Review: Constantine, Ep. 5 "Danse Vadou"

Review: Constantine, Ep. 5 "Danse Vadou"


Season 1, Episode 5

“Danse Vadou”

Rating: F-

Oh, Constantine. It is not looking good for you, old friend. This was the most atrocious hour of television I’ve seen this season, and that’s saying something because there have been some bad shows debut this year.

When a fashion model of a horribly disfiguring accident or something like that (honestly, this is how forgettable the plot to this episode actually is) she kills herself, and her vengeful spirit pointlessly stalks the back alleys of New Orleans to murder people and make her as ‘pretty as she is’. This means she carves up their faces, the same way hers is carved up. This strikes me as strange, since she killed herself. Ghosts generally have unfinished business, and it’s generally tied to their death being ill-timed. Sudden deaths, murders; these are the making for a ghost. A calculated decision is generally not a recipe for a vengeful spirit, just a morose one. As it stands, her ghost can travel all over New Orleans and claim victims where she pleases. Later in the episode, all of these issues are explained away by chalking up everything to voodoo gone wrong.

In the midst of this logistically problematic storyline, we have the re-arrival of Papa Midnite. It turns out he is responsible for these dead people ambling around New Orleans again, and what you get is some seriously misguided cultural appropriation. I know that voodoo is an actual thing, and I highly doubt gatherings happen in derelict parts of New Orleans, by a pile of candles and pigs blood, with chickens everywhere. I’m not going to pretend to be learned in the practices of voodoo, but I do know that it’s always the same, across the board, whenever voodoo is used a plot device in any given television show. It comes off 100 percent as occult bull, no matter what.

The story is all over the place, and what there is of it is kind of lousy. Once again, Constantine finds itself trying to figure out if it should be a procedural or a show about the supernatural. We get the full team this time, Chas, Zed, and John all work together with the cop assigned the case to find the culprit and bring them down, but from the stumbles of the cold open to the total lack of climax at the end, this episode isn’t worth dwelling on. It’s scattered, it doesn’t know it’s own characters (at one point Chas acts like hitting a ghost with a car is going to be the worst thing in the world, even though that same ghost just de-materialized right in front of him OH AND HE WORKS WITH JOHN CONSTANTINE!!!!) and it overall leaves you wanting to turn off the TV long before the episode has dragged itself, beaten and bloody, to its conclusion.

I truly hope Constantine can find it’s footing and that we can stop this roller coaster of good to terrible. I’d even take mediocre at this point, but the bad episodes? The episodes that see Constantine playing dress up as any-given-profession? This has got to stop.

Stuff And Things

– “Don’t mind her, she’s just, uh… Psychic.”

– “The driver’s in the boot, he’s havin’ a bit of a kip.” Ever since the whole Philosopher/Sorcerer thing with Harry Potter, it always feels weird when I hear the Queen’s English in an American show

– Seriously, the weird, clueless racism of this show has got to stop. First the whole thing with the gypsies happened, add in some off-putting one liners and one major helping of misrepresented religion and you have…. apparently a show airing in 2014.

Categories: Entertainment