Verity steps up, Mouse and Marcus’ backstory is revealed, and things get way worse for Andy.
After a two week break, The Exorcist is back on our television screens! We’re so excited because we wanted to see just how possessed Andy (John Cho) was going to be. And boy were we not prepared for what we were going to see Friday night. On Friday’s episode “A Heaven in Hell,” Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) and Marcus (Ben Daniels) try to exorcise the demon out of Andy. Let’s just say things don’t go so well. On the other hand, out of all of the kids, Verity (Brianna Hildebrand) steps up and decides to use herself as “bait” for Andy, and we finally learn just exactly how Mouse (Zuleikha Robinson) and Marcus knew each other. Hold on to your seat, this roundtable is going to be a good one.
This week’s episode is set 3 days after the exorcism begins. Andy looks better than ever (he doesn’t), and everyone in the house is stressed as they don’t know how to handle this situation. Rose (Li Jun Lee) decides that it’s better to take the kids off the island. The kids however, think it’s better to stay beside Andy. Both are bad moves. We’re then taken through several flashback scenes throughout the episode of Marcus and Mouse in the 90’s. Marcus looks incredible with his long blonde hair and Mouse is dressed as a nun. Nonetheless, it becomes clear that the two had a deep and personal history together.
The two seemed to admire each other like no other. I mean Marcus calls Mouse his “Little Church Mouse!” Later on in the episode, it’s revealed that Mouse was aspiring to be an Exorcist like Marcus, claiming that she wanted to see “the face of God” as he did. In fact, she practices her abilities by visiting a demon in the basement of the Church she’s stationed in. Yet, after a while, Mouse makes a mistake in her time speaking with this demon. As fans of the show know, during an exorcism, a circle is created around a demon. The Exorcist, or anyone, to be frank, is not allowed to step into the circle or else they risk possession. Unfortunately, Mouse, wanting so badly to be like Marcus, lets the demon get to her after it asks her if she wants to see the face of God for herself. We’ll talk more about this in the roundtable, but her eventual possession was so. sad.
Elsewhere on the island, Tomas and Marcus try to exorcise Andy further. They don’t get far by the end of the episode, but Tomas and Marcus do have a sweet moment together at the episode’s end. After Marcus gets triggered by the demon who brought up Mouse to him again, Marcus and Tomas step outside to talk to each other. Tomas tells Marcus that he’ll take the lead and that he doesn’t have to get angry at the demon anymore. Marcus, in turn, tells Tomas that he is not his apprentice anymore, but an exorcist like him. He even mentions how proud he is to stand beside him as a brother. Cue the TEARS.
With that, I think it’s time to get into our roundtable. Please welcome our lovely Exorcist Congregation:
Sydney B. (@TrinityAnders99) – Exorcist Fan
Jessie (@andherewe_go) – Author, History Nerd, TV Fan, and Proud Member of the #ExorcistCongregation
Diana (@xoloitzcuintle) – TV Newbie
Candice (@d0wninunderland) – Writer, horror enthusiast, and occasional traveler
Michelle (@Contessa_966) – Writer for Three If By Space, Tweeter of TV Shows, Live Music Fan, Hockey Girl & Wiener Dog Mama!
1. Why do you think Marcus is so hesitant to open up to Tomas?
Sydney B. (@TrinityAnders99): For Marcus, being open and letting someone in only leads to catastrophe as evidenced with Mouse. I believe this is his way of trying to protect Tomas. Also, perhaps Marcus feels that if Tomas knew what happened at the Abby, that he was not able to complete Mouse’s exorcism, it might cause Tomas to think less of him. Marcus might appear as a hypocrite for once entertaining the idea of breaking his vows with Mouse since he chastised Tomas for doing the same with Jessica. Since the demon will play on Tomas’ ambition and need to be validated and recognized as more than a school boy, the less Tomas knows, the less the demon can use against him. The demon knows Tomas is an eager student, desperate to prove himself to Marcus and repeat the success he had with Angela’s exorcism.
Jessie (@andherewe_go): One part of it, I think, is that he doesn’t want to compromise their current exorcism by freaking Tomas out about his past mistakes. The more the two of them know about each other gives the demon more bait, and realistically, it isn’t the right time for this sort of conversation. (Especially under time constraints.) Also, Marcus has rarely given up information about his past to Tomas, and this was a particularly sensitive topic regarding another possible exorcist in training and Marcus’ own faults. I don’t think Marcus was ready to admit that he messed up in the past, not with Tomas putting his own life in danger to battle demons and coming so close to falling to the same thing.
