NBC’s Constantine Rage of Caliban TV Show Review. Constantine: Season 1, Episode 6: Rage of Caliban opened up some wounds for John Constantine when the case of the week involved a murderous spirit possessing children, which had John’s past trauma resurface. Despite missing a team member during the episode, we definitely saw some chemistry between John and Chas with an unforgettable performance by Max Charles who played the possessed child Henry.
This episode definitely went up a notch as we see a murder take place during the opening scene inside a mansion, where it was a bloody mess everywhere and we see a man hovering above the ceiling. The man drops down to floor as we see a little girl huddled up against the wall. Nothing says scary like seeing innocent yet disturbed children. During the next day, the police arrive to canvass the scene as we see two cops arguing. As the disagreement ensues, the little girl’s eyes turn black and the coffee mug suddenly shatters on the wall. Sounds really creepy right?
We go over to John (Matt Ryan) where he gets into some trouble after waking up next to a woman who is already seeing someone else. John gets out of there and heads to the cabin where he meets up with Chas (Charles Halford). Not having Zed around felt odd, especially since she could’ve been useful for this case. At least Zed’s absence was explained, saying she was in art class. The duo soon head out to Birmingham, Alabama to investigate the crime scene. As Constantine wanders around the mansion for clues, our friendly angel Manny (Harold Perrineau) shows up as he witnesses the occult detective at work. John uses some Mayan magic to see what happened at the mansion, with John finding out that the girl was the attacker and was possessed by the spirit of a homicidal child.
The spirit goes in search of another host, which turns out to be the innocent Henry. This little guy is afraid of monsters so his mother Claire (Laura Regan) tries to calm him down while his father Daryl (Niall Matter) wants his son to toughen up. The boy has no idea that a demon is about to enter his body and take over. That scene of the closet opening slowly and the silhouette of the spirit coming from Henry’s window definitely brought in chills.
Despite not having Zed’s help, John does get some extra hands from a lady friend who acquires some information on the recent murders at the hands of the children. His friend turns out to be a lawyer whom he helped during a case involving her dead husband. John’s only lead comes from the local asylum out of all places where he meets murderer Marcello Panneti, who is paying for his crimes; he’s in a catatonic state and is missing a few fingers thanks to an axe.
Back at Henry’s house, the possessed child puts his plan in motion by trying to scare his parents. He first gets the dad by making noise and using a light spark to scare him and scatter light-blubs on the floor to hurt his feet. Henry then gives his father a warning to be careful. On top of that, Claire sees Henry with a carving knife and tries to get it away from him as a crow goes smashing into the door. Definitely a sign of bad things to come for this family.
Constantine and Chas go through the cabin full of artifacts to find something useful to locate the spirit. Constantine concocts a locator to find Henry’s house and wait for the spirit to strike. Nothing happens, but the next day we see Henry crack a bully’s skull at school. John then visits the family posing as a school chancellor to see Henry and confirms that he is possessed revealing that he is an exorcist. Daryl doesn’t believe in a word he says, so he punches him and gets John arrested.
John spends a night in the slammer talking with a cellmate, whom Manny soon possesses to offer some guidance for John. Manny can be irritating on the show at times during his unannounced appearances, but we soon learn a bit about John’s childhood with Manny claiming that he saved his life once when he was young. After believing what her son is capable of, Claire bails John out and asks for his help. After learning of John’s past credentials with exorcism (Newcastle anyone?), John suggests a séance to lure the spirit out of the boy. Claire does what she can to protect her child, even sedating him in order to save his life.
Claire meets with John and Chas as the trio drive to Marcello’s house where the spirit came from. The three are entered into a séance, but to no avail as a three-legged deer enters the door. Chas thinks that Marcello may have killed his parents without being possessed, so the other murders can’t have a connection. John’s only plan of action is to exorcise Henry, who wakes up in time for Halloween night.
As another fight takes place between his parents, Henry harnesses his powers against them. John realizes that conflict seems to draw the spirit out. Henry runs out of the house with Chas failing to corner him after being sandwiched between two cars. With Chas assuring that he’d survive, John goes after the boy and follows him into a Halloween funhouse. John wanders into the house with a mirror for protection. John soon gets jumped by scary looking scarecrows and sees a man in an electric chair with lots of skulls on the walls. Henry, who is dressed as a zombie, distracts John as the warlock accidentally drops the mirror due to the machines lunging at him. With no backup, John decides to draw the spirit out by reminding him of his tough childhood and recognizes the spirit as Marcello himself. After using a binding spell, John lifts the possession off of Henry.
Marcello’s soul seemed to have left his body due to the traumatic events he faced, so he went on his killing spree to possess other kids. With the spirit out, John manages to put him back to his own body where he belongs.
In the end, Rage of Caliban brought in the horror that the Hellblazer comics is known for. One of the terrorizing episodes of the season, it felt like this was the second episode after the pilot due to Zed’s (Angelica Celaya) absence. Hopefully with NBC keeping the season at 13 episodes, we can soon find out what the rising darkness is before the show’s lights go out.
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