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The Exorcist – Unworthy

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By: Maggie Stankiewicz

 

Father Bennett’s (Kurt Egyiwan) coma has taken him on a journey to a new reality, one where he is accompanied by his sister Anna, whom he had lost twenty-two years ago. He takes her face between his hands and promises that he’ll never leave her again. It is a tear-filled promise, and one that the Catholic Church Conspirators want him to keep. The more invested he becomes in the illusion of a family reunion, the more power they have against our favorite exorcists. Two of these conspirators are at Bennett’s bedside when a nurse comes in to bring them some good news: she predicts he will wake up soon. This isn’t the news they were looking for, as evidenced by the urn of demonic ashes that were placed beneath his bed. There is an entity lurking beneath him, just waiting for his walls to go down. Bennett may no longer be knocking on death’s door, but a demon is knocking on the door to his soul. Will he answer it?

 

Guided only by the light of the moon, Marcus (Ben Daniels) drags Andy’s (John Cho) limp body through the trees. He stops at a small clearing when he spots Tomas (Alfonso Herrera), who is awake, alert, and accompanied by none other than his little church Mouse (Zuleikha Robinson). She greets him cordially, but her even and tempered tone is still enough to make him weak.

 

The newly formed Holy Trinity regroups back at the cabin where Marcus and Tomas work on restraining Andy. Mouse fills them in on her adventures with Father Bennett, and the church’s plans to eliminate or convert the exorcists who remain a part of the resistance. Marcus has more pressing questions for her. His emotions are heightened and he has grown aggressive in his quest for answers on Mouse’s presence. The emotional intensity of their exchange suggests that despite the abandonment, they were once as in love as two servants of God could ever be. Tomas puts an end to their ex-lover’s quarrel. They have an exorcism to perform, and the demon that has taken up residence in Andy’s body is ready to spar.

 

Rose (Li Jun Li), Shelby (Alex Barima), Verity (Brianna Hildebrand), Harper (Beatrice Kitsos), and Caleb (Hunter Dillon) are on a nautical route away from the island. A storm brews above them, wind whipping their hair as flashes of lightning illuminate the sky. Verity breaks the uncomfortable silence between the traumatized family and asks Shelby if he has any bible verses that can fit their situation. Belief be damned, sometimes prayer is all people have.

 

Demon-Andy hisses and spits as Tomas, Marcus, and Mouse begin their exorcism. The demon is strong, but the power of three might just be enough to relinquish him. His body lifts from the ground, back arching in a supernatural curve. He falls to the dirt with a crash, face softening. As Marcus moves in closer, the demon begins to laugh. He is too strong for the methodical approach…and time is running out for Andy, and for them. Helicopters are circling outside looking for Andy and the priests. Though the crimes committed were not at the hands of a human being, they were human in nature. Law enforcement can’t understand the brevity or reality of a demonic possession. Mouse, on the other hand, has a firm grasp on the situation. The demon is too strong. The only way to kill it is to kill Andy. She raises her gun to him, a desperate attempt to save his soul.

 

Marcus peacefully takes the gun from her palm. This display of alleged weakness encourages the demon to taunt Marcus on a past indiscretion, one that required him to kill a demon that had integrated with a human. The demon reveals that Marcus’ soul houses a violent type of darkness. Marcus agrees with the demon’s psychoanalysis of him. This demon is not just strong, it’s intelligent. This fact brings Mouse to a stunning question: since the demon failed at killing Andy’s family, what reason does it have to stick around? They’re not sure, but Tomas theorizes that Andy, the real Andy, has trapped the demon within his body. Unable to leave its host, the demon is a sitting duck for the exorcists. They must kill Andy to save his soul and their lives.

 

Mouse insists on killing Andy to expedite the process, but Tomas has already boarded a one-way flight to Martyrdom. He suggests using himself as bait. The demon “let” him in once before, the bounty on a priest’s head much higher than that of a typical civilian. If Tomas can fight the demon and bring Andy back – his sacrifice will not be for naught. Tomas’ life belongs to God. No man, no woman, and no demon could change that. Marcus is vehemently against the idea, but agrees. Anything to save the light of an innocent.

 

Tomas approaches the demon and kneels beside him. “You want me? Come and get me.” Seven words, one invite. In the blink of an eye, Tomas meets the demon in the ether. Cloaked in darkness within a dystopian version of Andy’s home, Tomas bears witness to distorted paintings of the children on the walls. The house is dark and vacant, with the exception of some hushed whispers and a pair of glowing eyes. The entity with glowing orbs approaches Tomas slowly, its humanoid shape resembling that of the shadow man who attacked Rose earlier in the season. Before it can hurt Tomas, Andy swings a bat at the creature’s back. It splatters into a black cloud – but it’s not gone for good. They run, trying to get some lead time. Andy has been battling the demon for quite some time, and it grows stronger with each defeat. Andy’s face is enchanted by a peaceful, knowing smile, despite the calamity. He knows what Tomas doesn’t. He knows that he won’t, that he can’t, return to his earthly home.

 

Tomas agrees to bring a message from Andy back to the Kim family.

