“SPIRITS CAN BE BETTER OFF IN THE GROUND.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Constantine is a show that recently seems to have been experiencing an identity crisis, slightly tweaking the format each week. However, “Danse Vaudou” seems to represent a plateau in that experimentation, bringing Chas into the proceedings and sending John and the gang on a Scooby-Doo-like ghost hunt. While the episode had some enjoyable character moments, the episode was held back by the larger Constantine plot and doesn’t quite reach the heights that it aims for.
When Zed starts getting visions of an old Zoetrope Constantine shows her, the team heads to New Orleans to investigate. Right off the bat, they find the killer ghost model and Jim Corrigan (The Spectre from the comics), a humble detective who witnessed her first kill. Played by guest star Emmett Scanlan, Corrigan is a welcome addition to the Constantine universe, a man just finding out about the supernatural and trying to keep his head on straight. Zed’s ability to see visions of his past helped to flesh out the character, and Jim’s interactions with Constantine proved suitably entertaining. “Danse Vaudou” also brought back voodoo priest Papa Midnite, who has been bringing spirits back for their loves to talk to, but must team up with Constantine when it becomes clear the spirits are sticking around.
The backstories of the three killer spirits are fine enough and lead to some serviceable commentary on guilt, as the people who asked Papa Midnite to summon them must aid in sending them back to the afterlife. Some valuable insight was also given to Papa Midnite, who is revealed to have gotten into the supernatural game much in the same way that Constantine did. While it seemed a bit early for a team-up between hero and villain, Constantine’s time with Papa Midnite was one of best stories so far, so here’s hoping there’s going to be more tales like it. As usual with Constantine, it’s Chas who got shafted storywise, relegated to delivering exposition and serving as a human punching bag for the spirits. Even with all the positive elements of this episode, the show still doesn’t seem to know what to do with Chas. Poor old sod.
This was a good episode of Constantine. The character dynamics were the real draw, with some great material between Constantine and Papa Midnite. Equally drawing was the introduction of Jim Corrigan (who might be closer to becoming The Spectre than we thought). While “Danse Vaudou” does an admirable job of trying to tie the conflict in with the “Rising Darkness” plot, the overall bland, vague nature of the season-long arc makes the ending feel flat. Even a serviceable episode plot doesn’t make the whole “Rising Darkness” thing any more interesting.
What did everyone think of Jim Corrigan? Are you excited to see The Spectre? Leave your comment visions in the space below.
75/100 – ‘Good’
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
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