‘The Exorcist’ Season 2 Episode 3 Recap: Unclean

The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 3
Beatrice Kitsos, Ben Daniels, Alfonso Herrera and Rochelle Greenwood in ‘The Exorcist’ season 2 episode 3 (Photo by Sergei Bachlakov © 2017 Fox Broadcasting)

Fox’s The Exorcist season two episode three begins in France with Cardinal Guilott leading a meeting of the corrupted inside the Church. Something’s sprinkled on almond tarts before they’re brought in and served at this unholy meeting. A cat climbs onto Cardinal Guilott’s lap and he explains that, like the cat, they’ve climbed high and will soon be able to look down on the world and then remake it.

The men, including the Cardinal, bite into the tarts and begin spitting up blood. As they sit at the table, dying, the servant lights the tablecloth on fire and leaves with the cat. “All nature will be renewed by fire,” she says as she climbs the stairs.

Meanwhile on Nachburn Island, Washington, Andy (John Cho) buries the dead lamb. As he does, he hears a noise in the woods.

Inside his home, Andy confronts Caleb (Hunter Dillon), saying he doesn’t believe Verity (Brianna Hildebrand) left him at the well. Andy wonders if maybe Caleb was just sleepwalking, but Caleb swears she held his hand as she walked him to the well. However, even Caleb’s not sure Verity would do something that dangerous.

Andy then apologizes to Verity for initially believing she tried to murder her foster brother. After Verity slams her door in his face, Andy next has to deal with Shelby (Alex Barima) who warns him to keep everyone out of the woods. He swears there’s something out there, but Andy tries to calm him down by saying the deformed lamb wasn’t an omen. Shelby says he felt something and was just trying to protect the house by smearing blood on the front door. Andy suggests he stick to praying.

Rose (Li Jun Li) catches Andy’s attention next, informing him she’s not filing a report on Caleb. She knows the agency would investigate if she did, but then she reminds him group homes have to be run by two people. He suggests she move in.

Apparently, Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) isn’t finished seeing Cindy. He dreams of a young girl with a hole where her face should be and then sees Cindy in her possessed form. Jerking awake in the truck, he learns from Marcus (Ben Daniels) they’ve made it to their destination. The street they’re parked on is the one from his vision of the faceless girl.

The traveling exorcists have arrived at their next case in Seattle, Washington. Marcus was asked by one of his deacon friends to help a young girl who might be possessed. The girl’s mother, Lorraine Graham (Rochelle Greenwood), invites them in, happy to see at least one of the two men is a priest. The possibly possessed girl’s name is Harper and her mom can’t believe someone at the Church finally listened to her plea for help.

Lorraine explains Harper was a healthy girl until six months ago. Her personality changed and she began seeing the imaginary playmate she had as a child.

Harper (Beatrice Kitsos) is groaning in her bed when Marcus and Father Tomas visit her room.

Back at the group home, the kids are all walking to school with Caleb quizzing Truck (Cyrus Arnold) on his upcoming history test. Shelby lags behind them and then sneaks off as they continue walking to school.

Marcus and Tomas return downstairs to talk with Harper’s mom, and she thinks something unclean took over Harper. She wants them to send it back to Hell, and Marcus lets her know they have to investigate first before they can do the exorcism. She asks what they’re looking for and Marcus explains it includes such things as speaking in tongues, having impossible knowledge of events, etc. Lorraine gives them a drawing Harper drew three weeks ago, and it looks like Marcus and Tomas taking on a demon. As they speak, noises are heard upstairs. A cross falls from the wall and Lorraine is sure the demon knew they were coming.

Lorraine admits she’s read Chris MacNeil’s story about Regan’s possession many times and it gives her comfort. She knows she’s not going through this alone.

