Constantine Season 1 “Non Est Asylum” Recap
One of the main reasons that I wanted to see Constantine is not the fact that it is based on a DC Comics property nor that Smallville’s Bryan Q. Miller used the character in a recent Season 11 story arc but it was the presence of Lucy Griffiths, whom I’ve been a fan of since she played Maid Marion in the BBC’s excellent (at least for two seasons) Robin Hood.
So I was a bit bummed that at the end of the Pilot, Griffith’s Liv would no longer be part of the show. And sorry just spoiled the biggest part of the show.
Constantine starts off with our hero John Constantine (Matt Ryan) receiving electro shock therapy at Ravescar asylum in Northern England. Contantine put himself there voluntarily. During a session with his shrink, we learn that Constantine feels guilty for damning Astra, a 9-year old’s soul to hell blaming a demon while the shrink thinks Constantine is calling the girl’s killer a demon not an actual demon.
Later in a group therapy session, Constantine follows the cockroaches to the asylum’s art room where he encounters a fellow patient with glassed over eyes. Constantine, at first, doesn’t want anything to do with the spirit taking possession of the the lady. However, Constantine perform some spells and when the cockroaches dispell, we see a message about keeping some woman named Liv safe.
So we are now in Atlanta, Georgia, late at night at a car rental place. Liv (Lucy Griffiths) is just getting off work. As she backs out of her parking spot, Liv’s car detects something in its path but she sees nothing. All of a sudden, Liv’s car shuts down and all the power around her. The ground starts to shake and open up. Constantine pulls up in a old school taxi to try and help her. Constantine gives her his card where one part stats that he is a master of the dark arts (a claim that he doesn’t think is quite accurate) but Liv is having none of it and runs off. When Constantine descends into the hole, he finds the angel Manny (Harold Perrineau) there who wasn’t quite expecting to see Constantine but since he is here tries to enlist his helping in something that is coming but does not disclose to him what is coming.
Liv gets a ride home from a neighbour and when the two enter their building, someone else comes in too. After Liv enters her apartment, this man carves an ancient Egyptian rune on her door and puts some salt in front of it. So when we see a demonic spirit try and gain entry to Liv’s place, it can’t so instead targets her neighbour, killing her.
Liv awakes to an active crime scene and see her neighbour, Talia, dead. When the medical examiner takes her body away, it starts to convulse violently making the ME think it is still alive but alas it is the demon that has taken possession of her and it kills the ME.
The next day at Liv’s workplace, Constantine is also there and introduces her to Chazz, the man that placed the ancient Egyptian symbol of protection on her door. Constantine tells Liv that he is a friend of her father’s and that he didn’t die before she was born but last year and was asked by him to keep an eye on Liv. Constantine also gives Liv something of her father’s to her. All of a sudden the ME’s van drives right through Liv’s workplace door. We see Talia’s possesed body was the driver of the vehicle and Liv realizes she would have been dead if she was sitting at her desk.
Liv decides to visit her mom to get the low down on her dad, Jasper, and when Liv shows the pendant that Constantine gives her, she sees a grotesque version of her grandma that sends her running again. Constantine is there to stop her and explain what the pendant can do. It seems Liv has the same gift as her dad, the ability to see souls and another plane of existence.
This seems to get Liv to accept Constantine’s help. As they drive to their next destination, their taxi is attacked. While briefly out, we see him have memories of the night Astra got taken by the demon. When he wakes, Constantine manages to keep the demon away and rescue Liv but Chazz gets impaled by a live wire.
To keep Liv safe, Constantine takes her to the home of her dad, a place where he practice divination.
Throughout the pilot, I kept on getting such a Harry Potter vibe when Dark Arts were mentioned and especially at the mention of divination. I digress.
At their new hideout, Liv is looking around and one of the items she picks up is definitely a DC Comic Easter Egg. It is a helmet that looks very much like the Helmet of Nebu aka Dr. Fate’s helmet. Dr. Fate was seen in a season 9 episode of Smallville.
Back to the action, Constantine teaches Liv to do something over a map with the pendant. When she does so, it starts to drop blood at a certain place on a map of Atlanta that indicates something bad is going to happen.
To help in their cause, Constantine goes to Ivy University. Also there is Manny too in the guise of a guard to talk more about Astra and what is coming.
Constantine has gone to see Ritchie Simpson (Jeremy Davies) someone who was with Constantine when Astra was taken by the demon. Constantine needs Ritchie’s help in banishing the demon that is after Liv. After some threats about revealing to the Newcastle police that Ritchie was also there the night that Astra died, gets Ritchie to help Constantine.
Back at Jasper’s place, Liv sees her father in the mirror. Constantine explains that what she is seeing is the past. Liv is then shocked to see Chazz still very much alive but Constantine explains that it would take more than a live wire impaling him to keep him down. I am guessing that we will learn more about Chazz as the show goes on, if he is a character on the show.
Later, Liv and Constantine are preparing to confront the demon. Constantine paints a circle with Egyptian symbols on it to lure and trap it with Liv inside. As they wait for the demon to show, Constantine opens up about his past to Liv. Constantine’s mom died giving birth to him and his dad blamed him, nicknaming him killer and physically abusing him. When Constantine was a teen, he studied the occult and learned spells in hopes of seeing his mom again but hasn’t been able to.
The demon does come int the guise of a security guard and enters the circle. It traps Liv and starts to brew a lightening storm. Ritchie cuts off all of the power in Atlanta that allows Constantine to perform a spell and light the circle on fire with his lighter. Liv escapes and the demon then taunts Constantine with Astrid saying that it will free her soul if he gives her Liv.
It seems that Constantine is going to accept the deal with Liv sees, via her pendant, that it isn’t Astra but a trick. This gets Constantine to perform a spell that defeats the demon.
As Ritchie drives Liv home, he tells her about what happened to Astra when the drive by the road that Liv saw on the map. Liv sees a young boy killed most likely by a demon.
At a bar, Chazz drops by to give Constantine the pendant as it seems that Liv can’t join Constantine’s crusade and has taken off to California. Well at least they didn’t kill Liv off but explains why she will no longer be part of the show. Again too bad as I thought Liv was fine. Maybe we might see her again. Constantine will pt a protection spell on her to keep her safe. Before Liv left, she did that thing on a map of America with the pendant and Chazz notes that trouble is all over the country.
Manny, in the guise of the bartender, talks to Constantine and is pleased to now that he will join their fight in what is coming. The episode ends with Constantine confronting a gang of people, possible demons, with his hands ablaze.
So ends Constantine’s first episode. Not as scary as I thought. Still not quite sure if I am going to continue watching this but might give it a few more episodes.
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