I could watch Ben Daniels and Alfonso Herrera fight demons all day long. Everything has come full circle with the season finale of The Exorcist. Father Tomas, unsure of his being called to priesthood before, finally heard his calling and briefly saw God. Marcus was haphazardly treading off the path he was put on, but found his footing again. The two priests, filled with renewed vigor, have developed a camaraderie that should make any demon nervous from here on out. As for Regan/Angela Rance, she’s finally rid of the demon that has plagued her and her family for decades.
“Three Rooms” picks up where “162” ended, with Father Tomas about to face the demon head-on. But if he’s expected to succeed such a force, he needs to get a few things off of his chest first. The demon knocks out Tomas right out the gate and sends him into a memory-like dream in which he is transported back to his grandmother’s home in Mexico. The subject of his grandmother was always sort of vague — he would weave little lies in his stories about his grandmother to make them just sweet enough to raise up him image a tad. I don’t think it was out of pure selfishness since he was always at odds with his conscience. But we never knew why he lied in the first place. In Tomas’ dream, Pazuzu is able to peel back that last layer within Tomas and expose a significant shame: Essentially denying his grandmother’s final wish to see him before she died. He made himself believe that they spoke the day before she went quietly, but he discovers (or maybe faces a truth he denied all these years) this wasn’t the case. Her death was much more agonizing, and long.
The demon’s intention was to have Tomas revel in that great shame, among others, and drive him to suicide. As you may know, suicide is a mortal sin in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Such an act would automatically condemn one’s soul to Hell no matter what. Thankfully, Tomas was able to find strength within himself to resist and come out of the demon’s trance.
Meanwhile, the Friars are getting ready to assassinate the Pope Sebastian, and it’s up to Marcus to stop them. However, he has to wriggle his way out of Brother Simon’s clutches first.
Part of the plan to assassinate the pope was to get a disgraced priest to do the job for them. It didn’t matter who really did the killing, it just would have made for a compelling story. For a while, the viewer was to believe that it came down to two people: Marcus and Brother Bennett. Hooray! Bennett’s alive after all! To further things along, Simon slashes both men’s wrists as a way to see who will choose death, and who will foolishly choose life via demon integration. Marcus flat-out refuses. His heart is full and there is nothing that could sway him from dying for God. Bennett, on the other hand, is already pretty out of it and seems to begin seeing visions of a lost loved one. The demon summoned from the vocare pulvere ritual favors Bennett, but it ultimately goes to Maria Walters after she is coaxed by Marcus into a feminist rage for being passed over by men every single time.
As the demon integrates with Maria, Marcus and Bennett take the opportunity to escape with their lives.
There’s almost a kind of poetic justice once Marcus reaches Simon, who is about to kill the pope in the middle of the parade. His weapon of choice is Mother Bernadette’s rosary. If you hadn’t noticed before, the cross at the end of her rosary has a pointed tip, perfect for piercing someone’s throat should the occasion present itself. Marcus brutally kills Simon in front of the pope, who is then quickly carted away to safety.
What’s interesting here is that there are still possessed priests and members of the Church still out there. Those who were with Simon left quietly after he’s killed. Maria and the superintendent of the CPD move on to their next plan. What on Earth could be bigger than killing the pope in front of his followers? If allowed to do a second season, there’s now a whole world of possibilities for our protagonists to face.
What about Angela Rance and her family?
While Tomas is on a perilous journey of self-realization, Pazuzu torments the Rances. He goes as far as making Casey hit Kat with a hammer. If she didn’t do as she was told, Pazuzu would tear Henry’s arms off in front of them. When Kat mouths off to the demon, she braces for a slap across the face that never comes. Not that Pazuzu doesn’t try. He is somehow stopped by an invisible force caused by what’s left of Angela/Regan inside.
As it turns out, Angela hadn’t fully integrate with the demon. Her soul hid itself away to a place where not even the demon was able to detect her until she was good and ready. As the family and Tomas battled the demon on the outside, Angela did battle with her childhood foe from within.
Angela beats a weakened Pazuzu to a bloody pulp. As a result, Tomas is able to expel the demon. There was so much force, however, that Angela’s back breaks. She lives, but is now bound to a wheelchair. Methinks after all she’s been though, she doesn’t mind. She now has some peace of mind for the first time in years.
This first season of The Exorcist has been surprisingly great for a supernatural horror television series based on a movie that airs Friday nights on Fox (Yes, the underline and bold type is for emphasis). At the start, my expectations were low. It was indeed wise to tread into familiar territory to re-introduce audiences to the world of The Exorcist, re-using the same tropes we saw in the original movie and then taking them further so it can appear as new again. Now that we’re in, what’s next for our two priests?
I said earlier that The Exorcist has not yet been picked up for a second season. I, personally, would love to see the series continue. The groundwork has been laid to expand the world beyond a single family terrorized by a demon. Should The Exorcist not be renewed, I feel like it ended in such a way that still satisfies. While there are prospects for the story to continue, there are no loose ends that need to be resolved. The battle between good and evil is tireless one, and that is what ultimately can be taken away from this season one finale.
The television series also gave us an infinitely better resolution to Regan’s story than the two sequels could ever hope to provide.
- After everything, Bennett is back to being his strict self. He’s continues to enforce the Church’s rules, and that includes never revoking Marcus’ excommunication. However, I suspect that this is a more calculated move than anything else. Marcus is no longer bound by the Church’s infuriating bureaucracy, and therefore, can operate without the worry of the Church bringing down the hammer.
- I’m glad Bennett’s alive, you guys. If there is a second season, I’d love to see this character return. While Tomas and Marcus are great as a duo, a Tomas, Marcus, and Bennett team-up would be even better.
- Since Rogue One came out, all I see is Blue Leader in Father Marcus, and Father Marcus in Blue Leader. Is that why Ben Daniels was sporting such a 70s mustache? Because of Rogue One? It works for him. I don’t want him to shave it off.
- I love Marcus’ pep talk to Casey in the end. So much of it can be applied to those overwhelmed with sadness or depression: “Cause that’s the deal we make everyday when we get up in the morning. Hurt me all you want, but the bastards don’t get to win.”
- Last week I foolishly supposed that the series was using our current pope, Pope Francis. They’re actually going full fiction here with Pope Sebastian. This is what I get for not paying attention.