‘The Exorcist’ Recap 1×07: Reservoir God

Geena Davis as Angela Rance.

Geena Davis as Angela Rance. FOX

This week, Americans tuned their television sets in and saw something unexpected and horrifying. They saw fear, deceit, bile-spewing, and disregard for human life triumph, and compassion, truth and unity fail. People are shaken, devastated, and they may continue to be for weeks.

Also, on Friday, The Exorcist was on. I mean FOLKS!

This week’s episode started straight-up Reservoir Dogs-style, with Tomas speeding down the highway to the nunnery and Marcus in the back of the car holding onto Casey for dear life. Tomas is flashing back to this moment while leading a prayer of confession and also remembering boning down with his illicit lover Jessica. At this point Tomas is fully a sinner and a liar while Marcus is a pure holy man, even though the latter has been excommunicated and is a BADASS REBEL WHO TAKES NO PRISONERS.

The Rances do a national TV interview in case Casey has decided to move on from wreaking mayhem in Chicago and perhaps taken her talents to Michigan or Wisconsin, where I’d imagine she’d be doing sick and twisted shit like replacing all the cheese with vegan substitutes, hanging out with the Insane Clown Posse, or helping rural citizens register to vote. The interviewer is terribly insensitive and Angela / Regan walks out.

One of the priests from the Satanic cabal tells Tomas to stay away from Marcus. Marcus talks to Tomas and says that God coursed through him, saving both Casey’s life and the demon– it’s not for us to say why. The press continues to hound the Rances, and a family member of one of the EMTs Casey killed confronts Angela / Regan. This show is like a middle-schooler: mostly interested in creating chaos and drama at all costs, but occasionally showing signs of emotional maturity far beyond what you’d expect. An appearance by a family member of one of Casey’s victims is one such move because, like your Sopranos or Breaking Bad might do, it’s pointing out the audience’s complicity in the fictional violence we otherwise might have just laughed at or cheered.

Bennett grills the Satanic cabal members about Tattersall Landscaping and they stonewall him. I’m not sure what his gameplan was here– of course they were going to deny anything he insinuated. Then for some reason we have a scene where Chris points out that Tomas is like the character in the original that he’s a surrogate for. There’s a lot of fretting from the family as well as from the priests and the nuns. It’s a snooze because Casey’s probably not gonna die. In fact, what even is the point of the “integration” as a device? Isn’t it urgent enough that a demon is torturing a young girl and causing her to commit crimes?

The main nun uses some stuff to knock Casey out. She thinks there’s no point in the exorcism continuing, that it’s doing more harm than good. Chris and Angela / Regan talk about their past and bond in one of those quiet, contemplative scenes the show increasingly seems to think are inherently good. Casey stirs.

Bennett explores the Satan club’s dungeon and finds a bunch of bodies. One of the main ghouls is lurking behind him the whole time. This, in contrast to the “Casey might have her body irrevocably taken over by the demon” subplot, is super-suspenseful and made me yell at my TV, because I honestly don’t know how many more episodes Bennett has left. Bennett grabs the ghoul’s tire iron and the ghoul runs away, but then another creep runs in, like in some video game. He overpowers the second and a third maniac, then does a weird trembling thing. Who knows.

Jessica tries to get info about the possession out of Tomas but Tomas won’t give it up. If Jessica is an agent of the Satanic cabal, are they planning on having her blackmail him, or are they just using her to get information? I guess they can do both. Although blackmailing him into joining them would kind of mess with their whole “free will” thing.

Tomas tries to get some stuff for his wounded hand at the pharmacy and the pharmacist says he needs a prescription. A pushy guy accosts Thomas and they get into a fight. This is a legitimately great, tense, weird scene that feels like a moment from a Paul Thomas Anderson movie. Maria bails Tomas out and Tomas talks to Maria about losing his way.

Tomas goes over to the Rances’, where Angela / Regan is freaking out. She’s dazedly recounting everything that’s happened to them so far– in other words, she has suffered that most terrible of all fates: she’s turned into a recapper.

Angela / Regan says she used to be able to sense Casey’s presence in the world but now she no longer can. Tomas take Angela / Regan to see Casey, and Casey says, “Ah, the sow.” I’m not sure what the implications of this scene really are, because Angela / Regan has already encountered demon Casey. I guess we have a lot to look forward to finding out. Folks, please keep watching this show so it gets renewed for another season and I can keep getting paid to make fun of it on this website. I’ll see you next week unless I get too fucked-up on Mother Bernadette’s demon-sedating tea or whatever. Hail Satan!

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