Constantine Recap And Review – S01E13 – Waiting For The Man


The Season One finale of Constantine pulled out all the stops to deliver one hell of a creepy and disturbing episode, Waiting for the Man.  Starting off eerie, Waiting for the Man quickly becomes an episode that could’ve been ripped from today’s headlines.  This is one episode audiences will never forget.

Spoilerific Recap

A poor rural southerner, known as the Man, enters a room with three girls sleeping in one bed.  He wakes them up and tells them that he needs their help for his wedding night.  In another location, a girl, Vesta Whitney, approaches an abandoned merry-go-round.  An old man suddenly appears, telling Vesta that she’s going to die.  The three girls arrive and tell the old man to leave.  They approach Vesta and tell her that they’re married to the Man.  Showing her their “wedding rings”, they reveal strangulation bruises on their necks.  They note that if she marries the Man, she’ll never be lonely again.  When Vesta agrees to the marriage, they lead her back to their home.  The Man watches from a distance, but is approached by a security guard.  Pretending to have a broken down truck, the man subdues the security guard.

Detective Jim Corrigan meets with Constantine about a case involving a murdered detective, Dupre, who was working on a case involving three abducted girls.  The abductions follow each of three lunar eclipses.  Dupre was murdered on the final eclipse.

The Man is in the home of the security guard.  He takes a blowtorch and prepares for a branding session.

Constantine, Zed, and Corrigan are at the cemetery attempting to open a tomb.  Zed again gets visions of Corrigan dead and surrounded by a green aura (foreseeing the Spectre).  They pull Dupre’s body out and Constantine uses holy water to reveal ritualistic markings.  They find that the Devil’s branding irons were used on Dupre.  Constantine concludes that the three girls were abducted by a Satanist to use as sacrifices under the blood moon.  Dupre’s corpse suddenly comes to life, possessed by Gary Lester.  He warns Constantine that there’s a price on his head.

A man begs Papa Midnite for his life.  Papa Midnite offers him a deal to assist in the capture of Constantine.  The man agrees, prompting Papa Midnite to tie the him up and kill him with a large dagger.

Vesta awakens in an abandoned house.

Constantine, Zed, and Corrigan pay Vesta’s distraught mother, Anna Kate, a visit.  Anna Kate believes that Vesta ran away because her divorced father never paid any attention to her.

Vesta explores the house finding it infested with flies and adorned with Satanic symbols.  The three girls find Vesta and get her to follow them.

Zed confronts Constantine about Gary’s warning.  Constantine believes he cannot escape his own fate.  When Constantine turns the table on the questioning, Zed reveals that she had a vision of Corrigan dead.  Corrigan interrupts them, prompting Zed to leave the room.

In the kitchen, Zed speaks with Anna Kate, who quickly becomes inhabited by Manny.  Zed asks Manny if she should warn Corrigan about his future death.  Manny tells Zed that her gift is the ability to make choices, unlike angels.

Constantine places Vesta’s toothbrush and leftover hair from her hairbrush into his mouth.  Making a quick incantation, he electrocutes himself with a broken lamp.  Plunged into a vision, he sees through Vesta’s eyes.  When the vision ends, Constantine falls to the ground.  He reveals that he used an old Tibetan method known as “piercing the veil.”  A combination of the subject’s DNA and cardiac arrest allows the person to connect with the subject’s spirit.  Constantine now knows the location of Vesta’s abduction.

The three girls prepare Vesta for her wedding day.  Vesta wants to invite her mother, but says that the smell of the house is less than desirable.  The demeanor of the three girls change.  Vesta apologizes for offending them.  They forgive her and tell her that once she’s married, she won’t notice the smell anymore.

The man Papa Midnite killed is brought back as a zombie.  Papa Midnite makes the zombie breath in dust that contains Constantine’s essence.  He commands the zombie to track down Constantine and kill him.

Constantine, Zed, and Corrigan arrive at the location of Vesta’s abduction.  Corrigan detects that Zed is holding something back and asks her to tell him what it is.  She denies hiding anything.  When he touches her hand, she receives another vision of his death.

