Constantine has been dipping its toe into mythology-driven, serialized waters for a while now. There’s been the occasional Newcastle hint here, another mention of The Rising Darkness there—but it’s largely been ancillary to the cases of the week. With “The Saints of Last Resorts, Pt. 1,” though, the show is finally diving into its comic book roots. The Rising Darkness now has a face–it may not have any eyes, sure, but we finally see some of the ancient, biblical evil that’s been trying to creep its way onto Earth since the season began.
Unfortunately, “The Saint of Last Resorts, Pt. 1” really only picks up speed around the halfway point, with a few early scenes that could have been condensed to get to the intriguing material toward the end more quickly.
What the story definitely gets right is the setting–a convent in Mexico. After last week’s angel-heavy plot, the continued religious iconography is a welcome addition to the show. It appears some hooded, clawed figure is stealing babies there, and killing anyone who gets in the way–including the baby’s mother. A nun at the convent, Sister Ann Marie, suspects a supernatural culprit, and contacts John via some strange astral projection spell while he and Zed are discussing her latest drawing/sign of imminent doom.
Ann Marie and John share a past–both a romantic and occult one, as she was the person who introduced him to the world of magic and also happened to be at the oft-mentioned Newcastle. So John decides to help her out of what I assume is a mixture of guilt, lust, and curiosity.
He and Chas head down south, leaving Zed to hold down the fort while she continues to draw pictures of an Invunche. Even if you attended Bible camp or Sunday school, that name will still probably be unfamiliar. Invunche are ancient monsters from Chilean folklore. They don’t look pretty, but John says they haven’t been around since “the last flood”–Noah likely did not include two Invunche on his ark.
And at when John arrives, he and Ann Marie immediately hash out their past. She’s furious that what happened to Astra at Newcastle hasn’t affected him–he’s still the sarcastic prick she remembers–and John promises he isn’t ignoring his debts. He just didn’t think he needs to don a habit to fulfill them.
But the two will have to settle their disagreements later, as John tries to suss out just what kind of boogeyman kidnapped the baby. After a brief interruption from Sister Louisa (“You can’t even turn it off around a woman married to God,” Ann Marie tells John), John determines whatever stole the baby is old, powerful, and knows how to cover its tracks. Might that Invunche be into baby collecting?
John, Ann Marie, and Chas follow their only real lead–Hugo, the father of the kidnapped baby. Through a little spellwork involving a bleeding tree, which is nowhere near as inviting as The Giving Tree, John determines that the child is still alive and what took it. Or rather, who. The monster is a sister of Eve—of Adam and Eve, that is. She and her other sisters who didn’t shack up with Adam took up residence as eternal goddesses of Hell. And this one is on the hunt for babies. She’s actually taken another–Hugo’s grandson.
With two babies from one family kidnapped, John starts to determine which sister it is—until Sister Louisa comes by to conveniently interrupt his spell. Suspicious, he calls out a few of the sisters’ names at Louisa until she reveals her true identity–Lamashtu, Eve’s sister. She unsuccessfully tries to kill John, but doesn’t leave him with any intel about why she would steal two related babies and not immediately kill them.
Thankfully, Hugo’s mother—who hails from Chile—shines some light on the situation. She tells them of the Brujería, a coven of warlocks John had long believed extinct. Hugo’s great grandfather was apparently a member of the group, but John refuses to believe that the Brujería are back. No one has a spell to stop them. Not even Hell wants them.
But John has a plan to at least stop Lamashtu and save the infants in danger. He preps a fake offering to Lamashtu–just take one dead chicken and some of Hugo’s blood, and she’ll apparently never know the difference. But they’ll need someone to pose as a mother, and Ann Marie, putting herself in the line of fire, much like another Newcastle alum, Gary, did a few weeks ago, offers to make the hand off.
NEXT: The Rising Darkness finally shows it face.