Saturday, November 8, 2014

Constantine 1.03: "The Devil's Vinyl"

“Does it really surprise you that I might want something a little more potent in my arsenal?”
- Constantine

So this is the first week we really get to see how Zed and Constantine work together. Their case leads them to Chicago where a woman finds an old record in a really creepy place with dead animals and satanic writing on the walls. She takes to a man named Bernie who is testing it for authenticity. The woman warns him not to listen to the record as it is supposedly cursed but he does anyway and first the headphones freeze over and then he ends up stabbing himself in the neck. Zed arrives in Atlanta and meets Chaz at the end of a hunting rifle. But hey, at least Constantine said she might be coming. They head inside to find Constantine learning some kind of spell that makes him look like Bill when he came back on True Blood covered in blood. And apparently the house is a little bit like the TARDIS. Bigger on the inside. Zed uses her abilities to get a psychic hit off of the map and an article about Bernie’s death and they head to Chicago to investigate. Zed swipes a keycard from a morgue employee so they can get inside and we learn that Constantine in his youth fronted a punk band called Mucus Membrane (I think this is more comic book lore by the way). Bernie produced their only album. Unfortunately, when Constantine tries to bring back Bernie so they can have a chat and figure out what happened, the spell goes a bit wonky and all the corpses start shaking.

Constantine does get a few words out of Bernie before the hand of glory he’s using burns out. He thinks they need to hit a library to do some research but Zed hops on her phone and leads them to the owner of an old record label. He’s in a nursing home and Constantine uses a bit of magic on the front desk nurse to get them back. It seems he’s got his own version of psychic paper. So basically, Constantine is the Doctor? Anyway, we get the legend of an old blues singer who supposed sold his soul to the devil. He disappeared one night while recording a song (devil came to collect I guess) and the record has been cursed ever since. The woman who took it from the record label place is hiding it away in her own record collection when it starts turning the bookcase to ice. Manny interrupts things and takes the record owner off to heaven (presumably) just as the woman who took the record’s little daughter goes looking for the record. Constantine explains that the devil is after our souls as a big “f” you to God for kicking the devil out of heaven. I’m really hoping they can save this little girl because that would just suck horribly if she dies (or kills her mother).

Things are quickly coming to a head as Constantine leads Zed to confront a metal head named Ian. He was a hack who turned superstar and Constantine believes that Ian sold his soul and that’s the reason Bernie is dead. It turns out that in fact it was his wife Jasmine who made the deal but not for the reason that Constantine believes. Ian was dying of cancer and so she traded her soul for his life. But she’s trying to get out of it which is why she was trying to get the record. Thanks to Constantine we now know that she made a deal with a soul broker. They’re not particularly powerful and they’re kind of ambulance chasing bottom feeders. He clearly doesn’t have a high opinion of them. He takes Jasmine’s phone to go meet the broker named Anton while Zed stays behind. Before he leaves though he slips a nail into Jasmine’s pocket (it’s kind of a supernatural GPS tracker). Luckily, Ian, Jasmine and Zed realize that the little girl is listening to the record and stop her before anything too crazy happens (aside from her eyes glowing yellow).

Constantine gets to the broker and discovers that a heavy hitting warlock named Papa Midnite is behind the whole thing. I’m interested to see how the relationship unfolds on the show since Constantine had a sort of okay relationship with the character in the film. It turns out that Papa Midnite wants the record as an insurance policy of sorts. He knocks Constantine out and straps him to a table. He plans to let our titular anti-hero bleed out slowly while his boys get the record. Constantine tries to get a homeless guy to help out and gets Manny for a visit instead. It would seem that Constantine may or may not want the record for himself but Manny isn’t buying it. If the devil’s voice in on that record, then it needs to be destroyed. Back at Jasmine and Ian’s, Midnite’s guys show up with guns and they take the record. Zed however realizes that she has a couple ways to finds Constantine. We are led to believe it was the nail but she might have drawn it, too. Either way, she recues Constantine from getting stabbed in the chest by the homeless guy.

It appears that the two thugs have succumbed to the pull of the record and played it at a club and killed a lot of people. The deaf busboy managed to survive but Constantine believes they’re going to play it somewhere much bigger and thanks to Zed’s powers, they realize it will be broadcast from a college radio station. Oh boy. OH and Chaz has showed up and he thinks that even though Zed isn’t in any law enforcement databases she is still useful. Like the fact that she knows ASL. So now it’s off to keep these thugs from killing a lot more people. While Constantine goes in to try and stop the guys from playing it, Chaz and Zed are tasked with taking down the radio tower. That involves driving Chaz’s car through the power station. Ouch. Constantine has ear buds in and is listening to some heavy metal of his own but it ends up taking both he and Papa Midnite to get the recording to stop playing. Midnite still wants the record and so Constantine has no choice but to destroy it by sending it back to Hell.

The gang drags Anton off to break the deal with Jasmine. She’s hesitant because it means that Ian will get sick again but he seems optimistic about his chances. He’s got a family to live for now and better treatments. And so Jasmine is saved. But there is still darkness out there. Papa Midnite had ulterior motives for cutting Constantine’s arm. He’s used it to make a voodoo doll. That can only come back to bite Constantine in the ass.

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