It’s no secret that many fans are still sore at NBC for canceling Constantine earlier this year after only one season. Once the series was off the air, it seemed that it spelled the permanent end for actor Matt Ryan’s iteration of the DC magical con man. Fortunately for Constantine fans, Ryan reprised the role in last night’s Arrow episode “Haunted,” and while in Star City, the chain-smoking occultist used the opportunity to take a shot at his former TV home, NBC.
Spoilers for last night’s Arrow episode are ahead!
To refresh everyone’s memory, Oliver called in John Constantine to help the recently resurrected Sara Lance by restoring her soul to her body. Beyond his ancient spells, he needed a few special ingredients to get the job done. Felicity came back with the objects, which included a dead peacock feather. Like the audience, she questioned how the feather would be useful.
And then this happened…
Yeah, that’s definitely not part of the ceremony. As it turned out, Constantine didn’t need the feather for the soul restoration, but simply to scratch an itch on his back that had been bugging him for hours. Ah, what a great feeling. If you’re like me, this jab probably went over your head on the first viewing and was just Constantine being his normal, droll self. However, once you take into account that the peacock is the NBC logo, then it becomes clear this was intended a jab at the Peacock Network. So while it certainly could have been more direct, as a fun tease, it did the job just fine. That said, I doubt Constantine wants to be anywhere near a peacock ever again.
Although it was never a ratings powerhouse, Constantine built up a dedicated fanbase during its short time on NBC, consisting of previous Hellblazer fans and new viewers. Frankly, it’s a wonder it performed as well as it did, considering that not only was it airing on Friday nights, one of the worse days for a TV show, its timeslot changed midway through. Unfortunately for Constantine, the numbers weren’t good enough for NBC to renew it for a second season, and despite being shopped to other networks, the show finally died. So it makes sense why Arrow would want to insert a dig over at the competing network, though of course it’s all in good fun… sort of.
Constantine’s relationship with NBC is over, but if fans play their cards right, maybe they’ll get to see Ryan reprise John Constantine again. It’s been said several times that the Arrow guest spot was a “one time only deal,” but given the character’s popularity and the increased ratings Arrow experienced last night, it’s hard to believe there aren’t at least discussions right now about a return. Sure, maybe they can’t fit him in later in Season 4, but that shouldn’t preclude him from appearing in a different season. Heck, maybe somehow Constantine could be included in The Flash or Legends of Tomorrow.
We’ll have to wait and see if these plans change, but if not, at least The CW let this particular itch finally be scratched.