Diana (@xoloitzcuintle): To begin with, Marcus feels Tomas is his responsibility, his student and protege, and we’ve seen that Tomas is very vulnerable and Marcus as a tutor is very demanding. So I don’t think Marcus can open up to someone who needs him the way Tomas does. Or at least, he can’t open up the way Tomas seems to want him to, because Marcus is actually very open and very okay with just telling people things about himself without much prompting; He told Tomas about having been sold to the church and seeing the face of God like 3 days after meeting him, he told Harper about what it felt like for him to see other kids with normal families, he shared a little about his time in a home with Andy, and finally he opened up about all of his PTSD to Peter. All Peter had to do was tell him about himself and ASK.
The difference with Tomas, I feel, is that Tomas isn’t really talking to him either, like, I don’t get the feeling they’ve sat down and talked about what Tomas saw in detail or how Tomas is feeling. I’m Marcus would reciprocate in the form of beautifully written and delivered monologues if he did.
Candice (@d0wninunderland): Marcus is naturally headstrong, and given the environments which he was raised in, it’s ingrained in him to hold his own, so to speak. Marcus is always on the lookout for others, so he has difficulty when someone chooses to lookout for him. Tomas cares about his partner’s safety, and given all the background we have on Marcus so far, this is new ground for Marcus. He has to learn how to open up, and I think he’s afraid. Sure, he has to keep demons out, but when your instincts are to keep those entities (and the baggage they bring) out, it’s rather easy to carry that over when interacting with people. Perhaps with time and a lot of patience with himself and others, Marcus can learn when it is safe to be open, rather than being fearful, and guarded 24/7. He may even be able to eventually feel safe, and to trust himself. He has a lot of trauma, but that trauma (which I think he’s starting to accept and work on with the help of Peter) doesn’t have to stay pent up or define him.
Michelle (@Contessa_966): I think Marcus doesn’t want to open up to or get overly close with Tomas because of Mouse. That seemed like a very close friendship, and he couldn’t stand himself after what happened to her. He doesn’t want to get close to anyone because getting close to someone means you open yourself up to the possibility of that hurt if they get hurt or leave. The fact that he felt so responsible for Mouse and then her possession has left quite a wound in him I think.
2. Do you think Mouse wanted to be an exorcist when she was younger (the 90’s) or did she just want to be able to “see the face of God” like Marcus could? The two seemed so close.
Sydney B. (@TrinityAnders99): Mouse was in awe of Marcus’ connection with God. I think she wanted to follow in Marcus’ footsteps, not only just to have that relationship with God, but to also get closer to Marcus. If neither could break their vows or run off together, being work partners would be the next best thing in her eyes. I’d be interested in knowing what led Mouse to the church in the first place. And, is she really an exorcist today if she was not able to free Sister Dolores? Or just a rogue agent of Cardinal Caro?
Jessie (@andherewe_go): Maybe a little bit of both? It seemed like Mouse was using one as a means to an end, like she would find meaning by trying to become an exorcist. Like maybe she would finally see proof of her beliefs by engaging with an enemy of God. I loved her honesty, how she admitted to her doubt and how some, like her, are just doing their jobs and hoping that what they believe is real. She might harbor some jealousy that Marcus is firm in his beliefs and has had solid evidence of them. In a way, it sort of calls back to Marcus’ recent jealousy of Tomas’ abilities and him not hearing God anymore.
Diana (@xoloitzcuintle): I’m not sure, I think it depends on the circumstances in which Marcus and Mouse met. In the flashback they were already close, so there’s still backstory we’re unaware of. If Mouse saw Marcus in action, then it would make sense for her to have fallen in love with the way Marcus works, how God works through him, and she wanted to feel that as well. If she’d heard about Marcus before meeting him then maybe she had a hero worship thing going on and was really interested in the part about seeing God and becoming one with God. The older exorcist seemed to know about Marcus’ childhood, and it’s likely he was well-known as this young exorcist who’d seen the face of God and had never failed, so Mouse knowing about him before meeting him could also make sense.
I personally would like it more if by the point of the flashback they’ve known each other for a while, maybe exactly 6 months to parallel Marcus and Tomas, and Mouse has seen Marcus perform exorcisms on his own and asked him to train her, also to parallel Tomas.
