Fox’s The Exorcist
Season 2, Episode 5: “There but for the Grace of God, Go I”
Directed by Alex Garcia Lopez
Written by Alyssa Clark
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “One for Sorrow” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Darling Nikki” – click here
Andy (John Cho) is seeing his world slip, after Verity (Brianna Hildebrand) confronts him in what’s meant to be Grace’s (Amélie Eve) room. She asks about what’s going on, and he sees reality for the first time in a while. She worries about him, though he doesn’t particularly react well, either. There’s something terrible happening in that foster home. And it’s only going to get a lot worse from here.
Is the demonic presence taking over Andy? Is it breaking him down until he’s a malleable bit of flesh it can use to its own end? Grace is everywhere Andy turns, even as he tries dispelling the thought of her from his mind: “You‘re not real,” he tells himself. Might not be enough, Andy, my buddy. Especially with the memory of his wife, whom he proposed to 14 years ago to the day.
Now Andy wants to take the kids on a camping trip, overnight. Because he’s trying to get away from spooky Grace. Rose (Li Jun Li) isn’t so sure, not with Harper (Beatrice Kitsos) just arriving, not entirely settled in or feeling one-hundred percent. And then Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) arrives, wanting to talk with Rose. He mentions that he and the former Father Marcus (Ben Daniels) have sensed a presence in that place, wondering if she’s seen any strange things since getting there. The woman’s not ready to hear any of that, after what Harper went through. Sadly, the two priests are the only ones standing between good and evil.
Speaking of Marcus, he’s back chatting with his new pal Peter Morrow (Christopher Cousins). He asks about any strange history around the island, which brings up a story about a supposedly normal guy who suddenly killed his family, as well as a bunch of people at a party where he was looking for his daughter. She survived the incident, and lives nearby. Peter agrees to take Marcus to talk with her. The woman, now in her old age, tells the renegade priest how she saw something that looked like her father that night, just not actually him; clear sign of a demonic influence. Dad also spoke in a hideous voice, an unknown language he shouldn’t have known. The demon speaking through him, “wearing him like a cheap suit.”
We witness more of Grace. She tells daddy to “be careful,” followed by him feeling a burn where a fly recently left a red mark on his chest. He checks the mark to find there are holes all over his skin, from which emerge hornets. She’s not pleased with being left behind while the others go camping.
In Belgium, Father Bennett (Kurt Egyiawan) is still trying to help Sister Delores (Karin Konoval), regardless of her integration. Mouse (Zuleikha Robinson) implores him to stop, that it’s of no use. He’s just a good man, unwilling to leave people behind. Within the demon, the old woman remains. Delores speaks right to Bennett, pleading for help. He must weigh his options. Then he realises it isn’t Delores anymore, only a demon, putting an end to its miserable existence.
Even out in the forest, Andy cannot escape Grace. He believes her only a delusion, though we know it’s more, it’s worse. He confides in Rose that he may be losing his grip on reality. She supports him emotionally, yet always lurking on the edges is the little girl, and that evil inside her. Worse than that? She might have started working her terrors on Truck (Cyrus Arnold), as he sits around the campfire with Harper and Caleb (Hunter Dillon).
Out on the boat, Peter and Marcus get to know each other better. Turns out the former was in Kosovo, he saw some bad things. Marcus can relate, just on a different level. What’s interesting, though, is the parallel between a religious evil and the evil of man; both are, at the core, the same. But Marcus also knows the evil of men, going back to his childhood home where there was atrocious domestic violence. Later, the two men share a kiss briefly. A beautiful moment, especially for Marcus.
Tomas, he’s trying to warn everyone at the foster home. He goes back there looking for Rose, finding only the demon’s presence waiting for him. It’s getting dangerous, since he let a demon into his head. Could complicate this latest battle.
Shelby (Alex Barima) asks Verity about possibly seeing any supernatural happenings around the island. This is where we find out she was brought to a conversation therapy-type camp, run by religious types who believed she could “pray the gay away.” Moreover, we discover Shelby’s “first birthday present” from mom was being born hooked on methadone. They’ve all got hard pasts of varying degrees. This is a great scene because Shelby represents the sensible, moderate Christian, the one who feels the love of religion, and doesn’t concern himself with the hateful extremes.
And what about Truck? Where’d he wander off?
Verity goes looking, tracking him down in one of the farmhouses in the woods. He’s banging his head on the wall. Simultaneously, we see Grace at home, banging her doll’s head on the wall, in her room where Tomas finds her. The little girl makes her doll move, so Truck moves. He chokes Verity against the wall, slamming her. Tomas fights with the Bible, as Andy runs to help Verity. Luckily it all stops. Poor Truck doesn’t remember doing anything, and Andy’s continually having troubles with reality, too. This further throws the foster home and the kids into disarray.
At the house, Tomas investigates more. However, when he commands the demon reveal itself, Grace takes him someplace else. There, he sees what the demon’s been doing around the island, dating back decades and decades. He experiences bullets in the gut, he spews the water of a drowned boy from his mouth, he dies figuratively as those people did long ago. And he’s helpless to do anything, as the killers each speak the words: “Aeternum vale,” which translates to farewell forever.
When Andy gets home, he lashes out at Grace. Smashing the painting in the room upstairs. Then beneath the little girl’s pillow mask is his dead wife Nicole. She never ever left.
This is one of the BEST episodes of the series to date! So insane and strange and sexy (re: Marcus and Peter) and John Cho is giving us one powerhouse performance this season. Cannot get enough, all around.
“Darling Nikki” is next week. Can barely contain my excitement.