First, I will admit I have not read one HELLBLAZER comic from DC Comics. I’m just not that hardcore. Second, I really didn’t like the movie CONSTANTINE either. Keanu Reeves was absolutely terrible in that movie. TERRIBLE. The two saving graces from the movie were TILDA SWINTON as Gabriel and GAVIN ROSSDALE as Balthazar. They were an absolute joy to watch and TILDA SWINTON took being androgynous to a level that would surpass even king of androgyny, DAVID BOWIE, in this film. She’s just a bad ass.
Now having confessed my lack of HELLBLAZER comic knowledge, I loved the pilot episode of CONSTANTINE. It has been one of the most anticipated shows to watch for me. (The others THE STRAIN on FX and season 2 of SLEEPY HOLLOW on FOX)
* please stop reading if you do not want to be told what happens *
“Non Est Asylum” opens at Ravenscar Psychiatric Facility. We see John Constantine being submitted to electroshock treatment. He’s being “tortured” by the memories of an exorcism in Newcastle that went horribly wrong. Astra, a 9 year old girl was murdered and condemned to hell by a demon and Constantine was also damned to hell. Constantine’s psychiatrist tells him there are no demons, and Constantine angrily demands his psychiatrist to prove to him there are none.
While in a group therapy session, Constantine sees cockroaches crawling in the hallway and follows them to a room where a fellow patient has been possessed. Constantine summons the demon to release the patient and sees a message a message on the wall: “LIV DIE”. Constantine knows who the message is from and leaves Ravenscar.
We’re introduced to Liv in Atlanta, GA who unbeknownst to her is the target of “evil”. As she leaves work, all electrical items (car, lights, buildings) go dark and a giant hole opens in the parking lot. Constantine arrives to tell her that she needs to trust him so she’ll live but she runs off. While in the crater, Constantine is met by Manny, an angel. (They really need to work on his eyes. Those contacts are freaking terrible. He looks like he has jaundice. They’re a distraction to the character. I can’t even take Manny serious with those eyes.) Manny tells Constantine there’s trouble coming their way.
The trouble finds and kills Liv’s neighbor after Constantine’s oldest mate Chas sneaks into the apartment complex and carves a protective symbol on Liv’s door.
The message “LIV DIE” was from Liv’s dead father, Jasper. He was a friend of Constantine’s and he promised to watch over Liv.
Constantine gives Liv a pendant that belonged to Jasper and it allows her to see the souls on the earth. Constantine forces her to see a ghost train and enroute they are hit by a transfer truck and attacked by power lines. The power line kills Chas and Constantine and Liv escape to Jasper’s house. While at the house, Constantine discovers the demon chasing Liv is named Furcifer (yeah, I thought it was dumb name) who draws his power through electricity. Also while at the house, Liv learns that she has her father’s talent for scrying to see where demonic activity will take place. Constantine tells Liv he has a plan but that she’ll need to be bait.
Constantine runes into Manny again and Manny says perhaps his soul can be saved if Constantine works with him.
Constantine pops into the office Ritchie Sampson. Ritchie was a witness to Astra’s death and at first refuses to help until Constantine threatens to turn him into the police as a witness.
Liv is at Jasper’s house and sees him in a mirror that reflects the past and is also shocked to see Chas, not dead like she thought, but alive and kicking, walk into the house.
On the roof of a building in downtown, Constantine paints a seal that will project Liv when Furcifer (seriously, that’s the best name they could come up with) arrives. While waiting, Constantine tells Liv that his mom died during childbirth and that his father nicknamed him killer and blamed him for her death. Constantine learned the dark arts in hopes of meeting his mother, who he hasn’t met yet.
Furcifer arrives, gets trapped in the seal, appears as a demon version of Constantine from the future. Demon Constantine aka Furcifer grabs Liv through the power of electrical means, cables, etc and almost kills her but not before Constantine signals to Ritchie to cut the power of the city off and there turning off the demon’s life source. Furcifer begs Constantine for Liv’s life in exchange for Astra’s and Constantine is ready to make the trade but Liv uses her father’s pendant to see it’s not really Astra. Constantine is pissed, sends Furcifer back to hell and promises to come for Astra and Nergal, the demon who killed her.
Before Liv leaves town she uses her scrying skills to leave Constantine a map of where demonic shenanigans will occur and her father’s pendant. Manny appears to Constantine again and tells him that Liv’s powers are what they need and Constantine says he scared her off on purpose.
The episode closes with a woman sketching Constantine and as the camera pans out, we see the name on the drawings as Zed Martin.
Meet Zed Martin