Fox’s The Exorcist
Season 2, Episode 9: “Ritual & Repetition”
Directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum
Written by Sean Crouch
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “A Heaven of Hell” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “Unworthy” – click here
With Andy (John Cho) loose, Marcus (Ben Daniels) has to haul Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) out of the room in his hypnotised state. This is getting scary, not that the older of the two priests didn’t see it coming. Elsewhere, in the dreamscape, Tomas is stuck, trying to fight through. But it’s a tough fucking fight.
This demon is strong. It will not relent. Tomas sees himself still in that room, he and Marcus performing the exorcism rituals and trying to save Andy. He knows it’s “not right,” yet he cannot escape. Even when he opens a door, he walks right into a Roman Catholic Church. He’s dressed as a Bishop. Tara (Melissa Russell) is there, reassuring him: “This is where you belong.” The congregation are all there, pews full. Everything he’s always wanted.
Worse still, there are Vatican agents heading over to the little island in Washington. They’ve got guns, and they’re searching for former Father Keane. Not to talk, either. Instead of the priest, they find Mouse (Zuleikha Robinson), who’s also on her way to the island tracking down her old mentor.
Poor Marcus has got his work cut out for him. He’s stumbled across the scene at the neighbours place. The dead bodies in the wake of Andy finding Rose (Li Jun Li) and Verity (Brianna Hildebrand). Speaking of, the loving foster father now possessed by the malevolent demon using his dead wife Nikki (Alicia Witt) as leverage, he’s trying to make sure Rose doesn’t take the kids away. Y’know, ’cause demons love kids. He’s gone to pick them up now, despite the fact he looks like death warmed over.
In that church vision, Tomas stands at the pulpit. When he tells the congregation to sit, there’s a familiar face amongst them: Casey motherfucking Rance (Hannah Kasulka)! This demon that’s messing with our priest is pulling out ALL the stops. Every last one.
Meanwhile the kids are not too excited being reunited with their foster dad. Andy has some disturbing words for Harper (Beatrice Kitsos) about her mother. And though Shelby (Alex Barima) knows something isn’t right, he’s no match for a demon with supernatural strength. Luckily, this is one time Caleb (Hunter Dillon) is probably glad to be blind, at least so he doesn’t have to watch Andy attack Sheby. But sadly it also means he’s left behind when Harper makes a run for it. She doesn’t make it too far, all the same. Then the family’s back together, tied up in that rundown shack.
At that church, Tomas talks to Casey. Mom sent her, apparently. She’s not doing well, feeling she isn’t in control of her own body. The new Bishop tries fighting against it, but then the demon speaks through Casey, taunting, torturing with words.
What will the demon in Andy do to the kids? He chokes Verity a bit, then just about snaps Shelby’s leg in two. The religious young man reveals that he knew, long before the others, that something was going wrong. Certainly the demon talks smack about God, all the newborns in Egypt, that stuff. Which is all scripture, but still; I don’t believe in religion, I’m just rooting for the demon to fail here. That’s when Rose starts her own taunting, calling the demon in Andy “weak.”
But it’s getting terrifying. Andy hovers Rose over the well outside, counting while boards break below her. When he gets to ten, they all break, and she goes plunging into the darkness. “Welcome to the family,” he quips. Oh, shit.
Where’s Marcus at? Well, he’s searching for Andy and the family. He better hurry, because the demon’s going one by one with the foster kids. Verity manages to get herself loose, running into the forest. Soon, Marcus finds the others in the shack, untying them, and troubled to hear what’s happened to Rose. He goes looking for Verity while Shelby plans on taking the kids away from the island; Harper checks in the well first, discovering Rose is still alive down there. The kids pull her out with a nice bit of effort.
Tomas is offered everything, even the Pope’s hat, by the demon via Casey. He continues pushing back, the demon’s getting pissed off. But so is Tomas. Not long and he’s got himself out, back to the house. He fights with Nikki.
In the forest, Verity hides amongst a thick enclosure of spiders webs, hoping to stay out of Andy’s grasp. No such luck. He catches her, then starts to suffocate her with some of the webbing. Until she kicks him off and Marcus shows up to fight. He sends Verity off – a far cry from the conversion therapy priests who abused her – so he can stay behind. The demon gets hold of him by the throat, squeezing his windpipe tight. With the demon caught between fighting Tomas and Marcus, things get tricky. One minute Andy is filled with its power, the next he’s not. One minute he’s in the woods with Marcus, the next he’s in the house with Tomas. He’s starting to break down, too. He makes clear to the younger of the priests: finish things, do not let the demon infect anybody else.
Except now Tomas actually comes to, Mouse in front of him willing him back to the world. She introduces herself and tells him: “I came a long way to find you.”
FUCK YEAH! This season has been nothing short of amazing. Can’t wait to see Mouse help our two priests at this point. So much can happen in the final episode of Season 2. If Fox doesn’t renew this, they’re on crack.
“Unworthy” is the finisher and it comes next week.