When you have a title like “Star of the Morning,” you know some serious shit is about to go down. Some of you may know what I recapped the television show Lucifer last season. I don’t believe we ever went an entire episode without being reminded of the lead character’s full name, Lucifer Morningstar. According to Catholic and Hebrew mythology, the fallen angel’s name often translates to “The Morning Star” or “Bringer of Dawn,” among other variations. However, “Star of the Morning” has also been used to refer to Jesus. As to why this week’s episode of The Exorcist is titled as such is anyone’s guess. One thing’s for certain, someone is definitely coming.
We start the episode with a flashback. Regan and her mother Chris are on a television talk show to promote Chris’ new book, which recounts Regan’s exorcism. The interviewer asks Regan how will she manage to live a normal life now that she’s been labeled as the “demon girl.” Regan doesn’t answer. Instead she stares off in realization that she will never have a normal life unless she does something about it. Hence, why we now know her as Angela Rance.
Since running away and changing her name, Angela has tried to stay far away from her former life as much as possible. Angela still blames her mother for exploiting her to the media so that Chris could stay in the spotlight for a little longer. Even when Chris did manage to find her now grown daughter, Angela made sure that Chris continued to stay far away. Repentant as ever now, Chris coming to the Rance household is a bold step to start making things right with her daughter.
As for Angela’s own daughter, Casey is on the loose. According to Marcus, they don’t have a lot of time before the demon inside of her fully integrates, destroys Casey’s soul, and eventually leaves her for dead. So it’s all hands on deck for the city of Chicago, much to the chagrin of the people of Englewood who recently fell victim to nine grizzly murders. It’s a small commentary in which a poor black community is yet again passed over by a missing rich white girl, but it does serve as a reminder that, Hey yeah, this horrible thing did happen. There’s actually a pretty good reason why the police department are seemingly dragging its heels to search for the Englewood perps, and it has something to do with a group called the Friars of Ascension. Back to them in a moment.
Marcus goes on “the hunt” for Casey in his own way while Father Tomas brings the community together and forms a voluntary task force. He’s also using the six-figure check Maria Walters donated as a reward for whomever finds Casey. Marcus, along with Brother Bennett, goes back to the couple from the “Moveable Feast” episode. The quirky couple have been doing their research, it seems. They discover that Maria Walters’ corporation owns a bunch of landscaping trucks that once belonged to a company that no longer exists. According to the couple, these trucks have been abducting people off the streets. We viewers also know that one of these trucks was present at the Englewood murders.
Furthermore, the couple discovered that Maria Walters herself has been donating significant amounts of money to a group called the Friars of Ascension. As luck would have it, these friars are hosting an event tonight.
Brother Bennett, who was more interested in the conversation than Marcus, goes to the even alone. There he finds some powerful and influential guests, such as the chief superintendent of the police, a Wall Street banker, and even a professor from a Divinity school. Bennett finds the latter guest actually giving a lecture about fallen angels and how they’re fight against God is the real reason why we humans have culture, art, civilization, and so on (He’s more or less paralleling them to Prometheus who brought the gift of fire to humans). He also mentions free will, but methinks someone forgot that humans had that even before the Fall of Man. The conversation is unsettling to someone like Bennett, but not because the lecturer was actually talking about demons (in the eyes of the Church, fallen angels pretty much go hand in hand with the forces of evil) but because the guy was so damn charismatic and convincing. And if he’s teaching this philosophy to other would-be priests, who else among them (in the Church) also think this? I hope Father Bennett didn’t draw too much attention to himself for calling the lecturer out on confusing these fallen angels for what they really are.
So…about Maria Walters and the Friars of Ascension. If you haven’t figured it out by now, they are in fact devil worshippers disguised as pious men and women of God. At least, that is what we’re initially meant to think. It could be a bit more complicated than that; they could just be misguided humans who were fed a bogus yet very believable line. Like I said in the introduction, “Star of the Morning” and Lucifer hasn’t always been mutually exclusive. There are a few instances in the Bible the latin word actually refers to Jesus.
But that’s what the devil does, doesn’t he? He confuses, and twists, and perverts the good and turns them into mirror images of themselves, in his own image. Knowing this, it’s not so surprising that they want to add Rising Star Father Tomas to their ranks. I wouldn’t put it past the Friars if they were the ones pushing Jessica closer and closer to him…
As for Maria Walters, she definitely seems desperate to be chosen for something. Her actions so far has been screaming to get a certain someone’s attention. When the entity they summon from the cremated organs of the Englewood victims, she pleads and pleads for it to take over her body. It ultimately passes over Maria for someone else (Chicago PD’s chief superintendent), and she is devastated.
Whether Maria knowingly serves the devil or not isn’t entirely known. At this point, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter, is that the Friars of Ascension is paving the way for something very evil. The fact that the show keeps cutting to the pope’s banner with the words “He is coming” written on the bottom, one has to wonder how far deep this whole thing goes.
Meanwhile, Marcus finally locates Casey in an underground tunnel. The possessed Casey hides herself among the city’s most disturbed. They seem to either be greatly in tune with the dark side because of their mental disorder, or they’re possessed as well. Either way, Marcus is able to hold them off with his prayers when they attack. As for Casey, she uses the commotion to slip away.
Marcus finds her again munching on a bird at the beach. There he is able to get close enough to grab her. They wrestle for a bit, but Marcus has the advantage. At the first opportunity, Marcus blesses the water in which he has Casey submerged and brings the girl back to her senses. We leave the two of them with Casey repeating “He’s coming back. Help me.”
- “Colin Firth? No, he’s more like a scruffy Alec Guinness.”
- With all this angel talk, you really think that Satan himself would try to make an appearance? Or is all of this the machinations of Pazuzu, the demon who possessed Regan in the original film?
- Damn it, Tomas! Stop seeing Jessica! She’s bad for you! Can’t you see that?!