The Exorcist: 2.09 Ritual & Repetition
And so, the end is near...
As physical Tomas remains in a trance, he's kept a busy bunny within the demon-manipulated world. First, performing Andy's exorcism and then as the entity takes a hold, he's walking into his Church, dressed in full Bishop regalia. Marcus tries to break through but he's on a clock and must find Andy before he does irreparable damage, as Tomas slips ever deeper.
Meanwhile, at the ferry terminal, two besuited Italians make their way past the queuing cars. Upon seeing a truck, they pull guns and stealthily make their way around shouting Marcus' name in heavily accented English before opening fire on whoever was sitting on the front seat. Turns out they weren't surreptitious as they should've been for Vaticano operatives (yup, I made you straight away, signori) and they underestimated a Mouse.
As Marcus makes his way through Russ and Colleen's home and focusses his attention on the aftermath of Andy's murderous invasion, we're treated to flashbacks of events as they happened, and just what Evil Andy is now capable of. He dispatches Rose and Verity to the cottage behind the well and sets about finding the other children. Cho has been consistently great this season of The Exorcist, having never really seen him in much other than comedy, the fact that he can do heavy drama (and terrorising creepy) so very well is a pleasant and welcome surprise. As the demon, which is still nameless at this point, he exudes pure evil and takes such pleasure, even with a tilt of the head or a sly smirk, at petrifying his children and Rose.
Tomas is trying to fight, escape, and break free from the evil's grasp even when a familiar face turns up in the congregation to distract him further and remind him that his soul is tainted and no exorcist. Even offering him the opportunity to become the first Mexican Pope, "just ask Tomasito", a desire that he has never expressed externally. The demon masquerading as a face from the past making us realise that Tomas is an even bigger threat to the evil cause than first thought and that the Father is still conflicted over his place in the Church.
With all of the people Andy holds dear as her disposal (given the forms "it" has appeared in, I'm pretty certain it's a she), there are more flashbacks, a lot we have seen before in previous episodes, only now we can see Grace's influence (remember her?); Shelby in the woods, Caleb standing on the well, and Truck choking Verity. Interesting that she picked off all the males first.
It's in the conversation between Andy and Shelby that proves the most revealing as the demon mocks Shelby's religious leanings. She/Andy commends the teenager on his quick-thinking following their initial 'meeting' in the woods, however, lamb's blood only protects from God's wrath, "not mine. [...] your God has killed more children than I have." There's a Satan insinuation but don't they all tend to have ideas above their station and try that one. This thing's old, as old as Pazazu, who knows? but I do hope we find out. Shelby, Caleb and Harper really come into their own during Ritual & Repetition and are given a lot more to do this week as they fight against their conduit-Dad and make their collective feelings for Rose crystal-clear.
Mouse, where the hell are you?
Finally Marcus tracks down the three kids as Verity has managed to escape and leads Andy away from her siblings. The three of them find themselves in the deepest part of the woods, where the cobwebs are at their densest appearing like an almost fog-like haze, it's wonderfully eerie. Wherever the evil came from, it has resided there. Bishop Tomas finally finds his cojones and pushes through, and soon comes face-to-face with She. It's still evidently Alicia Witt, however, the special effects are really convincingly turning her into a white and moss-veined wraith. In fact, they've been particularly good this episode, poor Andy looks terrible (in the best possible way) but I digress. Father Tomas is finally able to make contact with Andy and it becomes evident his body can't keep fighting much longer. Ortega is able to implore the heart of the Kim family to resist one last time - after Andy begs the exorcist to ensure this ends with his family, no other deserves it - before a rite pulls Tomas back into his body.
Another tense one this week, with a few nods to The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, Ring, and The Conjuring along the way but don't worry, they're subtle, it's not becoming Stranger Things. This show manages to keep things fresh even with material that's 46 years old. My main worry for next week's finale is with the force of the demon now appearing stronger than ever, this surely won't end as neatly as season one's. I need all exorcists accounted for, no mad heroics or sacrifices please, lads, if you can help it.
The Exorcist airs on Syfy UK Wednesdays at 9pm. Season one is available to stream on Amazon Prime.