The third episode of The Exorcist this season, “Unclean”, didn’t feel like there was a lot going on plotwise, but it did finally set up the main portions of the story for the season with three plotlines, and two of them converging by the end of the episode. Let’s take a quick look at what went down.
Bennett hasn’t had much contact with Marcus and Father Tomas yet this season save for a single phone call warning them to get away from wherever they were. And they did. But Bennett has seen first-hand how far up the conspiracy goes inside the Vatican. With Cardinal Guillot putting on his show last episode to prove he’s not possessed, Bennett knew he was going to have an even harder time proving himself. And this week Guillot had a dinner where another of the attendees became a vessel for another demon. Unfortunately, dessert did them in when a mystery woman prepared their tartlettes sprinkled with a bit of ground holy wafers which resulted in the most extreme case of indigestion imaginable. And just to make sure there was nothing left, the woman lit the place on fire. Then she arranged to meet with Bennett but was concerned that in the three days she watched him in the church, he never took communion, a red flag to be sure. He said he didn’t feel worthy but did to prove he was human, as did she. She refused to give her name, just Mouse (Zuleikha Robinson), and she had someone he need to meet, another exorcist. Bennett assumed they were all dead, but this one was a little worse off — total possession / integration. Have a demon as your captive audience may yield some answers.
Andy and the kids
Verity is still angry with Andy for accusing her of leaving Caleb at the well by himself, but Andy doesn’t actually believe she took him there even though Caled swears it was her. On their way to school, Shelby is still freaked out by the noises in the forest and makes a detour to the nearby lake (which just happens to be where Andy’s wife committed suicide … or did she?). Andy buries the deformed lamb, which somehow uncovers its legs after Andy covered them, and then he tries to get Grace to come outside. He finally coaxes her out, she enjoys touching the sunflowers and then … a swarm of blackbird appears, crashing into the house and through windows. I don’t think Grace will ever set foot outside again. When a neighbor tells Andy the birds appeared to come from the direction of the lake, he goes to investigate and finds Shelby in the water, Bible in hand, praying or doing some sort of ritual. Shelby swears he’s trying to protect them all from something, but Andy is pissed he’s at that particular place and tells him to just stick to praying in his room. But we know there have already been odd things happening at the home in addition to Caleb thinking Verity took him to the well. There were also the childlike handprints on the wall, the same ones that Tomas saw in his vision during the last exorcism. Something wicked this way comes.
Marcus and Tomas
Tomas is having a dream of a little girl standing in the middle of the road. She turns but there is no face and then the face of the possessed Cindy appears suddenly, startling him awake. Marcus is still a bit upset that Tomas let a demon inside his mind, but that will have to wait as they are in Seattle at a home that may have another case of possession. They meet Lorraine whose daughter Harper is showing signs of possession. The girl looks like she’s been through the wringer and there are signs she’s in deep trouble. When the men begin asking the demon’s name, the girl writhes around and even produces everyone’s favorite pea soup vomit. Poor Father Tomas is going to need a good dry cleaner after this episode.
But while Tomas is convinced they need to proceed with the exorcism, Marcus insists they need to go through all the formalities to make sure or else the stress could kill the girl. Harper tells Marcus a story about her demon, a toad that lives behind her tongue that only comes out when it’s angry. Marcus gives a look but doesn’t see anything unusual, telling Harper that it must have gone away. Lorraine, who has read Chris MacNeal’s book about her daughter Regan, is unhappy that Marcus isn’t moving forward with the exorcism as quickly as she had hoped. At one point, Harper’s teeth begin chattering and she appears to bite her mother. But Marcus is still not convinced.
Then someone comes to the door. It’s Rose, the social worker who is also observing Andy and his kids, coming to check up on Harper who has not been to school in a few weeks. Lorraine refuses to let her in and Rose says the police will be the next people to come knocking on her door. Marcus heard a bit of what happened and went to talk to Rose, who also saw Father Tomas in the window. She asked why a priest was in the room, but Marcus said it was none of her business. He wanted to know why she was there. She said that Harper had been in and out of hospitals all her life which confirmed to him that she was not possessed. Digging around in the house, he found a box of various medications that would help mimic various signs of possession from contorting her muscles to producing the vomit. Marcus stopped Tomas from moving forward with the procedure and exposed the mother as the real monster in this week’s story. She was so immersed in Chris MacNeal’s story that she wanted her own daughter to be possessed!
At the hospital, Rose told Marcus that Harper would survive but it would take time for the medication to flush out of her system. After that she’d be placed in the foster system, which was already overloaded, but she just might have a place Harper can stay in the meantime. Of course, from the previews for next week, that would be with Andy and the kids. And Marcus and Tomas are tagging along. So these two stories will converge, but how does Father Bennett and his new friends Mouse and Sister Dolores figure into all this?
The Exorcist airs Friday nights at 9:00 PM ET on Fox.
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