The season finale of Constantine finds us returning to New Orleans, where a young girl named Vesta (Annalise Basso) has run away from home. Her travels have taken her to an abandoned carnival at night, a bad place to be even under the best of circumstances. She is met there by three eerie young girls in wedding dresses, who ask her if she would also like to be married to “The Man”. She agrees, not realizing that her intended is a diabolical, Satan-worshipping hillbilly (J.D. Evermore), and that he is currently in the process of abducting an unlucky security guard for evil purposes.
John Constantine (Matt Ryan) and Zed (Angelica Celaya) arrive in the Big Easy, having been summoned by their old ally, Detective Jim Corrigan (Emmett Scanlan). Jim needs their help–several young girls have disappeared, and the Missing Persons cop assigned to find them has turned up not only dead, but practically mummified. Zed is reluctant to be there at all, seeing as how the last time they teamed up, her visions showed her Corrigan dead. But they agree to help, breaking into a crypt to examine the deceased investigator’s desiccated remains. John performs a ritual that reveals a Satanic branding iron has been used to torture the victim, and surmises that a blood moon sacrifice is under way (hence the missing girls). While they’re surrounded by the dead, though, John’s old mate Gary Lester hijacks one of the corpses to offer a warning–the word in the underworld is that a price has been put on Constantine’s head. Meanwhile, John’s old frenemy Papa Midnite (Michael James Shaw) is preparing to collect that bounty by preparing a zombie assassin for the job.
John, Zed, and Corrigan go to speak to Vesta’s mother, in the hopes of finding some clues as to where she might have gone. Zed tries in vain to have one of her visions, but without luck. Manny the angel (Harold Perrineau), who can now appear to Zed as well as John, arrives, called by her need to speak to him. She tells him about her vision of Corrigan’s death, and asks if she can do anything to change it. Manny reveals that while he and his kind are bound by very strict rules, humanity has a bit more free will at their disposal. Since Zed is unable to see anything, John tries his hand at the Tibetan ritual known as “piercing the veil”, which, weirdly enough, involves Vesta’s toothbrush and a good jolt of electricity from her bedroom lamp. Able to see briefly through her eyes, John realizes that she was taken from the nearby carnival. They investigate but all they are able to find is the missing security guard’s car, but while they are there, Midnite’s zombie attacks John before being shot in the head and killed (again) by Corrigan.
Zed tries for a vision once again, and this time she sees the guard being tortured in his own home by “The Man” (he’s able to get his address to her before the vision ends). With one of Papa Midnite’s crow spies in tow, our gang heads to the guard’s house, only they’re too late–he’s already been tortured and crucified to death. Seeing the crow and realizing what it means, John sends Zed and Corrigan away for their own protection. They go off to investigate further, and a gun-toting Papa Midnite shows up to collect the bounty. Although armed and determined to see it through, Midnite falls for a supernatural switcheroo–John entranced the guard’s corpse and put a glamour spell on it to take his place, enabling him to get the drop on his attacker. Midnite reveals that his prize was to be the salvation of his sister’s soul from Hell, a boon that can only be granted by the Brujeria (the force behind the ever-present “rising darkness”). John takes Midnite’s gun and leaves him for the authorities. Meanwhile, Corrigan and Zed have learned of a local man who murdered his wife six years ago for not being the virgin bride he thought she was, and they all reconvene to check out his home to see if he fits the profile.
Vesta’s wedding is about to get underway, but she’s having second thoughts–the satanic symbols, hundreds of flies, and dried blood on her wedding dress are kind of a buzzkill. She flees back to the carnival with “The Man” in hot pursuit. Back at the house, our now heavily-armed trio of heroes finds the rotting corpses of the three previously-abducted girls, and, realizing that they’re running out of time, give chase in the direction of the creepy carnival. “The Man” is no match for a well-timed shovel to the face from John, and Vesta is saved. Corrigan wants to bring him in, insisting that he isn’t a ghost or a spirit, just a man. John questions that assessment, having seen his handiwork, and convinces Corrigan to indulge in some old-fashioned vigilante justice. Afterwards, John performs a ritual to free the souls of the murdered girls.
Zed and Corrigan share a drink, and she reveals that she saw him dead in one of her visions. Realizing he could die at any time, Corrigan makes his move, and John leaves them kissing at the bar. And, in an epilogue, an under-arrest Papa Midnite finds time frozen around him for everyone but himself. His benefactor? Manny, who insists that John Constantine is off limits. Midnite asks if Manny works for the Brujeria…but Manny reveals that they are, in fact, working for him.
DC Comics Easter Egg Watch: Once again, this episode features Jim Corrigan, better known to DC readers as supernatural hero The Spectre, and drops hints about his eventual transformation (Zed sees him surrounded by green ectoplasm, the colour of his cape and cowl in the comics). But in a nice tip-of-the-hat, the unlucky security guard in this episode lives on Delano street–named for Jamie Delano, longtime Hellblazer writer and Papa Midnite’s co-creator.