Back in Harper’s room, the girl is momentarily lucid and takes a drink from a container her mother offers her. She looks uncomfortable when Marcus and Tomas introduce themselves and say they can help her. Harper doesn’t believe they can help and Tomas claims they’re pretty good. Marcus asks about her imaginary friend and Harper says its name is Tobias. No one can see him, so Marcus asks her to describe him. He holds up the drawing and asks if the green demon is Tobias. She says it is. Tomas wonders if she can make Tobias come out and say hi, but she says he’s hiding behind her tongue. When he’s mad, his teeth come out.

Marcus looks in her mouth and doesn’t see anything. Harper suddenly begins convulsing and throws up green liquid on Tomas. Tomas and Marcus try and get the demon to say its name, but Harper only thrashes and screams.

The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 3
Hunter Dillon and John Cho in ‘The Exorcist’ season 2 episode 3 (Photo by Sergei Bachlakov © 2017 Fox Broadcasting Co)

Father Bennett (Kurt Egyiawan), in civilian clothes, sits through a church service. Mouse (the killer from the opening sequence) takes a seat in the empty pew behind him. He’s been coming there for three days but has never taken communion. She forces him to, even though he claims he didn’t before because he doesn’t feel worthy. It’s a test and he passes.

They discuss Cardinal Caro and his arrest, and then Mouse (Zuleikha Robinson) reveals Cardinal Guilott has been taken care of. Father Bennett believes they’re meant to fight this war together, but Mouse thinks she’d be better off alone. She will, however, tell Father Bennett what she knows about the conspiracy and let him meet her source.

Back in Harper’s room, Tomas wants to start the exorcism immediately but Marcus knows they haven’t established one is needed. Her mom is incredulous, but Marcus explains doing an exorcism when one isn’t needed could reinforce a false belief that Harper would never be able to let go. Lorraine tries to work them against each other, asking if Father Tomas isn’t better suited to decide this.

Lorraine returns to Harper’s bedside and screams. While they speak, Harper’s in bed gnashing her teeth together. Her mom has what she claims is a bite mark on her stomach and she’s bleeding.

Elsewhere, Shelby’s alone and holds up his Bible when he hears noises in the woods.

Andy pays a visit to his neighbors, asking Russ about the lamb. He reveals he had planned to be a wealthy stockbroker but in college he met a girl who made him change his mind. He’d be a practicing psychologist now if it weren’t for the group home. Andy asks Russ if he’s ever come across anything on the island he can’t explain, but Russ has no idea what he’s talking about.

Shelby kneels on the sand at the edge of the lake and prays.

And now the group home and exorcism storylines finally cross. Rose shows up at Lorraine Graham’s door, following up on a call made to the State Department of Health and Social Services about her daughter’s behavior at school. Rose knows she hasn’t attended in weeks, and Lorraine says it’s because she’s fighting a very bad flu. Rose asks to speak with Harper but Lorraine tries to put her off. When she tries to close the door on Rose, Rose threatens to get law enforcement involved if she doesn’t let her see Harper immediately. Still, Lorraine closes the door and leaves Rose standing on the porch.

Father Tomas sets out Holy Water and is prepared to perform the exorcism when Marcus returns to Harper’s room. Tomas claims he has all the proof he needs but Marcus doesn’t think so. Tomas then reveals his vision of Harper, and Marcus reminds him he let a demon into his head and his decisions are compromised. Tomas is insistent Harper needs his help.

They spot Rose on the sidewalk and Marcus leaves to speak with her. She wants to know why there’s a priest with Harper, and he says it’s for spiritual help. As Rose is about to leave, she mentions Harper’s been in and out of hospitals all her life. That shocks Marcus.

When Andy returns home from his visit with Russ, Grace (Amélie Eve) is wearing her brave face (the weird pillow case head covering). She had agreed to come outside but is reluctant to leave the house. She finally does, and Andy removes her brave face. They high five because she made it outside. He takes her to see the sunflowers in the garden and she laughs and smiles. The mood changes when they see a massive flock of birds in the sky.

Shelby is still praying when the flock flies over him and across the lake.

Andy and Grace rush back into the house as the birds begin crashing into the outside of the home. Some smash through windows and Grace is understandably freaked out.