 

The message remains a mystery for now. Tomas and Andy are slowly making their way through the house in search of the amorphous shadow man. Little did they know that it had been following them. The creature sweeps Andy off of his feet and pulls him down the hall until he is swallowed by the darkness. Tomas spins around, only to find the decaying likeness of Nikki (Alicia Witt) surrounding him. Her body seems to blink into view with each passing second, until she is down the hall and able to contort her body. Nikki moves onto her back, arms and legs sprawled into a crawl – and begins to move towards Andy. Bones are cracking, tendons snapping with each step forward. Tomas breaks into a run and finds himself within Andy’s studio. Andy is in the corner, his abdomen open and rotting. “I can’t hold on anymore,” he pleads. Tomas assures him that he can let go – that the demon will move into his body instead. The ultimate sacrifice…but it’s not the right choice. Andy, father or the year, assumes responsibility for the possession. He is ready to die to kill the demon. Tomas isn’t ready to let him go.

 

Tomas breaks away to pray, keeping the demon away from the studios door. While his back is turned to Andy, black muck percolates on the floor behind him. It forms a body behind him, its form rising from the darkness. The creature stares at him with unparalleled hunger. Tomas commands the demon to take him instead of Andy. The demon obliges, and sinks its talons into Tomas. All it takes is a kiss to seal the deal. The demon leans in to consummate the unholy marriage, piercing the veil between the earthly realm and the demon’s celestial tidings. Andy screams at Marcus: “Shoot her now!”. Marcus hesitates, Tomas grows a third iris. Andy comes to for just a brief moment, encouraging Marcus to shoot him – to kill him, while the demon is distracted. Marcus pulls the trigger, snuffing out the demon’s fire while relieving Andy’s soul. Tomas’ third irises disappears. Andy is dead, but they’re alive.

 

Rose is lending her testimony to the police, extolling the virtues of the real Andy as she knew him. The police question the purity of Andy’s heart, considering the most recent emergence of homicidal tendencies. It doesn’t take long for the police to praise Rose’s fortitude while she and the children were stuck on the island with Andy. Her protective streak and resourcefulness is ultimately what saved them all – something she will be rewarded for. It’s time for her to see the kids once again. They’re waiting for her inside the police station. Tomas watches over them while they wait. When she returns, he divulges that Andy sent him off with a message for the family. The kids come closer, circling Tomas for their father’s final words.

 

To Rose, he said that every kiss was real.

 

To the kids, he said that Nikki and he loved them.

 

To Truck, he said that it’s important to never forget his kindness or intelligence.

 

To Harper, he said that she is perfect in every way.

 

To Caleb, he said that his courage is awe-inspiring.

 

To Shelby, he said that his unwavering strength is what carried them through.

 

To Verity, he said that she changed their lives. That she saved them.

 

To the family, he said they will always be a part of him.

 

Rose takes the children before everyone begins crying hard enough to cause a flood that could demolish Noah’s arc, and Tomas regroups with Marcus and Mouse at a motel.

 

Mouse is tuning up the truck while Marcus sits inside of his room, punishing himself for taking an innocent life. Tomas joins Marcus in the room, hoping to speed up the process of getting back on the road. Marcus reveals that he is not coming along. The death of Andy has compromised him, and he has been rendered unfit for exorcism duty. He is…unworthy. His unworthiness has distanced him from God. He can no longer feel the presence, the connection, the love. And it’s his own fault. Tomas rejects these notions, but he knows that he must part from his comrade. They embrace, brothers in arms. It’s time to go. Not forever, just for now.

 

Before he leaves, he needs to prepare Mouse for her impending adventures with Tomas. Their love may have fizzled out underneath the weight of their oath to God, but the mutual respect between Mouse and Marcus remains unwavering. As the old lion walks away, the cub and the mouse have been brought together. Mouse knows Marcus, and she knows he won’t come back. Tomas cannot do this alone, but he doesn’t have to. Mouse is here to help Tomas finish his journey. There’s work to be done. Mission renewed: they hop in the truck and prepare to take on mankind’s most powerful organization: The Catholic Church.

 

Father Bennett is still fighting his own wars, though his weakened physical and emotional states have left his soul ripe for the picking. The urn beneath his bed is still bustling with activity – the opaque carriers of malice seeping into his skin. His body begins to tremble until his eyes open. All three of them. Father Bennett has been compromised. In a nod to the titular Exorcist III movie, Father Bennett takes his first victim, a nurse, with a large pair of shears.

 

At last, we are reunited with Truck (Cyrus Arnold), as is Rose. Truck is escorted to a visiting room within his facility. He hugs Rose tightly, and they discuss Andy. Truck is alone inside the facility, unable to sleep. Rose takes it in stride, and mentions that she has found a temporary home for him. Relief washes over him, and we cut to Rose bringing him to his new home. Rose warns him that the foster parent is new at this, but willing to try. As they enter the well-kept home, Rose gauges Truck’s reaction. He is pleased, anything is better than the sterile walls he’d become accustomed to. As he takes in his surroundings, he notices that pictures of Rose adorn the refrigerator. It quickly dawns on him that they are inside of Rose’s house.

 

Truck hears familiar voices around the corner. His siblings are in the living room, hanging up “Welcome Home” decorations for him, their brother. The second they spot him, they run to him, arms opened wide until they form a pig pile of love. A picture of Andy, Nikki, and the kids rests on the mantle. A family can be many things through its lifespan – and Rose can acknowledge where her family came from.

 

Marcus is seaside, gazing out into the ocean. Storm clouds form overhead and the world begins to slow down. Marcus is stunned. The world around him falls silent, but he can hear Him. Marcus has been a lot of things in his lifetime, but “unworthy” was never one of them. His voice shivers and shakes, but he is listening.

 

God has spoken…and Tomas is in trouble.

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