Previously on The Exorcist: Ritual & Repetition
“I’m an exorcist. You put your trust in God – no one else.”
Yeah, God has a lot to answer for in this, the second season finale. You’d like to think He’d reward his “employees” for some sterling work and tragic sacrifices with a sizable pension and a holiday home in the Azores. But no – instead He leaves them in a place of doubt, self-recrimination, lost, and (until the end) unable to hear His voice. Marcus wants out. He’s done all he can for Tomas and Mouse, and now it’s time for him to swan off into the sunset and – do what exactly? I’m not even sure he knows, but still, after putting a bullet into long-suffering Andy, thereby taking the nuclear option, he knows he’s well past his prime and it’s time to call it a day. Anyway, Mouse and Tomas have a new mission: to rid the Catholic Church of the evil that dwells within it. Little do they know that they’ll have to contend with a newly possessed Fr Bennett, who’s become a dab hand at beheading nurses with surgical instruments, thanks to a soul catcher that’s been under his hospital bed while he’s recovering from his wounds.
Season two has been notable for many reasons. The most important being that it took The Exorcist mythology and ran with it in unexpected directions. Leaving many of the characters stranded on an island helped focus the story, and stakes were genuinely high. But one thing was certain from the outset: Andy was never going to come out of this alive. His demon was so entrenched within him that death was always going to be the solution. Mouse knew this the minute she saw him. Despite having three powerful exorcists going up against it, the demon was nevertheless too powerful for them.
Tomas uses his special connection with the demon (let’s call it his superpower) to obtain some redemption for Andy, who has been battling within his own psyche, trying to hold himself together for the sake of his family. Tomas basically hears Andy’s confession while stuck inside the man’s head. He hears of his love for Rose and each of his children, as well has his eternal regret for what he put them through. No matter the reason, Andy still murdered Harper’s mother and committed extreme acts of aggression and terrorism against the others. He wants to be forgiven, but he doesn’t expect it. When Tomas demands the demon take him and spare Andy, the demon relishes the chance to take the priest. It’s at this point that Mouse knows something’s wrong. Marcus, haunted by how he killed his own father years ago, shoots Andy dead, saving Tomas from possession. It’s a tense scene, but you get the impression that Tomas hasn’t been left unscarred by the experience.
Once the authorities arrive on the island, the episode moves swiftly to its conclusion. Rose does her best to clear up events with the police, claiming self-defence when Andy killed Harper and then mental illness for everything else. Whether or not the cops bought it is another thing, but when Rose picked up Truck at the psychiatric facility and brought him home to be reunited with the rest of the children, you get the impression that they probably did.
The season ends with Marcus alone on a dock staring into space. It’s months after the events on the island and it’s apparent he didn’t return in search of Peter Morrow. Instead, as his facial expressions reveal, God picks this moment to touch base with the defrocked priest and let him know Tomas is in danger. So much for retirement.
Season two doesn’t have the definitive end that the first season did. It’s more open-ended and practically begs for a third season. While there wasn’t much progress made in the overall church conspiracy arc, bar a couple of instances in the early part, it’s clear that Fr Bennett will be the focus next time around. No doubt his demon will be the fiercest the three exorcists will have ever faced. But for now, the team is broken up. Getting the band back together will be of upmost importance come the third season. I expect greater focus on the Vatican next time around. And is goes without saying, John Cho was magnificent throughout.