Father Bennett wakes in his hospital bed, fully dressed so it must be a dream. A young woman he calls Anna sits beside his bed. She tells him she’s waiting for him, and he gasps it’s not possible. She is, or was, his sister. She asks why he left twenty two years ago, and he was basically taken by a Cardinal. Anna’s ghost reminds him he said he’d come back. Bennett, with deep regret, says he tried but was too late. Anna begins to cry that she waited for him, and he apologises heavily. She tells him she’s glad he’s back and he promises never to leave her again.
Ooooh shit. In the waking world, in his hospital room two creepy Vatican priests discuss a sinister plan to use Bennett to have the Vatican shut down its Exorcist branch, entirely. They’re pretty confident Bennett will ‘wake up with a better temperament …’ because they have a possession urn beneath his bed, and he’s being possessed. GREAT choice to leave him alone, and without any instructions to say, only call you, Mouse. Super wise.
On Nachburn, Marcus has tied Andy, and tries to drag him back through the woods. He spots a newly awakened Tomas, and quips ‘Took you long enough’, as if it didn’t just take Marcus 46 hours to traverse a series of 15 minute walks. But, Marcus’ sass is slapped right out of him when … Mouse walks up.
Back at the old chapel, Marcus kvetches about Mouse; she mentions Bennett’s state, and Maria Walters. Marcus is deeply concerned for Bennett, which, love. Marcus asks why she’s there and she talks about the conspiracy, but he means her. They have a quiet, intense argument about his leaving her when she was possessed, which it turned out was for six long months. Marcus leans on his guilt and the fact he wasn’t enough, and Mouse is like, ‘I needed you’. You know, Marcus? Her dear friend? Even just to comfort her, and be there for her when she woke up? I mean, if someone you know gets cancer, Marcus, you can’t treat them, but you can hold their damned hand through the chemo.
Tomas as ever is like ‘… Can we get to the exorcism, what with the fact the kids and Rose have gone to get help, and the arrival of police is imminent’? AnDemon wakes up to drop the best line of the franchise; ‘What a wonderful day for an Exorcism’.
Leaving the island, the kids anxiously watch another brewing storm. Vee turns to Shelby and asks if he knows a prayer that might help. He reassures her she doesn’t even need to believe in god to just ask for help. She does. Nearby, Rose looks like she knows Andy is not likely to survive.
In the chapel, the three exorcists present an effectively powerful front. As they work together the AnDemon roars and shrieks, the building around them crumbles and strains. But,the AnDemon isn’t going anywhere, just yet.
Later, they rest while a search helicopter flies around outside.They worry about being caught, so Mouse just breaks out her handgun, and is ready to shoot Andy’s body to release at least his mortal soul. Marcus takes the gun from her, saying they’re not executioners. AnDemon reminds us all of Brother Satan, whose throat Marcus slashed in Chicago, then mocks him about his father, speaking in the man’s voice. He talks about how Marcus could have run away from his father that night, instead he chose to stay and shoot the man. While Marcus leans in, AnDemon teases that Marcus must have wanted to do it, and that’s why he feels guilt — not for shooting his dad, but liking it. Marcus, in my favourite moment of his ever, leans in, smiles slightly, and says ‘You’re the first one that got that right’.
I am way more into the exorcism scenes when the exorcists don’t fall for these basic ass headgames. I was talking about this with a dear and wonderful friend who watches the show. We reasoned that it’s harder to attend a day of high school, or be a Woman With Opinions on The Twitters, than it is to be an exorcist. We are also offering our services to any IRL exorcists who need a cheer squad to keep them from getting distracted by these frankly pathetic doses of shade. Call us on 1-800 You-Cant-Sit-With-Us-Demon for details.
Mouse wonders why the demon hasn’t left — it can’t kill the family now, and it can’t fight the three of them forever. They realise Andy is holding it inside him so they can kill it, which Mouse remains all up for doing. Tomas realises he has to let the demon into him and fight it — so now he’s fully Father Karras, then. Marcus is dead against it and thinks he’ll die ,but Tomas calmly asserts his life belongs to God, and what happens is in His hands. Marcus, tearful, doesn’t want to lose him. Aaaw, boys. Tomas fiercely warns ‘Then, bring me back’.
Mouse is hilariously callous about Andy not being worth the effort and girl, you’re wrong, but I love someone so frank. Tomas approaches AnDemon and quickly, he’s back in Limbo.
He’s back at Andy’s house, only it’s dark and covered in mould and rot. There are disturbing paintings of the children on the walls, and something is moving around in the shadows. Tomas creeps around the spooky house, following the noises and is suddenly approached by a black humanoid figure with glowing eyes. Tomas is frozen in fear, but Andy appears with a bat and smashes it into pieces. He and Tomas hide in a bedroom and Andy gasps that when he kills it, it comes back stronger. Tomas wants to get them out, but Andy’s guilt over the murders is overwhelming. He’s also aware if he goes, the demon will find a new family, unless they kill it.
