Previously on The Exorcist: A Heaven of Hell
With just one episode left of the second season, “Ritual & Repetition” sets up what should be a barnstorming finale. The stakes are high; lives are in danger; very souls are in peril of being subsumed for eternity; and John Cho is acting his ass off, for good measure. He’s a pleasant guy, is John, so it’s quite horrifying to see him go full Shining on his foster kids. His performance deserves a nomination or three. Stephen King would be dead proud. But he’s not the only thing that’s great about this episode. Allow me to elaborate.
This episode has four threads running through it. Tomas’ terrible mistake in letting the demon get a hold of him is costing him dearly. He’s stuck in a fantasy life that’s proving difficult to escape. Andy has rounded up Rose and the kids (minus Truck, who’s still in a psychiatric facility) and is taunting them with their inevitable deaths. Marcus is following the trail of devastation Andy left behind when he murdered his neighbours and captured Rose and Verity. Lastly, Mouse has arrived on the island, trailed by a couple of well-dressed Vatican assassins, all of whom are looking for the two exorcists. That’s a lot for one 42-minute installment to deal with. But deal with them it does, in impressive style.
Andy gathers Caleb, Harper, and Shelby under the pretence that Marcus and Tomas has cured him, despite killing Harper’s mother and not looking in any way healthy. Shelby immediately smells a demonic rat, but before he can do anything about it, all three kids find themselves trussed up (Shelby is badly beaten up) with Verity and Rose for company. Andy could (and probably should) kill them all there and then, but the devil is enjoying itself and loves nothing more than torment and torture. Eventually picking Rose as his first victim, Andy’s demon suspends her over the well, counts to ten, and then drops her in it, seemingly to her death. He plans on making Shelby his next victim, until Verity’s escape from her bonds puts the kibosh on that.
Back at the house, Tomas is shown what his life would be like if he gave himself fully to the demon. In a surprise guest appearance, Casey Rance (Hannah Kasulka) takes her seat in his congregation as “Bishop” Tomas prepares to say Mass. He knows it’s not really happening, but there’s nothing much he can do about in unless he finds the strength within himself to let the demon go. His attempts are made all the more difficult when Casey tells him that Rose is already dead and that resistance is futile. But he pushes back hard, and at one point it looks like he’s succeeded, but he’s stuck in yet another layer of the demon’s trap.
One thing in Tomas’ favour, the demon’s attention is now split between what it’s doing with Tomas and what’s going on elsewhere. Verity’s escape has thrown a spanner in the works. Not only that, but Marcus comes across the three kids and sets about freeing them. Urging them to head to the ferry, Marcus goes off in search of Andy and Verity. Harper wants to check and see if Rose is still alive down the well, and she is. Using one of the ropes they were tied up in, the three kids manage to pull a seriously relieved Rose from a watery death.
Meanwhile, Verity tries her damnedest to run from Andy’s clutches, to the point of hiding herself in what looks like a cocoon. But her efforts are in vain. Just as the demon is about to suffocate the life out of the young frightened woman, Marcus hops in and a bout of fisticuffs ensues, with the ex-priest managing to deliver a knock-out punch to his enemy. But you know the demon won’t stay down for long.
Tomas’ visions take another twist when he spies Andy apparently unconscious at the end of the stairs. He presses the man to continue the good fight. But Demon Nikki is still around and is not giving up her charge so easily. However, Mouse comes across the entranced priest and using the skills she picked up from her earlier life, she is able to bring Tomas back to reality. Let the battle commence!
A sidenote: Where the hell is Father Bennett? Is there room for this underused character in next week’s finale? I certainly hope so, for Kurt Egyiawan’s character has been largely wasted these last couple of episodes. This is the only complaint I have with what has generally been an astounding season.
The Exorcist S2E9 Review Score
"Ritual & Repetition"
The Exorcist – S2E9 – “Ritual & Repetition” | Starring: Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels, Kurt Egyiawan, John Cho, Alicia Witt