Standouts include John Cho as Andy, Brianna Hildebrand as Verity and Li Jun Li as Rose.
- Brilliant effects and production. Seriously, everything looked so beautiful on-screen.
- Character development was insane - we especially loved watching each of the kids grow into their own skin.
- Having this season be a new possession case was smart and it showed in the writing.
- We wish Bennett's storyline was developed more.
- Mouse's introduction was a little fast, but she's an amazing character who we're looking forward to see in Season 3.
- Was it necessary to split Tomas and Marcus up? It's not a con, we're just super sad to see them apart!?!!
The Exorcist reached into depths that most television shows would not dare. If you haven’t watched it, you may want to start…now.
Season Two of The Exorcist reminds us of a great book – something that is so good that you never want it to end.. Immensely better and more developed than Season One, this season explored a possession story that was unlike anything we’d seen before on the series.
Over the course of ten exhilarating episodes, show-runner Jeremy Slater as well as various writers, directors, executive producers (shout-out to Sean Crouch!), and more, managed to touch upon issues and stories relating to depression, homosexuality, and bisexuality, as well as the foster care system in the most caring light. We got to see the braveness of our fearless leaders Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) and Marcus (Ben Daniels) take on the most powerful demon they’ve ever encountered, alongside Andy (John Cho), this season’s newest protagonist and father figure to six, but later, five foster children: Verity (Brianna Hildebrand), Truck (Cyrus Arnold), Caleb (Hunter Dillon), Shelby (Alex Barima) and Harper (Beatrice Kitsos) — special shout-out to Grace (Amelie Eve). Of course, we are introduced to the demon…who we’ll get to later.
Joining the Exorcist team was Mouse (Zuleikha Robinson), a woman of faith and exorcist whom assists Marcus and Tomas in Andy’s possession case – and who also has a pretty deep history with Marcus. On top of that, we also meet Rose, a social worker who is sent to the island where Andy and his kids live, to investigate Andy’s home. Rose, whom we’d have to say was the rock for the entire season, was one of our favorites. Seriously, she is one strong character.
Anyway, we could on and on about what we loved and hated this season, but we’ve gathered our thoughts below.
A complex narrative and inclusive characters? Sign us up!
Going into this season of The Exorcist, we had no clue what to expect plot-wise. However, we were pleasantly surprised when we heard Season Two would be following a foster family. Seeing as foster families are a rare sight on prime-time programs right now, we’re glad the creators decided on this route. Following Andy Kim, played by the amazing John Cho, and his five foster children, the show explores a powerful demon who has overtaken their home and the island they live on. Nevertheless, the show makes it clear from the start that this possession story is not based upon whether a character identifies as white, black, asian, gay, etc – they are characters who just happen to be black, white, asian, gay. And that is amazing.
“Every one of us knows what it’s like to have our lives turned upside down. We all know what it’s like to feel scared and helpless. As long as Harper is under this roof, she’s family, ’cause good families only get bigger.” ~ Andy
Nonetheless, unlike Season One where it was easy to guess which character was possessed, it took a lot longer to guess who was affected this time around. Taking us on twists and turns, we were convinced at one point that every character may have been possessed. Seriously, this is one of those shows that will make you over analyze everything just to try and figure it out – and wow, was the final reveal exciting. We think we can speak for most fans when we say that we were not expecting Andy to be possessed. We’ll talk more about how amazing John was as Andy, but he killed it.
Finally, Season Two made its narrative more complex by further exploring the Church and the secrets that lay behind it as one the most powerful groups in the world. The Cardinal plotline from last season was expanded upon and we learned that the main reason that powerful demons were being released (as the one who possessed Andy), was due to the Church and their desire to exterminate exorcists across the board. Geez. However, the show managed to handle this subplot perfectly without making things too confusing for us.
Each actor and actress on The Exorcist were shining stars, particularly John Cho as Andy.
As well as having a complex narrative, this season had some pretty incredible actors and actresses in it. With one hundred percent certainty, we are sure that every actor ranging from John Cho as Andy to Alex Barima as Shelby, brought something refreshing and new to their roles – so much so that they felt like family by the end.
Starting with the kids – Alex brought such grace to his role as Shelby. Beginning as an outcast to some of the kids, Shelby proved to be a moral compass for the group – and Alex portrayed this perfectly. Hunter Dillon brought so much cuteness and energy to his role as Caleb – who might have been the most badass kid ever. Cyrus Arnold made us cry too many times to count as Truck. Seriously, how can someone be that good? Beatrice brought so much love to her role as Harper, even though she was only with us for a few episodes. Finally, we have Brianna Hildebrand as Verity. V had what we’d have to say was the most character development of the series. Starting off as a girl who desperately wanted to leave the foster home, V quickly stepped up and risked her life to save her dad and her siblings. And of course, Brianna effortlessly portrayed this progression. Before we get into the adults, we’d also like to give a special shoutout to Amelie Eve who killed it in her role as Grace.
