If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Marcus and Tomas face an adversary like none they’ve fought before as the exorcism begins. (IMDB)
Writer: David Grimm
Director: Steven A. Adelson
The Exorcist gave us the best episode of the season yet with Help Me. Here we are shown Andy’s internal struggle as he fights with the demon that is slowly getting ahold of his memories and causing him to lose touch with reality. The episode shows us the fateful day of Nikki’s death and how Andy was able to arrive at the lake just moments before Nikki went underwater. This was replayed from several different perspectives throughout the episode, but what remained the same was the overall blame that Andy took from that day as he realized that he could’ve done more to thwart Nikki’s ever growing depression.
Father Tomas and Markus both attempt to help Andy fight the demon by encouraging him to fight to remember his memories and not the ones that the demon is using against him in order to control him. They eventually fail on this front, resorting to a desperate move in bringing Rose into the room to help Andy, however, this backfires and is the final straw in having him give into the demon. What makes this episode so incredibly strong is that for once we are able to see what a person fighting against these malevolent forces actually goes through in real time. Andy is victimized and eventually beaten into submission by having to live out the single worst day of his life repeatedly until his mind cannot differentiate what is truth and what is manipulation. It’s torture both for Andy and the viewer because even though he puts up a fight he ultimately succumbs to the weight of his pain.
This episode’s unique take on possession was fascinating to witness because as it got progressively worse and more out of control you were able to understand what the victims see as they have control wrestled away from them. The entire process is a mind-game that most are weak against. Almost this entire episode was shown from Andy’s perspective and through his devolution of thinking, we were shown just exactly how long it took him to give into Nikki despite his best efforts. This episode also did an excellent job keeping the viewer guessing as it weaved through a maze of misdirection with Andy’s life hanging in the balance.
Sadly, if you were lead to believe that Andy’s love for the kids would be enough to pull him out of the demon’s possession you were juked hard in the last minutes of this episode, but if you kept a mind of skepticism it was none the less painful because your predictions were confirmed leaving Andy that much closer to integration. The episode did this in a patient and calculated manner during the 45 minutes and watching Nikki use every mind manipulation weapon at her disposal left you with a feeling of despair for what is to come. Even more so, there seems to be a part of Andy that is perfectly okay with this outcome as he clearly is aware that this being is, in fact, a demon and not his former wife and yet he is drawn to stay with it in his memories without any motivation to change. The show held you perfectly by the hand through the entire episode with this feeling of hope only to have it come crashing to halt.
This was a great episode and everything it did to set up the priests for an insurmountable task as the story moves forward. This season has been incredibly strong as it is and it’s easier to get even more drawn in thanks to episodes like this one. It was a difficult watch, but one that gave a unique spin on the overused stereotype of possession by showing it from the victim’s perspective. This entire season has been predominantly from Andy’s perspective as we have witnessed him slowly slip away from reality and into the clutches of this force living in his house. This episode was the culmination of the being’s efforts and Andy ultimately was not strong enough to resist. Judging by the sizzle reel for next week’s episode, it looks as if these last couple of episodes will be action packed and contain a lot of drama. Hopefully this season can continue to build off of strong episodes such as this one.