A few thoughts on Constantine’s “The Saint of Last Resorts, Part 1”

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“Just because I’m not hiding in a nunnery don’t
mean I ignore my debts.” — John Constantine

The Invunche. Brujería. Lamashtu. Pazuzu. Well, that’s a full plate you’ve got there, Johnny boy. I hope you’ve been eating your Wheaties (that is, if you can stomach eating anything after slicing into human fruit).

The Constantine Winter Finale pulled out all the stops and went for the jugular with the first of a two parter titled “The Saint of Last Resorts”. And what ride it was… and if ratings are any indication, US audiences took notice. It was nice to see those ratings ticking skyward (1.0/3), as Constantine scored 3.295 million live viewers and saw heavy trending on various social media sites. Is #SaveConstantine working? It certainly feels like it.

“Saint” delivered another strong outing from Angélica Celaya as the Constantine Writers dipped into Jamie Delano’s Original Sin arc to reanimate The Resurrection Crusade. We got spoon fed a little bit of Zed’s backstory, learned her name was Mary and that she was kept locked up, principally because the Crusade (and her Father) aimed to use her talents to further their cause.

While I found the acting solid and the writing spot on, the Direction seemed a bit off during this subplot. It certainly didn’t feel like the same Director’s hand was on this and the main plot, but Angélica did the heavy lifting needed and showed some real spunk. Wicked right cross too.

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It was John’s storyline, obviously, that was the heart of the hour and it was delicious throughout. Sister Anne Marie, played spectacularly by Claire van der Boom, John’s wounded ex-lover and one of the Newcastle crew, was such a welcome surprise. In much the same way that Jonjo O’Neill’s Gary Lester resonated with me, Anne Marie Flynn did the same.

This show just comes alive whenever Newcastle rears its misbegotten head. And that’s a testament to all the actors involved, and the writers reverence for the weight of what transpired there, how these lives were wrecked by Constantine’s arrogance and by their own culpability in what went down when Nergal came to town.

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Anne Marie’s failure, she admits, was introducing a scared teenager with no self-esteemed to the dark arts. When she echoes John’s sentiment, conning the conman, Anne Marie affirms that no price was too high to save the innocent with a bullet into John’s gut. Revenge for his bad judgement at Newcastle, or her trying to erase her own guilt by blood sacrifice, either way, it was one helluva cliffhanger to leave us on.

Constantine doesn’t air again until January 9 (Jimmy Page’s 71st birthday). That’s a bloody long time to leave John gut shot in a sewer with a nasty demon coming his way… I guess you know where you’ll find me one the 9th rolls around. Hopefully I’ll have lots of company.

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