Constantine: Faith Healings And Surprise Ghoul Attacks

Marshall Lemon | 6 Dec 2014 12:00
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Though this week's installment isn't Constantine's finest, it manages enough surprises to keep things interesting.

When Constantine's lackluster pilot first aired, some thought it would just copy Supernatural while inserting a British character as the lead role. However, not only has it found its own voice in recent episodes, it's absolutely excelled in one specific arena: Setting up your typical paranormal activity plot only to yank the carpet out from under you with surprise twists. Even last week's otherwise-average "Halloween special" benefited by making the monster something other than your typical Damien clone.

So when "Blessed Are The Damned" introduces a small, snake-handling Pentecostal church in the American South, you think you know exactly what's going to happen. A religious leader will start providing genuine religious experiences and faith healing. The pessimistic lead character (Constantine) will cry foul. The optimistic lead character (Zed) will claim this is proof that good does exist in the world. Then they'll find out the miracles are based on something evil, put a stop to it, and halt the misguided faith of the locals because of course they will. This kind of story is as cliched as it gets.

And sure, all of these things do happen. But then the angels show up. And some kind of feral zombie creatures start rampaging. And Zed slips that there's a darker reason she wants to believe in something good. And a spell Constantine cast for one reason saves the day in a completely unexpected way.

That's quite a few interesting twists, and while most of them happen far too late to salvage the episode completely, they do help "Blessed Are The Damned" stand out from the crowd. If you want to see for yourself, you can watch it on Constantine official NBC website or iTunes.

"Blessed Are The Damned" Begins as Zed's visions and Constantine's scrying map take them to a booming pentecostal church, where Pastor Zachary's faith healing can literally give amputees another leg to stand on. Constantine knows the rules of magic however, and that this kind of power doesn't come without a cost. Sure enough, the land is developing a sickness that murders all the fish, and the first man healed becomes a feral creature (which Constantine calls a ghoul). The problem, as far as Zed can tell, is that no evil exists here; the preacher is acting on good intentions while the powers seem heavenly and good.

As it turns out, the heavenly power is part of the problem. During a service, Constantine realizes that Zachary is speaking the language of the angels, something no mortal religious leader should know about. After conferring with Manny, Constantine and Zed manage to track down Imogen, a wounded angel trapped on the physical plane. The only thing that can make an angel physical is if the wings are damaged, and sure enough, Imogen reveals that Zachary took one of her feathers when he was near death. Now the misused holy power threatens to ruin the land, unless Constantine and Zed can find a way to take the feather back from someone with heavenly mojo on his side.

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