Fox’s The Exorcist season one episode five revealed the surprise twist that Angela Rance (Geena Davis) is actually Regan MacNeil. Episode six explored the reaction of Angela’s family, her priests, and the media to the news of Angela’s past exorcism. Episode seven titled ‘Father of Lies’ and airing on November 11, 2016 found strangers turning on the Rance family, the press questioning why Casey hasn’t returned home, and Father Tomas and Marcus working with the nuns to try and vanquish the demon.
Episode seven, one of the show’s most disturbing those far, opens with a flashback to nine days prior. Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) drives Marcus (Ben Daniels) and a physically exhausted Casey (Hannah Kasulka) to the convent because they need Mother Bernadette’s assistance. Tomas wants to tell the Rances they’ve found Casey, but Marcus says absolutely not. He explains this is a demon with a 40-year grudge and doesn’t want Henry and Angela to witness what it’s doing to their daughter.
Present day, Father Tomas leads a service which includes a prayer for the safe return of Casey. While he’s preaching to his parishioners, Tomas is remembering intimate times with Jessica.
The Rance family return home after the service and are surrounded by the media. Chris MacNeil (Sharon Gless) asks them to please let the family alone, but of course they don’t listen.
Mother Bernadette (Deanna Dunagan) says in the nine days they’ve had Casey, the demon has tripled in strength. If they fail, they’ll be unleashing a terrible evil on the world.
In an empty field, volunteers are still searching for Casey. Bishop Egan (Brad Armacost) meets up with Father Tomas during the search and admits he was wrong in not sanctioning the exorcism. He wants to know Marcus’ whereabouts but Tomas doesn’t want to give it up. Bishop calls Marcus an enemy of the Church and Tomas again denies he’s seen Marcus.
Back at the Rance home, a national TV show interviews the family to keep spreading the word about the search for Casey. The interviewer asks if Casey’s disappearance is related to what happened to Angela as a child. When the family won’t answer that, she follows up by asking if Casey is a danger to the public, what happened to the ambulance personnel, and did she really attack a man on the L Train. The family’s upset by this line of questioning and when the interviewer then asks about the psych hold Casey was placed under, Angela calls an end to the interview.
The nuns are obviously going through physical and mental trauma as they work on freeing Casey from the demon. Mother Bernadette, Father Tomas, and Marcus continue with the exorcism which has lasted on and off for nearly two weeks. Casey looks horrible and the room is falling apart around her, with books flying and drawers pulled out. A nun is tossed with just a simple look by Casey, and Father Tomas is bitten by the demon.
Father Tomas dresses the bite wound on his hand, while Marcus says this demon is like a big, bloody shark. Marcus confesses he almost killed Casey in the water but God ripped through his hands and brought her back. He considers Casey his ward now. Tomas wants to know if he really felt God in his hands and if so does that mean God saved both Casey and the demon? Marcus tells him not to go there and to not question what happened.
Henry (Alan Ruck) and Angela leave the house and there are both protestors and supporters outside along with reporters. The wife of the ambulance driver approaches Angela in tears, blaming the “little demon girl” for her husband’s death. Angela apologizes, saying she tried to stop them. Henry rushes her back inside the house and away from the crowd.
Bishop Egan and Father Bennett don’t realize they’re meeting with devil worshippers as they go over the final details on the Pope’s visit. Father Bennett wants to know about the security that’s lined up and isn’t happy with Superintendent Jaffey’s arrangements. Father Bennett says there are too many risks with this new plan and he wants them to go back to the original plan and head straight to the stadium. Jaffey (Tim Hopper) tries to assure them they’ve handled big events before (including President Obama’s visit), and Father Simon (the man who led the secret ceremony at Maria’s party) chimes in that he’s gone over all the new precautions. Father Bennett doesn’t know Father Simon (Francis Giunan) or why he’s at the meeting. Maria explains Simon heads up fundraising and that’s why he’s part of the group. Father Bennett tells the group about what he’s discovered about their fundraising and about Tattersall Landscaping’s $3 million Papal planning committee donation. Tattersall, which is owned by the Walters family, went out of business years ago so how did it make this huge donation? Father Simon promises to look into it.
Over at the Rance house, Father Tomas asks Chris what Georgetown was like. She says it was like free-falling down a flight of stairs. Fortunately, they had good priests who gave their lives to save them.
Father Tomas lies to Angela and the family that he hasn’t talked to Marcus, and Angela’s worried Casey and the demon have been integrated. She asks Father Tomas if he thinks Casey’s alive and he says yes, assuring her he has faith. She wants to know how God could let this happen.
Father Tomas returns to the convent and finds Casey’s condition has deteriorated even further. Veins are showing all over her face and her body is failing. (The makeup is outstanding as Casey looks grotesque!) The demon’s been quiet all morning as it attacks her from within. If they can’t draw it out and finish the exorcism, Casey will die.
