In this episode of The Exorcist, “Chapter Four: The Moveable Feast,” Marcus gets some advice in the midst of his crisis of confidence, Casey struggles to hold on to what’s left of her soul and a couple warns Marcus that conditions are ripe for a cataclysmic event to hit Chicago.
Casey might not be at rock bottom yet, but she’s close. After presumably masturbating with a curling iron and mutilating an overly-amorous drunk on the train, her salesman friend is turning on her now too. She’s plagued by dreams of eating dead baby-bird omelets and getting smacked around by the demon that was wooing her not so long ago. Casey is still resisting, and the demon is losing patience.
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The Girl on the Train
After the incident on the train, Casey is taken to the hospital and placed under the control of psychiatrists where she has to stay for 72 hours while they evaluate her. Angela calls Father Tomas, who arrives with bad news. The Church will not grant an exorcism and refuses to let him take any further action regarding Casey other than prayer and advisement. Angela knows doctors and tests are not what Casey needs, and while her daughter is on lockdown, there’s no telling how much more damage the demon will do. Father Tomas asks Angela to have faith in him.
The doctors can’t find anything wrong with Casey other than some burns in her genital region they believe to be self-inflicted. Angela is frustrated that she can’t see her daughter, and she dismisses the doctor’s questions about a history of mental illness in the family.
The salesman is trying to seal the deal with Casey, promising her that the pain will stop if she just succumbs to him. Casey is realizing that whatever sweet nothings he was whispering in her ear to get a toehold in her brain/soul were all lies.
Marcus and Tomas Seek Help
Marcus tracks down one of the people on Bennett’s list, Mother Bernadette (Deanna Dunagan). Mother Bernadette isn’t any flying or singing nun; she’s got the same particular skill set as Father Marcus, who witnesses her at work. She takes a beating from the possessed man, and judging from the scars on her face, that’s a common occurrence. But she pulls the man close and soothes the savage beast into submission. He’s still possessed, just a lot calmer about it.
Tomas goes to see his new friend, Maria Walters. He tells Walters there’s a girl in his parish he would like to perform a service for, but Bishop Egan has tied his hands. He hopes to take his case to the visiting Cardinal. Mrs. Walters questions if the service Tomas wants to perform is the right thing, and Tomas responds that not only is it the right thing, but it may be the only thing. She advises Tomas to follow his impulses and keep it quiet. Nobody has more respect for the Church than she does, but neither of them can deny that the institution is infallible.
Father Tomas’ life gets even more difficult when Jessica shows up with the news that her husband has been cheating on her. Even though she offers to get a hotel room, Tomas invites Jessica to stay at his apartment.
Mentioning Father Bennett may have gotten Marcus’ foot in the door, but it doesn’t guarantee him a meeting with Mother Bernadette. Marcus gets tired of waiting and goes in search of another person on the list, Cherry Rego (Keira Naughton). She and her husband, Lester (Ken Marks), run a tour that appeals to those obsessed with the occult and serial murders.
Cherry questions how Marcus knows Bennett, and when she learns that Marcus was excommunicated, she tells him he must have been on to something big because that’s when they come for you. When Lester and Cherry learn that Marcus is an exorcist, Lester says to Marcus that he must have noticed “the surge.” Surges of brutality, carnage and demonic activity always come before some cataclysmic event — the Great Fire of London in 1666 (666).
Marcus dismisses the numerological conspiracy theory as “bollocks,” leading Cherry to make the observation that Marcus isn’t much of a people person.
Lester states that pressure builds, the plates slip and the earthquake comes — all metaphorical, of course. This time around, Chicago is in the fault line. Marcus questions why Chicago, and Lester responds that evil is a moveable feast. Lucifer and his crew have been looking for a place to set up shop since they were banished from Heaven.
A quote from Hemingway’s novel A Moveable Feast states that “All things truly wicked start from an innocence.” I have to believe that is the basis for the title of this episode and perfectly encapsulates what is happening to Casey.
