So, it looks like I’m the only one who guessed the big ‘Grace’ twist from the last episode. And, honestly, I’m a surprised. It’s an established trope in the show, imaginary friends. And it’s not like Sam Esmail was directing, or Andy hallucinated Grace interacting with others. No one thought it was odd than in all her worrying, Rose never mentioned the six year old agoraphobic in the attic?
In other news, Marcus flirted with adorable hottie Pete, Bennett and Mouse might be coming back to Chicago, and Verity found out Andy has an imaginary friend.
We open on Andy in Grace’s room, suggesting they read outside. Grace creepily looks over to where Verity is standing there, confused. The illusion bursts; he doesn’t see Grace’s sweet kid room anymore, just the dingy attic full of rotten food, and Andy seems to … remember or realise something he already knew. Vee gently asks if it’s about Nikki, and Andy gets emotional and sends her away. Alone, he freaks out until a mystery bug seems to sting him and when he looks up, Grace and her room are right back where they were. She reaches for him and Andy backs out, but now Grace is ghost-jumping around while Andy freaks and runs away.
Credits. Alicia Witt is in this episode? Oh HELL yeah! Rose watches while Andy hurriedly packs for a surprise overnight camping trip with everyone. Rose isn’t sure but Andy sheepishly admits — and I don’t think lies, either — it’s the anniversary of him asking Nikki to marry him, and he needs to get away. He even thinks the weak and still recovering Harper will benefit. With Grace appearing creepily behind Rose, she looks ready to agree.
Tomas turns up at the house, and Verity is so openly hostile, that I hope we learn why sooner than later (Yeah, we learned, and now I’m sad and angry forever). Tomas has coffee with Rose and talks about being an Exorcist. She, a professional social worker, is like ‘… Uh huh’, as Tomas is distracted by creepy voices. When Tomas asks if she noticed anything weird, she answers earnestly she has not, but hasn’t been here long. However, when he asks to speak to the kids, she shuts it down, particularly Harper.
Marcus, looking adorable, goes over to visit with Pete (YAY!) and they’re adorably smiley with each other. Marcus asks about the weirdness of the island Pete mentioned; historical evidence or violent crime? Pete talks about a Glenn Powell who one day, five decades ago slaughtered his whole family, even chasing down his eldest daughter who was on another island at a slumber party. The girl hid while her friends were massacred, and now lives nearby. So, of course, Pete will take Marcus to check her out.
Andy packs more and Grace appears, to be creepy. She warns him to be careful, and his bug bite from earlier has become — OH FUCKIN’ SICK — like a honeycomb scar on his chest from which wasps crawl. HOOOORF.
Marcus visits with the surviving Powell daughter, an old lady now, and living somewhere insanely beautiful. She talks about how her father was the best, coming home every night to tuck his kids in and tell them something he loved about them. He was kind. The lady cries that the ‘Glenn’ that did the murders was not her father, but looked like him. Marcus tells her he believes her, and they bond over being social outcasts because of the things they know and people they lost. Marcus asks if Glenn said anything, and Daughter Powell describes the telltale creepy voice and unknowable languages that signify possession. So then, is the Island a Hellmouth? Call Buffy.
Andy rolls the kids out for the camping trip, and he’s doing a great job of being happy, chill Andy. Grace appears to spooky glare at him, but he dips out.
Marcus calls Tomas and they talk about Glenn. Tomas wants to rush to the kids, while Marcus is more attuned to the sensitivity required, and wants to go back later with a good story and a plan. Tomas agrees, but as soon as the call is over, he heads back to the house.
We’re back in Belgium with Bennett (truth be told I was so into the Island story I’d half forgotten these two) and Mouse while she packs, and he tries a last ditch exorcism of Sister Dolores. Mouse wants to euthanise the afflicted woman rather than leave her to starve, even while Bennett talks up Tomas’ potential to save her. Dolores calls him Devon, which I assume is his first name, and as ‘Dolores’ she claims to still be there, fighting. It’s another of the show’s callbacks to the film. This is like when Regan spoke to Karras in his mother’s voice. Mouse warns him off, and Dolores reminds Bennett of a promise he made to help her. He argues Mouse’s Vulcan logic about saving the lives of many over the lives of a few, and Dolores whimpers ‘But, what about me?’.
Bennett gets his answer, explains the real Dolores would want him to go to save as many as he could. He shoots her up with Holy Water and Mouse says a few comforting words, and they grimly watch her burn. Nice scene. Nice. Short and succinct, brutal.Well done.
The gang camps, and Harper is adorably shocked by Truck swearing over burnt S’mores. Harper tells Rose she’d like to stay on the island as her full time placement and with a warm look, clearly thinking of Andy, Rose agrees. I’m genuinely afraid for these kids, guys. Andy is setting up a tent nearby, and Grace spooks up to spook around and ask him to come home. This little girl is slaying her scenes, she’s balancing creepy without it getting clichéd, really skillful for such a tiny person. Andy, possibly rightly, calls her a stress-induced delusion (I mean, or you’re possessed).
She demands Andy come home again, but Rose walks over to congratulate him on how well the impromptu trip has worked out. Grace vanishes, and Andy basically collapses in fear and admits he’s not at all okay after Nikki’s death. He pretends he is, but he’s not. Beautiful work from John Cho. Rose comforts him that of course he’s not okay, and he doesn’t need to be, so long as he’s there. They warmly embrace as Grace is watching. Andy tries to admit this to Rose, but his ‘bug bite’ suddenly hurts so he sends Rose off to check on the kids.
