The Exorcist - Season 2, Episode 1: "Janus" TV Episode Review
Written by Daniel Benson
Directed by Jason Ensler
Written by Jason Ensler, Jeremy Slater, William Peter Blatty and Heather Bellson
2017, Rated 15 (UK)
Episode premiered on 11th October
Alfonso Herrera as Father Tomas Ortega
Ben Daniels as Father Marcus Keane
Li Jun Li as Rose Cooper
Brianna Hildebrand as Verity
John Cho as Andrew Kim
I have a confession to make (no pun intended): Despite Season One of Fox's The Exorcist TV show being broadly well received by both critics and fans, I still haven't made myself familiar with this particular title. So when I had the chance to see an early preview of the new season, I was torn. Would I be lost among an unfamiliar storyline, or would Season 2 work as a standalone? Thankfully, it seems to be the latter as this opener starts off afresh and gives the viewer no need to see the prior episodes to jump into the story.
As it begins, it's straight into the action with badass priests Father Marcus and Father Tomas being chased in their pickup truck by the local sheriff. In the back of the truck is the sheriff's wife, Cindy. As far as he's concerned, these two wayward clergymen have kidnapped his spouse, but this being The Exorcist you can bet your life there's something more to it. And there is, Cindy is playing host to a demon and needs the services of the action priests to rid her of the curse. The problem is, she doesn't know it, her husband doesn't know it and the beardy redneck he's got along as muscle certainly doesn't know it, so the holy men are up against a physical foe as well as a spiritual one.
Meanwhile and elsewhere we're introduced to Andy, who runs a foster home for difficult kids. This looks like it will set up a bunch of teens to tap into the current zeitgeist for kids against evil that we've seen in Stranger Things and IT recently. The kids, of course, aren't without their odd behaviours as Rose, a visiting social worker, finds out the first night she spends in the house. When Caleb, the blind foster child, goes missing one night, they find him testing his mettle with a dare to stand on the rickety boards covering a well while counting to ten. It's a dare from a scary story he hears earlier in the day; if you can hold your nerve and count to ten, you'll hear the voice of The Island Witch, who lures kids down the well to their deaths.
Back with the kickass clergy and Father Marcus is taking a sound beating after rent-a-redneck spotted Father Tomas buying supplies in a local store and followed them to their abandoned-barn-cum-exorcism-facility. Against Marcus's advice, Tomas tries to fight the demon by allowing it inside his own head, but is unable to finish due to Marcus being overpowered. As her husband carries her from the barn, Cindy's demonic eyes open and give the priest a look of "We're not done yet, father".
A good first episode, if a little light on story, but it has to set up and pique the interest of people like me who have perhaps not seen the show previously. And it certainly does that. There's enough intrigue in the various storylines and characters to warrant continuing with the show and it also prompted me to find out that I can stream the first season on Amazon Prime right now as part of my subscription.
FOX's The Exorcist Season 2 airs weekly on SyFy UK at 9pm