Published on December 9th, 2014 | by Brad0
Constantine – Blessed Are the Damned review
Blessed Are the Damned takes Constantine to rural Kentucky, with a bit of Christian revivalism and Southern gothic as the backdrop this week. No Chas, so it’s mostly the John and Zed show this week, although we also get to see a bit more of Manny, which is always a bonus.
We open with Pastor Zachary, a creepy-looking second-generation preacher whose late Daddy used to handle poisonous snakes during his sermons. Looking to emulate him, Zachary wields a rattlesnake during his sermon. As is befitting such an act of stupidity, he is bitten on the hand and drops down dead. And then he awakens. Compelled by a power higher than his own, he takes the hand of a crippled member of his congregation, and the man’s leg grows back. Praise the lord! Not if John Constantine has anything to say about it…
Back with our regular cast, Zed has a vision of snakes in her art class, sending her and John off to see the Pastor. Chas couldn’t come because budget constraints. I really wish they could keep the whole cast together for a few episodes. Something about the miraculous healings seems off, and John recognises that it’s something he needs to stop. It’s a pretty rote formula by this point, and seven episodes in, Constantine shouldn’t be falling into such traps.
It’s revealed that, as Zachary’s soul was being carried off, he was able to filch a feather from the wing of the angel doing the deed. This brought him back, but also brought her crashing to Earth too; mortal, in corporeal form. The magic of the angel’s feather seems to be healing those it touches, but unseen by the Pastor there is death; a choked river filled with dead fish is the first sign, and then those touched by the feather start to become demonic. John and Zed must get the feather back from Zachary, and return it to its owner, Imogen, before she dies and the change in the healed becomes permanent.
There are some interesting notions raised in Blessed Are the Damned, relating to faith, free will and predestination, but it never really follows through on any of it. Zed’s grappling with her own faith, and the confirmation that angels are real and walk amongst us should be a huge moment for her, but she shrugs it off fairly quickly all things considered. There are questions too about how much of a put-on John’s cynicism really is, illustrated beautifully in moments like when he’s sat on the pew against the doors, holding back the evil, but it never does more than scratch the surface.
Blessed Are the Damned is the latest in Constantine’s line of “I really want to like this more than I do; must do better” episodes. After seven episodes, the good stuff still leads by 4-3, and this so nearly made it 5-2, but it’s not quite good enough. That said, not quite good enough for Constantine is a damn sight better than most other TV programmes out there, so it’s still well worth a look.