Culture of Pop

Constantine Review: Rage of Caliban

This week’s Constantine had a spirit possessing a young boy and Constantine stepping in to exorcise him. This was another solid but not stellar. Constantine continues to feel like just a mediocre fantasy show. It knows the formula and how to execute but I still don’t see a distinct enough voice from it to be sucked in. This episode took a break from Zed, focusing on Constantine and Chas. This was because the episodes were aired out of order, but regardless I missed the presence of Zed, who usually adds a couple moments of entertainment to each episode.

Instead, we got more of Manny. I’ve always found Harold Perinneau to be a very strong actor on other shows, but there isn’t a lot going on with Manny. He’s come to help Constantine, saying things like, “I’ve watched you all your life, John, and I could never help you but I’m here now.” There’s potential in the relationship but it’s not sparking yet.

This episode gave us a bit of character development, in the form of showing Constantine’s discomfort with children. He’s convinced he’s no good when it comes to them. It also had a twist, with it turning out that the child was possessed by the spirit of someone who was still alive, someone who went through so much trauma that his spirit fled from his body. These details kept it from being a completely standard monster-of-the-week episode.

Six episodes in, I don’t feel like Constantine can really carry this show. He seems like a default protagonist to me, without enough going for him to make us want to watch his story every week. I’m hoping the show starts to bring in secondary characters like Swamp Thing and Zatanna to add some more fun and variety to the show. In comparison to Gotham and The Flash, which have built really strong ensembles and had a lot of fun guest characters, this show just seems to rely way too much on its lead for all the entertainment.

There was nothing terrible about “Rage of Caliban” and, like I said, this show obviously understands how to plot an episode of a supernatural show. There’s just still nothing to recommend about this show either.

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