The Exorcist: Mama's back

Young Regan MacNeil and Mama Rose from Gypsy her mom the movie star are on a talk show. We can tell it’s the 70’s by Regan’s groovy shag haircut. Young Regan looks like Linda Blair, and Chris looks nothing at all like Sharon Gless, but a lot like Ellen Burstyn. Chris is plugging her book about Regan’s possession, The Devil in My Daughter — and if you think there’s something a little smutty about the title — you’re probably right. Regan looks like she’d rather be anywhere else.


In the present, Kat is getting to know her grandmother, which isn’t exactly a priority what with her sister being missing and possessed. Chris tells her she looks like a young Chris O’Neil and asks her whether people ever told her that (Chris is truly history’s greatest monster) while in the kitchen we can hear Henry and Angela fighting about whether Angela’s mother – the one she told Henry was dead – should be allowed to stay in the house. Angela is seriously hitting that red wine Alicia Florrick sent her, and Henry is trying to wrap his mind around the idea that the woman he thought he married is actually someone else, and also who names their kid Regan? What is that?


There’s a present day newscast catching us up on Casey’s “kidnapping.” The police don’t think a restrained, sedated girl could have torn two ambulance workers into several pieces, therefore someone took her. It’s the night after, and Casey’s age is mentioned – nineteen, which seems a little old for how she’s been portrayed, but it makes Father Tomas’ “mistake” seem slightly less heinous than if she were fifteen. Speaking of Tomas, everyone’s at St Anthony’s, where Tomas is putting Mrs. Walter’s 100 grand to good use by offering a reward for Casey’s return. Tomas’ secretary is starstruck by Chris, who plays up to it because she is the worst.

Marcus, Tomas, and Angela meet in Tomas’s office, where Marcus berates her for keeping her past from them, and blames her for everything because sure that’s constructive. They talk about “permanent integration” of the demon and the host. Marcus says Casey’s soul could be destroyed if it reaches this stage – an idea that seems contradictory to the Catholic doctrine of the immortality of the soul, but I’m sure they ran it through a Jesuit tech adviser. Angela insists that even when she was in really bad shape, a part of her was always in there and they shouldn’t give up on Casey. Marcus walks out frustrated that Angela still may be keeping things from him. Tomas walks out after him. Marcus isn’t thrilled with Tomas either. Tomas gets defensive as if going down on a possessed teenager was NOT both a mortal sin and kind of rapey.

Marcus tells Tomas he’s going off to go look for strange gatherings of dogs, or birds, or other animals because that’s where you find your demons.

The family, plus Tomas, stand in front of the church for a press conference. A reporter asks Chris what she’s doing there, and then there are whispers about her daughter having been possessed, and Angela looks like she wants to die. A righteously angry black woman starts yelling about how the police aren’t doing anything about the nine people killed, whom she names, as we watch their stolen organs being popped into a crematorium.

One white girl gets possessed it's a series. Nine black people killed -- it's a subplot. Typical.

One white girl gets possessed it’s a series. Nine black people killed — it’s a subplot. Typical.

Back home, Angela has to talk to the cops again. They want to know more about Father Marcus. Angela is covering up Tomas’ involvement. Also the police are wondering whether Casey could have been the one to rip apart the ambulance workers given what she did to the guy on the train. And by the way, apparently all she did to him was break his jaw, although it sure looked like she’d castrated him with her bare hands and pulled his tongue out.

Kat is watching the talk show footage we saw earlier off Chris and Regan. Chris comes by because she can hear the sound of her own voice a mile away even through headphones. She tries to explain that “the studio” had dropped her – like this was the 1940s and not the 1970s – so she had to do something to put food on the table. Kat asks her about the possession. She tells her how Regan started using a Ouji board and everyone thought it was cute, but that’s how the devil got in, and really why don’t things come with a warning?


Angela is listening by the door when her mother goes into the whole dramatic spiel complete with tears, blaming herself for not being there when her daughter needed her.

Over at St. Anthony’s, Mrs. (Call me Maria) Walters is chatting up Tomas, and inviting him to a dinner for the “friars of ascension.” He could meet people. He tells her he has to look for Casey. Who should walk in as she’s leaving? Why it’s Jessica, and Maria looks at her like she knows exactly what she and Tomas have been up to.

Marcus is meeting with Bennett and the lone gunmen who have one of those computing machines and they’ve been on the google. Seems Tatersal Landscaping was out of business for years, but now the trucks keep showing up. People get in and they’re never heard from again. Plus the company just gave more than a MILLION DOLLARS to the Friars of Ascension — which rings a bell with Bennett who was also invited to the fancy celebration.

You got to have Scoobies!

You got to have Scoobies!

Does this mean that Maria is evil? We are shocked, shocked!

Angela is working the information hot line at the church. She picks up the phone and gets an obscene phone call from the Salesman. How can he call her on the phone? That’s another mystery, but he tells her that Casey is right behind her, so Angela turns around and sees Casey with maggots eating her dead face.

"Ha! Made you look," says the Salesman.

“Ha! Made you look,” says the Salesman.

