Constantine

Inciting Event: John and Angie cross paths in the hospital after the apparent suicide of Angie’s twin sister Isabel. It is the discovery of the Spear of Destiny (in the story’s Hook) and Isabel’s death that are really the Inciting Events of the overarching plot (i.e., the antagonist’s goal). But it is this moment in the hospital, where John and Angie first become connected (however arbitrarily), that first brushes John, the protagonist, up against that conflict.

First Plot Point: John is attacked by a full-fledged demon (who shouldn’t be able to exist on the human plane). As First Plot Points go, this one isn’t super strong. This specific demon isn’t a major player in any way and is quickly dispatched. His purpose is simply to bring the scope of the conflict to John’s attention, so that he must start investigating and reacting to it.

First Pinch Point: After Angie asks him to help investigate her sister’s death, John visits hell, where he confirms Isabel is there and therefore really did commit suicide. This Pinch Point offers new clues into the conflict—literal new clues (Isabel did commit suicide), clues that are new to John (Isabel is Angie’s twin), and clues that are new to the viewers (the essence of hell). Its revelation of hell is also a perfect emphasis of the stakes, since John’s terminal cancer has him headed there himself.

Midpoint: At the insane asylum, Angie finds a clue left for her by her sister, which helps John figure out that the devil’s son, Mammon, is trying to cross over to earth. This is the important Midpoint revelation. The Midpoint scene (because Plot Points always need an event, as well as a turning point) is Beeman’s death at the hands of Balthazar, which then gives John a specific lead to pursue.

Second Pinch Point: After Angie visits hell and regains her psychic powers, she figures out that Balthazar killed Beeman and thereby broke the neutrality of the earth-bound half-breeds. John confronts Balthazar and destroys him, only to have Angie sucked away from him. Again, we find an emphasis of the antagonistic force’s power (both when he kidnaps Angie and when he kills what’s left of Balthazar) and a foreshadowing of the coming Third Plot Point.

Third Plot Point: John and his sidekick driver Chas find Angie in the insane asylum, only to discover she is already possessed by Mammon, who is trying to come through. John tries to suppress Mammon, but Chas is killed. This is a nicely layered low moment that not only offers death (always a good choice at the Third Plot Point), but also the seeming defeat of the protagonist and the potential loss of Angie, whom John has grown to care for.

Climax: John summons the angel Gabrielle, who reveals she is behind Mammon’s attempt to take over earth, because she believes a trial by fire is the only way humanity can prove itself worthy of God’s love. This final revelation arrays the true antagonistic force (Mammon himself is never directly shown) and prompts John into his final resolution of self-sacrifice in order to trade his own life to Lucifer in order to stop Mammon and free Isabel from hell.

Climactic Moment: Just as John is about to be accepted into heaven, Lucifer pulls him back and sentences him to continue his life on earth—in the hope he’ll make another mistake and be damned. Gabrielle and Mammon have already been vanquished at this point, but this is Climactic Moment because it’s the obvious moment where the tension is released. The structure here is worth noting since it emphasizes that what this story is really about is not the struggle against Mammon but rather John’s own struggle against damnation—which he wins, but without the victory being too definitive or pat.

Resolution: John spares Gabrielle, then later gives Angie the Spear of Destiny to hide. Lots of loose ends here (particularly in John and Angie’s relationships), since the movie was obviously angling for a sequel, but it still does a good job of tying off all the relevant loose ends for this installment’s plot.

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