Previously on The Exorcist: Through My Most Grievous Fault
After that twist from the previous episode, the Family Rance deal with the fallout of Chris MacNeill’s sudden reappearance in their lives. Henry is definitely pissed, throwing shade at his wife at every available opportunity. Kat has no desire to call Chris “Nana” or any other term of endearment, preferring simply “Chris – we’re calling her Chris.” Angela (we’re calling her Angela) wants her mother out of the house, fearing that she’ll make the hunt for her missing daughter all about her.
Meanwhile Casey’s disappearance is national news. The episode begins with footage from an old interview in which the distance between Chris and Regan is plain to see. Regan feels that her mother is trying to revive her failing movie career by publishing a book about both their experiences – The Devil in My Daughter (which would make a serviceable B-Movie on Lifetime) – and it’s no wonder she ran away. But Chris wants to help find Casey, and will do anything to keep her in the news, even if that means pissing Angela off. And boy is she pissed. She runs a journalist out of her home just as Chris was about to give an unsanctioned interview.
Speaking of “unsanctioned”: the police superintendent is concerned for the whereabouts of Father Marcus. Being a Catholic himself (yeah, right), he understands the plight the family finds itself in, but still needs to question the errant exorcist. Marcus, too, is unimpressed with Angela. He berates her for not sharing her story, feeling that he and Tomas went into the exorcism without very important information. He tells Angela that possession is like a virus, and once the demon has totally integrated with Casey, there will be no hope for her daughter. Regardless of the police investigation, the $100,000 reward, and the setting up of a helpline, Marcus knows he has to go hunting. Following a lead Tomas passes on to him – something about wild dogs roaming a particular seedy area of the city – Marcus finds Casey hiding out among the homeless and hopeless of Chicago. More on this later.
Marcus isn’t the only one following leads and hunches. Father Bennett attends a charity gathering at Maria Walter’s house, in which an organization calling itself The Friars of Ascension discuss the presence of angels in human society. He’s sees and hears enough to suspect that all is not right with a group that includes Superintendent Jaffrey, the head of the Teamsters, a professor of divinity, and Walters herself in its roster. He’s right to be suspicious, because later on in proceedings, Cardinal Guillot turns up with the burnt remains of the nine who were murdered some time back, and together they call on the Star of the Morning to take one of them as its host. Walters is deeply upset when the entity chooses the police superintendent over her. Tomas had been invited to attend, but chose instead to head up the hunt for Casey, using Walters’ “charitable” donation as reward money. He’s also further tempted by Jessica, who has left her husband and is now renting an apartment. She gives Tomas his own key, but he’s adamant about not sleeping with her anymore.
The Rance family, with Chris in tow, rush to the coroner’s office when they get a call saying that Casey’s body may have been found. When this turns out not to be the case, Angela and Chris share an embrace. Could tensions between the two be already subsiding? Maybe Angela recognises what her mother went through when she thought she lost Regan to the demon all those years ago.
Back with Marcus. After fending off an attack “down below”, he chases Casey into the city and catches her eating a swan. He attempts to drown the demon out of her and he may very well have succeeded. Casey comes to her senses briefly, uttering what is now the show’s mantra – He is coming.
So what we have now is a city-wide conspiracy to sabotage the papal visit, led by the cardinal and his partners-in-devilworship. Where exactly Casey’s possession fits into all this remains to be seen. No doubt The Friars of Ascension want Tomas in their ranks, and perhaps the shenanigans surrounding the Rances is part of their plan. It could be a case of divide and conquer.
The potential problem with this is, while The Exorcist was a personal and intimate story of one family’s experience with demonic possession, the television show’s decision to open it out on a city and perhaps global scale creates an Omen-esque agenda. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I’d hate for it lose focus on the effect of possession and exorcism on the individual.
Maria Walters is distraught when the Police Superintendent Jaffrey is chosen ahead of her to be the bodily host of the Star of the Morning. Will this affect her overall position within the Friars of Ascension? Has she her own agenda? Obviously so.
It was good to see the tour guides from A Moveable Feast making a re-appearance. These guys know their shit when it comes to evil in Chicago. In a moment of rare levity in the show, Cherry refers to Marcus as looking like Colin Firth, where Lester prefers a younger Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Henry Rance seems to have regained more control over his brain injury. He has become less dependent and more focused on what’s going on around him, particularly when it comes to Angela. Has the demon affected him, too?
At an open-air press conference early in the episode, a group of citizens express their concern over the lack of coverage of the nine victims who were brutally murdered a few weeks back. They want justice for the nine and read out the names of the victims on air. This is a good piece of social commentary, allowing the writers and viewers to be reminded of what is happening right now in the United States, where the focus is mainly on privileged members of society rather than people of colour. This is nicely done.
Sharon Gless as Chris MacNeill is pretty good in her scenes, especially the ones she shares with Angela. She brings plenty of class and background to the show.
The Exorcist S1E6 = 7.9/10