Previously on The Exorcist, “Help Me”
A positioning episode that lays the foundations for the final two installments of season two, “A Heaven of Hell” is a stark and scary piece of storytelling that places each of our characters in mortal danger. By episode’s end, the demon holds all the cards and it’s hard to see a way back to the light for Marcus, Tomas, Andy, Rose, and the foster kids. Fr Bennett and Mouse have their own problems, too, with Bennett dangerously wounded from his encounter with Maria Walters’ demon, and Mouse struggling with her past history with Marcus. They’re both on their way to Seattle to find Marcus and Tomas, via a short stop in hospital to get Bennett’s wound tended to.
It’s been three days since Andy’s exorcism began, and there’s no real sign of it ending any time soon. Rose takes the decision to move the kids off the island for everyone’s safety. There’s a murderer in their midst, and regardless of his demonic possession there has to be consequences. Verity, especially, takes this decision uneasily. After all, she regards Andy as her dad. But the decision has been made – she and the rest of the kids are to be removed from danger.
Andy is under Demon Nikki’s control and she uses that control to stay one step ahead of Marcus and Tomas. Playing up on Marcus’ memories of his time as a young priest and exorcist, she (or rather it) throws his relationship with Mouse back at him. Back when Marcus had Shakespearean hair, and Mouse was a novice herself, Marcus urged her to forgo her wimple and enjoy life as a normal person. But Mouse wasn’t about that life; there was a demon in the basement called Miriam, and Mouse was visiting her unbeknownst to Marcus. She got so close to Miriam that the demon overpowered and possessed her instead. When she eventually came to, Marcus had gone and some asshole called Fr Robert (he had to be Irish, right?) was performing the exorcism.
The exorcists hatch a plan to get one of Andy’s foster kids to help them break through to the possessed man. Verity steps up to the challenge and is apparently successful enough to make Andy regain temporary control and tell her to leave while there’s still time. Andy has a shard of broken glass in his hand, which came into his possession when Tomas had a “moment”. At this point I wasn’t sure if he was going to use it to harm Verity, but instead Andy used it to cut his hand, forcing himself to come back, albeit for a brief time.
Marcus and Tomas’ relationship at this stage takes an interesting turn. Whereas in the past, Marcus has urged his protégé to use caution and restraint, it’s Tomas’ turn to take Marcus to task, saying that veteran exorcist is stretching himself and needs rest. Events that occur at the end of this episode lead to the speculation that the demon has infiltrated Tomas (this has been foreshadowed throughout the season) and is simply removing Marcus from the action in an expedient fashion.
A particularly sweet but poignant scene involving Marcus happens halfway through the episode. He’s in a pick-up truck with Peter Morrow. It’s seems apparent that this is the last time these two men will meet up, and they share a kiss both of longing and despair. Marcus knows he may end his days fighting the demon inside Andy. And in fact, the demon may already have won.
Verity skips away from where she’s staying with the other kids and heads back to the house to rescue a book Andy had given her. She finds the neighbours dead, Tomas possessed, and Marcus fast asleep on the couch. Not only that, Rose is now under Andy’s spell, Andy having made his escape from the room using the shard of broken glass to rip through his binds. Now everyone is in danger – as if they weren’t before.
I’m glad that finally the writers were able to find a way to use the young talents of Brianna Hildebrand. Her scene with John Cho is frightening but heartfelt, and Hildebrand sells it to perfection. However, I’m desperate to see more of Kurt Egyiawan’s Fr Bennett. He’s too frequently injured for my liking. In a perfect finale, I hope to have all four exorcists come together and defeat the demon. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Two more episodes to go!
The Exorcist S2E8 Review Score
"A Heaven of Hell"
The Exorcist – S2E8 – “A Heaven of Hell” | Starring: Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels, Kurt Egyiawan, John Cho, Alicia Witt