|In the series premiere, occult detective John Constantine battles a demonic entity when it threatens the life of his friend's daughter.|
In an asylum, John Constantine is undergoing electroshock therapy, in which he somehow enjoys. He leaves the asylum when the spirit of his friend, Jasper Winters, who died the previous year, warns John that someone is after his daughter, Liv Aberdine.
In Atlanta, Liv and a co-worker are opening fortune cookies, and Liv's fortune is blank. After she leaves, she gets into her car, except it does not work. She starts walking when a sinkhole appears and causes an explosion. Then, a taxi cab drives right in front of her and John Constantine exits. He introduces himself to her as she holds a can of pepper spray in his face. He gives her his card and she walks away.
John walks down the sinkhole to investigate, when an angel named Manny confronts him and warns him of the Rising Darkness and leaves John in the sinkhole.
Later, Liv and her neighbor, Talia arrive at their apartment building. After Talia leaves, Liv sees a man walking in the hallway. Terrified, she quickly enters her apartment and locks the door. Outside her door, the man pulls out a knife and presses the blade against the door. Inside her apartment, Liv pulls out her blank fortune, which reads "Trust Him". In Talia's apartment, all of her appliances flicker and malfunction. A figure roams the hallway until it reaches Liv's apartment door, which now bears a glowing symbol. It retreats into Talia's apartment, where all of the lights turn off. Then, a glowing red eye appears on the blank screen of her laptop.
Liv wakes up to the sound of helicopters and when she goes out of her apartment, she sees Talia's dead body. Horrified, she turns to enter her apartment and sees the symbol on the door. Later, a cop drives a van containing Talia's body through a tunnel when he hears a sound coming from the back. When he opens up the door, the body bag containing Talia's body moves. He starts opening the bag, when the lights go out. Using the light from his cell phone, he sees the empty body bag. When he turns around, Talia attacks him.
In the morning, John Constantine waits in the parking lot outside Liv's workplace as she arrives. After he greets her, she pulls out her cell phone and shows him a picture of the symbol. He explains that it is the Eye of Horus, an Egyptian symbol of protection. Then, he knocks on the cab's hood as a man comes out of the driver's seat. John introduces him as Chas Chandler and that he drew the symbol to keep her alive. John tells Liv that he knew her father and was asked to protect her, in which she replies that he had died before she was born. John tells her that Jasper had only died the year before and he pulls out a bag and tells her that her father wanted her to have the contents.
Suddenly, a van crashes through the workplace and crashes into a wall. When they go to investigate, Liv spots her name tag on the ground, revealing that the driver meant to kill her. When John checks the hood of the van, he sees Talia, with white eyes, growling at him. When he questions the demon possessing her, she snarls and then collapses and the LED light display flickers and then turns off. John turns to find that Liv has disappeared.
At her mother's house, Liv questions her mother about her father. Her mother admits that he was just some boy that she met at a concert and that he had no interest in Liv after she was born. Liv opens up the bag he left to her, taking out a necklace. When she touches it, she sees her grandmother. But when her grandmother looks at her, her eyes are pitch black and her mouth oozes black liquid. Terrified, Liv drives away. John and Chas intercept her at a railroad crossing, and John explains what she is seeing and why she can see it. Liv sees lost souls all around them, and a train advancing towards them as the two of them are standing on the track. When she tries to get off the tracks, John holds her there. The train goes through them: it was a ghost train.
Liv agrees to go with John and Chas in Chas' cab, leaving her car at her mother's. Liv asks how her father died. John won't talk about it, but Chas remarks that Jasper "died bravely." The traffic lights at an intersection malfunction, causing a truck to crash into the cab. While John is unconscious, he sees Astra Logue and holds onto her as Nergal appears. Nergal tells him that John can't save Astra and he takes Astra back to hell. John wakes up as a power line disconnects at lands on the cab's hood. John repels the power line as Chas gets Liv out of the cab. When Chas leaps over the hood, the power line impales him.
At Jasper's mill house, John teaches Liv how to scry as he looks up the demon that is after Liv. He finds out that the demon's name is Furcifer and that he can control lightning and tempests. Just then, Liv bleeds and blood drops onto a map. The drops of blood move and collide at Edgewood Avenue.
John goes alone to Ivy University, where Manny, possesses the guard and freezes time so they can talk. John tells him about the demon hunting Liv, and Manny asks for John's help in stopping the Rising Darkness. When John gets angry, Manny tells him that his soul can still be saved, at which point he starts time up again and leaves.
In an office, John meets with his friend, Ritchie Simpson, who immediately tells him to leave and refuses to help. When John brings up Newcastle, Ritchie tells him that he has been depending on medication to cope ever since. When Ritchie tries to leave, John blackmails him, threatening to tell the police that he was at Newcastle; Ritchie begrudgingly agrees to help.
Back at the mill house, Liv she sees man's reflection in the mirror above the fireplace, but no one's there. When John arrives, she tells him about it, to which he replies it was an image of Jasper from the past, not his ghost. When she turns around, she sees Chas and screams. Chas assures her that he is alright, and John tells Liv the reason Chas is his oldest mate is because he has "survival skills." In response to her confusion, he remarks "Excellent. If you're not confused, you're not paying attention."
