Constantine’s first two-part episode begins at a convent in Mexico, where a newborn baby is abducted by a sinister, inhuman figure after killing its mother. Left behind are Hugo (Jose Pablo Cantillo), the grieving husband/father (a local police detective), and Sister Anne-Marie (Claire Van Der Boom), a family friend with connections that could help them learn who (or what) is responsible. Back in the US of A, John Constantine’s associate Zed (Angelica Celaya) is still recovering from last week’s adventure, where her contact with the black heart of a fallen angel has taken a lot out of her. Her latest drawings reflect this, as they show a horrific, malformed figure that John (Matt Ryan) identifies as an Invunche, a type of supernatural assassin that he says thankfully doesn’t exist anymore (famous last words, John). John’s history lesson is interrupted by the arrival of Anne-Marie…sort of, as she’s actually still in Mexico, communicating via “bilocation”, a type of astral projection. As much as she didn’t want to ever see him again, Anne-Marie needs John’s help to get baby Diego back. John leaves Zed in Jasper Winters’ safehouse to recover, where she’ll be protected by supernatural safeguards (so long as she stays put), taking Chas (Charles Halford) with him to Mexico instead.
Arriving at the convent, Chas is greeted warmly by Anne-Marie–John, not so much. Anne-Marie was present in Newcastle during John’s ill-fated attempt to exorcise Astra, which left the little girl consigned to Hell. She’s understandably reluctant to ask John to try and save another child, but she has no choice. Even though she swore to kill her old flame if she ever saw him again, Anne-Marie has nowhere left to turn.
Back stateside, Zed is still drawing Invunches and getting more and more creeped out by the big, empty safehouse, which she learns exists out of normal space when one particular door seems to open to nowhere in particular. Needing a break, she heads out in search of fresh art supplies, and runs into male model Eddie (David A. Gregory), who offers to buy her a drink. The two get acquainted, but upon touching his hand, Zed has a vision of Eddie meeting someone in a white room by a vault door and she knows he’s not what he seems. Still, she invites him back to the safehouse for more drinks (and, unbeknownst to Eddie, an impromptu interrogation).
In Mexico, John takes a break from flirting with one of the sisters at the convent to perform a ritual that might help him learn who took Diego. The rune stones John brought with him are no help–whoever abducted the baby covered their tracks well, which means that he might still be alive. John needs something with a connection to the baby’s soul, so he and Anne-Marie dig up Diego’s placenta from beneath a tree on Hugo’s property. The tree itself is growing some strange fruit made of flesh and filled with blood, another sign that he may yet be alive. The two are discovered by Hugo and have no choice but to let him in on what’s going on. John theorizes that Baby Diego has been taken by a Sister Of Eve, a supernatural entity that rejected God’s dominance on earth. John tries to summon the Sisters to find which one is responsible, but his ritual is interrupted by the flirty nun from earlier, who herself is actually a demonic creature involved with the abduction. John barely escapes the encounter alive, having hopefully learned a valuable lesson about flirting with nuns.
Meanwhile, another baby is snatched, this one belonging to a girl that was impregnated by Hugo’s teenaged son Mateo. John now knows that the abductions are not random, and that Hugo’s bloodline has been targeted. But by who? And why? The gang goes to question Hugo’s grandmother, who reveals that her father once belonged to a sinister society of ancient witches in Chile known as La Brujeria, and that when he left them, his bloodline was cursed. John is taken aback, insisting that La Brujeria are all long dead…but their return does make sense, given the “rising darkness” he’s been fighting. Given La Brujeria’s involvement, John realizes that the entity they’re after is named Lamashtu, and plans are made to draw her out.
Zed questions Eddie about who he’s working for, learning that he’s been sent by her father to retrieve her (and we learn that her real name is Mary). A pair of emissaries from her dad arrive to bring Zed back, and her plan to use Eddie as a hostage doesn’t pan out–the syringe-and-gun wielding man & woman would rather shoot the hostage and take him out of the equation. A chase ensues, and a fistfight between Zed and the female attacker leads to the lady intruder being hurled out the door to nowhere. One intruder is down, but the other manages to sedate Zed and take her captive.
John, Anne-Marie, and Chas hatch a plan to try and fake out Lamashtu with a chicken filled with Hugo’s blood and enchanted with a glamour to make it appear as yet another baby from his bloodline. Anne-Marie insists that Lamashtu won’t take the offering from a man, saying that she must be the one to do it. It seems that Anne-Marie was the person who once got a young John Constantine mixed up in the occult before she took her vows, and she wants to atone for the life he’s had to live since. John gives her an icon of the demon Pazuzu (also known as the possessing entity in The Exorcist, horror fans!) for protection. Lamashtu comes for the “baby” and takes the bait, but Hugo comes out guns blazing, causing her to flee to the sewers, and leaving John and Anne-Marie with no choice but to give chase. While searching, they find the missing babies but are confronted by Lamashtu. John correctly susses out that the monster was supposed to deliver the babies to La Brujeria, and he threatens to kill Diego unless Lamashtu reveals their plan–La Brujeria want to turn Heaven and Hell upside down, allowing demons to rule the earth while humans are driven into hiding in their place. Having revealed the truth behind the “rising darkness”, Anne-Marie uses the Pazuzu icon to drive Lamashtu away. As John and Anne-Marie try to find their way out of the sewers, one of the twisted, nightmarish Invunches makes an appearance. Invoking John’s earlier assessment that “no price is too high to protect the innocent”, Anne-Marie shoots John with Hugo’s gun and, taking the babies, leaves Constantine as bait for the monster so she can escape. And we have our first cliffhanger ending!
DC Comics Easter Egg Watch: This episode of Constantine dives pretty deep into Alan Moore and Steve Bissette’s classic Saga Of The Swamp Thing series, drawing plenty of material from the arc that introduced readers to John Constantine in the first place. Anne-Marie, the Invunche, and La Brujeria were all introduced during this storyline, which can be found in volumes three and four of DC/Vertigo’s Saga Of The Swamp Thing collected editions. And trust me–as nasty-looking as the Invunche in this episode is, it has nothing on artist Steve Bissette’s horrifying comic-book depiction. Brrrr!
When is Constantine on TV? In Canada, Constantine airs Fridays at 8 et/pt on Global TV
Where can I watch Constantine online for free? GlobalTV.com/constantine streams full episodes of Constantineonline for free, or watch with the Global Go app on your iOS or Android mobile device. Episodes are typically posted the day after the initial on-air broadcast.