John Cho The Exorcist
THE EXORCIST: L-R: Hannah Kasulka, Brianne Howey, Alan Ruck, Geena Davis, Alfonso Herrera and Ben Daniels in THE EXORCIST premiering Friday, Sept. 23 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Patrick Ecclesine/FOX

Both the church and the Rance family find themselves under a microscope. They’re both starting to fracture. Father Marcus has a secret. Father Tomas is aiding in keeping that secret. He’s become the father of lies. What happens when that secret gets out? Let’s find out after the customary spoiler warning!

****SPOILERS FOR “THE EXORCIST: CHAPTER 7 BELOW!!****

The Rance family is still reeling from the revelations that Angela is actually Regan Macneil, and her mother is indeed still alive. As Marcus, now fully willing to beat back the darkness, hides Casey with Mother Bernadette to continue with the exorcism, he coerces Tomas into lying not only to the church but to the family as well. The weight of everything that is happening begins to take its toll.

Father Bennett digs further into the Friars of Ascension and starts to peel back the layers of the onion. As he makes it clear that he’s not accepting their explanations, the tension rises. As he investigates further, he discovers what it is that they’ve been doing, and as he discovers what he’s truly up against, he’s revealed to have a few tricks up his own sleeve.

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Chris and Regan/Angela have a nice moment where Angela realizes that the pain of watching the child go through what she did may be just as bad as experiencing it. She admits that she can’t remember what happened in Georgetown but she can’t look at Casey the same way Chris looked at her. It’s obvious to not only Chris but to us as well, that Angela is completely cracking.

Marcus and Bernadette are at odds as to what to do with Casey, as she almost seems to start to rot from the inside out. As she goes on, it seems that Marcus is the only one who believes there is any chance at saving her, everyone else, including Tomas, have basically written her off.

The entire experience has left Tomas drained and wanting nothing to do with the church, as is evident with his time with Jessica and his altercation in the drug store. When Angela calls him over and he discovers that she has given up all hope as well, she can’t feel Casey anymore, and he knows the decision he has to make.

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Mother Bernadette tells Marcus that he has to let Casey go, that it’s time. As the demon has hidden, it’s impossible to pull it out. All that’s left is a suffering Casey who is on the brink of death. Marcus decides to give Casey the tincture that will end her suffering, but he stops and decides that he can’t, that this is all somehow by design.

And with that, Father Tomas enters the room, with Angela walking in behind him. The demon returns to the surface, sits up with a smile, and recognizes her as “The Sow,” in a direct reference to the original film.

This episode is continuing to set the stage for the final few episodes. It’s weighing heavily on the debate of faith and those who have lost and those who have newly rediscovered it. It’s also diving head first into the conspiracy of the Friars of Ascension to give the show a bit of political intrigue with the church and the cult. And then when have the final confrontation coming between the adult version of a possessed girl and a demon who’s been holding a forty year grudge, and is willing to literally tear apart anyone it can in order to enact its revenge.

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As the two come face to face again, perhaps for the last time, it will be a duel for the ages. The ultimate battle for the very soul.

The Exorcist airs Fridays at 9PM on FOX.

Jason Stollery has horror films encoded into his DNA, going so far as to name his sons Michael and Fred. He can be found on Twitter @smegghed, and on his genre film blog and podcast at filmguild.net

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