Last week: Our two main storylines, Island Life and The Boys from the Vatican finally began to come together. Meanwhile, Father Bennett met up with rogue exorcist/demon assassin ‘Mouse’.
This week; obvious twist is obvious.
We pick up right where we left off with a disturbed Bennett staring at a possessed former exorcist, Sister Dolores. An old children’s hymn I vaguely recognise plays in the background and seems to agitate the demon, but in the usual way it mocks and teases Bennett and Mouse.
Over on the island, Rose is off to pick up little Harper from last week, and she and Andy repeat her warnings that the state requires him to have a second adult in the house to care for the kids. He keeps suggesting she be that second, but she seems less certain than last week.
Later he talks to the other kids about Harper coming to stay, and Grace is sitting right there in the room. The kids all voice doubts, including Grace, and Andy addresses them all at once about how they will welcome Harper and make her family. Grace walks out in a sulk, and a frustrated Andy follows her.
The remaining children discuss HIS stress, HIS leaving, but do not mention Grace at all. This is honestly getting tedious.
Andy goes to follow Grace up to the attic, hears sounds from downstairs — almost a scream — and heads down to check it out. Below, Grace stands in an open doorway, in a sort of trance. When he turns her around Grace warns ‘She shouldn’t be here’, and the door creepily slams behind her.
Tomas, who … didn’t heed the warnings about being on the run, I guess, calls his sister Olivia (from back in season one). She’s worried he’s been basically missing, and reminds him he forgot his nephew’s birthday. He apologises because it’s all he can do, and she tells him some men ‘from the Church’ came looking for him the other day. NOW, he thinks the call was a bad idea and destroys the SIM card. Inside, Marcus flexes absurdly so Tomas can stitch up that slash he got from Harper’s mum last week. They worry about Bennett and then, despite having this conversation and actually RESOLVING SOME SHIT last week, Tomas is guilty about missing the signs Harper was being abused, and Marcus needles him over it.
I … did I imagine that last week Tomas had this exact guilt and doubt, and Marcus figured it’s why they’re together, and it seemed to clear the (confusingly muddy) air between them? This damned show. Damned stupid show.
On Nachburn, a man called Pete from U.S. Fish and Wildlife helps clean up the last of the dead birds, and explains that global warming and electrical signals probably confused the birds. Shelby mentions the deformed lamb, and Pete promises to run tests on the animal corpses and come up with some nice, reassuring answers. Pete leaves on a good note, and as much as this show frustrates me, the world-building with regards to how hard Andy works to surround these kids with good people, is a touch I adore.
Andy tries to reassure Shelby some more, and they clear the air over their argument last week.
Tomas and Marcus are reunited with little Harper, who is so happy to see Marcus. She’s been asking for them both a lot, and Rose is very grateful to them both for sticking around to help out. The mere presence of the girl seems to make them like each mother, and I know for a fact somewhere right now some wonderful person is writing the fan fiction where they quit the work, and adopt Harper together.
Post me a link when it’s up, friend.
Back with Bennett, he learns how hardcore Mouse is; she contains Sister Satan in a ring of powder made from the bones of old saints. Bennett explains back when Sister Delores was the bees knees in exorcism circles, she was one of the Vatican’s best (so we can’t be ordained priests, but we can be nuns and sisters who fight off actual, literal demons? As always, Vatican, you disappoint).
Mouse explains the demon is integrated as Sister Satan reminds Bennett of his own near death experience, knowing he was cut and drained. Bennett wants to exorcise her, for Dolores’ sake but Mouse tells a heartfelt story about how much she loved the woman and knows what she ‘deserves’. Dolores is gone, though and the demon is useful; it knows names, those in the Vatican who are possessed or part of the plan, which is how Mouse knows who to murderdeathkill.
Bennett wonders if Dolores could be in there, and speaks of Tomas and Marcus successfully exorcising the posse integrated Regan/Pazuzu. She’s shocked it’s true, gives grim warnings that the war is already here, and the humans are already losing.
