but two of Constantine’s supporting cast. In a lot of ways, this was the episode I’ve been waiting on. I have been intrigued with Harold Perrineau’s performance as Manny, but prior to “Blessed are the Damned” they hadn’t given him a lot to do. Zed, played by Angelica Celaya, on the other hand, has had lots to do, but the character has been a bit of a cypher, the actress hasn’t really brought her fully to life for me, and, other than a couple of interesting will they-won’t they moments, there’s not been much chemistry with her castmates.

“Blessed are the Damned” was another well-written episode, this time from Sneha Koorse, who was able to draw a little something out of both Zed and Manny, deliver some biting commentary on organized religion, explore the the concepts of faith and belief, and the flip side of those coins. “Damned” also gave us a compelling story about both flavors of Angels without falling (no pun intended) into the Supernatural trap.

Oh, and the writer managed all that (with a little help from director Nick Gomez) in about 42 minutes.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Constantine - Season 1

I dig enigmatic mystery women as much as the next guy, but so far, I felt the writers had stumbled with Zed. I think Celaya may have been in a little over her head when she first came on board. She was thrust onto the show when the powers-that-be, most likely rightly, decided another direction was needed and they jettisoned mousy femme for this more vivacious one.

It was nice to finally see Celaya finally own the character. Whereas before, I saddled her with the lion’s share of the blame for Zed not working, I see now that, finally given something to really chew on, character-wise, that she showed some real chops and was able to deliver a nuanced and emotional performance.

Good on ya, girl.

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Now Perrineau is a different matter. You knew he was in the game from the start, but the writers’ room was keeping him close to the vest. They were waiting for something big and really, “Damned” delivered and so did Perrineau. With intonation and body language, Perrineau delivers gravitas, but it is tempered by… yeah, something elusive… and that’s nice. That’s mystery. That’s damn good acting.

When he delivered the line, “He gave them free will to stand on their own, but all they do is fall… over and over…”… yeah, goose-bumps.

imogen

Of course, the big end twist was a fine one. A bit telegraphed, but hey, extra points for bloody originality, no? Imogen was beautiful and wounded, and once those dark wings unfurled… well, I was smitten. It was also sweet to see her get her comeuppance, Mortal Kombat-style. The only thing missing was the voice of God reverberating from the heavens with a resounding “FATALITY”.

mannywins

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