Previously on The Exorcist: Star of the Morning
Beginning nine days after Marcus’ near-drowning of Casey, the possessed girl is in the hands of the ex-communicated exorcist and the nuns of Mother Bernadette’s convent. But the ritual isn’t going well at all. Casey’s condition becomes so dire that Mother Bernadette refuses to offer further assistance to Marcus and Tomas, even going far as suggesting euthanasia-by-belladonna.
The Rance family, however, are unaware of Casey’s location; they think she’s still missing. They are hounded by media and placard-holding self-righteous zealots. Casey’s plight has gone nationwide, leading to a television interview that goes nastily wrong when the interviewer confronts Angela with the question: “Is your daughter dangerous?” The Rances have no choice but to hide out in their home, awaiting news either way of Casey’s fate.
Satan may be the Father of Lies, but Tomas does more than his fair share of lying in this episode. Marcus forces him not to tell the Rances where Casey is for fear that their work may be undone by the authorities. Tomas has to lie to the bishop, too, when asked if he knows where Marcus has disappeared to. The bishop is concerned that the church has been compromised and in danger of being engulfed in scandal ahead of the pope’s visit.
Speaking of which, Father Bennett isn’t impressed with the arrangements made for the upcoming papal visit. He thinks the pope is too exposed in Chicago and confronts the organizing committee with his misgivings. Seeing that the aforementioned committee are firmly Team Satan, they brush aside his criticisms. But the mood changes when Bennett tells them he knows about Tattersal Landscaping’s donation of $3million to the committee despite the company being out of business for a number of years. Maria Walters goes on the defensive, saying that it was her husband’s idea to make such a charitable donation, nothing more. The cat’s out of the bag now, and you have to worry for Bennett’s safety. And rightly so: when he goes all Father Dowling on Tattersal’s ass, Bennett finds the warehouse where the murdered victims were butchered for their organs. But he’s not alone. The demon’s acolytes attack Bennett, stabbing him at one point, but he shows some pretty good moves in dispensing his assailants, going as far as exorcising (I think) one of them.
The lying continues for Tomas. Jessica knows he’s struggling with their relationship, but thinks it’s to do with breaking his vows rather than what’s happening elsewhere. Tomas doesn’t tell her anything and dashes out of her apartment when she asks him about a wound on his hand – Casey bit him during one of his and Marcus’ many sessions with the girl. He heads to a pharmacy where he tries to get treatment for the wound, which has become infected, and gets into a fight with an asshole who wants to take a selfie with the celebrated “rising star” of the church. Maria Walters takes care of business, and it as this point you think Tomas’ faith may be wavering. Walters’ gentle but persuasive prodding all through the season could bear fruit after all.
However, for me, the episode stands out when it comes to Angela. Finally Geena Davis is allowed to breathe life into her character. Angela is breaking down, falling apart in front of her family’s eyes. She and her mother Chris share a poignant scene where she says that when Casey comes back – she’s hopeful she will – she will let her daughter know that none of this was her fault. Particularly affecting what how she dunked a photograph of Casey in a glass of water and then dried it afterwards, like she was washing away or absolving her daughter’s “sins”. Chris and Angela share a tender moment, one borne of understanding.
Later when Tomas comes to visit, Angela is cowering in the shower, surrounded by her family, losing what’s left of her fragile mind, asking the priest for his help. Going completely against Marcus’ wishes, he brings Angela to the convent, only to be greeted by her possessed daughter’s dangerous state of mind and body. “Sow,” Casey calls her.
No follow-up from last week with respect to Superintendent Jaffey’s possession. It’s business as normal for the organizing committee/Friars of Ascension. Although Walters could have an ace up her sleeve if she gets Tomas to turn to the dark side.
Is demonic possession transferable by bite? Because Tomas’ frame of mind changed radically later in the episode when he attacked the asshole in the pharmacy with a ferocity that has been hitherto unseen.
Marcus is pretty sure he’s doing God’s work with Casey. He says that God was awoken from His “nap” and is ready to fight evil.
The philosophical debate on the nature of evil and how God allows bad things to happen to good people is front and centre of Father of Lies, as is the concept of committing sin (lying) for the right reasons.
Father Bennett is badass.
The Exorcist S1E7 = 7.8/10