Picking up where we left off in 2014, John has been left in the sewer, shot by Anne Marie and left for dead. With few options available to him, John does the only thing he can think of: trap the demon Pazuzu in his body. Self-preservation forces Pazuzu to heal John instantly, and he assumes he will be able to exorcise the demon in a few days. The twisty demon sniffs out John, but Pazuzu scares him away. Manny makes one of his trademark pointless showings, mad that John sought the help of a demon before the help of an angel. “It’s not that I can’t help you – it’s that I won’t.” Thanks Manny, you are a credit to your species and a true asset on this show.
Chas helps John out of the sewer. He is none too happy about the demon stowaway either, but he’s not rude about it. Unfortunately, when Pazuzu hears he is going to exorcised soon, he comes to the surface, throws a demon fit, and sends John running.
Back in the States, Zed has been kidnapped and tossed in the back of a van with a corpse. She refuses to go home to daddy and starts kicking the door. The driver gets out to calm her down, but Zed kicks him, injects him with a sedative, and leaves her kidnapper and the corpse on the side of the road. She checks in with Chas, who needs her in Mexico. Zed’s paranoia is setting in, so she is only too eager to leave the country.
John wakes in the street, surrounded by dismembered bodies. It’s a delightfully gruesome scene. It seems that a street gang cornered him and Pazuzu came out. It was self-defense, but the cops still haul him out to jail. Stanley Gibson from the British Consulate meets with him, but John’s temper is especially short today and he tries to attack Gibson. Gibson is out. Later that night, Gibson finds a strange man waiting for him in his office who asks about Constantine. Gibson assures this guy (who I don’t think he knows) that Constantine won’t be leaving prison for a while. The stranger comments that the Rising Darkness cannot be stopped, then his jaw unhinges like Beetlejuice and eats Gibson.
John buys friendship from Julio in jail, who takes him to a makeshift chapel. It is a setup, and three gang members appear to seek revenge for their fallen brothers. Pazuzu comes to the rescue(?) and slaughters all three. This gang, toughest in the prison, runs the joint, so when word spreads that John killed them all without suffering even a scratch, John is the king of prison.
Chas and Zed plead with Anne Marie to astral-project herself to find John. She does, but doesn’t stay long. She has no interest in helping John, but she points them in the right direction. Chas has a few things to be smuggled in to John, including a huge ceremonial dagger and a recording with an exorcism in 50 different languages on it. Zed grew up near a prison like this; she knows how to play the game. She flirts her way past the guards, playing the role of a hooker, and is taken to a conjugal visit room. Chas is way less slick – he just punches a guard. A few others beat the hell out of him, but it works.
The surprise of this little break-in is Anne Marie. She had a change of heart and knew John was in a bad way. She didn’t have any trouble getting in – just claimed someone was in need of spiritual guidance. The group moves to the gym, where they strap John down to a weight bench. Gibson returns to the prison, but in the strange man’s clothes. That’s because he is the strange man. Serpents circle his head and reveal the stranger’s face. He is the original serpent from the Garden of Eden, there to reign evil. He was sent to kill Constantine, but sees that he will soon be on his side. The trickster kills Chas, and Anne Marie attacks him with the dagger, turning him into a pile of digital snakes. So that was a perfect waste of ten minutes.
The exorcism won’t work in the prison – they need someplace quieter, more holy, less dingy, yadda yadda yadda, but Pazuzu seems to be taking hold of John faster than he imagined. Julio collects all the heroin from all the prisoners and shoots up John with it. The idea is to keep Pazuzu high so it is calm. It works, and John slips into a heroin haze. Chas and Anne Marie smuggle him out on a gurney while Anne Marie astral-projects a naked version of herself across the street to distract the guards.
Back at the homestead, they strap John down to a bed, gather a whole bunch of religious stuff, and settle in for an exorcism. It has to be Anne Marie to do it, a voice with true spiritual conviction. She begins, but it isn’t working. Pazuzu tries to trick his way out of his binds, then blows out all the power and rages against his binds. He starts levitating but isn’t strong enough to bring the bed up with him. Anne Marie can’t save him. Zed speaks up – “You won’t let the exorcism work. You have to find a way to forgive.” Anne Marie swears she has forgiven John, but Zed points out that she has to forgive herself. Anne Marie considers this, then snaps to action. She is stronger, more decisive in her words. It works. Black smoke pours out of John’s mouth, and the demon is gone.
All in all, a pretty fulfilling exorcism episode. Plenty of the demony stuff, and a few nods to The Exorcist (Pazuzu was the demon in that flick, too). I still find Manny a huge waste of screen time. I may hate him as much as I hate Barbara Keane on “Gotham.” Okay, not quite, because I mostly find Manny useless, whereas I actively hate Barbara.
There has been a lot of talk about whether or not “Constantine” will return for a second season, mostly spurred on by NBC’s decision not to give a full season order to the series. I do not see this as a bad thing. Nowadays, many shows are only given 12 or 13 episode orders. Granted this is more of a cable television model, but networks are trying to go that route, with summer seasons and the like. Basically, I just want to see Constantine come back. I am really enjoying the show, and the farther we get from the abysmal pilot, the more I like it.
You can check out the promo for episode 10 of “Constantine” in the player below. Titled “Quid Pro Quo,” the episode is officially described as follows:
“Thousands of people across Brooklyn have slipped into a mysterious coma, including Chas’ daughter. John must find and defeat the evil behind it before it consumes the city.”
“Quid Pro Quo” is set to air January 23, “Constantine” airs Fridays at 8 P.M. EST.