After a first season that had brilliant twists and turns and would seemingly disappear for weeks at a time, The Exorcist returns for a second season that continues to follow some of the threads left untied from Father Markus, Bennett, Andy and the Catholic Church. The premiere of season two spent most of its time reestablishing its characters with a central conflict that will more than likely carry them for the entire season.
Synopsis: Tomas and Marcus attempt to finish Cindy’s exorcism and escape the wrath of her family. (IMDB)
Writer: Adam Stein
Director: Deran Sarafian
Running Time: 45mins
In the premiere, we find that both Tomas Ortega and Markus Keane have been held hostage by the local Police and spend almost the entirety of the episode attempting to convince the local sheriff, whose wife, Cindy, is the victim of demonic possession, that they are only there to help. This drags on for far too long resulting in an exorcism at the end of the episode. Hopefully the show will avoid overusing this formula with Marcus and Tomas in every episode. Eventually, the sheriff is convinced of the reality of the situation and is forced to rely on the duo. They successfully exorcise the demon from the woman, but in doing so Tomas puts himself in harm’s way by opening himself to the demon in an effort to fight it head on. There is an interesting conversation that takes place between Tomas and Marcus about this “gift” that God has bestowed on Tomas and Marcus warns of its usage being more dangerous than he realizes. This was such an ominous conversation that took up a good amount of screentime that it will continually come up between them as they progress through the season. It’s darkly comical how different they are from each other, but it makes for a strong partnership that looks like is going on the road for the this second season. If the show begins to flounder, it might be in Fox’s best interest to develop a spinoff of the “Exorcising Odd Couple” just in case.
Elsewhere, we are entertained with the “B” storyline involving Andy, the director of an orphanage located on a secluded island, and his effort to keep his business during an investigation involving Caleb, a newly received orphan, who is perceived as suicidal, but is being influenced by a darker force that occupies the island. This story looks as if it will be moving at a snail’s pace and will more than likely get worse before it gets better. This was the least interesting aspect of the premiere and the show so far. It seems to only serve as a change of pace when not having Marcus, Tomas or the Archdiocese onscreen. It will be interesting to discover the significance of this storyline and how it will play into the larger story arc of the season. If season one has taught us anything, it is that every moment and character is important and they play a role in the larger intent of whatever malicious force is at work and so we will be forced to watch this ongoing plot and its ups and downs.
Finally, we are shown the continuation of last season’s attempted coup of The Vatican as one of the surviving Cardinals that is presumed to already be in the possession stage of Integration (a demon completely fusing with a human which is irreversible) is questioned by a small council within The Vatican. The premiere is setting this storyline up to be the overarching larger plot that will go unresolved until the season finale. While it is nice to check into The Vatican occasionally, it should have a larger role in the season as it is the most interesting part of the show after two episodes. Only time will tell how much it comes into play as the season progresses, but what remains to be seen is how/when Marcus and Tomas will factor into that plot. You can be certain it will be intense.
It is easy to see that watching season two of The Exorcist will be tougher some weeks more than others. There will be disjointed payoffs mixed with intense scenes and interesting plot twists, but in order to earn those moments we have to endure some slower and uninteresting ones. If watching this week to week isn’t your thing, waiting until the season is completed and bingeing it instead should be fine as well. In some ways, the story and pacing would flow better if viewed that way. Whether or not the second season can elevate itself beyond that of the first or better yet, match the interest and intensity of the first, is yet to be seen, this was a good step in the right direction.