“Let the damn thing try.” ~ Verity
Now it’s time for the adults! We could go on about how wonderful the older actors on the show were, but we don’t have that long! Ben Daniels brought so much emotion and character to Marcus that made him such a joy to watch grow each week. We just want to protect him from harm at all costs. Moreover, Ben’s on-scene chemistry with Alfonso Herrera as Tomas was pure magic.
Marcus: “I don’t want to lose you.”
Tomas: “Then bring me back.”
We’re so glad that fans got to see their love and brotherhood expand this season – especially considering that the two spent a majority of Season One apart. Alfonso as always was incredible. He is such a star and we better be seeing his face everywhere in the future!
Finally, we have John Cho. There are no words to express how much John killed it (literally). Seeing not only an Asian American actor lead a network program, but seeing how effortlessly he performed each Friday night was the icing on top of the cake. We know how hard it must have been taking on such a large role, but after just one episode, we all knew the lengths he was capable of.
One thing we wish we got to see more of was Bennett (Kurt Egyiawan). Seeing as Bennett was a major character in the plot of the previous season of the series, we expected to see more of him this time around. Unfortunately, it felt as if we barely saw him, which was saddening considering how great of an actor Kurt is. Even though Bennett was a part of Mouse’s introduction to the Exorcist realm, it seemed as if his character was only present to forward or uplift her narrative – rather than his own.
What was particularly worse about Bennett’s exclusion from the larger narrative was the fact that in the finale, we saw Bennett in the hospital in what looked like a possessed state. Seriously, could things just get any worse for the guy? We all demand justice for Bennett next season!
The writers loved to tear our hearts out, only to piece them back together again.
Alright, writers on The Exorcist… did you really have to make us cry that much this season?
There were so many beautiful moments in these ten episodes that it was difficult to pinpoint which ones truly tore at our heartstrings the most. From Andy learning about his wife’s Nikki’s depression and death, to Verity losing the book Nikki made for her, and even Truck getting sent to the psychiatric ward, we became so attached to everything that was happening.
Starting off with Nikki, the source for Andy’s eventual possession, the writers dealt with Nikki’s depression in the most heartfelt way. They did not stigmatize depression as something more than a disease and they did not treat it like a joke. Rather, the writers used such a serious issue to tell a universal story to everyone who watched the show. Our hearts broke each time Andy cried over Nikki, especially when several scenes of Andy discovering Nikki’s body at the lake were used in the later episodes of the show.
Other memorable moments that tore our hearts out included Andy and the kids. The relationship Andy built with each of his kids made our heart swell and break at the same time, especially considering the fact that so many horrible things had happened to their family. We cried whenever Andy would tell each of the kids he loved them, even when some of them like Verity didn’t believe him. And, we cried even harder when Andy sacrificed himself to save his children in the final episode. I mean, that goodbye speech during “Unworthy,” was heart-wrenching.
Also, don’t speak to us about Tomas and Marcus’ goodbye. The fact that Marcus couldn’t even look Tomas in the eyes during their last words made us want to cry for years (we may be over dramatic but still!)
At the end of the day, these moments all come down to the writing. Without brilliant writers, we wouldn’t have seen moments like these on-screen. Thank you.
FINAL VERDICT: Even with tiny plot issues, The Exorcist delivered us such a satisfying, tear-jerking and chilling story in Season Two.
After a year, we’d still agree that The Exorcist is one of the most underrated programs on television right now.
Fans of the horror genre would love this show as it twists traditional stereotypes of the genre and turns them into something extraordinarily new that you’ve never seen. Guaranteed. Each episode of the series is a treat to watch in itself, and there is no wasted time on-screen that is not necessary to the overarching narrative.
The Exorcist is complex, it makes you think, and most importantly, it makes you interested and concerned with the characters you see each week. From Andy to the budding brotherly relationship between exorcists Marcus and Tomas, and even new faces to the series like Verity, there will be at least one character that you are able to connect with and follow for ten episodes. Even though you might not feel a connection at first, you hopefully will by the finale. If you believe you are too scared to watch a horror series, don’t worry about it. There is gore, the effects are insane, but the story that you will watch unfold over ten episodes is worth it.
THE EXORCIST is streaming now on FOX.
Keep reading TV After Dark for more features and news on the series!
Stay up to date on all things THE EXORCIST.
Keep reading TV After Dark for more features and news on the series!
Season Two Verdict: “The Exorcist” [FOX]