WASHINGTON, October 4, 2017 — As Fox Network’s “The Exorcist” begins Season 2, Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) is having trouble focusing as he steers his speeding and battered pick-up truck down a dirt road in an effort to escape his pursuer: the sheriff of Jefferson County, Montana.
Meanwhile, the excommunicated Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels) is back in the truck bed fighting the good fight against the hellish beast possessing Cindy (Zibby Allen) who, as it turns out, happens to be the wife of the persuing sheriff of Jefferson County, Montana.
Ortega is quite the multitasker. He has the unique ability to drive while having visions. In his mind’s eye, he sees a simple and unadorned country church. Within its sanctuary, black unholy water bubbles in a font. Hearing the sound of children playing outside, Ortega exits the church and stumbles upon an outdoor birthday party, complete with a piñata.
At a picnic bench, Ortega finds a young woman holding her baby. The woman is Cindy.
“This is my little miracle,” says Cindy as she looks lovingly at her child. “Isn’t she something?”
Next to her, a radio plays an old Patsy Cline song:
I go out walkin’ after midnight
Out in the moonlight
Just hopin’ you may be somewhere a-walkin’
After midnight, searching for me.
A child takes a stick and strikes the piñata, breaking its leg. Instead of candy falling to the ground, a black ooze cascades down and pools on the lawn. While children scream, they watch a figure of a young girl emerges from the black pool.
“Saint Cecilia, pray for us,” says Cindy, no longer holding her child, her eyes turning a milky white. “Saint Kathern, pray for us.”
Ortega snaps out of his vision in time to regain control of the vehicle, drive off the dirt road to hide the truck in a thicket of trees and brush.
“He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him,” says the mocking demon possessing Cindy, followed by a sarcastic, gravely laugh.
Marcus can see that Ortega is unhappy with the current situation, “When I agreed to take you on as an apprentice, you promised to follow my lead.”
“And I have for six months,” Ortega reminds Marcus.
“So, trust me now we’re close,” says Marcus staring down at the young woman in torment. “Cindy’s still in there. Losing her child – no mother should have to go through that.”
When Ortega reveals his vision to Marcus, the old exorcist already knows.
“When you blacked out in the truck, I know where you went. You can’t battle the demon inside. Once you let that thing in your head, you’re giving it access to your hopes, your fears, your darkest secrets.”
“I know that,” says Ortega, “I spoke with her. I spoke with Cindy. She’s in there calling out and asking for help. I think, I think I can go to her.”
This only infuriates Marcus, “There is a reason we don’t engage with the enemy… “Because you are risking your immortal soul.”
But the devil, as it’s said, is forever busy.
Five hundred miles west, on Nachburn Island, Washington, Andrew Kim (John Cho) is a widower channeling his grief in a positive direction. He has become a foster father to five troubled kids (three boys and two girls), for whom he is attempting to make a warm and safe home. That home is large and lovely but just a little creepy thanks to the large and eerie forest that surrounds it.
Andrew is expecting a visit from a social worker who will be staying at his house several days to evaluate the home environment.
“Whatever you’re doing in the woods today after school, please get home in time to do something about all of this,” says Andrew pointing at his messy home.
It is while they are in the woods that snarky teen Verity (Brianna Hildebrand) asks her foster brothers, “Have you guys heard about the island witch?”
“There’s no island witch,” insists Shelby, the calming, rational and more religious of the group.
But Verity continues as though speaking from personal experience, “She lined up all the kids, from littlest to biggest, and she made them all drink the poison… And when they died, the island witch dumped their bodies down this very well. They say anyone brave enough to stand on the cover for ten seconds can still hear their dying gasps.”
“That’s stupid,” says brother Caleb, who is blind.
“That’s why it’s a test,” Verity adds. “And when you pass, you’re one of us. After that, there’s nothing you can’t do.”
That test will release a malevolent force safely chained at the bottom of that well, threatening a once peaceful home and the innocent souls within.
“The Exorcist” airs Friday nights on Fox.