DC Entertainment has entered a new era expanding their universe into several different television series on network television. As a huge fan of DC Comics, I’m excited to see some of my favorite characters and story lines depicting weekly on the small screen. Let’s recap and discuss what happened last week for DC on TV.
Gotham – “Penguin’s Umbrella”
I was really looking forward to this episode after that rather impressive ending in “Spirit of the Goat” and it didn’t disappoint.
We begin with the Penguin strolling the street in broad daylight, with protection of course. Predictably Fish Mooney is pissed (mostly because she knows what Oswald Cobblepot has overheard). But Detective Harvey Bullock is pissed too and sucker punches Jim Gordon. Gordon asks Harvey to help him save the city, but Harvey is not having it. Meanwhile, Barbara is being held at the mercy of Carboni who is making some rather disturbing comments to her. Jim bails her out of trouble and tells her to leave town, for good if he doesn’t come after her (predictably she makes some poor decisions and comes back to town screwing up Gordon and Harvey’s heroic ‘last stand’). I do have to say I’d begun to like Barbara a bit more over the past few episodes (her insistence that Jim let her in resonates with me for personal reasons).
I loved when Gordon walked back into the GCPD, head held high, asking for the pre-signed warrants so he could fill them out and arrest the mayor and Falcone. When his captain asks him if he’s insane , Him responds with “No. Maybe a little. Feels good.” This episode was full of some little charming bits like that (who else laughed out loud when Harvey responded to the mayor’s comment about his arrest not being funny? Because of course Harvey did see the light and join Gordon in his last stand to save the city). Gordon has decided he’s making a stand and figures there are plenty of people that will help him, but when Victor Zsasz shows up to collect Gordon, every single cop in the GCPD with the exception of Captain Sarah Essen, who Jim has to tell to leave, clears out to leave Jim to his fate. The ensuing scene was as thoroughly entertaining as it was disturbing (that pour uniformed cop). Jim is shot in the process of fleeing from Zsasz and ends up being rescued by those pesky MCU cops, Montoya and Allen who realize Gordon is on their side. As a result, Gordon takes them to see Bruce in an effort to expand the number of people he can trust (and to ensure his promise to Bruce is kept even if he can’t keep it himself).
Meanwhile, tensions between Falcone and Maroni are coming to a head over Oswald Cobblepot. Falcone told Fish Mooney to ask Maroni to have him back and he declined leading to some troubling events which eventually (conveniently?) removed some high level thugs from Falcone’s organization (remember that Russian Fish was sleeping with?). The best part of all the Falcone vs. Maroni aspects were the things Fish said. She actually said “snitches get stiches” and even called Cobblepot a “little scaley-faced bitch” before clawing his face. It was so unexpected. I loved Cobblepot’s face in the moment after she spoke and before the slapped him. I think I had the same look on my face in that moment too. Fish is worried because Cobblepot is alive and because her new weapon does not seem to be working. In her words, “Falcone is too relaxed, like he knows something.” And that leads us to the big reveal at the end of the episode. Did you watch? Were you expecting that? What did you think of the episode?
Constantine – “The Devil’s Vinyl”
I think Constantine is beginning to hit its stride (but it still has some kinks to work through)and really how could it not when you have a naked, blood covered Constantine, Papa Midnite, and the Sex Pistols music makes appearances?
The episode begins in Chicago, Illinois with a woman in a frightening place (dead squirrels, disturbing markings, and temperatures colder than they should be). Turns out she was there to find something and she finds it, a record from Moonrise Studios. She takes it to Bernie(!) to have him analyze it. She tells him not listen to it, but of course he does and that results in a bloody mess. I don’t know about you but if I ever hear whispers when I’m not supposed to, I am dropping everything and running far away.
We then move to Atlanta where we have Zed coming upon a mill house in order to find John, who is chanting while naked and covered in blood. I don’t know about you, but I was quite upset NBC didn’t even give us a glimpse of Matt Ryan’s bum (I wasn’t the only one…there were others decrying the lack of bum on twitter). Anyone else thoroughly amused at the mill house being “bigger on the inside” especially when coupled with John’s use of his psychic paper?
The main premise of the episode is that a blues singer named Willie Cole sold his soul to the devil (the first of the fallen) for musical success. And an acetate disc (a record really) was created when Willie Cole died and his soul was taken by the devil. The acetate is now a dangerous relic that kills those who listen to it and whispers to others in order to make sure others listen to it. In the course of tracking down the acetate, Constantine comes face to face with Papa Midnite (and Bear McCreary worked his magic again creating an amazing score to introduce him as a character). As a huge fan of the Hellblazer books, his arrival was extremely exciting for me. Papa Midnite is a complex character who is sometimes John’s ally and sometimes his foe. While he didn’t have a whole lot to do in this episode he did end up saving John, as Papa Midnite was smart enough to wear actual earplugs as opposed to ear buds which can easily be removed. However, John ends up calling a demon in order to send the acetate back to hell rather than let Midnite have it (leaving a huge whole that will be hard for that college radio station to deal with).
While Matt Ryan as John Constantine is giving incredible performances, it’s not quite in character. He needs to up his con game! And I’d like to see more from Zed. She can hold her own against John and I’d like to see her have more to do. Same with Chas. I think there is some great potential in Constantine, but we need a little more consistency. I hope the network gives the show time to reach its full potential. And for now, I’ll leave you with this final thought: always have a safe word when you progress to zipties.
What do you think of Constantine?