I was initially really disappointed that this episode did not take place in Hell. I mean… it’s a show about an exorcist; a Hell episode was not farfetched or anything. I convinced myself that that was what the cliffhanger at the end of “The Saint of Last Resorts – Part 1” was hinting at. As it turns out, I was wrong. Oh well. Guess my lust for brimstone will just have to wait. After the disappointment of the lack of Hell wore off, I was pleasantly surprised by how truly entertaining “The Saint of Last Resorts – Part 2” was.
Thank Mr.Scratch himself, because there was no “crime of the week” plot line for this episode! Instead, the plot picks up where it left off in Part One with Constantine lying on the floor of sewer, mortally wounded by Anna-Marie’s sacrificial gunshot wound, almost certainly about to be killed by a lurking demon. Not ready to die, Constantine decides to heal himself by inviting the demon to possess his body. Constantine tries to resist the demon’s hold on him and manages to… somewhat. As the demon wrecks havoc through the form of Constantine, seemingly at random, Zed (who has escaped from her father’s henchmen), Chas, and Anna-Marie must hunt down Constantine and exorcise the demon from his body.
Part of the problem with many previous episodes of Constantine was that there were a lot of little things going on in the plot department that added up to be either contrived, irrelevant or boring. This time around, while not exactly essential, the little things actually add to the entertainment value of the episode. One such little thing is a subplot where Constantine “befriends” an inmate named Julio (played by Napoleon Dynamite‘s Pedro, Efren Ramirez, who I never ever thought I would ever see in anything outside of Napoleon Dynamite… ever) and single-handedly (and ironically), the demon inside him slaughters the remaining members of a mob who were out for revenge in the first place because Constantine had killed their men. After the fight, Constantine becomes the most feared person in a Mexican prison. Is it a little silly? Absolutely. Was it an entertaining touch? Indeed it was.
For some reason I do not feel as though I need to do the whole step-by-step deconstruction thing that I usually do for each recap. It feels unneeded because the most useful thing I can tell anyone about this episode is simply… it is a really solid episode. “The Saint of Last Resorts – Part Two” has helped me to realize that Constantine is never going to be a fantastic show and that I need to set my standards a bit lower. However, this episode also shows that Constantine does not need to be a great show. Shows like Constantine have been done before, however Constantine does the whole occult/supernatural thing in a slightly more creative and much more fun way than most of those shows ever did. Generally it is also better than most of the network television fare (i.e. shit) being offered these days. I may not be a die hard fan of Constantine, however I enjoy having a show like Constantine on TV. It is not in the True Detective league of quality television, but that is not the point of Constantine, and I think the writers and production team know that. It would be a bummer if NBC were to cancel the show because I feel like it is finally starting to get somewhere and it is my only guilty pleasure show that is remotely well made.
Rating: ★★★★★★★ 3/4 (7.8 out of 10)
While it may not move the overall plot of Constantine as a whole very much and it may not be as vital an episode as one may have been expecting, the superior second-part of “The Saint of Last Resorts” is far from filler. An especially strong performance from Matt Ryan, an engaging plot line, and better handling of familiar subject matter all add up to make an intense and entertaining episode of Constantine that stays the right distance between taking itself too seriously and descending into cheesiness. The best quality, perhaps, of “The Saint of Last Resorts – Part 2” is that it is well done enough to have left me without any major criticisms and has renewed my interest in the show itself.