Jessica tells Tomas her marriage is over, and she’s gotten herself a place. She gives him a key. That was fast! She tells him that over in her hovel, “I’m not married and you’re not a priest.” Tomas tells her he’s never going to come. He is totally going.

Back at St. Anthony’s, Tomas overhears someone talk about “wild dogs” and he texts Marcus.

Bennett and the Cardinal are over at the party – the one Tomas declined – for the planning committee, and we again see the super creepy pope picture, which Bennett stares at meaningfully..

There’s some man in a wheelchair. He’s got a beard and is wearing the type of plaid sports jacket that screams weaselly academic. He’s talking about those awesomely gangster “ rogue angels” like Lucifer who rebelled against God and are responsible for freewill and the arts. He even has slides! Meantime, Maria is pointing out all the highfalutin guests to Bennett. Seems every one of them is involved in the Friars of Ascension. You’ve got your police superintendent, your teamster boss, your head of the stock exchange, etc. etc.

Angela gets home and is going for more of that wine when she hears voices in the living room. Not demon voices. Chris is sitting down with a reporter from the metro section. Angela throws the reporter out and starts yelling at her mom for exploiting her to save her career. Chris naturally makes it about her again.


And then it turns out they were both keeping tabs on each other and soon it’s time for hugsies, which are interrupted by a phone call from the morgue. They might have Casey.

Back over at the event, the Cardinal tells Maria that he hopes she’ll be rewarded, and knowing this show that probably is ironic foreshadowing. Bennett goes up to the professor and tells him those “rogue angels” are demons and he’s seen a demon or two. The professor, establishing himself as definitely kind of a prick, says, “Well, aren’t you full of surprises.” Maria and the police commissioner exchange meaningful looks.

Note:  If you are a secret society of Devil Worshipers masquerading as the Catholic elite. you might want to think twice before inviting Bennett over to listen to your resident academic spout warmed over Aleister Crowleyisms.

Tomas is with the family at the coroner’s, and he’s still walking around with a hound dog expression like he’s feeling guilty about something. Please don’t tell Angela what it is you are feeling bad about, Tomas. She will deck you. Angela and Henry go in to look at the body, and we don’t know for sure it’s not Casey until they come out and tell everyone.

Then there’s a big Angela and Chris hug, and that was a waste of five minutes.

Having gotten Tomas’ text, Marcus is on the trail of the wild dogs in the night time. Then he comes across some rats, lots and lots of them scurrying around and Marcus is looking all mean like he’s going to beat them up and then he’s in a tunnel with rats and possibly possessed homeless people.

The homeless start to gang up on him but he tells them to stop in the name of Christ which seems to work, and then we see Casey in what looks like a very advanced yoga position, and she’s scurrying as fast as a cockroach when the lights go on.

Someday this actor will be famous and they will show this clip to embarrass him.

Someday this actor will be famous and they will show this clip to embarrass him.

The party is over – at least the part that Bennett and the Cardinal were invited to. Now it’s time for the real festivities to begin. Remember the creepy priest with the weird eyes that Tomas saw when he went to visit the home for wayward priests? He comes in and opens with a story about how he overturned some poor schmuck’s apple cart at the farmer’s market, which they all think is hilarious because they are evil. He is disappointed that Tomas isn’t there. The academic explains Tomas will be one hard nut to crack.

Meantime, that nut is cracking. Tomas arrives at Jessica’s. He tells her he won’t sleep with her. He is so about to sleep with her.

Over at the Friar’s, Maria has put on some music, and the priest, aka “his eminence” starts asking them if they are there of their own free and then he starts channeling Roman Castavet from Rosemary’s Baby and asking the Star of the Morning (and if we were watch Lucifer, we all know who that is) to make an appearance. He’s got the urn we saw earlier into which the possessed homeless from the Tatersal truck poured the ashes of the unfortunate black folk. He opens up the urn, says some magic words, and blows on the ashes which shimmer and take form, as everyone, but especially Maria, begs to be picked. Maria is not picked. Her police superintendent buddy is. The cloudy stuff enters his body. He seems to have some kind of seizure and then he grows a couple of extra irises. This makes Maria very sad because it was her turn, damn it!

Evil white people sniffing the ashes of their black victims. There's a metaphor somewhere in there.

Evil white people sniffing the ashes of their black victims. There’s a metaphor somewhere in there.

Marcus is following Casey who is now at the lake chowing down on a an egret because walking around in the wheel position makes you hungry. They get into a fight and try to drown each other. He tries to baptize her and the water gets smoky and all the fish surface and die, which is kind of a fun visual and lets hope they follow up on this with a news report because that would definitely be a strange event.

Then Casey is Casey again for a moment and she tells Marcus, “He’s coming back. Help me!”


So was anyone surprised when Maria turned out to be in league with the devil? Were we even supposed to be surprised? And what of Jessica? Is she just being manipulated by the forces of evil, or she too part of them? And was she always part of them because these demons seem to be playing some long game here? And why the hell do the demons have such a hard on for Angela “Regan” Rance? Does she have magical powers like Regan did in The Heretic even though the show probably wants us to forget that that was a thing that happened?

Is this show getting scarier? Or just goofier? Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.

Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

TV Show: The Exorcist

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