Hearing a door slam, Constantine enters a funhouse.  He’s quickly attacked by Papa Midnite’s zombie.  Papa Midnite speaks through the zombie and controls the zombie’s every move.  Corrigan enters and disables the zombie with a headshot.  Constantine tells Zed that they’re limited on time in finding Vesta and that she needs to push herself to get a vision.  Zed goes into a vision and sees the security guard bloodied and trying to write something.  Zed breaks from the vision and scrawls the backwards writing the security guard was communicating.  Using a mirror, they get an address.

Papa Midnite blows the dust essence onto his crow.  He commands the crow to find Constantine.

They arrive at the address and Constantine is greeted by Papa Midnite’s cawing crow, but he thinks nothing of it.  They proceed to enter the house.  A noise leads them upstairs.  They enter the attic and find the security guard dead and crucified.  Constantine notices the crow again and tells Zed and Corrigan to leave.

The Man enters to a veiled Vesta surrounded by the three girls.  He asks if Vesta will marry him.  She says yes and he leads her down a hallway.

Papa Midnite, armed with a shotgun, arrives at Constantine’s location.  He enters the house and proceeds up the stairs.  He sees Constantine downstairs and quickly shoots him.  Constantine tells Papa Midnite that if he’s killed, Vesta’s death will be on his hands.  Papa Midnite thinks it’s worth it because Constantine’s death will free Papa Midnite’s sister’s soul from Hell.  Constantine knows that no one has that sort of power except for the Brujeria — of who Papa Midnite now works for.  Papa Midnite shoots Constantine in the head.  In a flash, Constantine reverts back to the dead body of the security guard.  The real Constantine jumps from upstairs and ambushes Papa Midnite — knocking him unconscious.  Constantine reveals that he animated the dead body of the security guard and put a glamour spell on it to make it look like him.

Driving, Constantine calls Zed, who reveals that she and Corrigan have a suspect: a man who killed his wife six years ago on their wedding night because Satan told him to do so; this was after he found out she wasn’t a virgin.  Zed texts the address to Constantine.

The Man performs the wedding between him and Vesta in front of a Satanic alter.  Vesta, scared, has a change of heart, but he talks her into kneeling down.  When the Man attempts to put the “wedding ring” (a rope used to strangle) on Vesta, she runs and knocks over a lantern, causing a fire.  Vesta runs out to the back.

Constantine arrives and exits his car.  Armed with Papa Midnite’s shotgun, he enters the darkened house.  Going upstairs and entering a room, he discovers a foul smell and a large bed.  Pulling back a blanket, he finds the rotting corpses of the three girls.

Outside, the Man hunts for Vesta.  She hides from him beneath a tarp.

Constantine moves through the house looking for the assailant, but runs into Corrigan and Zed.  Finding the back door open, they exit to search the grounds.

Vesta comes out from hiding and is quickly captured by the Man.  He proceeds to drag her away.  Constantine sees them and calls out to the Man, who drops an unconscious Vesta.  Corrigan intercepts the Man.  Quickly, Zed takes a shovel and beats the Man.  She doesn’t stop until Corrigan intervenes.  As Corrigan arrests the Man, Constantine asks how he’ll be punished for killing children.  Constantine proposes their own justice.  Corrigan takes the handcuffs off and tells the Man to run.  As Zed leads Vesta out of the woods, they hear a single gunshot.

Constantine performs an incantation over the corpses of the three girls, freeing their souls.

Papa Midnite awakens just as two cops enter the house.

At a bar, Zed asks if Corrigan believes in fate.  She reveals to him that she saw him dead.  Zed doesn’t know how his fate can be changed.  Corrigan tells her that if he’s going to die, he’s going to make it count.  As Constantine enters, he sees Corrigan kiss Zed.  Zed turns and sees Constantine watching them.

Under a rainy bridge, Manny visits Constantine.  Constantine is disturbed by the fact that he’s seeing true human evil for the first time.  He knows what happens when the Rising Darkness meets the worst of humanity.  Manny reassures Constantine that they can win this war.  Constantine knows he can and is only worried about what he’ll do with his free time after he drives every demon back to Hell.

