Constantine season 1, episode 5, “Danse Vaudou,” just finished airing, introducing us to Jim Corrigan for the very first time.
Eye of the beholder
In New Orleans, Louisiana, a girl walks down an alley, ignoring a cop casually urinating against a wall. She then bumps into a woman wearing a surgical mask who asks, “Do you think I’m pretty?” The girl rebuffs her, and as a reward the woman in the mask stabs her with a pair of fabric shears. The cop, having witnessed the murder, gets a few shots off, but they don’t do any damage. Then the woman runs away, disappearing into the night.
Back at the house, Zed is having trouble getting visions off the scrying map. Meanwhile, John is working on a zoetrope that belonged to Queen Victoria, whose court magician used it on his séance guests to induce hypnotic states. “Gather ’round, it’s story time,” he tells Zed and Chas.
Zed looks into the contraption and watches as it animates a story of a man shooting a bear. Right away she gets a vision of a woman teaching her young son, Jimmy, how to shoot a gun. When she snaps out of it, Chas notices new blood drops on the map pointing to New Orleans. It looks like there’s now a connection between Zed and the map.
Different shade of evil
John quickly determines the woman in the mask was either a non-human or ex-human killer. The cop that witnessed the murder shows up and talks to the group. He introduces himself as Jim Corrigan, and Zed recognizes he’s the kid from her vision.
Elsewhere, a teenager named Philip grabs a ride to the city with an older man, who decides he wants some physical payment in return. The zoetrope is still affecting Zed, and she sees a vision of a tree with a scar and a car coming at her. At the same time, Philip disappears from the old man’s car and shows up on the street, bloody and bruised. The old man crashes to avoid the kid.
When the gang show up to the crime scene, Jim arrests John, who had called ahead to warn them of the accident. Jim believes he’s the killer, and takes him to the station.
Knowing is half the battle
As John is taken away, he sends the other two off on their own missions. Chas goes back to the alley where the girl was murdered and saves a man from the woman in the mask. Unfortunately, that means she turns her attention to Chas, revealing a slashed up face under her mask before she stabs him as well.
“What did I shoot in that alley?” Jim asks John. John explains that they’re not fighting people, but spirits. He casually breaks out of his handcuffs and the pair of them figure out who the two killers were when they were alive.
The woman in the mask was Masaki Ross, a model who had her face slashed by another model, and then committed suicide. Philip, meanwhile, was the first one to die on that particular road. But they both died years ago, so why are these spirits rising now?
It’s my party
John talks to the other model, while Zed talks to Philip’s grandmother and Chas comes back to life right in front of the paramedics. It turns out that the grieving family members both went to a guy who could talk to spirits — Papa Midnite. John decides to crash his party.
“Kind of hard to find a dessert to pair with pig’s blood,” John says as he waltzes in during a séance between Midnite and a woman who lost her husband to cancer. John tells Midnite his magic isn’t working properly, but Midnite knocks John out and throws him in the trunk of his car.
But Midnite isn’t stupid. He goes back to the widow’s house and sees that her husband is truly back from the grave. Making another miraculous escape, John is ready when Midnite asks for his help. He’ll assist in righting Midnite’s mistakes, if Midnite will talk to his sister for John.
Age before beauty
Jim meets Zed on the side of the road where she’s trying to keep anyone else from crashing. They decide to pick up Philip themselves in order to prevent him from murdering again. When he disappears from their car and shows up on the road in front of them, Zed floors it and the car disperses his spirit. But it can’t be that easy, can it?
John and Midnite are reluctantly working together to find and burn the bodies of those whose spirits rose from the dead. The alliance isn’t easy, with both men touting that their magic is bigger and badder than the other man’s. In the end, though, neither one of them can complete the ritual needed to send the spirits back home.
That’s when John has a breakthrough. It’s because of the surviving family members’ guilt that the spirits stayed on earth. With their consent, Midnite and John can complete the spell, and the spirits are sent back to where they came from.
After Philip leaves, Jim says he recognizes Zed from when he worked in the missing persons department. We learn that she was reported missing by her family, but nothing more. Jim kisses her hand to say goodbye, and Zed sees him covered in blood with a green aura around him. We won’t spoil this for the non-Hellblazer fans, but just know that this is extremely significant.
Midnite offers John a chance to speak with his mother, but John declines, despite the fact that it’s what he’s been after for most of his life. Instead, John has Midnite ask his sister Cedilla about the Rising Darkness. Midnite’s answer isn’t very comforting:
“All your efforts are in vain. A darkness is coming, heralded by someone close to you. Someone who will betray you.”