Candice (@d0wninunderland): It may have been a combination of the two, for Mouse. Mouse seems as though she idolized Marcus back then, and I think he motivated her to be more than what their peers expected her to be. She didn’t want to be compliant to a nun’s way of life, I don’t think. Marcus sparked Mouse’s desire to challenge herself and the expectations set before her. However, I do also believe that Mouse wanted to share the “blessing” she felt was bestowed upon Marcus. I believe she needed to “see the face of God” in order to level herself up with the man she had placed on a pedestal, and it makes total sense. It’s human. Most of the population want to be like their heroes, and find themselves worthy of whatever “blessings” they possess, but it’s without people realizing that those “blessings” aren’t always as they seem, nor are the people they glorify. Mouse and Marcus were definitely close from what we know, and each of them cared for the other; Mouse just went about proving herself the wrong way, unfortunately.
Michelle (@Contessa_966): I do think that Mouse was just generally fascinated with exorcisms, but ultimately I think she wanted to have that same certainty that Marcus had. I don’t necessarily think that she wanted to become an exorcist, but that the field intrigued her. Her overall desire was to have the same certainty of faith that Marcus had, which is why the demon tried to use that to get to her.
3. Do you think Peter is going to get more involved in Andy’s possession?
Sydney B. (@TrinityAnders99): I don’t think this was the last we’ll see of Peter despite his farewell with Marcus. Now that the demon has escaped and has taken Andy’s kid hostage, I don’t doubt Peter will either intervene or be sacrificed in some way to help the Kim kids. Poor Marcus might have to “open up” a little more to Peter and let him in on the real reason why he came to the island. I hope Peter does not get hurt in the process- that would ruin Marcus. I’m leaning on the idea that Mouse will recruit Peter’s help if Tomas and Marcus are left compromised and vulnerable.
Jessie (@andherewe_go): I hope not! I want Peter to stay far away from that mess and out of harm’s way. Right now, he has no clue what’s going on (though he knows something is up), and Marcus is obviously trying his best to keep Peter in the dark. It’s safer that way, based on Marcus’ past experiences. Though people are rarely safe on this show, I’m stubbornly keeping my fingers crossed that Peter doesn’t get hurt. With Andy now roaming the island, that might prove difficult, but I’d like Peter to stick around. Even if Marcus wants to move on after this, it’d be nice to see him at least sit-down and have a chat with Peter again. He’s good for Marcus and I just really don’t want to see anything bad happen to him.
Diana (@xoloitzcuintle): Not in performing it but he’ll be in danger for sure. The demon is all about killing the kids of its host so now that it’s loose it will absolutely try to hunt down the Kim children. Right now there’s no power on the island and presumably no ferry, but Peter has a boat!!! And he is a good person!!! And he doesn’t know exactly what’s going on but he trusts Marcus, so I think he’ll get involved and try (and hopefully succeed) in getting the kids to safety by boat, likely with Marcus’ help since I believe Marcus will prioritize finding Andy and protecting the children over snapping Tomas out of his demon trance.
Candice (@d0wninunderland): As much as Marcus is likely going to continue to try and prevent Peter from getting too close to the situation, yes; it’s highly probable that Peter will somehow end up directly involved with Andy’s exorcism. The basic need people have to help each other is undeniable, and Peter appears to be the type of person whose purpose is healing: healing the environment, healing people; he’s going to follow that. It’s who we know Peter to be, so far.
Michelle (@Contessa_966): I’m torn on this, I want to hold out hope that Peter is all good but there’s a nagging part of me that thinks he could be there to just throw things off track. I hope that he will prove to be the first, and be there for Marcus as the going gets rough. There aren’t that many people on the island, and it seems that Andy will kill anyone he crosses paths with. With Peter being on the island right now there is a big possibility that he will end up involved in the whole mess one way or another.
4. What thoughts were going through your head when Verity decided to step up and be the one kid to “bait” Andy?
Sydney B. (@TrinityAnders99): She was the best choice. Verity would be the most able of the Kim children to handle anything the demon were to throw at her. Being the first foster child Andy and Nikki took in, Andy was able to break through her rough exterior and provide encouragement. That’s reason enough for her wanting to step up and try to be for Andy what he was for her. (Kudos to the writers for further examining the realities of what happens when a child ages out of the foster system).
Jessie (@andherewe_go): I was SO proud of her! Her character development and growth this season has been wonderful to watch. She’s the most skeptical of all the kids and doesn’t necessarily believe in exorcism, but she cares deeply for Andy and wants to bring him back. The way she allowed herself to be vulnerable while also fending off the demon’s nasty jabs was truly incredible. It was heart wrenching to see Andy break through the demon’s hold (and keep it from hurting her) and Verity telling him how much he and Nikki mean to her, when the two of them have been butting heads throughout the season. It was one of the most memorable scenes of this episode.
