ORBzine - The Exorcist (2016) TV Review

The Exorcist (2016)

Season 1

The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 1, Episode 1] Chapter One: And Let My Cry Come Unto Thee
Shown 23 Sep 16

Angela Rance ( Geena Davis ) is one of the few parishioners left in a Catholic church in Chicago. The Priest needs her to finance the building's repair fund. As a result, he plays along when she complains about strange voices in the walls.

The priest also has strange dreams about a Catholic exorcism in Mexico. It seems he is being pointed to the exorcist by some unknown force. In his online research he discovers references to the events of the original movie, so presumably this takes place in the same universe (and has the same rules).

The episode is slow-moving, mostly setting the scene and introducing the characters. Much like the original movie, it features a tension-increasing scene where a character explores the attic. This kind of scene generally has one of two disappointing climaxes. The traditional disappointment is the Lewton Bus, a loud noise that makes the audience jump but is utterly non-threatening. The Twentyfirst-Century disappointment is a cartoonish CGI figure that is so unconvincing it also becomes utterly non-threatening.

The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 1, Episode 2] Chapter Two: Lupus in Fabula
Shown 30 Sep 16

The priest goes to his boss the Bishop. Unfortunately, the Pope is die to visit the city in a few weeks so the Bishop does not want to kick up a fuss by organising an exorcism. Ignore the demonic possession and hope it goes away, he says.

The exorcist, Father Marcus, has escaped from the home for wayward priests. He decides to lurk in the background and investigate. Soon he discovers that there is a conspiracy of homeless people, and they are collecting human body parts for a voodoo ritual. Also, apparently a defrocked Exorcist has no magic powers. His wizardry skills depend on paperwork from the Vatican.

The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 1, Episode 3] Chapter Three: Let 'Em In
Shown 07 Oct 16

The defrocked exorcist thinks he knows why the teenage girl got possessed. She had a bad case of sibling rivalry. Seriously, that is it. Not even a bit of advertising for a certain Hasbro board-game, like in the original movie - although to be fair, Hasbro actually has its own movie-based-on-a-game effort out called Ouija !

The teenage girl and her dad (Alan Ruck - Star Trek: Generations ) take the L-train home. She gets sexually harassed by a Latino. This sums up a couple of internet memes:

  • Why do men shout at women?
  • #BlackLivesMatter!
  • The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 1, Episode 4] Chapter Four: The Moveable Feast
    Shown 14th October 2016

    After the events of the previous episode, the teenage girl is sectioned by the local police and locked up for several days in the local hospital's insanity wing. Her mother Angela Rance ( Geena Davis ) talks about suing the hospital, but it is obviously the best place for her. In the real world, that is. However, in this world all disease and madness is caused by magic and only a specific group of wizards (the Church of Rome) can cure people. Thousands of years of medical science has all been a complete waste of time.

    The demon still appears in the guise of the salesman, although to make him a bit scarier he has some special effects make-up on. Only the teen girl can see him, but it turns out that he can actually have a physical effect on things and people. Yes, one of the hospital staff is actually a witness to such an event!

    The Exorcist, not merely defrocked but entirely excommunicated, goes on the road trip that his associate set up for him. One stop is at a nunnery, where he meets his female equivalent. Yes, it turns out that there are nun exorcists too. His next stop is with some paranormal enthusiasts. They have noticed a recent spike in supernatural activity. Apparently poverty creates crime which lures demons in. It all sounds a bit like a real-estate scam, something the Scooby Doo gang should be investigating.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 1, Episode 5] Chapter Five: Through My Most Grievous Fault
    Shown 21st October 2016

    The priests start an exorcism. However, if it was that easy then there would not be another five episodes in the show. For example, the big sister thinks that a more conventional medical approach might be more successful. This is strange, because she must be aware of the terrible failures in the city hospital last episode.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 1, Episode 6] Chapter Six: Star of the Morning
    Shown 4th November 2016

    This show is not a reboot of the original movie, it is tied in as a sequel. Chris McNeill ( Sharon Gless ), mother of Regan McNeill, pays the family a visit. The ages do not match up, but it is not as bad as in Texas Chainsaw 3-D . She holds a press conference on the steps of the family's town-house, and it is gatecrashed by residents from the black neighbourhood where the nine people were murdered for their organs. As they point out, this is a bad case of Missing White Woman syndrome.

    The Vatican crew start to track down the demon-worshippers' paper-trail. It leads to a group called the Friars, who are probably not connected to the Franciscan order.

    The demon-worshippers are revealed - to the audience, not to the protagonists. They seem to have a point - the fallen angels gave humans fruit from the tree of knowledge, and combined with free will it allows progress. However, this show also uses OTT CGI to make the demons seem villainous.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 1, Episode 7] Chapter Seven: Father of Lies
    Shown 11th November 2016

    The possessed girl is in the custody of the nuns. However, the exorcism does not seem to be going very well.

    The token black priest lets the satanists know he is onto them. Then he goes looking for the hatchet-men ... alone and unarmed.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 1, Episode 8] Chapter Eight: The Griefbearers
    Shown 18th November 2016

    Angela Rance ( Geena Davis ) attends the exorcism. The demon is a great multi-tasker - it can make Angela relive a flashback to her first encounter, while simultaneously giving her daughter epileptic fits.

    The storyline looks finished. However, there are still two more episodes to go in this Season.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 1, Episode 9] Chapter Nine: 162
    Shown 2nd December 2016

    The exorcism was apparently successful, and teenage girl is no longer possessed. The bad news is that she is still blamed for the death of lots of black people.

    The good guys think they have won. However, this is the calm before the storm. The villains regroup their forces and go on the offensive. Will the good guys do the smart thing and get out of town?

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 1, Episode 10] Chapter Ten: Three Rooms
    Shown 09 Dec 16

    Angela Rance ( Geena Davis ) is fully possessed by Pazuzu. He uses her body to give her family the old Torture Porn treatment. Meanwhile her own personality is trapped in a representation of her childhood bedroom. However, the demon has obviously never seen The Long Kiss Goodnight , or it would not risk a confrontation with her.

    The Exorcist, like all good action movie heroes, gets captured and tortured by the villains. Can he escape and get across Chicago before the Pope is assassinated? The race against time begins!

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    The Exorcist (2016)

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 2 , Episode 1 ]
    Shown th October 2017 [Wednesday]

    Reviewed in our special supplement The Exorcist (2016)

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