Gently, he approaches Tomas and asks that if it goes wrong, he take back a message to the kids. Tomas hates it, but takes the message.
Outside, Marcus and Mouse bicker over Tomas and ugh, girl I had JUST GOTTEN THESE TWO ON GOOD TERMS, SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP. She thinks they’re risking Tomas’ life on Andy when he could be a weapon against the whole conspiracy, an atom bomb. Marcus points out that atom bombs tend to, you know, destroy themselves, but Mouse isn’t here for it.
In Limbo, Andy and Tomas walk around the house, and Andy wishes it was a dream. He’s suddenly yanked away by the demon and the NikkiDemon, all rotted and creepy, appears all around, spider-walking and creeping. Tomas runs to Grace’s old room in the attic and safely locks it, while the demon pounds at the door. He finds a massively weakened Andy. That horrible honeycomb rash of his is all over his body, and he’s losing the strength to fight. Tomas tells him his plan to take the demon himself, but Andy won’t let him. Tomas gathers himself, and begins to pray and chant. Paint pours off Nikki’s paintings on the walls, and while Tomas roars his prayers, the paint pools together and the NikkiDemon emerges. Tomas offers himself and the NikkiDemon grabs him.
Outside, he starts gasping, while Marcus and Mouse panic. Inside Limbo, the NikkiDemon chokes and then appears to kiss him. Outside, he’s breathing fast as the demon takes him over. Andy manages to break through, and demands Marcus shoot him. And … without ever really giving Tomas the chance to do his thing, Marcus … just does.
For fuck’s sake, this show was doing SO well. The NikkiDemon in Limbo evaporates, Tomas collapses, though he’s saved. And Andy is just dead. While the gang grieves, I’m just going to sit here raging. That’s stupid. I expected him to die of his cumulative injuries or like, heart failure just after he’s saved, but not that bullshit. Maybe if Tomas had been at it longer than thirty seconds? Maybe if Tomas was actively dying right then from being possessed, then … okay. But … he wasn’t even in that much trouble! God damn it. This show. Just … it takes away from the tragedy and the power of it. They didn’t do it because Andy was begging them or anything; they did it to save Tomas, who wasn’t in that much trouble and is Tomas, an active Catholic priest who can probably weather a possession reasonably well, at least well enough you don’t need to just FUCKING SHOOT ANDY.
The police arrive later, and the scene is staged to make Andy look suicidal. Holy shit, so after all his suffering he goes down in history as a mass murderer who attacked children before killing himself? EXCELLENT. WORK. BOYS.
Rose gives a statement about how good Andy was for six years, which would be lovely if not for the many many dead bodies. Rose tries to explain away the attack on Harper’s mother as self-defence, and claims it seemed to make him snap and turn on the rest of them. She’s asked why she didn’t call any of this in earlier, and Rose doesn’t even need to lie about how she was more focussed on saving the children than anything else.
The cop tells her how amazing she is for saving the children. GOOD. BECAUSE SHE IS.
Outside, Tomas watches the kids before Rose comes to gather them up. Tomas pulls her aside and gives her Andy’s message; in short, he always loved her and never, ever stopped. He turns and tells the kids what Andy said to them; that Andy and Nikki loved them so much. To tell Truck he is smarter and kinder than anyone sees; that Harper needs to know she’s perfect, and to never let anyone tell her otherwise. He is in awe of Caleb’s courage and constant smiling. Shelby, Andy saw what you did to protect the family, the strength and bravery ,and he’s so proud. And Verity (I am weeping by now) saved Andy and Nikki more than they saved her. He tells the kids Andy knew they would go on to amazing homes and lead amazing lives. And though he may not be there, he will always be with them and they will always be part of them. He tells them their father was a hero.
Oh, these babies. These poor, tiny babies.
Rose manages not to be a sobbing mess because she is The Strongest, and she leads the kids away.
Back at the motel, Tomas goes to see Marcus — who … wants to retire. He’s compromised now, as he killed an innocent man. Tomas tries to reason with him, but Marcus is finally accepting that if he can’t see or hear God anymore, he can’t do it. Tomas dances around the fact he could have saved Andy, and was willing to make that sacrifice. Marcus’ decision is apparently made, though. Tomas accepts it, because Tomas is smarter and more emotionally skilled than Marcus. He calls it ‘for now’, not forever.
