‘The Exorcist’ Season 2 Episode 1 Recap: Janus

The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 1
Alfonso Herrera and Ben Daniels (Photo by Sergei Bachlakov © Fox Broadcasting Co)

Fox’s The Exorcist is back and so are the show’s nightmare-induced special effects. Season two of the horror series kicked off on September 29, 2017 and introduced the new key players ex-communicated priest Marcus Keane and Father Tomas Ortega will be helping to free from the clutches of evil.

Season two episode one titled “Janus” begins with Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) praying in an empty church. He steps outside, looks confused, and sees handprints in what looks like paint on the outside of the church. He also sees a bunch of kids running around and having fun. Father Tomas notices a woman he knows, Cindy (Elizabeth Allen), and she’s holding a baby she calls her little miracle. The children play with a piñata and what leaks out isn’t candy. Cindy’s face transforms and she looks possessed as she begins reciting a prayer.

It turns out that all this time Tomas has actually been driving a truck on a dirt road in Jefferson County, Montana and has fallen asleep at the wheel. Marcus (Ben Daniels) reaches through the window between the cab and the truck bed and wakes him up before they crash. Marcus is in the back of the truck attempting to help Cindy who it appears is desperately in need of an exorcism. They’re being chased by Cindy’s husband (the sheriff) and another man who shoots at them while they race down the road.

Tomas pulls off the road and behind some trees. Marcus attempts to keep Cindy quiet while her husband passes by, earning a bite from Cindy for his troubles. Marcus and Tomas argue over their next step, with Tomas believing maybe they can explain to Cindy’s husband why they kidnapped his wife. Marcus reminds Tomas he agreed to follow his lead, and Tomas sounds frustrated when he reminds Marcus he’s been doing that for six months already.

Marcus believes Cindy’s still in there somewhere and they agree to finish the exorcism.

The scene switches to a large house on Nachburn Island, Washington. Andy Kim (John Cho) is preparing multiple lunches for the kids who live in his foster home. He sends them off to school but not before reminding them Rose is coming at 6pm and they have to be there to clean up before she arrives.

Grace (Amélie Eve) doesn’t leave with the rest of the kids. She’s up in her room watching them head out but she’s not ready to join them. She’s being homeschooled for now, and Andy invites her to join them downstairs later for dinner with the lady from social services who will be staying with them for a few days.

Apparently, Grace has a pillowcase made to look like a cute little face that she wears when she needs to be brave. She puts it on and laughs. (It’s both cute and creepy.)

Back to the team of Marcus and Tomas, they arrive at a barn with the words “Jesus Saves” spray-painted on the doors. Marcus opens the door and Tomas brings Cindy inside.

Marcus tells Tomas he’s probably regretting not taking the promotion in Chicago, and Tomas admits he misses his warm bed and his sister’s cooking. They strap Cindy down while Tomas explains what happened to him while he was driving. He tells Marcus he was somewhere else at a party at a church. Cindy had a child and something came out of the piñata. Marcus thinks it’s just because they haven’t gotten any sleep recently, but Tomas believes what he experienced was real.

Just then Cindy starts writhing and saying it hurts. Marcus determines they have to get an intravenous drip going and wants Tomas to get the medical supplies they need to keep her alive. After Tomas leaves, the demon in Cindy tells Marcus he was right to be worried and to send Tomas away. It says it will have Tomas and that Tomas has talents Marcus will never possess. The demon also claims Tomas opened his mind and let it in.

The kids in Washington walk through the woods talking about witches. Verity (Brianna Hildebrand) tells the story of the island witch who lined up kids and made them drink poison. They hang out by a deserted rundown house, and Verity claims the house’s well is where the witch dumped all the dead bodies. If you stand on the cover for 10 seconds, you can hear their dying gasps.

Caleb (Hunter Dillon), blind but wanting to be part of the group, climbs up on the cover and starts counting. He makes it to three before one of the other boys pulls him off the lid to safety. Truck (Cyrus Arnold) kicks a ball into the house but doesn’t follow it in.

Andy waits at the dock to greet Rose (Li Jun Li) and they hug and exchange pleasantries. They haven’t seen each other in a while and their conversation’s a bit awkward.

Rose looks around the house and says it’s beautiful, while Andy says the place is the closest some of these kids have had to a real home or family. He hopes the history he and Rose share doesn’t prevent her from seeing that. She doesn’t take that well and he claims he just wants a fair shake. She assures him if the kids are happy and healthy, he has nothing to worry about.

Cindy tells Marcus the demon told her he could bring her baby back and let her hold it one more time. Marcus says that’s a lie and tries to get her to keep talking. She describes when she first met her husband and their first date. She broke her ankle and he carried her home.

Cindy asks Marcus if he has someone special and he says he’s a priest so he’s married to God. The demon reveals it knows Marcus is no longer a priest and asks what his heart wants most. The demon says Marcus was abandoned by God and that praying does nothing since God doesn’t listen to him anymore. The demon claims Father Tomas is God’s new favorite and that Marcus needs Tomas more than Tomas needs him. The demon laughs as Marcus prays.

The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 1
Cyrus Arnold, Li Jun Li, Brianna Hildebrand and Alex Barima in ‘The Exorcist’ (Photo by Sergei Bachlakov © Fox Broadcasting Co)

Shelby (Alex Barima) says grace as the family sits down to eat dinner with Rose. Verity quizzes Rose on her job, asking if she just spies on foster homes. Rose describes her duties, confirming she makes sure the kids are in the best environment. Verity sounds bitter, knowing that in three months she’ll turn 18 and will be kicked out on the streets and out of the system. Caleb asks if Rose knows his dad who he says is in Dallas getting his license back and setting up a room just for him. No one answers and Caleb knows something’s wrong. Andy finally reveals Caleb’s dad didn’t show up for his custody hearing so custody is unlikely. Caleb’s angry and hurt his dad thinks taking care of a blind kid is too much work, and Andy tries to make him feel better by telling him that, yes, he’s a lot of work but he loves it and feels lucky to have him living there. Andy calls Caleb “awesome” and Shelby pitches in that he thinks Caleb’s okay.

