From the start, I have expressed my numerous frustrations with Fox’s new show The Exorcist. The subpar writing and poor attempt at horror have turned an interesting concept into something barely watchable. Adding to the long list is something very noticeable in chapter 4; the show struggles with simplicity and consistency. What I mean by this is the show has gone from an interesting take on its source material to a jumbled up story that doesn’t have the writing to back it up.
What once seemed like a simple, but good, show about a couple of priests helping a troubled family has turned into something that is all over the place, and truthfully not very interesting. This week, for example, starts out with Casey fantasizing about her family without its many problems. Her father is in good health, her sister is in high spirits, and her mom doesn’t seem so paranoid. It then jumps to her in a hospital psychiatric ward being monitored by doctors because of her sudden outburst on the train last week. The whole time she’s there that mysterious older man is messing with her, both physically and emotionally. And of course, the doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with her.
While Casey is stuck in the hospital, Father Tomas is still in pursuit of the real problem. His request for an exorcism was denied by The Church but he still has a plan to go on his own. In the meantime, Father Marcus is off visiting different locations given to him last week by Brother Bennett. He goes from seeing an exorcism done by Mother Bernadette to a Chicago bus tour featuring the city’s most horrific murders.
The whole time chapter 4 of the Exorcist sets out to try and find the root cause of all the evil. Why is Chicago possessed by so demons? Is there something specifically attractive about the city, or is just a revolving problem? Through his investigation, Father Marcus finds evidence for both. He is shown newspaper clipping of past horrific events in Chicago, but we have also seen proof that this evil has appeared other places too.
Admittedly, however, the episode then ends with some interesting events. First, we see Father Marcus performing an exorcism in the presence of Mother Bernadette (Deanna Dunagan) with some success. He then meets up with Father Tomas, where they both agree to go against The Church and perform an exorcism on Casey who was just released from the hospital. The episode ends with Casey chained up in a padded room and Father Marcus saying “let us begin.”
If it sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. The show has taken some unnecessary steps to get to the part of the story we’ve been waiting for. If there is anything redeeming about this week’s episode, though, it would be the ending. It looks like the show is starting to make some much-anticipated progress and we might finally start seeing some real horror. If it can use the momentum gained from this weeks ending, The Exorcist might become more than just watchable.