Martin Carr reviews the twelfth episode of Constantine…
Ariadne’s Thread: The solving of a problem with multiple apparent means of proceeding.
I like this show it makes you think; something which few people can claim to do in an average day. My sincere apologies by the way for those who never consider their days average, or feel slighted by my suggestion that jobs require no thought, these things are after all subjective. Anyway my point was to state how Constantine consistently opens up trains of thought your conventional show fails to do. A contentious theory made fact by yet another week tackling notions of angelic intervention as personified by Harold Perrineau’s Manny.
For a character who represents Constantine’s mouthpiece to the almighty Manny has been somewhat neglected by this reviewer. Best known to fans of Lost Harold Perrineau has been periodically popping in and out of episodes for three months, leaving a small but indelible mark. Mockingly providing veiled guidance or a friendly ear where necessary he has been largely unappreciated and under the radar. With the broadcast of ‘Angels and Ministers’ however things will change.
Dealing with issues of divine intervention, bodily possession and matters of belief, Perrineau is able to explore the notion of fallibility within a heavenly host. This examination alongside the quieter moments concerning Constantine’s denial of human frailty, make the episode worth its weight in gold. What also becomes apparent during this episode is the role which Chas and Zed play in making things work. These characters represent not only the possibility of companionship but a deeper metaphorical extension of Constantine’s abilities. Ideas of science versus religion also come into play within the forty minute running time in one or two throw away lines. Of course these themes are explored subtly with only the occasional deviation into darker realms and seeping chest cavities. After all theological ideas alone have never been the bedrock of mainstream family entertainment, unless you find solace in televangelism that is.
Whatever your position with regards to Constantine there is no denying the necessity for a season two lifeline. A proposal which has provisionally been discussed by NBC in relation to their subsidiary channel SyFy. Granted there are no contracts on the table but there is movement in the background. With the guaranteed presence of an original cast, this could offer more freedom for storylines, subject matter and a tantalising second bite of the cherry.
Since initial broadcast there have been naysayers quick to criticise and undermine an adaptation, which has always strived to be original. With a less than savoury central protagonist NBC knew they were taking a risk. However what has ultimately saved Constantine, beyond the spot on casting, is a rabid fan base that have supported, cajoled, campaigned and influenced way beyond their cyberspace sphere. Therefore in retrospect the one thing which could have negatively impacted this series represents its saving grace. As the season finale fast approaches we will see how instrumental this forum factor has proven to be. I have it on good authority that cast and crew alike consider this presence an essential element of their success. Something I for one totally agree with.