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    Constantine, Ep. 1.02: “The Darkness Beneath” brings Zed into the fray

    With all the exposition and origin story trappings out of the way in last week’s pilot, “The Darkness Beneath” show readers what exactly John Constantine (Matt Ryan) does, other than con people, go to pubs, and chat with Chas (Charles Halford). This could be a typical case of the week type of episode, but writer Rockne S. O’Bannon manages to connect the monster to John’s past life, as well as some of the socioeconomic critiques that characterized early Hellblazer issues. He also introduces a new, improved female lead in Zed Martin (Angelica Celaya), who has an almost sultry chemistry with Constantine, and shows she can handle herself in a fight with the supernatural and then some. O’Bannon also doesn’t reveal his entire hand when it comes to her character, and the mysterious nature of her powers and connection to Constantine will be a intriguing mystery to follow throughout the season. “The Darkness Beneath” showcases Constantine as more of a con man than a pure spell caster, as well as someone who uses others to further his ends, even though they are positive in this case. He’s no hero. A few criticisms of this episode are that the citizens of the town exist as ciphers to move the plot, including a skeptical preacher (James Le Gros) who has some substantial screen time, and the director’s focus on pyrotechnics instead of terrifying imagery and chills. More

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    This is Our Design #21: “Fromage”

    Just when you thought Hannibal was a nice, quiet character drama in which people talk about stuff while sitting in chairs…BAM! Full-on, hand-to-hand combat action! Yeah! The folks here at This is Our Design brought our karate belts to show off for the occasion. Unfortunately, Sean’s white belt caught fire while recording. More

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    This is Our Design #18: “Coquilles”

    Tune in for some lengthy discussions of friendship, inevitability and the wonder that is Gina Torres. Also, stick around for the following recurring segments: “Kate’s Classical Corner,” “The Devil in the Details” and “Spoiled Meat”. More

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