Title: The Exorcist “Chapter Two: Lupus in Fabula”
Air Date: September 30, 2016
Genre: Horror, Drama
After I reviewed the premiere episode of The Exorcist, I had a lot of questions. Will the show be one that improves as time goes along? Or will it be one that will either go downhill or stay the same? Thankfully, this week’s episode “Lupus in Fabula” answered those questions. Not only was “Lupus in Fabula” an improvement on the premiere, it hooked me as a viewer. Usually, it takes three or four episodes to hook me, but lo and behold. Let’s just hope it keeps up as the season progresses.
The events of “Lupus in Fabula” pick up slightly after the first episode and focuses more on the Rance family this time around. Angela records footage of her daughter talking in another voice during the middle of the night. In hopes to get the church to help, Angela gives the footage to Father Tomas. Tomas wants to help but the church has other things to worry about. “She needs therapy, not an exorcism” is the philosophy of the church in “Chapter Two”. Father Tomas decides to keep an eye on Casey during a charity event at the parish. Father Marcus shows up and things don’t go so smoothly.
A man comes up to Casey saying he knows what she is and tries to touch her. Father Marcus decides to help Angela “poison” Casey with Holy Water. It just seemed to make matters worse. Turns out that the Pope is planning on visiting Chicago and the Rance’s are in some way connected. Where Angela works is where the Pope and his entourage is planning on staying. In a way, it looks like the Rances are just pawns in a much larger conspiracy.
Father Marcus is another show stealer (no surprise if you read my preview). We learn more about his history and how he became an exorcist. His backstory sounds tragic and I hope we get to see and learn more about his past. The downside is that the flashbacks felt out of place in the overall episode. They might make sense later, but when? The whole episode has some minor pacing issues and I believe they stem from the flashbacks. That isn’t to say it was bad storytelling. It just seemed like a distraction.
Tomas, at the behest of Marcus, is clearing his mind for a possible exorcism (despite the Church’s wishes). In “Chapter Two” we see Tomas break off his affair with someone from before he took his vows. As a character, Tomas just wants to do is right but we are all human. It is a nice side to see of priests. In other films and movies all we see is that they are holier than thou and are flawed or they are just outright pedophiles. You can say, it is a nice change for once to have a not so cliched priest, cliched that sounds.
“Lupus in Fabula” also ends with another twist. Nine homicides, that don’t seem connected but we see one of the victims crop up numerous times through the episode. I won’t say much else to avoid spoiling too much, it begs more questions than answers. With the Pope coming to Chicago, will the murders have any bearing on future events? It is hard to say, but most likely. The guy who wanted to touch Casey at the charity event was seen in the area of the crimes. I kind of hope they keep ending with these great cliffhangers at the end of each episode. In part, I’m a sucker for cliffhangers, and second because its just good storytelling to not give everything away immediately.
Performances in “Chapter Two” that were not so great in the premiere (here is looking at you Geena Davis), made a vast improvement. Davis made Angela more likable. It could do with the more screentime she had, but who knows. Hannah Kasulka is still great as the possessed daughter, who seems to fool everyone but her mother and the priests. Alan Ruck, while still having little screen time, is still a joy to watch on screen. Brianne Howey, since we found out she isn’t the possessed one, while great performance, her character just isn’t that compelling. That, of course, can change.
Overall “Chapter Two: Lupus in Fabula” was a great episode. Last week I said that The Exorcist had a lot of potential as a show. If the second episode is any indication, it sure is living up to it. Unless some things change though, I can only see this being a one-season kind of show. That isn’t a bad thing, just as long as it has a beginning, middle, and an end. We will just have to wait till next week to find out for sure.
- Story was more engaging, more interesting
- Performances vastly improved (particularly Geena Davis)
- Father Marcus (again)
- Some minor pacing issues
- The flashbacks felt unnecessary