Speaking of, invisible-to-them Grace walks amongst them and seems to have some effect on Truck, who becomes quiet all of a sudden. Show, we talked about using differently abled people as conduits for the evil. Like, a lot.
Tomas goes back to the empty house, and can let himself in. Inside, an evil force swoops around and he freezes.
Marcus and Pete are out on the water, and Pete kills the engine so they can talk (aaaaaaaand romance?). Pete is offering an ear for the clearly troubled Marcus to talk, and mentions his own PTSD from tours in Kosovo. Holy shit, Pete. Pete talks haltingly of finding a kid buried in the rubble of a destroyed building, seeing the kids face for years after. He asks what Marcus sees, and Ben Daniels sets the screen on fire talking about Marcus’ mother’s murder, and how he shot his father to death while the man tried to choke him — about his miserable life in an orphanage, and his self harm. He talks about the dead little boy in Mexico City, and Harper’s mother using bleach to burn her daughter, claiming it’s holy water. That’s what he sees.
Pete says nothing, just nods and understands.
Guys, this episode is so great so far. Everyone is bringing it so hard.
Tomas’ dumb, pretty ass is alone in the House Of Evil because his danger radar is dysfunctional. He’s being led around by some creepy sense or another as he explores. Caleb’s record player turns on creepily, and Tomas prays in Spanish as he turns it off. Unseen by him, Grace appears and glares at him.
At the camp, Caleb is telling Harper the Well Witch story. Shelby is spooked by being outdoors, and asks Vee if she’s noticed anything weird. She’s in no mood for his religious talks, and it turns out poor Verity was sent to and tortured at one of those gay concentration camps lunatics claim ‘cure’ LGBTQ people.
Holy shit, that is depressing. It led Verity to three suicide attempts. Shelby, who is good and sweet is horrified, apologises. He talks about being born addicted to methadone and how every single one of his siblings is dead, except him, because he has god. It’s another great scene, made better by them both finishing, ‘I hate camping’. Beautiful work.
Rose reappears, and they all notice Truck has gone missing. Thinking he’s off peeing, Verity goes searching.
Tomas is still alone in the haunted house, which has telekinetically thrown-open doors for good measure. His dumb, pretty face does not run away.
In the woods, Verity finds Truck in the creepy barn-house from the first episode, slamming his head against the wall. She runs over, quietly trying to stop him.
Back at the house, Tomas is in the attic. We see Grace is slamming a dolls head into the wall, controlling Truck to do the same. She chokes the doll, and Truck grabs and starts to choke Verity.
Andy hears her scream and runs to her.
In the house, the walls shake and Tomas begins to pray. Again. Some more. I love that it’s a character trait of Tomas he slips in and out of English and Spanish when he’s stressed.
Andy reaches the kids, and is trying to pull Truck off Verity. In the house, Tomas’ praying makes things float before they all collapse, and with them, so does Truck. In a completely heart-shattering scene, Rose tends to Verity while Truck, who had no idea what he was doing, cries and freaks out, apologising. Oh man. This really hurts. Rose has to take Truck away, and Caleb loses his shit while Truck just sobs and apologises
Oh man. Oh man.
Tomas is looking through Andy and Nikki’s’s old pictures when he finds a strange old rock, and is hit by some sort of vision. He demands that in the name of JC, the demon show itself. Grace appears and grabs his wrist, and then Tomas is in the creepy dream space.
He’s in a strange house from what could be the 30’s or 40s. A man has slaughtered his children in their beds before turning his weapon on Tomas, then on himself. Then, Tomas is in a sepia-toned dream near the creepy cabin and Witches Well the kids from now like. He sees a mother suddenly push her little boy into the well, and then Tomas vomits water, as if he was drowning. He tries to crawl to the well to save the boy, but collapses into another dream/memory. He’s at the house where Glenn Powell slaughtered his daughter’s friends and when he bursts through the door and they scream, so does Tomas. He’s flung out of the dream and collapses.
Out on the boat, Marcus prays and looks powerfully relieved. Pete asks what he heard, and it’s nothing. Pete says it’s a start and then they kiss, and finally, MARCUS GET YOU SOME. But, no. Marcus is addicted to being miserable, so wants them to get back to shore. MARCUS. I HAVE NO WORDS FOR YOU RIGHT THIS SECOND. That said, he does thank Pete with real affection.
Back at the house, Verity asks why they’re not at the doctor. She’s worried Truck will be in trouble because she woke him up from sleepwalking; Andy just gives Verity an intense look, and storms inside and upstairs. Tomas watches them come home.
Andy rushes up to the attic and screams in rage, trashing the room and tossing that strange rock Tomas found through a painting Nicole had done. Grace peers at him, in her pillowcase mask. Then creepily, she grows taller and when she approaches, he takes off the hood. She is Nicole.
Okay, for as dumb and obvious as Grace was, that was a nicely creepy and emotional episode to start dealing with it. I’m more convinced than ever that Andy is possessed, since the island appears to have a history of making parents kill their kids through possession. Not to mention, Grace is clearly the demon and wields way more power than just some imaginary friend or ‘stress response’, like Andy thinks she is. Especially now, she’s appearing as Nicole.
The acting was outstanding this week, not like it’s ever bad, but I was especially impressed this episode. John Cho was amazing, and Ben Daniels absolutely crushed me during his emotional outburst with Pete. Marcus so often wields his various psychic scars like a weapon, to keep people at a distance, so to have him find someone who just gets it, and doesn’t judge or pity; it’s a great choice. I’m still holding out hope that Marcus retires with Pete eventually. And, now I’ve said that I realise Pete is 110% doomed. Damn it.
The Exorcist returns to Fox next week.