Outside, Marcus says goodbye to Mouse, who will be joining Tomas on the road, calling her his Little Church Mouse which, to be fair, he’s done nothing to earn, but she’s okay with it, so whatever. Tomas emerges to watch Marcus leave, and it’s all dreadfully sad but I’m banking on an ending where we see Marcus with Pete so … I’ll hold my tears for a second.
Mouse goes to Tomas, who is trying to convince himself Marcus is just in a mood and will come back. But, Mouse doesn’t believe that. Tomas is crushed and scared to be alone; Mouse is right there to support him, believing that if god sent him to find Marcus to start this, he sent her to Tomas to finish it. I guess, now, they’re all about the conspiracy, because they leave the motel on Mouse’s warning about how powerful the Vatican is. Tomas is not afraid.
Back in Spokane, Bennett wakes from his coma and, yep, he’s possessed. So … all those super badass powers he had last year, just … he forgot, I guess? I’ll forgive a lot for what happens next; a recreation of this scene from the The Exorcist 3, only with Bennett as …. well, you can probably guess. Widely regarded as one of the better jump scares in horror history, the TV show even manages to nail the super 70s style quick zoom to really sell the moment, and features an identical cut to a headless statue. Hell, even the music is pretty close.
I’d stopped keeping count of references to the original films, but we’ve had three absolute winners in this episode alone. Well played.
We see Rose, YES, picking up Truck, who has to ask if he can even hug her. Oh, my heart. Truck sobs over Andy, and how sad his life at the hospital is. But, Rose has a home for him. He cries in happiness. . She takes him home to a house to meet the brand new foster parent who has never taken care of kids before. Truck is shown into a nice house, and quickly realises it’s Rose’s own home. (SOBBING, GUYS. I AM A MESS). She asks if it will be okay, then hears other voices, and runs around the corner to find the other kids and his bird! They hug tackle him to the ground, and we fade out on their wonderful musical laughters. MY. EMOTIONS.
Somewhere on a dock, Marcus is working, and takes a break from some work or another. Enough time has passed he’s grown some level of beard. As he stares over the water, suddenly he weeps. He can hear god, speaking to him and, in terror, he mutters one word … ’Tomas’.
And, that’s the season.
The Good; the child actors were incredible, and the work done to create a sense of this wonderful little family was perfect. The island managed to be haunting, sad, uplifting, creepy, and everything else all at once. Every character managed to be so well developed, even Pete, and Russ the farmer and his wife, even though their roles were relatively small. As such, the murder of the couple was a real emotional shock, and Marcus’ quiet, sad rejection of Pete left me genuinely heartbroken for this kind man. I even found myself wondering how he handled losing the farmers, and Andy, and all the kids at once. That’s how well written this season was.
But … the Bad; well. I’ve said several times during these recaps that season two was, for the most part, a huge improvement on the first. A few letdowns I already mentioned were the obviousness of the Grace reveal, and the ongoing inclusion of the Vatican Conspiracy, but everything else was excellent. I also feel like Marcus could have returned to Pete, and his call to god means he has to leave the man behind to go find Tomas. That would have been a much deeper emotional beat for me, but it is what it is. I am of course delighted to see the kids get a relatively happy ending, and while I hope it remains so, it could be cool to revisit them in the future in some form.
Andy’s death … I said last week it was happening, that was obvious. The way it played out, I obviously hate. Like I mentioned earlier, I expected his death to come from cumulative injuries, organ failure, or maybe he goes and drowns himself in the same bay as Nikki, something … else.As it was, I couldn’t help but thinking that Marcus … rather literally jumped the gun? It just happened too fast for me to really believe it was the only option they had. And I’m sort of pissed that Marcus doesn’t feel that way about it, and that Tomas only hinted to Marcus that maybe he should have.
The Bennett twist leaves me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, he’s been shown to be vulnerable to possession before, and the last time he was almost possessed, he was speaking to an unseen ‘Anna’, so I actually love the callback and of course, the fantastic recreation of the spooky scene from the third movie. Having Bennett a potential villain next season (provided they get one) is interesting, plus we know the scenes between he and Marcus will be spectacular. But, it has to be said; Mouse proved useless to the exorcism. All she really did was arrive in time to partner up with Tomas, so her abandonment of Bennett just felt sort of redundant. I know she’s the cold, mission driven type, but this didn’t come across as that kind of decision. It was just, bluntly, stupid on her part. She keeps on about this ‘losing’ war they’re in (which barely landed last year when half of Chicago was possessed, and definitely doesn’t land this year), but in a world where she only knows three other living exorcists, she just … blithely abandons one — in a situation guaranteed to place him in danger. I know I keep ranting about this, but it’s so, so dumb.
But overall, I enjoyed that season, and I see myself rewatching it in the near future. If, or when, The Exorcist returns, keep your eyes on Oohlo for news, updates and recaps.