Diana (@xoloitzcuintle): Honestly, it was just a nonstop stream of “I LOVE VERITY PLEASE PROTECT HER I CAN’T WAIT FOR DEADPOOL 2” I was never worried Andy would attack her, and I loved that it was her stepping up and that she’s accepted the possession for what it is, despite not being religious. Verity is really smart and really brave and goes for it despite being terrified and not being sure if she trusts any of the adults around her. Like, a different kind of kid could be redirecting their anger towards Rose or the priests but she’s very centered and realistic and doing everything she can. She must be protected at all costs.
Candice (@d0wninunderland): I didn’t have any thoughts in particular going on, actually. Verity stepping up to be “bait” made perfect sense to me. She’s arguably the most headstrong kid out of all the group. She’s known to have that “piss off” vibe, and is quite the fighter, even after all she has been through prior to Andy and Nikki taking her in. Verity, to me, is someone who will ultimately fight for those who have fought for her, and even for those who can’t yet fight for themselves (i.e. Harper). She’s learned that good people still exist, and she knows Andy is authentic and altruistic; she knows he’s still in there. Verity also knows that a battle can be won, even when the fighter is up against what most would view as insurmountable odds
Michelle (@Contessa_966): It didn’t surprise me at all, she was the first one there and has a special connection with him. I also think that her being openly against religion makes her an intriguing choice to be the one to help assist. If anything this at least will open her eyes about demons. I don’t think that it’ll change her thoughts on religion, but I think she’s the strongest one to help out. Andy has always been there for her, she wouldn’t have been able to live with herself if she didn’t at least try.
5. Why do you think Marcus left Mouse after she became possessed?
Sydney B. (@TrinityAnders99): It was too close to home. Marcus saw what harm could come when one settles in one place and forms attachments. The demon knew Marcus’ feelings for Mouse would intercept his ability to free her. Which explains, besides his commitment to his work, yet another reason why Marcus always ends up running. Marcus won’t ignore his calling to pursue other cases, his God given gift. By coming close to temptation and breaking his vows, he sees the possible consequences at hand. I think he felt so much guilt for introducing this world to Mouse; he swore he “would never let anything happen to her.” More than likely, besides his own volition, Marcus could have been ordered by Father Robert to leave the Abby.
Jessie (@andherewe_go): In Marcus’ experience, it’s easier to run. He messed up, he took responsibility for making Mouse vulnerable to possession, and the demon got to him, so he felt he had no other choice. He was too close, so he was too compromised to finish Mouse’s exorcism. I think that was a turning point for him, where he started to build some walls and let go of personal and emotional attachments because they’re weaknesses when you’re dealing with demons. He stopped opening up to people, though his relationships with Tomas and Peter have been steadily chipping away at that. And he felt guilty, most of all. He promised her that he wouldn’t let anything happen to her, and then she became possessed, and he wasn’t able to help her. I think he still carries some of that guilt, still.
Diana (@xoloitzcuintle): What the demon said about Marcus leaving the people he loves holds a lot of truth to it, but also I think he didn’t feel confident in his ability to help her. In season one when Pazuzu tricks Tomas into seeing Jessica, afterwards Marcus tells Tomas “you’re useless to me now” because Tomas had let the demon into his head and fallen for it. I think something similar happened to him when he was exorcising Mouse and upon realizing he was compromised, he decided to leave. The demon knew too much and was getting to him too often and Marcus, who had probably never felt as strongly for anyone else before, decided it was safer for everyone to leave the work to someone else.
Mostly I don’t think Marcus would’ve left if he’d thought he’d beat the demon, despite youth and whatever feelings and insecurities he had, so if he did leave it was because he was losing and he didn’t want to see Mouse die.
Candice (@d0wninunderland)/: It was the 90’s. Marcus and Mouse were both young. Mouse saw Marcus as someone who had all the answers because he was “chosen.” The truth is, he didn’t have all the answers at all. Marcus was still very much learning, despite his experience and the fact that God would speak to him. He left her because he knew he did not know how best to save her, and since he clearly cared a great deal for Mouse, he knew she would be better off with someone higher up. I don’t think he wanted to jeopardize Mouse’s life more than it already was jeopardized, and he certainly could not live with himself had he continued the exorcism, and she had died. Marcus didn’t want to make a mistake, and so he had to leave and place her in more capable, albeit, less loving hands. He likely already blamed himself for her going down to visit the demon to begin with; he didn’t need Mouse to die because of him on top of that blame, that guilt. Marcus only did what he felt he could at the time.