Cherry and Lester have been keeping track of the signs. The homicide rate keeps going up. Lester asserts that if you consolidate poverty, you create cultures of violence. It jumps from one person to the next like a virus. If you don’t want to be a victim, you have to become a killer.
Cherry is also familiar with the use of missing organs in the Ceremony of Ash or Vocare Pulvare. It’s a summoning.
The Demon Festers
Casey continues to worsen. She’s extremely dehydrated and won’t retain any fluids. The doctors decide to nourish her by force. Angela objects, but she has no say in Casey’s care for another 24 hours.
Also deteriorating is the salesman’s appearance. His suit is tattered and his teeth are rotting as Casey sees him more and more for what he truly is. He tells her that unconditional love is waiting for her on the other side of the door, but Casey doesn’t believe she deserves it. He promises to bring down the sledgehammer again and again and again.
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Keeping the Faith
After bunking with Lester and Cherry for the night, Marcus is granted a visit with Mother Bernadette. She’s taken a vow of silence but is allowed a period of respite every day. Marcus remarks on her scars, and the nun says that’s the price of doing business. He questions her about the man from earlier, and she admits that he’s a difficult case but not hopeless.
Marcus shares Bennett’s fears with Mother Bernadette that the Church has compromised fears for the Pope’s safety in Chicago. The nun confirms that Bennett isn’t wrong. There has been an escalation in the numbers of the possessed; she’s had trouble keeping up.
Marcus tells Mother Bernadette that the presence in Casey is more sophisticated but then admits he’s out of practice. It’s been a year and a half since he lost Gabriel, and Marcus doesn’t lose. He also says they took his collar, and she questions if he truly believes it is the collar that gives them their power. Marcus does think in part that it does. She explains that the gift doesn’t reside within him or her, just in God alone.
Mother Bernadette thinks Marcus needs to get back up on the horse, and she invites him to join her in her next attempt to save the possessed man. She suggests learning a new method, one that focuses more on compassion than coercion and compulsion, which could benefit Marcus.
Surrounded by the nuns, Marcus takes a shot at the nuns’ kinder, gentler, more feminine approach to exorcism. The exorcism is a success, and Marcus gets a much-needed infusion of self-confidence.
Just Say Yes
The salesman taunts Casey from the corner of her hospital room. He calls her an ungrateful bitch and comments that all her potential is wasting away. A bug crawls on Casey’s face, and she pulls out her feeding tube trying to swipe it away. A nurse enters, and the salesman begins to choke the woman by the cross hanging from around her neck. Casey asks him to stop, but the only way he will is if she gives herself completely over by saying “yes.” She agrees to whatever he wants. He extends his hand as if to seal the deal, but Angela bursts in. The salesman backs slowly out of the room.
Casey has eight hours left on her hold, but Angela found a loophole and threatens to sue the hospital if they don’t discharge her daughter. The doctor agrees but not because of her threat. He’s out of options.
Marcus returns to St. Anthony’s. He guesses correctly that the demon has manifested and questions what Father Tomas is waiting for. Tomas admits that he’s been waiting for Marcus; he needs him. Marcus warns Tomas that if the church finds out he’s acting without their approval, he’ll lose everything. Tomas is committed to taking this as far as it goes.
Tomas and Marcus prepare the Rance home for the exorcism. They have Angela and Henry’s full support, but Kat remains dubious.
Just prior to beginning, Tomas asks Marcus why all of this is happening now, and Marcus doesn’t know. He does believe the demon inside Casey may hold the answer.
Are you more interested in Casey’s possession or the bigger threat looming? Has The Exorcist successfully shed any comparisons to the movie? Is Casey’s possession integral to the bigger picture?
The Exorcist season 1 airs Fridays at 9/8c on FOX. Want more news? Like our Exorcist page on Facebook.
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