ORBzine - The Exorcist (2016) TV Review

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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, Father Marcus (Ben Daniels - Rogue One ), 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 (Ben Daniels - Rogue One ), 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, Father Marcus (Ben Daniels - Rogue One ), 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!
  • NotAllMen (of Colour matter)
  • 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, Father Marcus (Ben Daniels - Rogue One ), is not merely defrocked but entirely excommunicated. He 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, Father Marcus (Ben Daniels - Rogue One ), fallows the pattern of all good action movie heroes. He 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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  • The Exorcist (2016)

    The Exorcist: Second Chapter

  • John Cho ( Sleepy Hollow ) as Andy Kim
  • Warren Christie ( Alphas )
  • Zuleikha Robinson as Mouse [ 2 ]
  • Brianna Hildebrand as Verity [ 2 ]
  • Li Jun Li as Rose Cooper [ 2 ]
  • The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 2, Episode 1] Janus
    Shown 29 Sep 17

    Father Marcus Brennan (Ben Daniels - Rogue One ) and Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) are now rogue demon hunters. They are in Jefferson County, Montana, where they kidnap a possessed woman and try to conduct a secret exorcism. Unfortunately her husband is the local Sheriff (Warren Christie - Alphas ).

    Meanwhile, Andy (John Cho - Sleepy Hollow ) runs a halfway house full of abandoned teenagers on Nachburn Island, Washington State. No surprise, because the show is filmed in Canada. The kids are exactly the kind of people who would be easy victims for a demon. One is a blind boy who listens to vinyl records backwards. Well, the demon from the previous Season appeared because a girl played the Ouija board game.

    Father Ortega has developed a new way of exorcising demons. He can telepathically battle them by facing them in a photogenic other-world. Of course, this leaves him vulnerable too. As the cliche goes, if you die in a dream then you die in reality.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 2, Episode 2] Safe As Houses
    Shown 6th October 2017

    The Sheriff (Warren Christie - Alphas ) finally realises he has to let Father Marcus Brennan (Ben Daniels - Rogue One ) and Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera), the rogue demon hunters, exorcise his wife.

    In the Vatican, the African Inquisitor discovers there is a cover-up in place. It seems like the satanic conspiracy has taken a foothold among the inner circle of cardinals.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 2, Episode 3] Unclean
    Shown 13 Oct 17

    Father Marcus Brennan (Ben Daniels - Rogue One ) and Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera), the rogue demon hunters, attend a suspicious case in Washington State. A woman claims her daughter is a textbook case of possession. Ironically the woman owns a well-thumbed copy of the textbook, and a lot of religious paraphenalia. This is a clear case of Munchausen's By Proxy. But the exorcists have no medical education, or knowledge of science, so they will take forever to work it out.

    In the Vatican, the African Inquisitor discovers he has a new ally. Zuleikha Robinson is in town, and takes a murderous attitude to the Satanic conspiracy.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 2, Episode 4] One for Sorrow
    Shown 20 Oct 17

    The Exorcists finally make a visit to the island. The Latino hangs around the house. The Englishman meets the locals, and discovers the unusual animal activity that has taken place lately. Yes, they soon determine that a demonic entity could be present.

    The African priest's ally, Mouse ( Zuleikha Robinson ) takes him to see a prisoner she has been interrogating. It is a woman, formerly a nun but now a vessel for demonic possession.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 2, Episode 5] There But for the Grace of God, Go I
    Shown 03 Nov 17

    John Cho previously played in a demon's ally in Sleepy Hollow . Now he delivers a more subtle and nuanced performance. We also get to see that his dead wife looked like Alicia Witt .

    It turns out that there was a spree killer on the island, back in the 1950s. Shades of Harper's Island .

    Is the demon tied to a particular location? Andy (John Cho - Sleepy Hollow ) tries to escape it by taking the kids on an overnight camping trip.

    The Latino priest disobeys orders and goes exploring in the haunted house. Alone. At night. But at least he knows to hold his torch like a police officer instead of the normal way, like a civilian. The demon cannot attack him directly, but it can give him too much of what he wants. Not only does he get flashbacks to the previous victims, it also makes him relive the pain of the victims' deaths.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 2, Episode 6] Darling Nikki
    Shown 10 Nov 17

    Andy (John Cho - Sleepy Hollow ) gets to see his dead wife Nikki ( Alicia Witt ), or at least the demon's representation of her. She gets him to become a lot more fun, as he mocks the exorcists when they stay over for dinner. He makes references to the events in the original movie, which the exorcists dismiss. However, they work out who the suspect is much more quickly than the audience were allowed to.

    The African priest and his ally, Mouse ( Zuleikha Robinson ), visit the surviving demon in Chicago. They decide to get answers using the Jack Bauer school of interrogation. It turns out that if a demon gets an IV drip filled with holy water, it bleeds profusely from every orifice. Worse, the host is dying of cancer and the demon is incapable of curing it.

    Andy compares the exorcists to the religious fundamentalists who tortured Verity ( Brianna Hildebrand ) at their anti-gay conversion therapy camp. In all fairness, he is not entirely wrong. This show presents mental illness as being a literally demonic infection. Real-life Xians regard any non-average behaviour as a mental illness, which they attribute to supernatural causes.

    Local law-enforcement on the island is non-existent. Nobody bothers to protect the house full of vulnerable children, even when the abusive mother escapes from police custody. In fact, they never even bother to tell the victims to watch out for her.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 2, Episode 7] Help Me
    Shown 17 Nov 17

    The possession victim is safely tied to a bed while the exorcists do their best to find a cure. The demon appears in the victim's mind as the dead wife Nikki ( Alicia Witt ), and presents a series of flashbacks that prey upon the victim's sense of survivor's guilt. Worse than that, they try convince the victim that the adopted children are somehow to blame. Of course, the demon is an untruthful narrator that wants to create yet another Family Annihilator.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 2, Episode 8] A Heaven of Hell
    Shown 01 Dec 17

    The African priest is injured, and Mouse ( Zuleikha Robinson ), takes him to hospital.

    The possessed person is tied up, but can still play mind-games on the exorcists. It turns out that the English Priest used to know Mouse. They worked together in the monastery of Iona in the UK. She was a trainee nun, he was a trainee exorcist. Unfortunately she got too close to a possession victim chained up in the basement.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 2, Episode 9] Ritual & Repetition
    Shown 08 Dec 17

    The demon has turned the tables on the Exorcist. The Latino priest is stuck in his mind-palace, where he lives out an alternate life in which he never quit his parish. All this goes well, until he sees a familiar face from Season One . Meanwhile, the English Exorcist runs around cleaning up the demon's mess.

    The possessed person abducts the whole family. Instead of just doing a mass slaughter, like every other time this demon has possessed someone, this time the killer must talk his victims to death. Seriously, they do not have to do much work in order to stall their own deaths.

    The demon is obviously an amazing multi-tasker, because it (she?) is in two different peoples' heads at the same time. It turns out that they are both in ITS mind-palace, which means they can team up against it.

    The Exorcist (2016) The Exorcist (2016) [Season 2, Episode 10] Untrustyworthy
    Shown 15 Dec 17

    The three Exorcists have teamed up. Unfortunately the demon has a hostage - the possession victim. Mouse ( Zuleikha Robinson ) wants to shoot them both, taking the victim's life but saving his soul. The Englishman prefers not to kill, although the demon reminds him that he has already killed at least twice so far.

    The African priest is still in hospital. Some creepy priests pay him a visit, evidently he is being targeted as a potential possession victim. This climaxes in a botched homage to Exorcist 3: .