Constantine – S1 Ep3 – The Devil’s Vinyl Review

Little background before I start reviewing the remainder of Constantine. Big thanks to Scott for starting us off! I watched Constantine years ago when it first aired – although I must admit I forgot episode specifics! So the show just fell off my radar until he started to appear in Legends. Not quite gotten round to expanding my enjoyment to the comics- but that’s for another day (and possibly another review- who knows?!)

The opening sequence starts in Chicago, Illinois. A woman enters an abandoned building. But as she goes through the building all is not what it seems. Hanging dead animals, blood dripping, and dead animals on the floor- what have she walked into? We then see a mark on the wall, and the closer we get the whispers get louder. Finally a bible is revealed, but inside the bible is a vinyl. Scene changes to a record studio- the woman has taken the record back to a friend – Bernie- who is a record producer. They discuss having it and analysing it. “ DON’T DO IT. DON’T DO IT. DON’T DO IT.”- I am shouting at my screen! Silly Bernie. “Don’t make me do it” is chilling last words from Bernie, right before he stabs himself.

-Great opening. Chilling and makes the viewer want to know exactly what the hell is going on!

By contrast the next scenes set up John’s involvement- there’s a lighter feeling to it. Side note- seeing John dancing away to himself covered in blood is certainly a different way to learn spells- but there we have it. Chas, Zed and John look at the map and newspaper article to find out what has happened to Bernie- who so happens to be John’s friend! I am also intrigued to know how John keeps his shirt so white.

There is still a lot of sexual tension between Zed and John, it’ll be interesting to see where it goes, if it does and how if would affect John and his work. However, When Zed is loading up the car, John admits to Chas he still doesn’t 100% know what is happening with her- he basically does and doesn’t trust her.

The morgue scene tells us a lot.
1. the hand of glory is creepy
2. “the voice”, “acetate” and “moonrise”
3. Mucus Membrane (I enjoyed this little titbit immensely!)

Cutting to the woman from the opening sequence. All I could think was ‘silly bitch why have you taken that home, you have a child ffs’. But this is obviously going to bite her in the ass later. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Follow part of their lead (thanks to Zed knowing google) the find out a name- Fell.

We finally find out why the woman (Jasmine) wanted the vinyl in the first place. Anton- a soul broker made a deal. But after delving a little more in we find this is just problems at the surface. Child is drawn to the vinyl and starts playing it… Lady luck is on Jasmine’s side.

Enter: Papa Midnight. Interesting chap, love how he is dressed but his laugh is just plain creepy. John has obviously come across him before with the conversation they have, but the conversation ends with John being tied up and cut. It is noted his shirt is still very white- seriously what brand does he use to wash his shirts.

* Insert interesting chat with homeless man and Manny. Zed to the rescue *

Papa Midnight’s cronies go to the Fell’s household and the vinyl and as John puts it later- they’ve gone rogue.
Perhaps one of the most harrowing scenes from not just the episode but the show thus far (for me) is the scene that follows. Daylight. White building. Blood splashed all over. Police carrying out many bodies and lining them up outside. Perhaps it is harrowing as it is the most ‘real’ for our times? Constantine is full of supernatural, other worldly plots but this was real. One survivor remains.
Zed has another vision/illusion (I’m not quite sure what to call them) and off they go to their next destination. Also noted-John’s shirt is finally a bit dirty. Yes I am going with this but really in his profession- white?!?

Back to the story and we reach our conclusion. Papa Midnights takes out his boys. But John Constantine sends the devil’s vinyl back to hell. Visually what we see is stunning- and leads me to ask whether we will see more of this place?

Wrapping things up
• The Fell’s contract ended (with a cost)
• Zed wears a cross with blue jewels
• Papa Midnight can make an excellent voodoo doll
• John Constantine plods on, probably just buying new white shirts as I have came to the conclusion that they cannot wash that well.

I love that the episodes are almost completely standalone and could be watched out of order if for some reason that would happen. There are small things that pop up in each- Manny, Chas and Zed and John’s relationship with them. But overall another strong story, some light humour in parts, some touching scenes and most of all the tension of ‘what will happen next?’ does not dwindle.

Until next time.