The boys, Rose, and Harper arrive on the island. The kids are playing outside the house while Andy and Grace have a tea party in her room. He tries to move it outside, and she guilts him about wanting him to herself and thinking he loves the others more. He’s adorable again, and asks her to meet Harper. She says she doesn’t want to, but she’s talking to an invisible figure in the room and then the table moves on its own. Andy doesn’t entirely shit his pants, and asks if she’s okay, but Grace again seems like she was in a trance.
When Tomas steps off the boat onto the docks, he hears strange, haunting whispering. Rose is telling Harper how she was a foster kid too, and all the adults are being so great right now.
They arrive at the house, where Grace is still hiding inside and the kids are gathered to meet Harper. Tomas and Marcus immediately notice the abundance of cobwebs around the trees. Andy is adorable and sweet. The other kids whisper conspiratorially, describing the newbies to Caleb. Verity visibly bristles at the sight of Tomas’ dog collar.Alone inside the house, Grace is spooked by a shaking and rattling as if the house is under intense pressure. She races upstairs. Andy gives the boys the tour and later, he and Marcus talk. Marcus talks about the horrible group home he was in, 150 boys in one place. Jesus. Marcus notices some crow bodies and the webs again.
Verity is with Harper and gives her the skinny about the bathrooms, the wi-fi and how Andy is a decent cook, relatively woke, but most importantly, safe. Verity promises Harper no one will hurt her any more, and shows her a genuinely beautiful night light she’s made for Harper.
SHOW, IF YOU HURT THESE TWO …
Tomas smiles at their bonding, but is distracted by the same eerie shaking that scared Grace. She appears behind him; when he turns, she’s gone, to the sound of retreating footsteps. Tomas is drawn towards the attic, but Shelby pops up to introduce himself, as faithful, if not actually Catholic. Shelby somewhat pointedly asks if there is any specific reason a PRIEST just turned up. Marcus needs him. They meet up, and both make noises about how nice the place is, then each waits for the other to be like ‘… but something’s fucky, right? Something is fucky’. Tomas thinks he may have been right about Harper after all, so Marcus takes a look around.
He finds Pete on a beach, examining the body of a very deep sea fish that has somehow washed up on shore, and they discuss the animal weirdness, and the nature of Marcus, now he’s not a priest. Does it feel like they’re setting the show up where Marcus might decide to stay at the house at the end?
Back with Bennett, he turns off the children’s music, speaks to the demon who calls itself Mejis. Bennett, who apparently learned the ways of the holistic nuns from season one, talks about the beauty of the name, and how much god must have loved the angel Mejis was. Mejis spits at him, and Bennett is still kind and gives her water. Bennett is warned ‘She’ will find him, then ‘the old grey lion and the little cub’, clarifying someone he met in Chicago — most likely, Maria Walters. Bennett is distracted as some objects beginning to float when Mejis sacrifices Dolores’ hands by throwing handfuls of Powdered Saints into his eyes and dragging him into the circle. She beats and chokes him and he looks done, but Mouse appears and shoots a syringe of holy water into Dolores, just a little. Mouse asks what the lion and cub meant, meaning she heard and let him get attacked, and he has to remind her they’re on the same side. Guys, you were getting along just find ten minutes ago, what happened??
SHOW. STOP WITH THE POINTLESS CONFLICTS.
He explains about Tomas and Marcus, and she knows Marcus’ name. They realise Maria is the answer to get all the names. Looks like they’re going to Chicago?
Pete and Marcus talk and Pete explains the Island has a lot of weird problems with animals and things of that nature. Marcus asks for Pete’s number, and it took me a long time to realise they are FLIRTING and bonding and sweet, sweet Pete tries to ask Marcus on a nice hiking date but Marcus demurs. MARCUS GODDAMN YOU, LET YOURSELF ENJOY THINGS. ENJOY PETE HE’S ADORABLE!
At the house Tomas is about to leave when Andy invites him to join their welcoming ritual for Harper. She dips her hand in paint and leaves her own print on the wall, and while the others cheer and clap and call Harper family, Tomas recognises the vision from his dream and about swallows his own tongue.
