Constantine – S1 Ep4 – A Feast of Friends

The episode starts at an airport, focusing on one man, one rather sweaty looking man. Guilty of something? Anxious? Just too warm? I hate airports too, I totally get it. But as he is looking increasingly sweaty and as if he is up to something , he is hauled in for an interview. His customs interview doesn’t go to plan as expected. When someone utters the phrase “don’t open the bottle” you know that within the minute shit will go down! Cue the bugs then cue the opening sequence.
-Excellent opening again, a constant for Constantine… (I am truly sorry).

Tone of the episode drastically changes to Zed and John in a park. One thing I have noticed about this episode is there are a few good Constantine quotes. The first being John offering sage advice to Zed- “sometimes control is letting go”. I am not sure where I want this friendship/ relationship/ whatever it is to go. There is clear chemistry but there is something missing for me, not sure what.

They head back to HQ and find that it is none other than the man from the airport- Mr Gary Lester. We find out that Gary and John go way back and there is obviously unresolved issues between the two of them. However Gary is here for help. A flashback to Sudan tells us what they are up against- a boy created as a live sacrifice to hold the demon. Gary tried to atone for Newcastle and performs an exorcism, capturing the demon in a bottle. But it escaped at the airport and is out of control.

Now at this point I should mention that the demon (Mnemoth) is creepy, as in creepy crawlies, as in a swarm of beetles. I think John said Khapra beetle but that really isn’t important, but we know it’s a hunger demon. The episodes takes us through a chain of victims. The demon enters a human body through the mouth and consumes… the security officer, person at the market, person at the meat locker and cinema all frantically look for a food source and eat until the demon kills them and they go on to their next ‘host ‘. The demon causes violence and aggression and it does not discriminate.

Through a visit to an old Shaman friend John knows how to contain the demon since his failed first attempt. The demon is too strong for a small glass bottle and it seems to get strong with each new host. One thing I will say about the vision scene is the eyeball thing- gross. While all this is happening Gary escapes from Zed’s company.

‘Between thought and action comes temptation. Always’ – Constantine

When John find Gary (while searching for a hit) they have a heart to heart which changes my view on both characters slightly. Gary has lived with the same guilt John has, but instead of throwing himself into ‘work’ Gary threw himself at drugs. Gary was ashamed at what went down, but John doesn’t blame him, he blames himself.

The final scenes are powerful, exciting and heartbreaking. Powerful scene of a willing sacrifice. The demon is finally trapped inside a live human body. We see the lengths people go to to save others. We see Gary make peace with himself. We see Zed’s apprehension of John Constantine. “Everybody has the capacity to change”. Who is John Constantine!? A man for the greater good no matter the cost?

All in all a great episode. I have read critique of shitty CGI and B-movie feels but to be honest I was so immersed in the story I didn’t notice anything afoot. I do feel that Zed was a underused in this episode and well Chas who was nowhere to be seen. I appreciate Manny’s drop ins, I like the ‘stop time’ framing device that alerts his presence and I saw a deeper meaning to his and John’s relationship. The last scene shows us that the writers aren’t afraid of ending it in a rather grim way. And I’ll be honest, I did shed a tear.

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