Last Friday saw DC Comics’ FOURTH foray into the world of television. They have crime and science covered, so now it is time to look into the supernatural with Constantine. Here is the recap/review of “Non Est Asylum.”
At the Ravenscar Asylum in Northern England, we see John Constantine receiving shock therapy, as he introduces himself via voiceover. Despite how it may look, he is here voluntarily. During a session with his doctor, they go over an incident where a nine year old girl was murdered. According to John, a demon took her with it to hell, whereas the doctor believes that John is just projecting to better cope with what he saw. John then yells at the doctor to make him believe that, since that’s what’s he’s being paid to do.
During group therapy, John is distracted when he sees a line of locusts gathering in the hallway. He follows them into the hospital’s art room, where a possessed woman is writing something on the wall. After using his powers to exorcise the demon, John sees what the woman/spirit wrote, “LIV DIE.” He realizes that being at the hospital is a waste of time, and leaves.
In Atlanta, GA, Liv Aberdine is leaving her job at a rental car company when her car starts to act strange, then finally won’t even start. Liv walks across the parking lot to phone a friend when suddenly a sink hole appears in the middile of the lot and large blast of fire shoot out from below. Liv starts to run, but is stopped by an old taxicab. John Constantine emerges and wants to help. Liv, scared out her mind, doesn’t listen and threatens to call the police. Before she leaves, John gives her his card.
John climbs down into the sink hole to investigate and he is visited by an angel, Manny. Manny tells John he may not be ready to face a demon, being “out of the game” for so long. He says he can help John with what’s coming, but leaves before John can get more answers out of him.
Liv is given a ride home by a neighbor, and they go into their respective apartments. A man sneaks up to Liv’s door and carves a symbol into it, and he also paints another symbol on the floor. Later that night, something attempts to enter Liv’s apartment, but is deterred by the symbols. It then enter’s her neighbor’s apartment instead. Later that night, Liv wakes up to the sound of the police. Her neighbor has been murdered. Soon after, the medical examiner is taking the body away, the body attacks him, possessed by a spirit.
The next day, Liv is dropped off at work by the police, Constantine waiting for her. He introduces Chas, the cab driver and the man who put the protection spells on her door, which saved her life from whatever killed Liv’s neighbor. John also reveals that he knew Liv’s father, Jasper Winters, and has been asked to keep Liv safe. He gives her a present from Jasper, but before she can open it, the medical examiner truck crashes through Liv’s work. The possessed neighbor is driving, in another attempt to kill Liv. In all the confusion, Liv is able to slip away.
Liv confronts her mother about the true identity of her father. Her mother has no idea what is going on, but Liv isn’t listening anymore. She opened the gift from her father, a necklace. Once she touched it, she was able to see her dead grandmother brushing her mother’s hair. Scared, Liv drives away only to be stopped by Constantine yet again. He is able to explain to her that she has the gift to see into the afterlife, and her father’s necklace is what gives her the ability to focus that gift.
Driving is Chaz’ cab, Liv is doing her best to get more information about her father when they are attacked by the demon again. The cab crashes into a telephone pole, and John is thrown from the car, knocked unconscious. He then has a vision of the young girl, Astra, he failed to save. She is once again being drug into hell by a demon. He wakes up just in time to get Liv to safety, but Chas is killed by an electric cable before he can get clear.
Constantine takes Liv to her father’s old cabin, which holds in its basement the “Batcave” of the occult, holding many old relics and texts. It is here that John is able to determine the name of the demon chasing them, Furcifer. It’s a demon that harnesses electricty as a source of power, hence its abilty to control the powerlines that killed Chaz. Liv also learns she has the power of “scrying,” which enables her to point out on a map where an evil occurance will take place. John then comes up with a plan to stop the demon, but it requires Liv to be bait.
John heads to Ivy University to talk to someone, but not before having another run in with Manny, who implies to John that their still may be a chance to save his soul, which was damned to hell for losing Astra.
John visits an old “friend,” Ritchie, who was also there the night Astra was taken. He is taking all sorts of drugs to cope with what he saw. he is not pleased when John asks his help to stop Furcifer. It takes blackmail to get him to agree.
Liv is waiting for John back at the cabin, and sees her father in a mirror. John returns with dinner, and explains that the mirror holds reflections of the past. Things are wonky in this cabin according to him. That is made 100% clear when Chas enters and starts cooking dinner, very much alive.
Bribing a security guard, Constantine takes Liv to the roof of a skyscraper to set the trab for Furcifer. While they are waiting, Liv gets John to reveal how his mother died during childbirth, and how his father always blamed him for her death. He started studying the occult as a teenager to find a way to bring his mother back. They are interrrputed by the security guard, who is now possessed by the demon.
They are able to lure the demon into the trap, but to mess with John’s head, he takes John’s form. The demon also brings forth Astra’s spirit. In exchange for the demon’s freedom, it will sent Astra’s soul free. Before John can agree, Liv uses her father’s necklace to see that this “Astra” is a fake, to which John sends both demons back to hell.
Ritchie, who hacked in and turned off all the city’s electrical girds to de-power furcifer, is giving Liv a ride home. He explains what happened with Astra. She was possessed by a demon back in England, and John thought the best way to defeat it was to conjure a more powerful demon to take it away. Instead, this demon, Nergal, killed Astra and took her soul instead. As they are driving, Liv notices they are driving past one of the streets her scrying indicated earlier. She gets out to see a young boy lying on the ground, savagely murdered.
John is at a local bar when Chas comes in and hand him Jasper’s necklace. John’s plan worked, and he was able to scare Liv off, saving her from this life. Chas also shows him a map of the U.S., which Liv scryed, with multiple locations all across the country. Chas says that if John really wants to make for what happened to Astra, this is a good way to start. After another meeting with Manny, John begins his mission. Somewhere unknown, a woman is also aware of John’s mission, her whole apartment filled with paintings of him…
- A lot of Easter Eggs in Jasper’s cabin, including the Helmet of Fate
- Ivy University is where Ray Palmer was a professor. Does this mean Constantine, Arrow, and Flash are in the same universe? Hmm.
Pretty good pilot episode for a character I don’t really know a whole lot about. I’ve read comics here and there, but not where I’ve done the research. The only thing I can do is make comparisions to the movie. From what I DO know about the comic, this version is much more faithful. I can definitely see people making Supernatural comparisions, so I hope they are able to set a direction that makes this show its own.