The kids go to bed, and Verity bonds more with Harper. Harper is worried about still missing her mother, but Verity is THE BEST and reassures her, and paints her nails. Rose and Andy peek in, and are both so thrilled and proud at Verity just CRUSHING this big sister thing. Andy credits the absent Nicole for Verity’s current state, as she was like Verity as a kid and just loved her, let her be herself. John Cho, I keep forgetting to mention, is spectacular in these scenes about Nicole. The pain Andy carries is so raw.
He segues into again asking Rose to stick around, and we see creepy creepy imaginary Grace watching.
Rose is in bed and seems to be dreaming that a male figure is in her room, and crawling onto her bed. It’s honestly horrifying, as she can’t get to a working light until she turns on her phone, and then the figure is gone. She leaps out of bed into some weird goo on the floor; just then, Harper wakens shrieking from a violent nightmare and Rose goes to her. That was creepy AF, 10/10 show.
Harper wakes and cries about her mother and begs Rose to stay, and just like that, Rose is staying. Can … social workers just do that? Doesn’t she have to quit?
Downstairs, she laments the lack of wine and half jokes about how he has to get rid of it when she comes around, and fetches chocolate. She talks about her nightmare and Harper, and her fear of getting too attached to one kid at the cost of the others she works with.
She talks about some ancient night in their history when Rose and Andy could have been, but by the time they figured it out they each had other people. He’s as sad he lost her as a friend as a lover, and then they kiss and it’s so well-earned and aaaaaaaaaaaaaw this is gonna go terrible.
At a bar on the island, Tomas is confused and afraid by the visions and their meaning. Marcus laments he hasn’t felt the presence of god for months. Tomas gives it the old priestly ‘Maybe you are not listening?,’ and he realises Marcus is in a really bad place. Marcus compares himself to a water pitcher that used to be filled with god’s power, and now the power just runs through him. Tomas tries to assure him that’s what Tomas is for, but Marcus thinks Tomas is his heaven-sent replacement.
They agree the island is weird, and they’ll stick around.
The next morning, Demon Grace tightens its hold, and asks if she goes outsid,e can she be Andy’s favourite? She calls him ‘Daddy’, and of course he agrees. He takes her outside and she acts nervous, but makes great progress and walks around then begins to run and play.
Verity has come home and calls for Andy; he doesn’t respond. Outside, he’s near tears with pride for Grace, and they race together. Verity hears his laughter outside and goes to look … and is disturbed by what she sees.
We don’t see what yet, but later, Andy takes Grace back to her room and she chatters about all the stuff she can do now, so she and Andy can be together forever. He puts her down for a nap. Downstairs Verity hears him talking. Andy comes back down and closes the door. Verity was hiding and sneaks by him to run up to the attic OH FOR FUCKS SAKE GET THERE ALREADY and of course, the doodles on Grace’s door are gone, and of course it’s an empty attic room — Grace’s lunches left rotting on the floor, and I’m trying to care that Verity looks so disturbed but DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH. I’m honestly offended this is meant to be a twist. Offended. This time last year was the Regan reveal, and I fell out of my chair. This. Guys. Come on.
I’m not even giving this an ‘I told you so’, because that was the worst reveal I have ever seen. I’m starting to think this is one of those times when I’m right to be the only one who think this show is hilariously bad. I mean, for real, Mouse and Bennett are entirely onside, but she thinks playing Murder Roulette with him is okay? Why? Things were fine! Just have them get along, We already have two arguing exorcists! Damn it!
Still, this episode had a lot of things I liked. I love Pete, I really love Pete and Marcus. The writers did a grand job of setting up Marcus current conflict but then just presenting retiring to Nachburn (with Pete!) as a really valid choice he could make. And who would blame him, after his horrific life, for that choice? I’ll be kinda pissed if he doesn’t, if I’m honest.
Verity is a great character, and her bonding with Harper was the loveliest thing, and as I said earlier, I like how much work has gone into showing how this is a community that rallies around this family and wants to do right for these children.
Next week, we deal with The Grace Issue, because forget revealing who is possessed, in a show about possession. The Exorcist returns Friday nights on Fox!