I wasn’t really digging tonight’s episode. For starters, I am not a fan of Richie. He is way too high-strung and manic (not in the fun way) for me. The whole dream realm was too esoteric for me. Basically, Richie and Constantine can just blink in and out of the dream realm, and “re-code” the realm if they concentrate hard enough? They didn’t even look like they were concentrating that hard. I like my Constantine to be more demony. On the upside, Manny finally seemed to serve some kind of purpose.
We open with a quartet of college kids drinking in a crypt. One of them, Adam, is spearheading this spirit party. With some hieroglyphs and some chants, he sends himself and his friends into another realm, a creepy house of horrors. All friends appear to be in the same house, but none can find each other. Lily is grabbed by a guy who begs her to hide him. Miranda catches sight of a strange man in a mirror. A combination of screams draws all four kids out of the house of horrors.
After a visit from Manny, who suggests that he check the scryer map, John heads to a university. A friend in town needs his help, and with Zed on bed rest and Chas playing family man, it is just Constantine. The only friend he has in town is Richie, who is teaching transcendentalism or some such nonsense at the college. Richie is not happy to see him, having been badly damaged (mentally) by the Newcastle incident. While John is there, Carter, one of the crypt kids, drops dead. In Carter’s mind, he is back in that house, being suffocated with a plastic bag.
Adam is Richie’s T.A., so it doesn’t take John long to make the connection. Lily tells them they were messing around at the cemetery, so the guys go there and John sees the hieroglyphs on the floor. He knows what this means: ritual for out of body travel. But where would they get that idea? It looks like Adam took the private journal of Jacob Shaw, a traveler to other realms. He was accused of shooting his protege, and while he was awaiting trial, he lapsed into a coma. The theory is that Shaw’s consciousness went to another realm and stayed there to escape his fate.
Miranda, upset by Carter’s death, goes to the dance room for a little late-night, lights-off ballet practice. (No, that’s not a euphemism – she really was dancing in the dark.) The same creepy man appears in the mirror, and Miranda is transferred back to the house where she is impaled by rebar. Meanwhile, Lily and Adam are worried because they can’t find Miranda. Adam wants to go back to that house in the other realm, while Lily decides on a more terrestrial approach. She knows that Miranda dances when she is upset, so she knows where to look for her. When she gets to the dance room, Miranda is dead in a pool of blood.
Adam goes back to the crypt and sends himself back to the dream house. Constantine and Richie show up, finding Adam in an unwakeable state. Suddenly slashes appear on his arms, blood gushing. The killing blow lands on his throat. On the dream plane, Shaw attacked Adam. He is dead in real life. Shaw finally introduces himself and describes his realm. Basically, they have free reign, but this is his realm, his rules, and he wants to hunt them and kill them.
Constantine and Richie collect Lily and take her back to the mill. Shaw has been capturing the kids by appearing in reflective surfaces, but there are none in the mill. Lily is grateful and rings her mom, but Shaw appears in the reflection of her iPhone glass and she is sent back into the dreamworld. Shaw is on her trail but she hides and finds Adam. In the realm, they are all still alive because Shaw keeps killing them and bringing them back to life so he can hunt them again.
Constantine sees no other choice but to go into the realm and collect Lily. Richie gripes and moans but eventually gives in. He is concerned that their mortal bodies won’t be safe, which doesn’t make any sense because John has sworn up and down that the mill is covered with all manner of protection. In any case, Manny appears, a silent acknowledgement that he will keep them safe.
The two friends send themselves into the realm using the same chant from Shaw’s book. First they must find each other, then they start searching the house. It isn’t long before they hit a dead end – literally, a hallway that ends with a blank wall. Richie has studied the principals of other planes and believes he can overwrite this world. He does so, and creates a door in the dead end. They head in, and are soon confronted by Shaw, who believes the students are trespassers and therefore he has free reign to do with them what he will. He pins John to the wall and slits Richie’s wrists, at which point John reminds his friend that he can overwrite this realm. I’m not really sure how he does that – this is all way too intangible for my tastes – but Richie closes his eyes and a moment later, his wrists stop bleeding. He pulls back the drapes and reveals a sunrise growing an endless field of wildflowers. It looks like a scene from that horrible Robin Williams movie, What Dreams May Come. I’m not sure if it is the sun that “melts” Shaw, or if Richie just erased him from the programming, but Shaw disappears and is no longer a threat. They rush from the house as it starts to collapse, and their wounds heal. Then John remembers Lily and rushes back for her. Her friends can’t come though: they are already dead. John brings Lily out to the field and they watch the house implode. Constantine assures her now that Shaw is gone, their souls are free.
Lily wakes in the mill, sobbing. John and Richie are still on the dream plane, and Richie decides he wants to stay, promising he won’t go crazy, but he will invent and thrive and forget the Rising Darkness closing in. In other words, he takes the coward’s way out. Constantine wakes in the mill. Not sure how. Richie is comatose on the mill floor. John considers this for a moment, then Richie wakes. Again, not sure how. But there it is. On the upside, Richie now seems like a stronger, more together person, who doesn’t live on sedatives. So a happy ending.
I liked this episode even less reliving it. Bo-ring.
You can check out the promo for Episode 12 of “Constantine” in the player below. Titled “Angels and Ministers of Grace,” the episode is officially described as follows:
“When John heads to a local hospital to investigate a mysterious attack, he enlists an unwitting Manny to help him. Meanwhile, a health scare causes Zed to question the source of her visions.”
“Angels and Ministers of Grace” is set to air February 6. “Constantine” airs Fridays at 8 P.M. EST.