Published on February 10th, 2015 | by Brad0
Constantine – Angels and Ministers of Grace review
Angels and Ministers of Grace is a battle between the rational mind and the irrational heart, between what we know to be right and what we desire most deeply. The episode opens with Manny destroying the scrying map, removing John’s crutch as he sees it, and with it burning any lingering connection to whatsherface from the pilot. He then sends the crew to an emergency room to look into the case of a woman admitted with necrotic veins. It becomes immediately apparent that the woman, a relapsed drug addict, has been attacked by something dark and evil. After Zed touches her to try and get a sense of what happened to her, she is almost immediately struck down by a seizure.
It turns out Zed has a mass on her temporal lobe, which may be related to her visions. John requests that Manny helps her, and when the angel refuses, John traps him in the body of the human he’s possessing at that moment. Temporarily overwhelmed by the culture shock of sensations like touch and smell, to the point of throwing up at the smell of the corpse of another victim of the evil at work this week, this is the most development we’ve had for Manny for a while, and probably the best showcase for Harold Perrineau so far this season. The moment in which he gives into lust is both laden with pathos and utterly hilarious.
The cause of all the madness and violence is a shard of an ancient relic called the Black Diamond. For those not versed in DC lore, the Black Diamond, also known as the Heart of Darkness, is a mystical artefact which contains the imprisoned soul of the ancient dark sorcerer Eclipso. Through contact with the Diamond, Eclipso is able to possess bodies of the living, and has been a recurring villain for the Justice League since his creation in 1963 by Bob Haney and Lee Elias. The influence of the Diamond is causing someone in the hospital to flip out and brutally murder individuals who are squandering their second chances, and given that Manny has just convinced Zed not to have the mass removed as her visions are from God, a sudden race against time ensues.
Harold Perrineau has largely been a wasted presence in Constantine thus far, but he absolutely owns every moment of Angels and Ministers of Grace. Vulnerable for the first time, his exploration of his newfound – albeit temporary – humanity is quite moving, cut with just the right amount of humour. He’s a great foil for Constantine, and shares much better chemistry with Matt Ryan than Angelica Celaya or Charles Halford. The show could have done with more of their snarky bantering.
Next week, the season – and possibly the series – comes to an end. Taking us out with a bang, I hope, we get the returns of Papa Midnite and Jim Corrigan. Hoping for something great, to take us into season 2.