The Exorcist S02E02 fixes the main problem with last week’s otherwise great season opener, but gets bogged down in its own ecto-placanta.
Safe As Houses opens in Vatican City, in the Officio di Exorsismo where Father Bennett (Kurt Egyiawan – last seen with a plastic bag over his head, locked in a room with a demon and left for dead), explains that the second phase of demonic possession is integration, where a demon fully integrates with a soul.
Oh, and that The Cardinal is “integrated” and the conspiracy goes right to the top of the Vatican which, of course, it does.
Six thousand miles or so away tied up in a barn, a tight script sees Father Marcus and Father Tomas pull in different directions as they argue over their exorcism methods.
So far, so good. The episode is continuing our main story well, has deepened Marcus and Tomas’ relationship and has reintroduced season one’s bigger picture conspiracy – the main element that was missing from last week.
Unconvinced by their far-fetched story, the redneck police chief takes his posessed wife, Cindy to the hospital.
However, five hundred miles away on John Cho’s Spooky Foster Island For Troubled Kids (near Seattle) is where Adam Stein’s script hits the doldrums. The cutting between the three story threads is good, but here, the story concentrates almost exclusively on the aftermath of Caleb wandering off to the well alone last week and whether social worker Rose Cooper should report this to the fostering authorities. For about one third of the ep’s forty minutes.
While these Washington state scenes are punctuated by a great scene of a demonic, animatronic lamb-birth and Shelby’s midnight trip into the haunted forest, for the most part they tread the same, yawn-inducing water again and again with scenes beginning “Can I talk to you about last night’s incident?”
With the aid of Tomas’ trip to the other side, a song and Cindy wiping out the entire hospital, the police chief soon changes his mind and asks for the rogue priests’ help.
Long story short, our boys save Cindy’s soul after some impressive, exhausting exorcism scenes in which we learn that Marcus is jealous that God chose to imbibe Tomas with the kick-ass exorcisms skills he’s always wanted. Another interesting, additional level of character development.
The episode ends with Father Bennett phoning Father Marcus and Tomas to tell him that the Vatican are sending thier mignons after them, that they must go on the run and that he will find them…
The two rogue exorcists obligingly start driving towards Seattle, and with it, the triumverate of Story A, Story B and Story C have finally been united. When Father Bennett does find him, the Holy Trinity of exorcists will also be reunited.
Unfortunately for the characters, they have no idea what awaits them in Washington. Fortunately for us, we know exactly what awaits. Dinner.
The Exorcist continues next Friday, the 13th of October on Fox.