Comic Vine Review


Constantine #106 - Rage of Caliban


A spirit is possessing children and killing parents.

Warning: There may be some spoilers in this review

On this week's episode of Constantine, a young girl's family is murdered in a strange way, but could it be because the girl is possessed with something sinister? Well, yes, she is. The being inside of the girl is looking for a new host and it has to be a child.

Constantine finds out that murders of parents like this case have been happening for the past 35 years, but now, murders are becoming more frequent. Constantine goes to talk to one of the early survivors to try and find out more about the demon possessing kids. Eventually, Constantine finds the truth behind what is going on and saves the day, even though Manny wasn't as much help as Constantine would like.

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About halfway through the episode, it felt like this story was completely derivative of a previous episode "A Feast of Friends," where a demon is possessing someone, has a task, then moves on to possess someone else and repeat. So the first half of this episode felt like the same old, same old; however, the turn and finding out what was possessing these children and why was great. It threw me through a loop and I wasn't really expecting that to turn out the way it did.

The whole episode goes back to Constantine still dealing with the loss of a child he tried to exorcise, back in England. John makes it very clear that he doesn't want to take chances because possessed children present a bigger problem. The writing for these characters is fantastic and each week, John becomes a stronger and more complex presence on the show.

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Week by week, I kept thinking to myself, "What are they doing with Zed?" At first, she's this weird, moral crutch for Constantine, then she's an apprentice for him, then she's on her own, acting like a supernatural detective and in this episode, she's non-existent. Literally. She does not appear in this episode at all. It's incredibly apparent that the direction for the character is all over the place and after last week's reveal where we figure out she's not who she says she is, you'd think they'd follow up with that. My theory is that because this is essentially a monster of the week episode and that this episode was shown out of order. It stands on its own, which isn't a bad thing.

The game of trust with Manny is a big part of this episode. Manny is an angel, but he can't give any specific help. He can only lead Constantine toward answers in a very cryptic way. He's like Uatu on Watcher-leave. Harold Perrineau does a wonderful job as Manny and I love the dialogue between both characters, especially during the jail cell scene. The show is great at building on the relationships of the characters.

On a few side notes, the opening of the episode really gave us the essence of John Constantine from the HELLBLAZER series. John got drunk the night before, hooked up with a woman, and he's kicked out in the morning because her boyfriend is coming home. It was a good laugh and really gave us a look into who John is when he's not casting spells in a dead language. The best part of the episode takes place in what I'm just going to start calling the House of Mystery. Chas picks up the Sword of Night. Yep, Nightmaster's sword makes an appearance in the episode. And as you may or may not know, Chas has to speak the truth and it's pretty comical. I'm happy to see a couple comedic moments on this show, so it's not all just demons and death.

All-in-all, "Rage of Caliban" is a solid episode. While there is something otherworldly to deal with, the majority of this episode builds on its characters and the relationships these characters share with one another. While the main story was just ok, everything else about the episode was awesome. Constantine continues to be an awesome show airing in a terrible, terrible time slot.