Constantine returns from its hiatus with season 1, episode 9, “The Saint of Last Resorts Pt. 2,” and John has gotten himself in deep.
Probably not a good idea
In the midseason finale, we saw Anne-Marie shoot John in order to save an innocent baby from the attacking invunche. Tonight’s episode opens with John calling the demon Pazuzu into his body, which scares the invunche off. Manny appears, angry that John didn’t ask God for help instead.
“It’s not that I can’t help you, John,” Manny says bitterly. “I won’t.”
Zed wakes up in the back of a van, experiencing visions of Anne-Marie praying inside a cage. When the driver pulls over to give her another dose of sedative, she turns the needle around on him. “I’d rather die than go back there,” she says, before driving off without him.
Chas finds John down in the sewer and helps him back to the surface. Constantine thinks he has a few days of “incubation” before the demon takes full possession of his body, but things are already progressing quickly. He shoves Chas to the side and runs off, already struggling to keep Pazuzu from taking over his body.
Less than ideal
Chas calls Zed and tells her what’s going on, saying he needs helps with the contingency plan if they can’t get the demon out of John. That contingency plan is killing the man in order to defeat the demon. It’s a little less than ideal. Zed says she’ll hop on the next plane down to Mexico.
You know what’s also not ideal? Waking up with pieces of various bodies scattered around you. John’s right in the middle of the carnage and the police, naturally, take him in.
John is brought to prison and led to a room with Stanley Gibson from the British Consulate, who is there is do the best he can with the situation. Unfortunately, John killed five Mexican nationals, no matter that they were members of the gang Santa Muerte. It could be weeks before John is released, and that’s just not good enough for him. He gets physical with Gibson and is dragged away.
Zed arrives in Mexico and Chas tells her that once Pazuzu completely takes over John’s body, the man’s soul is delivered to hell and the demon gets free reign on earth. In other words, that would be really, really, really bad.
More work to do
John makes friends with fellow inmate Julio by trading Gibson’s wallet for some information. He learned that the Santa Muerte inmates already have it in for him, but before he can get anything else out of his new BFF, Manny shows up to berate him some more.
It’s clear that John’s struggling to keep the demon down, and while Manny thinks he was pretty stupid to invite him in, he doesn’t exactly want to lose his best man on the ground.
“I’m not ready to die,” John says.
“Are you afraid of what’s waiting for you?” Manny asks.
“No, I earned what I got coming to me,” John replies. “I just…I have more work to do.”
Zed and Chas confront Anne-Marie, and after she learns John cast a demon king into his body (“Selfish wanker!”), Zed lays into her about what she did to him. Anne-Marie is shocked that Constantine has “heaven on speed-dial,” and agrees to help find him so they can try to save him.
Gibson meets with a mysterious man in his office, and it seems they had a deal. Gibson made sure John wouldn’t be leaving the prison anytime soon, and as payment the man attacks him.
Back at the prison, John asks to be brought to a church so he can find equipment for his exorcism, and while Julio complies, it was a trap all along. Three Santa Muerte gang members corner John, but the demon inside him comes to his defense, and the blood flows out from under the door to the chapel.
Doing what’s necessary
The next morning, John wakes up surrounded by inmates, but they’re all terrified of him now. He scares them off, but keeps Julio close. He needs to find a way out of the prison so he can cast the demon out of his body.
That’s when Anne-Marie shows up, though it’s only an astral projection. She tells John that she almost feels bad for Zed — one way or another he’ll end up disappointing her. It isn’t said, but we can hear the “like you disappointed me” tacked onto the end of that.
Zed and Chas roll up to the prison and Chas hands her various pieces of equipment to perform the exercise. But how are they going to get in? Zed pretends to be a hooker, of course, and sashays her way through the gate. Chas’ entrance is a bit more painful, but through the blood we can see him smiling at a job well done.
What’s plan C?
John visits with Zed, and it seems Pazuzu is smitten with her (or he just has a lot of pent up sexual tension). John keeps him down, though, and just in time for Anne-Marie to walk through the door, too. It seems they’re friends again, though she does make it a point to tell Zed to run the other way once they’re done with this exorcism.
Anne-Marie begins the ritual, but the demon is in too deep for it to work. Before they can go any further, the mysterious man struts in, and we learn that he is the original serpent, The Trickster, The Tempter. He was sent there to kill John, but he decides to wait because as soon as Pazuzu takes complete control, John will be his ally.
Anne-Marie isn’t going to wait for that to happen, though. She stabs The Trickster with the knife that was meant to be John’s last resort, and both the weapon and the demon disappear.
John comes to again, and he’s barely hanging on to his humanity. They decide to bring him back to the house, hoping that the various enchantments in the structure will be enough to weaken the demon and allow them to cast it out. With a big dose of heroin to knock John out and some pretty quick thinking on Anne-Marie’s part, they escape from the prison.
The girls gather religious icons while Chas sets John up in a bed. John tells Anne-Marie she’ll need to be the one to do the ritual because she’s had a divine epiphany — she saw proof of heaven and hell in Newcastle, and so she has true spiritual conviction.
Anne-Marie begins the exorcism, but the demon refuses to heed her command. He comes to the surface and begins using their weaknesses against them. Of note, we learn that John made Chas into the “freak” he is today, and Pazuzu also says Zed (whom he calls by her real name, Mary) will never be able to escape the darkness John dragged her into.
Anne-Marie is about to give up on the exorcism when Zed tells her that she needs to get rid of her guilt. But she doesn’t need to forgive John; she needs to forgive herself for introducing him to magic. That’s not her fault, but if she lets the ritual get away from her, and Pazuzu takes over John’s body, that will be her fault.
Anne-Marie squares her shoulders and finishes the ritual. The brand on John’s arm fades away, and the first thing out of his mouth is, “I don’t know about you lot, but I could murder a bloody drink.”
It’s going to be a bumpy ride
We see Manny back away from the balcony above, followed by Anne-Marie advising Zed to tell John about her past.
The final words out of John’s mouth don’t bode well for our favorite characters moving forward: “And if you’re sticking around for the ride, you better buckle up. What we turned out in Mexico is just the start. We’re poking a stick at an evil the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in centuries.”
John may seem upbeat in front of his friends, but as the episode fades to black and he’s left by himself, there’s a look on his face that’s both unreadable and disconcerting. What’s going on in that brain of yours, John Constantine?