My thoughts on The Saint of Last Resorts, Part 2 #SaveConstantine


The Saint of Last Resorts, Part 2
written by Mark Verheiden
directed by Romeo Tirone

“It’s not that I can’t help you, John. I won’t.”
— Manny

Not big on recaps, so I’m not going to start now. I assume that if you’re reading this it’s because you watched the episode (for good or ill) and it’s still kicking around in your brain, which is exactly why I write these things. See, I used to review a little show called LOST — seasons three through five on my now defunct myspace blog, season six right here — and I had thousands of readers. LOST was a show that made you think. It was one of infinite possibilities and it was fun to descend down that rabbit hole and theorize about the island’s past, present, and future.

I’ve tried my hand at other shows over the years — Supernatural, for instance — but it just wasn’t the same. There wasn’t much of an audience for it, especially after season 5, and I sort of lost interest. I still watch, mostly, but it felt like the show should have ended then and there, with Michael and Lucifer locked in a cage in Hell. Instead, they’re knee deep into Season 10 and have already been picked up for an eleventh.

So, why am I bringing this up.

Because Constantine has so much potential and it’s being wasted. I fear that after thirteen episodes, it won’t be back. I want it back. I do what little I can to promote the show here and on social media, but it all comes down to the numbers. Now, in my estimation, the ratings are pretty darn good for a Friday night, when most folks (other than myself) are out painting the town red. But my estimation don’t count. It’s the executives who pony up the greenbacks who get to make the call.

“It’s alright, mate. I’ve been carrying around Hell me whole life.
How much worse can the actual place be?”
—John Constantine

Let’s be honest though. David S. Goyer and Daniel Cerone have got to take some of the blame here. They miscalculated from the get-go. The show has taken some time to find its footing. There was the recasting, the reshoots, the sense of desperation from the start. The only ones who showed up from day one, guns blazing, were Matt Ryan and Harold Perrineau.

Constantine - Season 1

That’s not to say that the rest of the cast hasn’t found themselves. They bloody well have. And last night’s second part of The Saint of Last Resorts was a terrific showcase for everyone involved. Direction and writing were strong, Ryan and guest star Claire van der Boom were brilliant, we had strong performances from both Charles Halford and Angélica Celaya, and Perrineau was so damned calculated and smooth.

I get it. TV is hard to get right. To see Constantine firing so beautifully now (yes, I agree that the resolution of Zed’s cliffhanger was awkward, but I’m willing to roll with it)… it makes me wonder where the show would be sitting if it has been able to come out of the gate like this.

I’m more forgiving than most, and I’ve been on board from the the first episode. This is MY genre. That being said, I don’t watch Grimm or Sleepy Hollow, both occult detective themed shows. I gave them both a chance, but they just didn’t work for me. Constantine does, and not just because I am a fan of the comics. Believe me, if they had totally mucked this up I’d be the first one to be crying foul.

“I’m John Constantine. I do stupid in spades.”
— John Constantine

But no, Constantine is giving me what I want from an occult detective series, which is Noir and angst and magick and all those little things that these other shows just don’t have. There’s both heart and heartlessness in Constantine and that’s the bloody beauty of it.

The Saint of Last Resorts, Parts 1 and 2, is a terrific whole (despite that sloppy Zed cliffhanger). It is the benchmark for network exorcisms. That was some harrowing stuff. But should Constantine beat the odds and come back for a second season they need to be given a freer hand. They need to be allowed to hew closer to Hannibal and shed their “superhero” skin.

“You kneel here, night after night, hoping against hope that Heaven
hears your words, well guess what, John has Heaven on speed dial.”
— Zed Martin

John Constantine shines the further removed he is from the capes and cowls. NBC needs to quit thinking of this as their foray into the DC Universe, but instead as a gateway into mysticism, magick, and the macabre. They can rethink that if and when del Toro’s Justice League Dark movie gets off the ground. But for now — go dark, go gritty… let Conjob do what he does best.

They have something special here. They have the perfect actor in place. With a Season 2, they can move both heaven and hell and deliver something altogether wondrous. I believe in Constantine and I have faith in the producers, writers, and cast. They’ve delivered, in nine episodes so far, one misstep, two really good episodes, three excellent ones, and three bloody brilliant ones. Imagine what they could do with a full season to work with.

“…John believes he has every situation under control, and
he makes you believe. That’s his magic… and his curse.”
— Sister Anne Marie

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