This The Exorcist review contains spoilers.
The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 4
The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 4 “One For Sorrow,” finally brings all the major players to one location. Last week, former priest and perennial exorcist Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels) held his younger, more impassioned partner Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera), from performing the rite of exorcism on a young girl. While the episode followed most of the rules of television storytelling based on available materials, it asked questions and pursued a direction that was both new, and expected. The priests have always talked about the importance of being sure that someone is indeed possessed before performing rites, but they never get into mundane problems of what the consequences are when the phenomena isn’t demonic. They answered these questions. This week, the question come up of whether something might have been overlooked.
Andy Kim’s (John Cho) foster home seems to have everything going for it, but most especially a caring and safe father who is ready to take on new responsibilities. The dispossessed child now needs a place to stay until her mother is deemed fit to care for her. Rose Cooper (Li Jun Li), who has been charmed by the exorcists and the child, knows the foster home run by her former best friend and could-have-been lover is the best place for a child in so much post-traumatic need.
The kids are not too happy about having a new sister, the twelve year old formerly possessed-by-proxy girl Harper, saved by Tomas and Marcos in the last episode. Andy reminds them about when their lives were upside down and invites them to an exciting new topsy turvy world. Oh, the cops may not be criminals, and the sinners may not be saints, but the tiny island off the coast of Seattle is waiting to be submerged in an evil wake. And it’s all child’s play.
Andy immediately takes to Marcus after he learns the former priest spent more than enough time in a foster home. Not an island paradise like the one in the Puget Sound, but a cold grey institutionalized kind of place overcrowded with at least 150 other boys. This has to be Marcus’ most revealing episode to date. The spin he puts so answer the question of what he’s become since leaving the priesthood, “God knows,” has the most subtle of inflections to give the most sublime of answers. Does god know what Marcus is now? That is something he’s been asking himself. He hasn’t heard the voice of god. It hasn’t been flowing through him. He knows the words and has given the performances so long, he doesn’t know if he’s jaded or faded. But that one line read says more than his entire conversation with Father Tomas over beers. Those are just the questions. His offhanded throwaway line is the answer.
Marcus and Tomas are growing into a likeable duo with just the right amount of dissonance between them. The secrets they share are still not as many as the ones they hide from each other, but they have a good TV partnership chemistry. It the words run dry, father Tomas will finish Marcus’ sentences. The older man of the cloth may not believe in god, but he believes in the young priest. “Other than that I haven’t got the foggiest,” he admits.
Marcus hasn’t lost his faith, he’s lost the voice that questioned faith with the authority of god. Partner or replacement, the old priest is ready for whatever god wills. If only he could hear himA couple episodes ago, Tomas had a vision of the hands on the wall that the foster home considers a hallway of family. He thought he had driven the devilish doubts of foregone conclusions now that he’s he priests go out for beers, but Tomas is still touched in the head.
The priests pick up clues everywhere but main in the trees, which the birds abandoned to dive bomb the house. The densest vibes of malevolence come from the safest of havens in the foster home. As Verity calms Harper on her first day with shiny objects, the hallways creep with, well, the creepy pitter patter of creepy little girls who hide more than their fears under masks.
The days of the exorcist are over, the devil tells Father Bennett (Kurt Egyiawan) through the former Sister Dolores, in probably the most frightening sequence of the evening. As Marcus is questioning the merits of his own faith, he looks to the science for clues that escape microscopes and blood tests. The Fish And Wildlife Administration is also looking for answers to an odd series of anomalies. Deep sea feeders are venturing too close to shore and there are other unnatural occurrences to add to the kamikaze birds and the malformed baby sheep that heralded unnatural entrances. It might not be pollution related or the consequence of global warming, but no one’s dug for infernal warming yet. They say it’s hot as hell under the planks covering the well.
We’re getting some ambiguous signs of who the devil’s target actually is, at least according to the background music. Andy invites the little girl to dig into the gallons of paint, but the most seemingly troubled girl, Verity, the one who learned to apply fingernail polish from her KISS t-shirt, is the first to put things together. The paint room is a ghost of its old self. The maggots on the bread and the dark pastels on the canvass say the house has not been alone in a long time and the demon always kept a light burning in window.
“One for Sorrow” doesn’t have that many frightening scenes, but it’s got creeps and chills running through it. The Exorcist unveils the characters as they unveil the malevolence, bringing together the best of human nature and the less natural beasts.