Possessions, exorcisms, the whole business is difficult. That's not an understatement, nor is it a joke.
The Catholic Church takes the practice seriously, whether we're watching this go down for entertainment or not. There's a serious shortage of exorcists available to the Vatican right now. Help Wanted, if you happen to be a priest in the field.
The Exorcist Season 1 Episode 7 shows us just a bit of why it's such hard work. Whether you believe or not, are devout, ordained, excommunicated or in high places, issues of God and faith affect everyone differently.
The Rance family is doing their best to hold it together. They have no idea where their daughter is, but part of the community is behind them. Those they know, those who attend their church.
The sensational side, the tabloids, those who are getting wind of who Angela is, and more importantly who she was and who her mother is, are not making their lives easy. The family's attempts to get the story out there is more interesting if it's about Regan and Chris MacNeil first, the new demon girl killing a couple dudes in an ambulance second.
That is, unless you happen to have been married to one of the ambulance drivers. Then you might think it's your job to make one family's misery less important than your own. Because the blame game, that always works to clear the air, make you feel better about yourself and your family's situation. (Yes, that's sarcasm.)
If there's one thing we're good at in this world, it's blaming others. We like to find excuses for our pain, our misery and slough off our responsibility to move on and find solace for our lot in life. It's incredibly unhelpful.
It led to the almost utter destruction of Angela Rance. She's lost herself in her grief over what's happened to Casey. She's blaming herself, though, and not those around her. She even realized what she did to her own mother when she was in Casey's place, believing Chris had it easy just watching while Regan suffered.
Now Angela knows the truth of that situation. But if she gets Casey back, she can do more for her girl because she has been there. Geena Davis lived up to her award worthiness in two scenes during Chapter 7. The one featured in the gif above, as she attempted to wash away what she could through photos, and again in the shower, confessing to Father Tomas.
Her movements, breathlessness and simple inability to speak with certainty about what she was feeling made it so clear that Angela was anything but. She was losing her tether to Casey.
Whether Tomas ultimately took Angela to Casey because of what he was feeling for her and for Casey or because he's lost his own way we don't yet know. It probably matters to the demon in some way, as he's been working Tomas to lose faith in God, but the end result is the same.
And thankfully, Marcus discovered his grace and place with God, with or without his collar, and isn't really that interested in giving up the relationship he has rebuilt with the deity.
I'd question whether Marcus was truly in a good place if he wasn't in cahoots with Father Bennett. But after seeing what Bennett was up to and his extra set of skills, I'm no longer concerned. These two are like Superheroes. More on that in a bit.
Casey? She's a mess. I really like what they've done with the progression of her possession. It looks a lot like the "real" possessions I've researched online (Hey, I'm weird and totally into this stuff.). Being tied up like a burrito with your body constantly contracting, there isn't a lot of time for eating and drinking.
She's far beyond being able to accept IV help and liquids from a sponge aren't going to give her any nourishment. What the sisters are giving her by way of herbs and other teas and tinctures are also going to have minimal effect overall.
But oh how I love Marcus and his determination to power through on Casey's behalf.
Mother Bernadette: And if it cannot complete the integration, it will kill the girl out of spite! You know this!
Marcus: So what are we supposed to do, then, just give it up? Sorry God, this one's too hard. Can you send us somethin' a bit easier? We stand in the doorway and we push back the darkness. Remember?
He sits by Casey's side so genuinely moved by her plight, and also by the faith he has in God that it's possible for him to save her (and, unfortunately, the demon) with his hands, that tears stream down his face.
And the ease at which Ben Daniels releases those tears but still manages to exude that strength is impressive. His has a great ability to portray a priest who is every ounce a man, not at all afraid to show his emotions, yet be completely in check of his sexuality such that I'd not believe of him what is currently happening to Tomas.
I simply cannot believe Tomas has given up on God and taken up with Jessica. She's a dolt. "Something's wrong." Ya think? You're in bed with a priest. Get your head out of your arse. Tomas, though, isn't blaming her. He's incredibly sullen, without faith in himself or God. That's not good.
It's really very interesting, the juxtaposition of the two men attending to Casey.
Nobody knows (nor do we, for certain) that the excommunication may have been a ruse. Father Bennett needed Marcus for a project, and Marcus played his part. Now Bennett is out there on his own and holy hell is he in deep!
At the Demon Lovers group meeting, when he started asking questions, I first started to get a little worried about Bennett. Then he questioned that freaky sometimes blind winking Father Simon, "I'm sorry Father...Simon is it? I still don't understand what you're doing here." And Maria just had to poke in and explain him away.
Except it didn't help, because that only bared the landscaping business that Bennett already associated with the mass murders.
Father Bennett: So perhaps you'd like to explain to me how a defunct landscaping company funnels nearly $3 million into a papal planning committee four years after going out of business, seeing as it's your job.
Father Simon: I'll tell you what. Why don't I do some digging. Get back to you on that.
Father Bennett: Would you like a shovel?
But he made it out of that meeting just fine. And it was barely even a test run for what was to come. Did he train with Buffy the Vampire Slayer or what?
When he was in that basement, I was almost certain he was going to be pushed into the room full of bodies. Those are new bodies, by the way, if I'm reading The Exorcist Twitter feed right. Plus, they were white people, and the first round of people were black. Maybe they were homeless and didn't even make the news.
Bennett seriously has some skills! God has sent him some super strength, the ability to take down four men without help and have a little time left over for a personal exorcism...or something. What WAS that he was doing on the last, big dude?
I don't know, but it was all very exciting, and a sheer surprise coming from Bennett.
We're only a week away from the visit of His Holiness and a grown up Regan is about to come face to face with her childhood demon for the first time on The Exorcist Season 1 Episode 8.
Mother Bernadette wanted to put Casey out of her misery. Maybe she should have. Maybe Marcus was being prideful in keeping Casey alive that one more minute. Does it look like it's Angela who has to kill her own daughter in this promo from "The Griefbearers"?
That would be terrible, but at least Casey would be at peace. At least, at this point, everyone seems to be owning their actions. Let's see if that continues within our own circle, and what it means to their survival.
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.