'Constantine' S1E12: Angels and Ministers of Grace

★ ★ ★ ★

"This is the labyrinth we chose to walk."

Constantine’s penultimate episode may not have been the best set up for the finale, but it certainly gave us some tender moments between Zed and John, and a comedic Manny story line.

Constantine has well, perhaps too well, established (I mean, we get it. Seriously.) that John is a crappy friend who is willing to both sacrifice and use them if it is for the greater good. But, "Angels and Ministers of Grace" took a refreshing spin on that concept by giving us a look at John’s hidden sensitive side when he finds out about Zed’s tumor. John’s very visible guilt is nice to see when he realizes how far he’s pushed Zed. When you see beyond his cynicism and sarcasm, John is a genuinely good person who cares about others, even though we may think otherwise.

The episode centering around Zed was a good idea since it allowed viewers to see how she feels about herself and her powers. Zed’s exploration of the house was an intelligent symbol that she was at least beginning to embrace her powers, but as soon as she learned that she has a tumor she automatically rejected them. The tumor gave her an out, basically. Having Manny able to talk to Zed is very touching, especially since she’s been wanting to meet him for a while now. Him being able to comfort her in this time of need and reassure her of the existence and importance of her powers is very nice.

While this episode focused on Zed’s realizing her potential and path, it did the same for John. Manny’s "burning" supplication get Constantine to realize that back at the house was a good, and funny, scene. Manny getting trapped into a human body by John led to an efficient use of his character, both for comedic relief and for much needed background on DC comic lore. For those who didn’t know (myself included), the black diamond is a reference to Eclypso, a DC villain who represented the Wrath of God. Eclypso was then replaced by The Spectre.

This is the second Spectre reference since Jim Corrigan back in "Danse Vaudou". All this Spectre business is a great set up for the series finale, where, hint hint, Jim Corrigan makes a reappearance. Dr. Gaelen’s "twist" wasn’t much of a twist. Let’s face it, if a supernatural monster-of-the-week gives any character background to someone we’ve just met, it’s very likely they’re the baddie.

"Angels and Ministers of Grace" not only gave us good scenes for Zed, John, and Manny, but also reintroduced Spectre references that I’m sure will play out later on alongside the rising darkness.


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