Synopsis of 1×10: Constantine and the gang check out what has left dozens of people in comas, one of which is Chas’ daughter! We also learn the back story behind Chas’s resurrection powers!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Last night’s Constantine delivered on something fans of the show have been waiting for: MORE CHAS! Since episode one had everyone’s best bro getting impaled by a power line and reappearing later unscathed the mystery of Chas’ resurrections has been running. Almost every episode has Chas dying in some horrific fashion thanks to the creep of the week. At times this is played for gags but it’s never a needless death, usually Chas is saving somebody else.

Things get serious for everyone's favorite cabbie. [NBC]
Things get serious for everyone’s favorite cabbie. [NBC]
The episode opens on spooky cloaked figure on top of a building, casting what sounds like some heavy duty black magics. We cut to a girl playing with her doll when black smoke comes down through a chimney and envelopes her.
Back at Castle Greyskull (a.k.a the Millhouse), the blood map starts pinging and the gang investigates. Folks in the New York area are dropping into comas. Luckily, detective Constantine is on the case.

Elsewhere, we follow Chas to what turns out to be his ex-wife’s house and he finds that his daughter Geraldine (really Chas? that poor girl) is in fact the girl from the cold open, sprawled on the ground with blood coming from her nose. Chas knows who to call.

Inter-cut throughout all of this is the B plot of a few years prior. Chas and Constantine, well mostly John, are getting drrrunk at a bar. JC leaves with a new friend, as is his custom, but before he goes he casts some superior drunk magic on Chas. Chas blows it off, thinking his friend is just one too many sheets to the wind. A band starts to play and a fire catches. Chas, being the biggest bro in the universe, begins to save folks and pushes people up and out windows.

In the hustle and bustle, he falls. He wakes up in the hospital with his wife and child around him. They expected him to die. Luckily, John’s drunk magic worked! He cast a spell developed by Merlin that was used on King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. The goal was, that should one of his great knights fall in battle, he would absorb the souls of all nearby lesser knights and continue living. 47 people died in that fire, Chas earned 47 chances. (Never mind the smack of “We sure this is good magic?” I feel it too.)

Checking in, Constantine does some supernatural CSI’ing using Alistair Crowley’s old make up duster thingamajig and finds the telltale sign of displaced soulism (I’m sure that’s the medical term for it). Something is taking loads of folks’ souls.

Cue meeting with a medium who runs a army surplus store that ends in human combustion, and only slight info gained. Zed gets a vision and puts them on the trail. The gang chase down a lead and find themselves an invisible rail yard building. Inside, wouldn’t you know it, is Hector “Tio” Salamanca! Just kidding. It is Mark Margolis but here he plays the dark mage Felix Faust! More DC characters are squeaking their way into the television universe and I’m loving how they get brought on in Constantine as opposed to, say, Gotham.

Pictured: Chas taking no shit. [NBC]
Pictured: Chas taking no shit. [NBC]
Anyways, as a form of magical courtesy Faust shares his doings with Constantine and reveals that yes, he in fact is responsible for the souls departing the bodies. He is using them to gain further power (you know, black magic stuff), but he’s not responsible for the ones dying and he isn’t pleased by that turn of events. Anyways, turns out another demon is out and about munching on sleeping souls so the gang make a deal with Faust to deal with the competition in hopes to get further in Faust’s good graces to figure out their next play. Chas would rather go with the assured “kill the wizard, his spells stop” approach. Constantine will have none of that.

Things go pear shaped as they tend to do for JC and an exasperated Chas comes up with the best plan of all. He goes to Faust, offers to trade his stockpile of souls for his daughters. Faust doesn’t bite, believing mortal men can only have one soul. Yeah, you’re right that IS a weird thing for sorcerer supreme over here to think, especially since he seems to be doing something similar with them. Well, Chas proves his word by slicing his own throat, bleeding out on Faust’s floor. Faust thinks nothing of this until the man gets back up. Now, apt to make a deal Faust goes to take Chas’s offered grasp. But ol’ Chas had a plan all along. Instead of a handful of souls, he pulls a hand grenade and blows them both to hell! Just kidding, Chas comes back. You knew he would. As for Faust? Well I suspect he’ll have a magical out too. He’s too good a possible rival and too quality an actor to pass up.

Chas taking no shit from Constantine either! [NBC]
Chas taking no shit from Constantine either! [NBC]
The episode ends with Chas finally getting time with his daughter. Sitting with her on the floor, he shows her a photo album and starts to go through it, introducing her to some friends of his. You expect it to be Uncle Johnny and Zed but nope, it’s photos of each of the 47 victims of the bar fire. He tells her who they were, what they did, and what they were like. Because he feels responsible for those souls, he has to put them to good use. Chas you magnificent bastard.

All in all, the episode didn’t do much to advance the Rising Darkness plot line that was heavy in the past two episodes and the focus of the season, but it did solve the mystery of Chas, not to mention cram in a whole lot of Hellblazer story arcs and characters in a way that mostly worked. For me, that makes it a damn fine episode.

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