If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: New details about Mouse’s past are revealed as she and Father Bennett head west to rendezvous with Marcus and Tomas. (IMDB)
Writers: Heather Bellson and M. Willis
Director: Meera Menon
For those looking for more from this episode, it seemed to serve as more of an in-between episode whose purpose was to set the stage for the final two episodes. This wasn’t bad necessarily, however, it appeared to take more of a subdued approach to the overall narrative, choosing to fill in certain plot gaps and character developments while stalling slightly when it came to Andy’s possession being dealt with.
This episode finds Markus and Tomas three days into the exorcism of Andy with either side looking to relent. Rose begins to make preparations for the kids to accompany her off of the island due to their safety being a major concern if Andy ever did make a recovery. What was great about this sequence of events was the character’s ability to ask the same questions aloud within the story as as a viewer may have such as: What will happen to Andy after all of this? Will things go back to normal? Who will take care of the kids instead of Andy? They even took the extra measure to remind one another that they all were witness to Andy murdering Harper’s mother and that possessed or not you cannot just walk away from that act without consequences.
Elsewhere, we were shown through various flashbacks the relationship between Mouse and Markus back in the late nineties and just how Mouse became so grizzled over the years. Markus appeared to be in his heyday as an Exorcist while Mouse was in the process of becoming a nun although exorcism seemed to be where her true curiosity lied. As a result, she got too close to a demon and paid the price becoming possessed herself. Markus attempted to exorcise her but failed and in his shame fled leaving another priest to rescue her. This seemed to be the beginning of Markus’ fracture of faith and the scenes shared with Mouse do an excellent job of showing the viewer how cyclical the entire journey can be as Markus is now in a similar situation with Father Tomas.
We also touch briefly on Mouse and Father Bennet’s situation as Bennet receives medical treatment after his previous encounter and will be laid up for rest in a hospital for several days. This is time that he and Mouse do not have so Mouse continues the journey towards the island in order to warn Markus of the demon’s larger plan of attack. The story also shows a silly plot point from Verity in order to get her back inside the house by having her return for a sentimental book that she initially threw away. She had to make it back to the house in some form or fashion, however, the eye-roll inducing device used to get her there was a book that Andy and Nikki wrote a brief note in. Once there, Verity and Rose discover a house of horrors as Andy’s neighbors are murdered, Rose is held hostage and the priests are incapacitated all because Andy/the demon has managed to escape.
A Heaven of Hell was not one of season two’s stronger episodes and featured moments that would’ve been more powerful scattered throughout the previous episodes but instead were compiled into one episode. It does set the stage for the impending matchup against the priests, Andy’s family and Rose against the demon but takes too much screen time to do so. The flashbacks were a nice touch by providing some much-needed context into Markus’ previous life as well as who Mouse really is, but it felt slightly forced as the season draws to a close and could’ve been better suited earlier on.
One thing is certain, this season of The Exorcist has been thoroughly enjoyable and it has not been short on twists and turns with the narrative that has kept what could’ve been a very overdone premise fresh and creative as we continue to see the passing of the torch from Markus to Father Tomas. Also, it has been a relatively slow burn but the underlying arch of the demons waging an all out war against all exorcists and targeting that particular sect to dismantle the church from the inside out has been fun to watch. It’s not something that is handled every single episode, but the fact that it’s casting a shadow over the immediate narrative helps heighten the existing drama to an even greater place.