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Constantine Season 1 Episode #11 – A Whole World Out There Review

7 min read

Constantine Season 1 Episode 11
Constantine Season 1 Episode 11
Beware ancient Egyptian rituals, no matter how harmless you think they are.

What They Say:
A Whole World Out There – John is sent to help an old friend at Ivy University, where students have figured out how to get to an alternate dimension – only to be met by a killer.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the way Constantine has improved over the course of its run, finding its legs after some awkward post-pilot episodes as it corrected from casting changes, it’s definitely been a real highlight to see something different come off from the comics adaptation world that plays in the source material and digs into areas that other shows simply won’t ever think of touching or getting to since they’re more grounded in a lot of ways. With the supernatural side here, it’s far more open to doing a lot of different things and they’ve really been embracing that, especially with what they brought to the table with the two parter a couple of episodes ago. Spending some time fleshing out the cast along the way has helped as well, with getting to know Constantine’s past being a good chunk of it.

With the cold open here, we get fun right from the start in a graveyard, and a crypt in particular, where we get a group of college kids that are having some fun with the supernatural in a playful way as they have a book that talks about how to get to other worlds. Reading the words and participating together, even amid the giggles, is sometimes all it takes to really bring something surreal to life. Because that moment, where you realize that things have indeed gone beyond expectations, can send such an interesting feeling of excitement and fear and a good bit of uncertainty that you don’t know how to react. Seeing them split apart and traveling to different places, each has its own creepy factor, some more than others, which sets the mood beautifully in an old school way. That little journey to this other place, which they break off in a moment of real fear, has opened them up to something else in a big way.

It doesn’t take much to get Constantine to head to the university, since Manny gives him the incentive to get there as there’s a friend of his that will need his help. Ritchie isn’t exactly pleased to see Constantine re-enter his life, but with the news that Gary is dead, Constantine is intent on protecting the few friends he has from the past, even if they don’t want to see him now. Ritchie realizes that even though he doesn’t want to see him there, it’s obvious that he’s going to need him as something unusual is about to hit the campus. And we see it as the kids who went to the other side are now being stalked by the man in the white suit that was seen on the other side. One of them, Carter, catches a look at him in a window and then finds himself mentally dragged to the other side where he’s killed, which in turn kills him in the real world. Now the others are starting to see the same thing, though they’re coping with it in different ways.

Though it’s a bit corny, it’s interesting to see the way that the kids are slowly but surely stalked by the white suit man with how he reaches for them through the mirrors of the world. While these kids are being hunted, Constantine figures out a bit of what they were up to in the crypt and when Ritchie finds out about it, he realizes what they got into as hie teaching assistant, Adam, made off with a private journal of his that allowed them to do this out of body travel experience, one where a man named Jacob Shaw did the same thing years and years ago to escape crimes he committed. With the gates opened now though, Constantine realizes that it’s not going to be limited to just those that participated in the ritual but rather almost anyone, and a gate like that is not easy to close. Nicely, even though he and Ritchie aren’t exactly friends in a sense, they do manage to work well together with some amusing banter.

With the body count rising as more of the kids end up dying through Shaw’s hands in the other dimension, I do like that there’s some really good dialogue between Ritchie and Constantine as Ritchie keeps feeling huge amounts of guilt for introducing all of this into these kids lives, equating himself to Gary and what he did with the hunger demon. The two have a really interesting kind of relationship when you get down to it with all that they’ve been through and what they’ve lost, so there are ways that they can get under each other’s skin. But they’re also both smart enough to try and just do what they can to deal with the situation at hand. And that means trying to protect the last participant in the ritual and keep her alive. Lily’s obviously freaking out though over everything, but she does manage to provide enough of a clue for Constantine and Ritchie to start figuring things out. Namely that when they went through the experience, they were in a house somewhere.

And as we see, those that have died are still alive in the house as well, and now they’re being hunted down by Shaw as he’s playing his own particular cruel game with them in this other dimension. Unfortunately for Constantine, while he does figure out a way to protect Lily, she also finds a way to screw it up and end up trapped in the other dimension as well. So the only thing to do is to go after her, which Constantine does with a very grudging Ritchie, who isn’t aware that Manny is watching over their bodies while they do this. Ritchie’s really an interesting character in his portrayal here as he’s definitely distinctive and you can almost be put off by his mannerisms and accent, but it also makes him engaging because it’s not just the normal bland. He also manages to hold his own fairly well against Constantine, though most people aren’t able to push back well enough against him to not go the way he wants. Which is why the two of them in the house in the other dimension makes for some good, creepy, fun moments.

The third act naturally has the pair encountering Shaw and trying to stop him, but there’s a good battle of wills here about what this particular dimensional space is and just who is in real control here. Considering their backgrounds, it’s good to see how they use their knowledge and skill handle it after that natural initial moment of panic. Ritchie shines well as he redefines the world, putting Shaw in his place for acting so poorly, and it has all the great look of a surreal other plane of existence.

It does have its drama because of the tragedy of what happened, but it plays big in a kind of cartoonish way that really works well because of the design of the world itself. So when we get back to the real world, it’s interesting how drab everything feels, even if it’s more detailed in a way. There’s a touch of additional tragedy about it all, that speaks to the darkness within Ritchie, but it also works because we see how Constantine has to feel like he’s lost another one, even though he kind of realizes the truth in what he’s doing. It may not end as one might think it would, but it has a good effect no matter which way it could have gone. With what it did here, we see how we had three lives lost, but one found anew and able to participate in the world with renewed purpose.

In Summary:
Constantine has a standalone episode here, but one that works very well in taking its story and working with it in a way that makes it feel personal. Keeping it to just Constantine from the main cast and allow him to reconnect with one of those from his past in the form of Ritchie helps to humanize and expand on Constantine a bit more while also making sure that Ritchie himself comes across as pretty well fleshed out. The story here overall is a decent if familiar one but it has some solid trappings to it as we get the college setting and kids that aren’t exactly anything more than superficial props themselves. But what we get is a fun story with some classic horror aspects with some great practical effects alongside the special effects. Definitely a fun episode that has a proper focus on Constantine and another friend from his past.

Grade: B+

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