Now before we go any further, I want to say I hope Constantine does get a second season. I like the Hellblazer comics. I like Matt Ryan as John. You can tell he is having a blast playing him. I see that there is potential to be an interesting show here.
However, my God, is this show plagued with bad writing and directing. How is it that a random behind the scenes shot for twitter has better lighting than the actual working scene from the show?
This right here is what I mean. The behind the scenes shot has an eerie lighting scheme about it with stronger contrasting shadows. While the actual scene is muddy and lit to make everyone look like they are doing an exorcism in OZ. The set designers have clearly gone above and beyond the call of duty. Why hide it? The best thing about The Mill is knowing that it's huge and full of shadows and things that go bump in the night. Don't hide it. You would not be pulling focus away from John if it was lit like the shot above.
Thing is, on your average drama, directing isn't that big of a deal. So much so, that show runners just grab random directors from a directing pool to shoot when needed. (Sure, you have certain shows that will work with the same directors over and over again but for shows like Law and Order or Gray's Anatomy, it's the pool for them.) However, with horror, you can't do that. Horror has to be directed differently than from your average drama. There is a language to horror that is very specific and can't be ignored. (Like avoid close ups unless you are pointing out something important. Wide shots that fill the frame are what you want. Think about it, when was the last time a super close up was able to scare you in a horror movie/show?) However, Constantine constantly does close ups. Never letting the scene to breathe. I am not sure why. Like we see in the behind the scene shot, we are dealing with huge sets here. And while it may look like the actual shot shows a wide scene, it's one the very few in this episode. Everything else are close ups.)
If this show does get a second season, the producers must stop going into the directors pool and rethink how they want to shoot this show. Stop treating it look your average comic book show and treat it like the horror show it is.
As far as the writing goes for this episode, the saying goes that a writer should write what they know. However, let's add to this. A writer should write what they know and research the rest.
It seems that the writer for this episode did neither. Either that or they know of the most lax prison in the world. Everyone has a breaking point to their suspension of disbelief. They can watch a movie about vampires and demons but not buy that the lead would be going out with that girl/guy. Yes, it is often silly to see what is someone's breaking point. Mine was all over this "prison."
Let's count off the ways shall we;
* No prison uniforms. (I guess there was no budget for it.)
* People could walk in and out of prison with not so much as a handbag check. (Seriously, no one is going to check anyone's bag for weapons? Forget the body cavity search. Just at least check the hand bag. Look that guy over there is using a rifle bag as a handbag. Shouldn't you guys look at that at least? Come on now.)
* Prisoners could wander around the entire prison with almost no observation. (Sure, you said that Julio paid the guards off for the gym but still where is the rest of the staff? Yeah, you have the same three guys in black uniforms running about over and over again. I wonder which one of them doubles as the doctor.)
* Prison "gym" just has one set of weights and nothing else in the place. Budget restraints again...
* After the prison guards find John and the others in the gym, they let the sister go (Why? Would you have let her go if you came across her with a dead body at her feet and a chained up man next to her. What kind of prison is this place?) Of course, since everyone can go anywhere in this prison, she goes to the clinic which seems to double as morgue as well as a shower/bathroom for some reason. (I am sure the patients love going to that place with the sniffles and seeing dead people here and showering people there.)
Again, write what you know. If you have no idea how a prison works, let alone a Mexican prison, don't set your story in one.
And that was the only thing that made me go, "No, this is bad, " for this episode. Like the demon being able to rescue John from dying from a bullet wound but still being susceptible to heroin use for twenty-four hours. (Never mind one moment they were south of the border and the next they were back at the Mill House with no one single scene of the drive over. Like was John just chilling in the back in a coma. Did they all take turns driving? No one stopped to eat? What the hell happened?)
Never mind the random Tempter demon was a complete waste. Why did he show up anyway? Everyone knew Anne was never going to stab Constantine with the knife.
This show really needs to hire horror writers. Or at the very least, better editors.