Mother Bernadette sedated Casey and Marcus is upset he can’t wake her up to continue the exorcism. The nuns have decided to allow Casey to pass without any more suffering. Mother Bernadette says Casey is rotting before their eyes and that the belladonna ensures they don’t release the integrated souls back into the world. The sisters will not play any further roles in helping Marcus and Father Tomas with the exorcism. She tells Marcus to think about whether he’s doing this now for his own sake or for Casey’s.
Angela and her mom look at a photo album that has pictures of Casey and Kat as kids. Angela talks about Kat’s birth after 17 hours of labor, and Chris says she knows Angela is a wonderful mom. Angela recalls that when she was a kid, she sat on Steve McQueen’s lap and sang “Jingle Bells.” She also confesses she believed her mom got off easy but now she realizes how hard it is to watch someone go through a possession. Angela still doesn’t remember what happened in that room, but knows she felt so dirty she believed she’d never feel clean again. If Casey comes home, Angela will tell her she’s clean and that none of this was her fault. As she explains what she’ll do, Angela places a photo of Casey in a water glass and then cleans it off as though she’s scrubbing the real Casey. Tears well up in Chris’ eyes as she watches her daughter wipe Casey’s photo dry.
Back at the convent, Father Tomas thinks he can convince Mother Bernadette to change her mind. Or, maybe they should take Casey to the hospital. Marcus says no to both suggestions and leans over Casey’s horribly bruised and bloody body. He whispers to the demon, telling it it’s loved. Father Tomas says the Rance family has the right to say goodbye and then Casey – not the demon – begs them to stop.
Father Bennett visits the Tattersall Landscaping building that night and the storage area is empty. There aren’t any supplies on the rows of shelves and there’s no evidence any landscaping business takes place at the location. The lights flicker and then he hears a metallic sounding noise. He spots a row of knives hanging on the wall and an oven where they cooked the body parts from the murder victims. He looks at the ashes and realizes what he’s seeing. He opens a door and chopped up bodies are piled inside. Men begin attacking him but Father Bennett’s able to hold them off, although it appears something’s wrong when he attempts to rid one of the men of the demon inside him.
Father Tomas has apparently given up trying to stay away from Jessica (Mouzam Makkar) and is back in her bed once again. She remembers when she first fell in love with him, and it’s a story he hasn’t heard before. She wants time to stop now so they can stay together, but she knows there’s something wrong. Tomas says he’s waiting for a sign but it hasn’t come.
Marcus holds Casey’s hand, begging her to keep fighting. Her breathing has slowed and she’s no longer moving.
Father Tomas heads to a drug store to get something for the bite wound on his hand. The guy on duty can’t give him anything because Tomas doesn’t have a prescription, and when a customer wants a selfie with him, Tomas gets upset and repeatedly pushes him. The guy’s finally had enough and punches Tomas in the face. The police come as does Tomas’ benefactor, Maria Walters. She tells him the guy declined to press charges and she wants to know if he was drunk. Tomas says no, it was just stupidity and he didn’t know who else to call. He wonders if she’s ever been in a situation where the only way to do the right thing is to do something wrong. Maria has, and Tomas says one little lie just for the greater good is what he told himself. But that one lie has multiplied and now he realizes he’s not the rising star everyone believes him to be. The truth is he’s losing himself. Maria appears to be happy about Tomas’ torment, although she keeps her smile in check.
Casey continues to draw breath slowly as Marcus sits at her side. Mother Bernadette enters the room with a note (it’s during the hours when the nuns are under the vow of silence) that reads, “Let her go. It’s time.” And, truthfully, Casey looks like she’s been dead for days. Her skin is dark, her face is barely recognizable, her teeth are rotting, and she’s completely still. Her chest barely rises as she draws breath. Then, suddenly, she takes in a big gulp of air.
Father Tomas returns to the Rance house because Angela is not doing well. She’s huddled in the bathtub and she’s muttering and fidgeting and seems unaware of her surroundings. She says when Casey ran away she could feel inside her that Casey was still okay, but today the feeling is gone. She’s empty and part of her is gone, which means Casey is gone.
At the convent, Mother Bernadette helps Marcus tend to what appears to be the final moments in Casey’s life. Marcus is about to give Casey a drink with belladonna but he stops, saying it’s wrong and that God has his hands. He tells Mother Bernadette he won’t interfere. Just then Father Tomas arrives with Angela, and Casey smiles, her eyes flash red, and she sits up. The demon calls Angela a sow, which is what the demon called Regan MacNeil as a child.
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The Exorcist airs on Fox on Fridays at 9pm ET/PT.