Michelle (@Contessa_966): He grew too attached to her, maybe when he was trying to perform the exorcism things just got to be too much, with them having such a close relationship the demon would have been able to push so many of his buttons. He probably felt as though it was his fault and helpless to try and cleanse her. I don’t think that to this day he has forgiven himself for it and quite possibly still blames himself for what happened. Making every case he took on after try and redeem the fact that he failed the one he cared for most.
6. Now that there are only two episodes of the series left, what else would you like to see that The Exorcist has not explored yet?
Sydney B. (@TrinityAnders99): The list is endless:
- What ultimately became of Cardinal Caro
- How Cindy and Jordy came to lose their baby and will we ever see Olivia and Luis again
- Is there anyone left at the Vatican who has not been corrupted
- More on Bennett’s recovery and Truck’s fate
- The meaning of “Janus”
- Since the Holstrom’s buried lamb did not die, will it manifest in other ways
Jessie (@andherewe_go): It’s going to be a jam packed two episodes, that’s for sure. It’ll be interesting to see how all of this is resolved and who makes it out relatively unscathed. (Which is more than a little worrisome…) Because I think he’d be good at it, I’d like to see Shelby step in and maybe assist in the exorcism/stopping the demon, however that’s going to work out. I’m also wondering how the whole issue with Harper’s mother is going to be resolved…not sure how they’ll end up explaining that one! Other than that, I’d love to see a heartfelt conversation between Verity and Marcus since they share so much common ground. Verity is still healing from her experiences where religion and her own sexuality are concerned, and it would be nice to see them talk it out.
Diana (@xoloitzcuintle): GIVE ME MORE BENNETT!!! We know NOTHING about Bennett other than he’s a stealth badass and he had a sister who died. It seems like he’s out of commission throughout the rest of the season, but I’m really really hoping he’ll do something to save the day by the end.
I’m also looking forward to Tomas’ demonic mind trip, and to the guest appearances we’re waiting for. I think Tomas will be briefly trapped into a kind of ideal world where he wins and everything is fine and he becomes the first Mexican Pope and when he realizes it’s fake he’s gonna have a really bad time. I’m looking forward to Tomas addressing how his goals have changed and what he wants from life, and what he is likely to get from life now that he’s not working for the church. In season 1 he had a very clear path laid out for him and he chose to give all of that up without thinking too far into the future, he needs to come to terms with the fact that he’ll never get to go back to the life he had, and I think that’s where he’s headed.(He’s also headed towards something terrible happening, but I’m not really looking forward to that part.) Also, I’m hoping for one more kiss between Marcus and Peter, they’re sweet and doomed and I love them.
Candice (@d0wninunderland): I’m sure there are additional things I’ll think of long after answering this, but right now, I would really love to delve further into Marcus’ character. I feel like there’s been so many discoveries made about him this season, such as his sexuality and a more vivid account of his family history, that I really would love to see how these different shades could bleed into a future season. Will we see Marcus become more accepting of himself and his desires overall? Will we begin to see him looking out for himself more without leaving people to suffer? Will he work through what haunts him, rather than try to push it all down? How will his relationship with Father Tomas (and Peter, if at all) progress? Additionally, now that Tomas appears to have “lost” himself to what he initially perceived as a gift, how will he come out of this? How will he be affected and shaped? I want to see where each of the men’s battles will take them, and if their partnership can withstand the new challenges and threats presented.
Michelle (@Contessa_966): I feel like so much has been explored in this season so far! I’m not sure my brain or heart or anxiety levels could handle them throwing too much else at us! I would love to see Shelby take a hands on role in the exorcism since he is a believer and Shelby as an exorcist would be great! I also would love to see Truck come back, I know he is safer not being on the island. But I think that they need to tackle this as a family and Truck is part of that family.
Final Verdict: What else can happen now?
The previews of the last two episodes of The Exorcist look wild. In what may have been one of the best episodes of the season, “A Heaven in Hell” perfectly combined the right amount of scary and goodness all in one. Does that even make sense? The writing was incredible, and we particularly liked how this episode explored the history between Marcus and Mouse. Also, seeing Verity step up this episode was heartwarming to see. I see you character development! Alright, now that Andy is completely possessed (not yet integrated), what do you think can happen now? We can hardly wait.