Papa Midnite is in the back of squad car being driven to a police station when time suddenly freezes.  The back door automatically opens and Papa Midnite exits.  Manny reveals himself when Papa Midnite demands to know who it is.  Manny then frees Papa Midnite from his cuffs.  When Papa Midnite asks if he’s free, Manny tells him that he gave up his freedom when he agreed to work for the Brujeria.  Manny then cancels the contract on Constantine.  Papa Midnite questions if Manny works for the Brujeria.  Manny tells him that he doesn’t — the Brujeria actually work for him.

“Hell” Yeah! Moments

  • Gary Lester possessing Detective Dupre’s corpse and communicating with Constantine.  The guy’s dead and damned and he still feels like he needs to repay Constantine — now that’s a friend.
  • Constantine proving why he’s considered such a great con man and tricking Papa Midnite into thinking that he killed him.
  • Zed using a shovel to beat the hell out of the Man.
  • Constantine’s new longer trench coat.  Did anybody else notice it at the end?  He now looks evermore like his comic book counterpart.

The Devil is in the Details (References)

  • Tonight’s episode was based on Hellblazer #4 (April 1988), titled Waiting for the Man.
  • The security company the guard works for is Carswell Security Services.  “Carswell” is a reference to Alastair Carswell, a minor magician who Constantine met in Hellbalzer #250 (February 2009).  Carswell was going to use a sickle he stole from the British Museum to sacrifice a baby on New Year’s Eve to gain immortality.  Constantine eventually stopped him.
  • More hints at Jim Corrigan becoming the Spectre.  We see it every time Zed touches him and gets a vision.
  • Gary Lester, who first appeared in A Feast of Friends and also one of the original Newcastle Crew, possess a corpse and warns Constantine about a price on his head.  Gary’s possession of the corpse is an homage to Gary in the comics who actually appears as a ghost to Constantine.
  • One of the addresses the team goes to is “4 Delano St.”  This is a reference to Jamie Delano, writer of Hellblazer #4 (April 1988), titled Waiting for the Man.
  • We see images of the blood moon in multiple shots.  The blood moon is a prominent theme in the current The New 52: Futures End series — a story in which John Constantine is a central figure.

Final Thoughts

Every successful series has at least one episode that will make people say, “Whoa, that was messed up, but it was awesome!”  The X-Files had one when they premiered Home — an episode so disturbing that the series received its first viewer discretion warning.  Constantine‘s “messed up, but awesome” episode happened tonight in its Season One finale.  Waiting for the Man was truly disturbing because it didn’t involve demons or supernatural evil — it showed the extent of human evil.

Waiting for the Man borrows its title and story from one of John Constantine’s earliest stories found in Hellblazer #4.  The episode was a bit different though because it didn’t involve the Resurrecton Crusade or Constantine’s niece.  It would’ve been nice had they tied it to those things because Zed escaped from that particular cult herself.  Nonetheless, the themes and ambiance were translated well to television.  The only other gripe I have with tonight’s Season One finale is the absence of Chas Chandler.  I can only image what he would’ve done to the Man because Chas has a daughter of his own.  You would think that a season finale episode would have all the main characters present.

I have to commend NBC and the writers for not pulling any punches.  The tone was set perfectly in the first few minutes — little girls dressed in white dresses and a dilapidated carnival.  It still brings shivers up my spine.  What really clinched it was the ending.  They could’ve ended it with an arrest, but Constantine questioned true justice — and that’s when Corrigan and our mage carried out their brand of it.  In turn, it basically posed the question to us: what would we do?

The other plot point that people will be talking about is the revelation of Manny’s true agenda — leader of the Brujeria and, most likely, the architect of the Rising Darkness.  What’s in it for him?  Is Manny himself a fallen angel?  And why is Constantine involved?  Why not just leave Constantine in the dark?  Or could this all be some sort of misdirection?  These are all questions that should be answered in …

Second Two.  Let’s address that white elephant in the room.  Will we even get a Season Two?  If Constantine proved anything tonight, it’s that the series surely deserves some more chances at building a mythology.  The show is only getting better.  With word on the street that it may jump to another network and get a name change, we have our fingers crossed.

Constantine‘s Waiting for the Man is one of the best episodes in this fledgling series.  Made even more relevant by today’s headlines of abducted children and disturbing outcomes, this is an episode that’ll truly keep you up at night.  It shows that true horrors are probably more real than you can imagine.

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