“ENLIGHTENMENT IS BASED ON THREE TRUTHS.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
“A Whole World Out There” felt a bit like one step forward and two steps back for Constantine. After last weeks Chas-centric outing, both he and Zed were nowhere to be found, likely indicating that this script, like “A Feast of Friends,” is an older script that was dusted off and aired out of order. However, unlike the clunky, dated story in that episode, “A Whole World Out There” held up rather well, despite a lack of connection to the rest of the series.
With Constantine finding himself with some alone time, Manny appears and points him toward an old friend in need of help, namely Jeremy Davies’ Professor Ritchie Simpson (remember him from the pilot?) Ritchie is now a professor at the local university, and despite his lackadaisical approach to spiritual study, some of his students have begun experimenting with travel to other dimensions. Naturally, when a group of his students find themselves trapped in a reality ruled by a psychotic killer, it’s up to Constantine to drag Ritchie out of his rut and save them. Ritchie, like in the pilot, continued to be an interesting, tortured presence, worn thin by years of dealing with the supernatural. His interactions with Constantine made for a great story as the two worked to save the students. Constantine himself got an interesting tale when he met up with Ritchie, having to deal with one of his friends whom he hasn’t lost. While more could’ve been done with this thread, the relationship between Ritchie and John was substantial enough to drive the episode along nicely.
Where things faltered, however, was with the students themselves, who begin the episode conducting a ritual seemingly ripped straight out of a teen-horror flick. While there’s certainly no law against homaging that sort of thing, the more straightforward horror elements felt slightly out of place against the more cerebral and melancholic themes dealt with later in the episode. The CG could also look a bit obvious at times, but considering much of the questionable imagery came from a dream world, it’s a bit more excusable.
Constantine may have dispensed with most of its cast to produce “A Whole World Out There,” but the relationship between John Constantine and Ritchie Simpson made it an entertaining and insightful ride anyway. There was something very Twilight Zone-esque about the ending, and the excellent performances from Matt Ryan and Jeremy Davies topped it all off as a very satisfying package. But with only two episodes left this season, it’s going to be interesting to see how and if Constantine brings everything back together to end its “Rising Darkness” storyline.
What did you think of Ritchies’ return? Do you want more cerebral stories from “Constantine”? Let me know on Twitter @MaxMielecki or perform your comment spells in the section below. Also, be sure to follow us @YouNerded.
75/100 – Good
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