That night, John pays the guard at a parking garage 500 dollars to give he and Liv private access to the roof. He gives the guard a light bulb and says to call him if it glows. At the roof of the garage, John paints a demon seal to contain Furcifer and banish him. In his office, the guard plays a game on his cell phone, when the bulb glows and the lights go out. In the seal, Liv asks John about his past and he replies that his mother died giving birth to him. He tells her that his father blamed him and even constantly called him "Killer," go drunk and punched him in the head every night. The door to the roof opens, and the guard walks out with eyes filled with darkness, now dead and possessed by Furcifer.
Furcifer enters the seal, but before John can banish him to hell, he turns into a demonic version of John and tell him that he will soon belong to hell. Furcifer animates wires from a nearby electrical box to restrain Liv and bring her into the seal. John shoots a flare into the sky, signalling Ritchie to hack the power grid and shut down all the power in the city. John lights the seal on fire as Liv escapes from Furcifer. Furcifer summons Astra and tells John to release him and Astra's soul would be free. John gives in until Liv uses her pendant and reveals that it is not Astra. John continues banishing Furcifer until he is sent back to hell.
Ritchie picks up Liv in his van and she asks him about Astra. He tells her that a demon possessed her. John summoned Nergal to drive the demon out of her but instead he ripped Astra apart and sent her to hell. Ritchie warns her to stay away from John. When Ritchie finishes, Liv spots police lights at Edgewood Avenue. She gets out and sees the dead body of a boy.
At a bar, John and the barkeep settle a bet for the most influential band, the barkeep suggesting the Ramones while John suggests the Pistols. Chase arrives with a map and tells John that Liv left and went to live with her cousin in California, but before she did she went to the mill house to scry a map. Chas takes out the map and it is covered with wet blood to indicate trouble all over America. When Chas leaves, Manny appears, possessing the barkeep, and tells him that Liv is important to them. John admits to having Ritchie intentionally drive past Edgewood Avenue. He explains that Liv had the right to know what she would be dealing with. John agrees to help Manny and then leaves.
In a dark alley, John sees a goat head, soaked with blood, and pulls a container filled with oil and covers his hands with it. Then, a couple of guys with guns confront him. John takes out his lighter and ignites his hands, which become engulfed in flames, and the men freak out. Then the scene is drawn out on a canvas with charcoal, by Zed Martin, who is surrounded by various artwork of John.
- Matt Ryan as John Constantine
- Lucy Griffiths as Liv Aberdine
- Charles Halford as Chas Chandler
- Harold Perrineau as Manny
- Jeremy Davies as Ritchie Simpson
- Lisa Darr as Liv Aberdine's mother
- Miles Anderson as Dr. Roger Huntoon
- Victor McCay as a security guard
- Julia Lehman as Talia
- Bailey Tippen as Astra Logue
- Daryn Kahn as Max
- Leon Lamar as Old Man
- Mark Ashworth as Nervous Man
- Sallye Hooks as Nana
- Stephen Paul Astor as Assistant M.E.
- Fernando Martinez as Manuel
- Amy Lynn Tuttle as Emma
- Jason Saucier as Homicide Detective
- Tonia Jackson as Grieving Mother
- Constantine's business card has an Atlanta, Georgia code. The pilot is indeed filmed and set in Atlanta. At the time that it first aired, fans could call the number to hear a voicemail left by Constantine mentioning Alec Holland, who in the comics would go on to become Swamp Thing.
- Also in the basement scene, Liv lifts up Doctor Fate's helmet. Also, an Egyptian-looking wand can be seen, which is the Ibistick used by Ibis the Invincible.
- When Liv is pressing him for more personal information information, Constantine responds with "The sordid passions of my parents". This line was used by Zed in Issue 4 of Hellblazer in a similar situation, but with Constantine asking the question.
- While going through magical items, there was a message on one chalkboard that reads "More Than This" backwards. In DC Comics' realm of magic, the power held in reversed commands belongs to Zatanna, one of DC's greatest magic-users and Constantine's love interest.
- The First of the Fallen is mentioned in passing. Along with Nergal, he's one of Constantine's two primary antagonists and is actually a separate character from Lucifer (in fact, the First of the Fallen was created by writer Garth Ennis as an alternative to Lucifer, since that character was taken for Sandman).
- The ending of the original version of the pilot (which was leaked onto the web) differs in a number of ways from the transmitted one, mostly to accommodate the removal of Liv from the series after the writers decided that she was too passive a character:
- In the transmitted pilot, the demon possessing the security guard ultimately takes the form of Constantine himself; in the original pilot, he retained the security guard's body.
- In the original pilot, Constantine asked Ritchie Simpson to drive Liv to a crime scene in order to galvanize her desire to help him. In the transmitted version, he does it to scare her off, or at least to warn Liv of the dangers she faces.
- In the original pilot, Liv does not return the amulet to John, nor does she mark on the map where other events are likely to take place.
- John Constantine's voice-over in the beginning of the episode is adapted from a quote spoken by his comic counterpart in Hellblazer #41, albeit some minor differences.
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