This episode had a lot of good things going for it: we get more of Constantine as a character, the acting was better than usual, Constantine has to do some detective work, and the solution he comes up with makes some sense.
We get a reprieve from Zed this week, but let’s talk about the acting by actors who were in this week’s episode. The boy who gets possessed by a malevolent spirit is slightly more subtle than Zed’s fishhook brow scheming face, but it works. He starts the episode as a docile, let a tick suck its fill because he doesn’t want to hurt it boy, and then turns into the antichrist. But considering he only has thirty minutes to transform, the boy does morph into the pint-sized serial killer as subtly as he can. We do see him change in a few steps which make his transformation pop, and after a shaky opening sequence, the boy’s parents are believable.
Having to deal with a troubled boy reminds Constantine of his own childhood. Of course we’re fed most of this information by Manny the Angel of Exposition, but Manny actually works in this case. He colors Constantine as a child lashing out. We can also empathize with Constantine because why wouldn’t God handle this problem himself, and you got to love the line, “You’re not special like Joan. You’re more of a desperation move.”
Constantine has to show off some detective moves too. I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s a refreshing twist—on possession in this case—that’s been lacking in every episode of Constantine to date. I will highlight the earthly detective work. The twenty or so killings occur over the last 35 years. The MO’s the same and they happen in a straight line. Why wouldn’t the Birmingham Police pick up on the pattern? Why does Constantine need a magical map to notice the killings are happening in a line (he had access to newspaper clippings)? Let the cops have the earthly detective work and leave the ethereal detective work to Constantine.
Verdict: An entertaining episode with a few flaws.
This week’s episode of Grimm was mostly paint-by-the-numbers.
Nick got his powers back, which isn’t a surprise. It was never a question of if; it was a question of when he’d get them back. The Wesen of the week didn’t amount to much except they brought up a pre-Grimm case for Nick that he could never solve because he wasn’t a Grimm yet. Armed with the knowledge of a Grimm, the boys track down the killers, and in true melodramatic fashion, Nick becomes incapacitated when his friends need him the most. Just when all seems lost, he snaps to with his Grimm powers intact. Tada!
Everything else plays second fiddle to Nick getting back his powers, but this episode does an adequate job of reminding us of the other balls Grimm’s juggling: Adalind and the royals, Rosalee and Monroe getting shunned by Wesen-kind, Renard and his mother’s machinations, Trubel and the bizarre sect of Wesen, and Josh fleeing to Nick for help.
We’ll have to see which—if any—story threads gain clarity. There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors this season.
Verdict: An enjoyable—yet predictable—episode that might allow the show to move forward.
Why would Bob ever sign up for a burger contest? Sure, he’s a gourmet burger cook, but contests just aren’t his style. It turns out that he signed up while he was polishing off a glass of wine. Something he claims he’ll never do again. Let’s hope he does.
What ensues is an unorthodox father and son bonding tale. Bob entrusts his burger’s most important ingredient to Gene—his son whose name Bob’s other two kids use as a verb for spacing out when someone needs you the most—and of course, Gene doesn’t pack the all-important black garlic. The show complicates matters two to three shades of crazy, and eventually, Gene redeems himself, and Bob pulls off his best Rocky. The story was solid, but the strength of Bob’s Burgers is the relationship between the Belcher family members, and this episode showcased that strength.
Unlike other cartoon sitcoms like The Simpsons and Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers’ family dynamic rings true. The characters are more functional as human beings (there’s no Homer or Peter) and they have surprising depth. You can also tell that every member of this family cares about each other in their own way and that should make you smile as much as the jokes.
Verdict: Another solid episode that shows why the Belcher family might be the best one on TV.