The Exorcist: Father of Lies – Father Bennett (Review)

 Exorcist Season 1 Ep 107

In The Exorcist “Father of Lies” sees Casey taken to Mother Bernadette’s and Father Tomas continues to see Jessica. His continued transgression is endangering the exorcism and deep down he must know this. Marcus refuses to give up on Casey and Angela and Chris seem to bury the hatchet.

The Rance house is under siege. There is a huge crowd gathered around the family gate and the police are nowhere to be seen. (Not overly surprising since the police superintendent is with the Friars institution.)

Marcus refuses to give up on Casey even though her condition is deteriorating dramatically. As a result Mother Bernadette is refusing to continue with the exorcism. She even recommends slipping the possessed girl poison.

Tomas has a short chat with Bishop Egan, who wants to know where Marcus is.  Father Bennett has serious misgivings about the near nonexistent security for the Pope’s visit.  He confronts Father Simon, the head of the friar’s group, who treats the whole thing quite lightly.

Father Bennett also wants to know how the Tattersol landscaping company that went bankrupt in 2012 was able to donate $3 million to the church in 2016.  Simon says he will look into.

In the interim, Bennett looks into the company himself.  He breaks into a deserted warehouse that has one empty Tattersol van parked out front.  In the gloomy interior the priest explores the place using his smart phone as a flashlight (torch).

He finds evidence of the ceremony performed by the possessed homeless people who murdered for the body parts. He is attacked by a number of these possessed souls and he kills two of them. The second man, he gives the last rites to and the demon inside curses Bennett.

Back at the Rance household, a reporter does an interview that is cut very short when she veers off the approved Q&A script. Anglea goes through a bit of a melt down and Chris takes on the press outside her daughter’s house.

During one session with Cassie, she bites Father Tomas on the hand. He lies to Jessica about what the wound is and leaves the apartment. He gets into an altercation with a “fan” in the pharmacy where he goes to  have the bite looked at.

When things get violent, the clerk in the shop calls the police. Maria Walters, the woman who supports the demonic friars club comes to his rescue.

Marcus almost gives Cassie the poison but stops. He tells Mother Bernadette that God stopped him. Tomas goes to help Angela and brings the distraught woman to see her daughter.

Cassie recovers from near death and sets up when Angela appears. The demon inside calls her mother “The Sow.”

There is a lot going on here. The Friars of Ascension belong to the devil, or a demon.  Tomas refuses to stop seeing Jessica and it seems pretty clear that she is an obstruction.  Could she be part of the demonic conspiracy?

Even Mother Bernadette seems to be giving up far too easily. She could take lessons from Father Bennett on hanging tough.

Bennett was the real surprise in this episode. From the start the priest has come across as a bit of a prig.  It is his influence that gets Marcus excommunicated from the church. (He also, inexplicably, gives the defrocked priest help in dealing with the teen’s possession after getting him kicked out of the church.)

The priest turns out to be a fighter. Father Bennett does not hesitate to defend himself or to take his attackers out with extreme prejudice. It could be argued that he was aware that his homeless attacker were possessed but that does not matter. Bennett proved, by the very act of entering that warehouse alone, that his cojones were massive and that his faith was absolute.

Marcus points out that  the demon possessing Cassie wants revenge. It was her mother, back when Anglea was Regan, that the thing wanted and when it was thwarted the demon  waited 40 years to get its own back.

We are already aware that Maria is playing for the other team and Henry has been acting rather strange lately. The one person outside the realm of suspect has been Kat.

Cassie’s big sister was initially the first Rance girl to be suspected of being possessed. Angela was convinced of it. Now Kat is acting as a voice of reason, it was Kat who called the emergency services to get her sister out of the house.

Is Kat a part of this? Was she a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from Cassie or was she the first step?

The Exorcist deviates pretty wildly from its source material. However the show does say influenced by Blatty’s novel and not based upon it. In this version we are being told that Cassie is not the be all and end all of this demonic fight.

Once again, it feels like Angela “Regan” Rance’s youngest daughter is a diversion from the demon’s true purpose.

Father Bennett may turn out to be more than beneficial to the cause. Marcus is still the power here while Tomas vacillates between his lover and what really needs to be done.

Show creator Jeremy Slater has managed to create a version of the novel and the film that steps outside its original boundaries.  Regardless of whether you are a fan of the book or not, this is cracking television.  Scary and disturbing on so many levels, this is some scary stuff. 

The Exorcist  airs Fridays on NBC. Tune in, turn the lights on and watch with a friend…


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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