Marcus goes through the bathroom drawers and finds a box full of pills.

Andy comforts Grace, confused as to why the birds behaved that way. She doesn’t want to go outside again. The doorbell rings and it’s Russ. They look out over the yard at hundreds of dead birds. Russ says they flew over his house and came from the lake, around the spot where Nicole… He doesn’t finish that sentence and Andy rushes off to the lake, with Russ left to babysit Grace.

Andy finds Shelby in the lake and screams at him to get out now. Shelby’s asking God for help because right on that spot is where whatever is wrong with the island is the strongest. Shelby’s at the spot where it killed Nicole, and Andy says Nicole killed herself because she was depressed. Shelby wonders if maybe Andy was wrong and it’s possible it’s the same thing that tried to kill Caleb. Andy’s furious and won’t go along with Shelby on this, saying that’s not what happened to his wife.

Marcus rushes into Harper’s bedroom and yanks Lorraine back from her daughter’s bed where she’s once again giving her something to drink. Marcus holds Harper’s head and tells her she’s clean, a pure child of God. He also says there’s nothing wrong with her.

Marcus confronts Lorraine, telling her he knows Harper’s been in and out of hospitals all her life. He also knows the drink contains hallucinogens that give Harper visions. He lists off the drugs in the drink, including one that induces vomiting. Marcus is right in Lorraine’s face when he accuses her of repeatedly telling her own daughter stories about a toad inside her, trying to convince Harper she’s possessed.

Marcus explains to Father Tomas that Lorraine did the drawing herself and that she also used her own fingernails to create the bite mark on her stomach. “You weren’t reading Chris MacNeil’s book for comfort, you were using it as a bloody instruction manual!” yells a furious Marcus.

Lorraine tells them to leave but they refuse. Father Tomas follows her downstairs while Marcus stays with Harper. Father Tomas is looking through the box full of pill bottles when Lorraine hits him in the head with a hammer.

Marcus tells Harper she’s safe and says her mother’s the sick one. Marcus comforts her and tells her it will hurt for a while, but one day she’ll get better and be stronger than ever before. Lorraine returns to Harper’s room with the hammer, demanding Marcus get away from her daughter. She doesn’t get why no one understands what she’s going through, and Marcus advises Harper to close her eyes and keep them shut no matter what she hears.

Lorraine charges at Marcus, but he tosses her against a mirror. She hits him with a hammer but he’s able to pin her to the ground. Father Tomas, bleeding from the head, stumbles into the room.

Rose followed through on her threat and cops arrive at the Graham house.

At the hospital, Marcus assures Father Tomas that if he does this long enough he’ll see all different forms of evil and then someone like this will come along. “At least with a demon you know where you stand. There’s a purity to the design, the logic, and form,” says Marcus. “But a parent who would do that to their own child…”

Father Tomas admits he was wrong. He knows he made a mistake and it would have been horrible for Harper if they moved forward with the exorcism. Harper would have died, and Marcus agrees that was the most likely outcome. Father Tomas wisely admits he’s not ready to do this on his own.

Rose joins them in the hospital waiting room and tells them Harper will recover. Harper will eventually be placed in a foster home while they build a case against her mother, but finding a home won’t happen fast. That gives Rose the idea that maybe she should go live at Andy’s group home temporarily. She’d be safe there.

Andy watches a video of the kids with Nicole.

Antwerp, Belgium: Mouse takes Father Bennett to see Sister Dolores (Karin Konoval), an exorcist who’s been missing. Bennett thought she was dead but Mouse knows they’re not killing exorcists. “They’re doing something much worse,” says Mouse.

Sister Dolores is standing in chains in the middle of a room, possessed.

More on The Exorcist:
Recap of The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 1
Recap of The Exorcist Season 2 Episode 2
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

Interview with Ben Daniels, Alfonso Herrera and Kurt Egyiawan
Interview with John Cho and Brianna Hildebrand
Recap of The Exorcist season one finale