The Exorcist continues its “The Omen” type onslaught of Cassie and the city of Chicago, specifically Father Tomas’ parish. “Let ‘Em In” changes the playing field somewhat as Father Marcus is excommunicated and the demons are talking amongst themselves. They know who Marcus is and about the boy Gabriel.
There is some backstory given for Cassie’s sister Kat; the artistic one, the dancer, the beauty of the family. The love of Kat’s life; Julia, dies in a car accident and Kat herself suffers a knee injury that takes the world of dance away as well. (The man who causes the accident by standing in front of the car looks an remarkably like Cassie’s special friend.)
*On a sidenote: Julia was the title of Peter Straub’s first novel dealing with supernatural themes. The book’s heroine, named Julia, was either being haunted or unstable, a sort of “The Turn of the Screw” scenario. It would not be too surprising to see the dead friend show up in later episodes.*
Cassie becomes more affected by the influence of her new friend. She steals a dress, acts inappropriately at the memorial for Julia and she attacks a sexual predator on the subway. Cassie also does something with a curling iron, what the audience is not privy to, but that may have been the TV series’ version of the cross scene in the film and Blatty’s novel.
While nowhere near as shocking (No pun intended.) the inference is that she is doing something bad with the appliance; something it was never intended to be used for.
Later in the episode there is the urinating incident, right after Cassie apparently breaks the neck of the “bad boy” who was groping her on the train. (Like everything else in the series, this is a “one up” on the book and the film. Regan wets herself in the middle of a dinner party at home. Cassie lets loose on a crowded subway full of people focussed on her every move. Definitely a move up from the original. Although with the dead body behind her it is doubtful whether anyone noticed.)
It is not just the Rance family afflicted by this demon’s homing in on Cassie. The entire city appears to be under siege. The grisly murders on the South Side, where not only hearts were taken but genitalia, eyes, the skin from the palms of the victims’ hands and feet were all removed.
These acts were committed by acolytes in order to summon, not one, but possibly several demons according to Marcus. A religious zealot immolates (burns to death) outside the building where the religious hierarchy are sitting a meeting. Even the doubting Thomas who got Marcus fired is impressed by that act.
Tomas will not give up on Cassie however. Although he is clearly over his head here. Marcus proves that when they question Cassie. The demon who possesses her knows all about the priests failure in Mexico.
It is interesting to note that the last time the entity appears, when he kisses Cassie on the subway, his appearance has changed. The demon’s projection is no longer dapper and neat. It is covered with either ash or dirt and its fingernails are caked with blood and gore.
If the thing appears in any more scenes one can imagine that it will be quite horrific looking.
Although this version of The Exorcist has been modified from the 1971 novel and the 1973 movie adaptation of the book, it is still taking a good bit from that time period, in terms of theme.
Mrs. Rance believes that Kat is the daughter possessed by the devil initially. She says it is because Kat has been acting oddly, which in a way could be seen as true. It becomes clear, in this episode, that Angela’s definition of “odd” comes down to Kat being in love with another woman.
Clearly in Angela’s mind, lesbianism equates to possession. This is clearly a throwback to the ’70’s and the mindset that being gay was not just sinning as such, it was evil.
The attitude of the Catholic church also echoes that time period, where the entire country was going through a “God is dead” phase and the church veered away from devils and demons. In all three instances, the pope is coming to visit the city while priests perform the exorcism.
By the end of this episode, Cassie has upped the ante and killed someone and Marcus is sent on a treasure hunt of sorts. The defrocked priest has discovered a list of friends on the back of his train tickets. It appears that someone, or something wants Marcus out of the way.
The Exorcist airs Fridays on FOX. Tune in and catch this gripping tale of possession and demonic activity in the windy city.