THE ANGELS HAVE ARRIVED.
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Constantine throws a curveball every now and then. However, whereas last week’s “Rage of Caliban” swung toward being shoddy and disjointed, “Blessed Are the Damned” went the opposite direction, offering a more well-paced, compelling adventure for John and his companion.
With Zed having visions of snakes and a southern preacher dying from a snake bite who then comes back to life, Constantine headed into the deep south to investigate the reborn priest and see his newfound healing power firsthand. As it turned out, on his deathbed he plucked the feather of an angel and it has given him great power. The cost of this is turning those he helps into ghouls addicted to the feather’s power. With Manny dropping in to offer guidance on how to deal with his kin, things are left up to Constantine to sort out before the town descends into madness and the wounded angel dies. While the show again dispensed of Chas for an episode, the focus on Constantine, Zed and Manny (for the first time) proved quite enjoyable. In past episodes, Manny had been a little more than a commentator, appearing briefly to offer vague guidance and then vanishing. However, with the life of a wounded angel named Imogen on the line, Manny’s increased presence and discussions with her helped to flesh out his character more, and for once made it feel like Manny was an organic part of the show.
“Blessed Are the Damned” also did a fine job of building out the world of Constantine in a way previous episodes haven’t. Director Nick Gomez paced events quite well, gradually revealing the effects of the feather’s use. The episode did stumble in a few places, with some heavy-handed characterization for the Preacher and some ambitious but slightly weak CG work in the finale.
Constantine has managed to turn in a legitimately good episode that leaves all the other ones in the dust. While it had some dodgy moments (and is still hamstrung by the Chas problem), “Blessed are the Damned” was a great outing for Manny and allowed for a more compelling story than the usual ‘Rising Darkness’ plot. What the show really needs at this point is some consistency, because right now it seems to be a pendulum: terrible one week and engaging the next. With one episode left before the show goes on winter hiatus, let’s hope the pendulum swings on the side of engaging.
Was the shift away from demons welcome? Did you enjoy seeing more of Manny? Give us a ring in the comments below.
78/100 – ‘Good’
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
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