Tomas looks through a store’s medical supplies for what Marcus needs to help Cindy. As he’s shopping, two men walk by so Tomas hides his face. The cashier hassles him over an ID and finally Tomas whips out his Chicago driver’s license. (The clerk only asked for the ID because he thought Tomas was an illegal immigrant, not IDing the guy buying liquor in line behind him.)

After dinner, Rose walks through the house looking at pictures hanging on the wall. She hears weird music coming from a room and it’s Caleb messing with a record player. She doesn’t make any noise but Caleb seems to know she’s there watching him.

Andy’s on his laptop in his room looking at pictures from a few years back when he was in a relationship. Grace, still in her brave pillowcase head, appears in his room and says she heard a noise. He takes her back to her room and then he hears a noise downstairs. Rose is in the kitchen and Truck is standing in front of her, hyperventilating. Andy explains it’s a “spectrum thing” and he needs to be touched. Andy hugs Truck, and Rose asks if it’s normal for Truck to sleepwalk. Andy says it’s not and escorts Truck back to bed.

Tomas returns with the supplies and before they start work on Cindy, Marcus tells Tomas he knows what was happening when he blacked out in the truck. Marcus warns him he can’t battle the demon inside. He can’t give the demon access to his darkest secrets. Tomas, however, believes he spoke to Cindy during the blackout and that she was calling out for help. He wants to go to her again, but Marcus reminds him they don’t engage with the enemy because it risks their immortal soul. Marcus tells Tomas they battle demons in the real world, not inside their heads.

Tomas says he brought back Angela and that this skill is a gift from God. Marcus isn’t so sure. “With pride comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom,” says Marcus. Tomas mutters under his breath about being treated like a schoolboy, and Marcus says fair enough – Tomas doesn’t need him.

Andy and Truck make it back to Truck’s room and discover Caleb isn’t in his bed. The window is open and Andy races from the room.

Cindy’s husband and another man arrive at the barn where inside Marcus and Tomas are in the middle of the exorcism. The demon’s contorting Cindy’s body which is still restrained on the table, IV in her arm. She’s bent backwards nearly in two as the sheriff demands they open the door or it will be kicked in. Marcus tells Tomas to finish the exorcism and he’ll answer the door.

Andy heads outside in the dark and Verity is ready to go with him. Rose takes over, saying no one is going out there alone. She wants Shelby to go with Verity while she and Truck will stay together. Armed with flashlights, they search the woods calling out for Caleb.

Shelby prays while he’s searching with Verity, and she doesn’t believe that’s in the least bit helpful. “What good is a God that never shows up, that can’t even protect one little kid?” she asks.

Marcus confronts Cindy’s husband who wants his wife back now. It turns out Cindy went to the Church, realizing what was happening but they turned her down for an exorcism. Marcus explains he and Tomas are the “ones who don’t say no,” warning that Cindy’s in grave danger. Marcus says only Tomas is keeping the demon at bay.

Inside the barn, items are flying at Tomas as he continues to pray over Cindy’s twisting body. Against Marcus’ wishes, Tomas turns inside himself to speak with Cindy.

In his mind, Tomas is back outside the church. He forces himself back into the real world, continuing the exorcism but he’s popping in and out of reality. Finally, he closes the Bible.

The man who’s with Cindy’s husband punches Marcus in the face, demanding Marcus let them in the barn. He says he doesn’t like hitting a priest and after Marcus reveals he’s not a priest, Cindy’s husband punches him. Marcus takes on both men in a fist fight while inside the barn, Tomas tells the demon he’s not afraid of it and asks it to show itself to him. He turns inward again, with his eyes rolling up in his head. Tomas enters the church and hears crying.

Andy makes it to the abandoned house and finds Caleb standing on top of the well and counting to 10, repeatedly. The boards break under his feet but Andy manages to pull him to safety. Caleb doesn’t seem aware of what he was doing.

Tomas approaches the holy water and sees it bubbling. He peers into it and then looks up when he hears a door slam. He walks toward the confessional and slowly enters. Taking a seat, he peers through to the other room and sees Cindy. Tomas says he’s there to help her. They stare into each other’s eyes. Music is coming out of her open mouth.

More men arrive at the barn and Marcus continues to stand his ground, but he’s outmatched. They drag him inside the barn and he sees Tomas, eyes still white orbs, holding Cindy’s head. Tomas and Cindy are inches apart, staring into each other’s eyes in reality as well as inside Tomas’ head.

Inside his mind, an arm emerges from Cindy’s mouth and grabs Tomas by the throat. He screams and frees himself in both worlds.

Cindy’s husband punches Tomas in the face and then carries Cindy from the barn. The demon smiles.

And now it’s time for “Tubular Bells” as Andy carries Caleb back to his room. Grace watches and then runs off to bed. He’s no longer wearing his sunglasses and we see a flash of Caleb’s glassy eyes as Andy delivers him to his room. On the wall in the hallway are the same type of little handprints as Tomas saw in his vision of the church.

More on The Exorcist:
Recap of The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 2
Recap of The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 3
Recap of The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 4
Recap of The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 5
Recap of The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 6
Recap of The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 7
Recap of The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 8
Recap of The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 9
Recap of The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 10

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Interview with John Cho and Brianna Hildebrand
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