Ryan took on the role of the wise-cracking demonologist back in 2014, starring in NBC's Constantine TV series. The 13-episode first season followed Constantine on a journey around America, crossing paths with various demons and supernatural threats. The show was cancelled in 2015, sparking a sort of movement among fans, many of whom were eager for Ryan to reprise his role in some capacity.
In the years since, fans have gotten their wish in a myriad of ways. In addition to voicing the character in the Justice League Dark animated film, Constantine has had a sort of second life in The CW's Arrowverse, beginning with a special episode of Arrow. The episode saw Constantine's help being enlisted by Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and Laurel Lance/Black Canary (Katie Cassidy), who were trying to rescue Sara's soul after her recent resurrection. At the end of the episode, Constantine parted ways with the group, spent a brief time literally in hell, and has since returned to team up with Legends of Tomorrow. (And, if the show gets renewed for another season, he will join the group full-time.)
With that in mind, it's safe to assume that some fans haven't been able to keep up with Ryan's entire tenure as Constantine, and need an avenue for where to start. Granted, everyone should watch the entire run of Constantine, especially since it's currently all available for free on CW Seed. But if you only have time for a handful of John Constantine appearances, especially before City of Demons debuts, and you want an idea of where to start, we're here to help.
"The Devil's Vinyl" (01x03)
After NBC's Constantine essentially had two pilot episodes -- one establishing Ryan's portrayal in a somewhat-standalone tale, and another fleshing out the world around him -- "The Devil's Vinyl" set the tone for the show pretty well.
The episode took a pretty unusual concept, a vinyl record that secretly unleashed a soul-seeking devil when it was played, and made something unique and entertaining. In the process, the episode further developed some of the season-long mysteries, while providing an introduction for Michael James Shaw's version of Papa Midnite.
"The Devil's Vinyl" also ended up being one of the few Constantine episodes to really carry over to the Arrowverse, with a mystery in the recent Legends episode "Amazing Grace" actually serving as a sort of prequel.prevnext
"A Feast of Friends" (01x04)
While "A Feast of Friends" might not be the strongest episode of Constantine, it did a pretty darn good job of fleshing out John's backstory.
In a story that mirrors the first issue of Vertigo's Hellblazer series, the episode centers around John attempting to save his friend, Gary (not to be confused with the Gary currently on Legends). Gary was possessed by a demon with pretty dangerous capabilities, resulting in John having to make a heartbreaking decision.
Are you curious what exactly the Newcastle incident is, which has been mentioned on Legends several times? This episode is a good place to start. Are you curious just how grotesque NBC's Constantine occasionally got? This is also a good place to start.prevnext
"The Saint of Last Resorts, Parts 1 and 2" (01x08 & 01x09)
This technically was a two-part episode, serving as the series' midseason finale and premiere -- and turning both installments into a hell of a lot of fun.
The episode brought John, Zed, and Chas to a church in Mexico City, needing to help a nun with a supernatural problem.
Again, the episode gave more of John's backstory, while advancing the overall season one narrative in some pretty surprising ways.prevnext
"Waiting for the Man" (01x13)
City of Demons has been periodically referred to as a direct extension of NBC's Constantine, making this Season One finale episode a must-see.
The episode saw the series' major players -- the main trio, as well as Jim Corrigan, Papa Midnite, and Manny -- all making their next moves in drastically different ways.
The finale ended with some closure, but also left quite a lot of new questions to be answered, essentially sparking the #SaveConstantine movement to begin with.prevnext
"Haunted" ('Arrow' 04x05)
Sure, a large chunk of Arrowverse viewers probably saw Constantine's Arrow debut when initially aired. But whether or not you're in that camp, the episode is definitely worth a more recent watch.
The episode introduced plenty of threads that have carried into Constantine's sporadic Arrowverse tenure -- his delightfully weird relationship with Oliver Queen, his task helping save Sara Lance's soul, and just his general direction.
Along the way, there are plenty of delightful Easter eggs, including a somewhat-subtle jab at NBC's treatment of Constantine.prevnext
"Daddy Darhkest" ('Legends of Tomorrow' 03x10)
While both of Constantine's Legends appearances are just a matter of weeks old, they're definitely worth a watch, especially if you're sleeping on how good of a show Legends is.
"Daddy Darhkest" managed to give viewers somewhat of a spiritual successor to NBC's Constantine, incorporating exorcisms, creepy asylums, and the like without losing any of Legends' flavor.
In the process, fans got surprising hookups, long-awaited moments, and an indication of just how well Constantine gels with the team, something that will hopefully be explored even further in the show's fourth season.prevnext
"Necromancing the Stone" ('Legends of Tomorrow' 03x15)
And finally, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Constantine's most recent TV appearance, which occurred just a matter of days ago.
"Necromancing the Stone" saw Ryan's Constantine taking somewhat of a supporting role, mainly with him brainstorming with the Time Bureau about how to save Sara from being possessed.
But in the process, fans got to see Ryan having a hell of a lot of fun, whether chasing a farm animal around an apartment or reluctantly joining in on a game of Dungeons & Dragons.1comments