Saturday, November 15, 2014

Constantine 1.04: "A Feast of Friends"

“I’m off to see a man about a dog….or rather a shaman about a bloody demon.”
- Constantine

We begin this week at the airport in Atlanta. A guy named Gary Lester is coming in from the Sudan and he’s acting kind of sketchy and honestly a little bit high. A customs agent holds him because he’s got a weird jar and things just take a bad turn. The agent smashes the jar and lots and lots of beetles swarm out and then in a horror-movie sort of way they fly into the man’s mouth. Gary takes off and ends up getting caught in some of Constantine’s home security traps. But before Gary and John get to catch up, he and Zed are out testing her powers some more. Manny pops by for a little visit to see if Zed can be useful in their quest to beat back the rising dark. They get home to find Gary and the bugs at the house and he explains that he went on a bit of a bender after the whole Astra debacle and he ended up in Sudan and he tried to exorcise a demon out a guy. It looks like he succeeded but now the demon is loose again and it’s not pretty. The guy keeps eating and stealing food from airport customers until he just keels over and the bugs come flying out to infect their next host.

It turns out the demon infects a woman at a supermarket and she eats a security guard’s face off before dying and the bugs fly off again. Constantine and Zed have to see this on the news before Constantine takes action. He’s carving a demon-capturing vessel with some Jewish relics and explains that back in the day Gary was rich and he had a car so they sort of let him hang about. But Constantine also thinks maybe Gary was using them, too. He doesn’t have a very high opinion of his former friend and heads off to track the demon alone. This gives Zed and Gary a little time to talk. He sort of fills her in a bit on the Astra situation. I found it interesting to get another perspective on Constantine’s past. That he had this sort of allure that made him charismatic. But of course Zed has to touch Gary and she gets pulled into his mind and it’s not a pleasant place. She seems to get all the negative things like his withdrawal symptoms and his guilt over Astra.

On the hut, Constantine poses as CDC and talks to a mother and son at the supermarket where he learns that the bugs flew into a delivery guy’s mouth and thanks the kid, he knows what company he’s looking for. He gets there and finds a bunch of corpses. Lovely. One of them is still alive and possessed by the demon and he almost traps it in the vessel but it apparently isn’t big enough to contain all the bugs and it breaks and so he locks them in the walk-in freezer. He is really pissed at Gary for bringing this demon around and they need to figure out specifically which demon it is so they can get rid of it once and for all. Zed’s drawn some images and that might actually help him figure it out. So he’s off to find a shaman.

He pays a visit to an old friend and they take a mystical psychedelic trip to the past and find out the demon was ravaging a village in Sudan and the shaman in town trapped it in a young boy as a sacrifice and so clearly that was a big whoops on Gary’s part to releasing it. And speaking of releasing it, the demon is out and on the run again. Meanwhile, Gary is feeling pretty guilty too and he ends up touching Zed to overwhelm her psychically with his internal drama so he can go off and deal with the demon. When Constantine gets back, he realizes that Gary is actually off to find a fix. He rescues Gary from some local drug dealers who were beating Gary up by giving them the trippy drug he and the shaman used. So he and Gary end up in a bar and Gary confesses that he was super high the night they all tried to save Astra. He thinks it was his fault and he hid when all the shit was hitting the fan. Constantine tells Gary that everyone knew he was high and that he shouldn’t have been involved because it wasn’t Gary’s world. But they’re going to finish this demon off together. I can’t imagine how that’s going to go but I am liking that we are getting little bits and pieces of the whole story as things move along and I am definitely interested to see where Zed’s storyline and powers will go from here. Having not read the comics I’m not sure what to expect.

Constantine’s plan involves breaking into a museum and having Gary steal a ceremonial knife and then head to the latest sighting of the demon. It is kind of amusing that Constantine has charmed the security guard to dance to the alarm from having the window in one of the doors busted. And Manny shows up to express his concern. But things get real when they arrive because the only way to defeat the demon is to trap it in a live human sacrifice and it has to be Gary. He is willing to do it so that his life will mean something and that he’ll be worthy of Constantine’s friendship. It’s not pretty when Constantine is carving the binding symbols into Gary’s face. Zed is furious when she sees what Constantine has done but she’s not leaving. Which is rare since everyone around Constantine either die or leave. And we end this week with Constantine holding Gary’s hand as he is consumed by the demon and Manny watches. I’m guessing that Constantine has lost a little bit of his soul in the process but I’m also guessing he has a lot more to lose in the coming battle. But at least he’s got one good soldier on his side.

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