WARNING! MAJOR SPOILERS!
Constantine is the last of the new DC shows this fall to start airing and the first episode was decent, had plenty of problems with it that mainly came from Lucy Griffith’s character, Liv. Thankfully, it already looks like that’s one problem that the show has fixed, by giving us a new female lead, Angélica Celaya’s Zed, that was introduced in what turned out to be a pretty solid “Monster of the Week” installment which was handled pretty well.
First off, let’s get this out of the way. Constantine is quickly shaping up to be a series that’s similar in line to what we’ve already seen before from the CW’s Supernatural and NBC’s Grimm. They’re both monster-hunting shows, and although Constantine has a more established background in the comics, the comparisons are fairly obvious at the moment. Hopefully, like Supernatural though, if given enough time, Constantine will become a serialized series going forward, because that is very much not the case with The Darkness Beneath, which offers up another mostly standalone episode and could have worked, aside from the absence of Manny and the short cameo of Chas, as an effective pilot.
Constantine heads to a small town where Miners who are digging too deep are getting killed in gory ways. There’s a suspicion of something dark lurking in there, and nobody quite knows where it came from. However, Constantine is determined to find out. Also, when Constantine does arrive in town, it isn’t long before he runs into Zed, who seems to be constantly drawing images of Constantine in various situations, and doesn’t know who he is. So needless to say, when she does meet him, she’s desperate for answers.
The chemistry between Zed and Constantine is pretty good and Celaya and Ryan pull it off pretty well. The Darkness Beneath serves as an effective introduction to Zed’s character, and it’ll be interesting to see where they take her going forward and how different the storyline will be now with her involvement as opposed to Liv. We lacked a distinctive appearance from either Chas or Manny, with the latter not showing up at all ,and Chas’s reason for not making the trip with Constantine didn’t quite work. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the two characters meet next week, though.
There also doesn’t seem to be any real scare factor here, which is again, something that I’d love to see in Constantine. At the moment they’re still going for the action approach, but hopefully we’ll get to see some more horror-based episodes going forward. Next week features the introduction of Papa Midnite, so it’ll be interesting to see how Constantine tackles that character.
So with the mystery of the week being a relatively solid one, you can’t help but get the feeling that Constantine is a series that is still starting to find its feet. There’s plenty of room for the drama to improve on, but for now, it continues to be fun and watchable, even if with the marked improvement of Gotham (with its seventh episode being the strongest yet) it is the weakest DC series currently on air.