Season One, Chapter Four – “The Moveable Feast”
Written by Adam Stein
Directed by Craig Zisk
[All images courtesy Chuck Hodes/FOX]
After the intense events of last episode “Chapter Three: Let ‘Em In” “The Moveable Feast” begins on an idyllic morning in the Rance household. “The Old Chisolm Trail” plays. Angela gently chides Casey for sleeping in. She’s making Casey’s favorite omelet, crying out “Oooh, that’s lucky!” as a fully-formed, jet black, and quite dead chick plops out of the shell. Henry is busy working and Kat is dressed for ballet rehearsal. Henry comforts Casey – “It’s ok Button; every girl can’t be a swan,” gazing approvingly at Kat.
Angela urges Casey “Dig in, buttercup!” Casey’s plate is full of cawing black chicks amid scrambled white goop.
“Try it – you’ll like it,” Creepy Tall Man urges Casey, munching enthusiastically on a baby bird. Casey protests “This isn’t how you said it would be.” She struggles; her feet are now bound to the floor with what looks like ropey, writhing blood vessels. CTM slaps her to the floor and the imprisoning veins grow over and into her arms. “Look what you made me do! You force me to do this when you resist. You must give in completely. Say it!” CTM’s suit is now horribly ratty, frayed and torn.
Casey cries “No!” She’s still struggling, forcibly restrained in a hospital bed. Angela is furious. Casey is on a 5150 hold – no visitors allowed for 72 hours. Luckily she’s got Father Tomas on speed dial.
Father Tomas arrives at the hospital in record time. He brings the bad news that Casey’s exorcism was not approved. Angela moves into “what have you done for me lately” mode she’ll stay in for the rest of this episode. “So what you’re saying is you’re useless to us.” Fr. Tomas tells her Marcus is excommunicated so he’s all they have. “There’s someone I can talk to. Have faith in me.”
The “someone” Fr. Tomas can talk to is wealthy Maria Walters; he visit with his nephew Luis in tow. Can she can finagle a way around Bishop Egan so Fr. Tomas can ask the Cardinal to authorize an exorcism. Mrs. Walters advises him to “follow your impulses and keep it quiet.” (And deposit the $100,000 check he received from her last week.)
Luis wanders down the hall and sees Mr. Walters’ sickbed, surrounded by medical equipment. The dying man pulls off his oxygen mask and cries to Luis – for help? Whatever the reason, Fr. Tomas and Luis make a hasty exit.
Casey writhes and grimaces as she undergoes a MRI/CAT scan while Angela upbraids the attending doctor. Said doctor counts to ten before giving an update to Angela. Casey is severely dehydrated. There is genital trauma, burns, possibly self-inflicted. Angela snips at the attending psychiatrist “Excuse me, who are you?” and insists “Of course there’s no history of mental illness!”
Casey does have one visitor during her 5150 hold – Creepy Tall Man. A nurse toting a large ornate cross tries and fails to find a vein for an IV line, due to the fact that CRM clamps a grimy hand on her arm like a vise. The nurse finally finds a vein to use for the IV. She leaves the room and CRM again grips Casey’s arm, sending blood shooting into the saline bag as she cries.
Waking after an excruciating intubation through her nose, Casey sees CTM sitting on her chest. She gasps for breath as he gloats “I have a sledgehammer in my pocket and I will bring it down again, and again, and again.” He smiles, showing rotting yellow teeth “Just you wait.” All the suffering and threats will end the instant Casey says yes.
Angela finds a way to get Casey discharged – since the hospital didn’t follow the state statute to the letter, she threatens a massive lawsuit if Casey is not released immediately. Fr. Tomas returns to the hospital, advising Angela that he cannot do anything for Casey “officially” (wink).
While Angela threatens the hospital, CTM crouches in the corner of Casey’s room, mocking “all that potential practically dripping out of you,” like the SPIDER CRAWLING OUT OF HER LEFT NOSTRIL. The IV nurse rushes in. CRM grabs her golden cross and lifts her off the floor. Casey says yes to save the nurse’s life, but Angela rushes into the room before CTM can grasp Casey’s hand and seal the deal.
Marcus begins his Discover Friends in Chicago Tour before the red door of the Convent of Our Lady of Mercy. Postulant Claire (aka Postulant Peevish) refuses to let Marcus in to see the Abbess until he says the magic words – “Bennet sent me.” Which at least earns him a day-into-night wait in the convent’s garden.
Marcus wakes from sleep on the comfy garden bench to see a procession of women moving through the garden, candles in hand. The last woman in line (later revealed to be Abbess Mother Bernadette) gives him a slight smile. There are deep 〉 shaped gouges in her cheeks.
Marcus returns to the convent (where’d he go? Shopping the Magnificent Mile?). Candles illuminate a circle of sisters in the garden. In the center of the singing women, the scarred sister gazes at a chained man who grows and covers his ears. The singing stops and Postulant Peeved begins reciting a Litany to Mary in a call and response with the other sisters.
The chant changes to
Son of Morning
(Bashed from Grace)
(Ashes of the Earth)
(You are loved)
The boil and sore covered man screams and lunges at Mother Bernadette. As he slowly quiets and falls to the ground, she embraces the man. “Restrain him before he rises again.”
Marcus sleeps in the garden and wakes to see Postulant Peeved asking him to please leave the garden. Marcus’ plea that a young woman’s life depends on him speaking to the Abbess gets only “There are many who depend on Mother Bernadette’s aid. She’ll see you when she’s ready.” So it’s off to option two on the bus ticket Friends List – Cherry and Lester Rego and their Moveable Deceased Tour of Chicago.
Lester Rego drives the run-down school bus as Cherry Rego recites quotes from Mr. Devil In the White City himself, Mr. H. H. Holmes. Her adorable stem-winder ends with “SPECK!” (Lester hits button triggering woman’s bloodcurdling scream), “GACY!” (SCREAM), “HOLMES!” (SCREAM). Marcus pipes up and asks if Homes’ ritual dismemberment of his victims included their heart, liver and genitals. This interruption earns him a “We’ll let you know when it’s time to ask, Chief!”
That night at the Rego’s Home Sweet Mobile Home, we learn more about Cherry and Lester (met cute at the University of Chicago where Lester was supposedly cheated out of his Doctorate at the School of Divinity) and Marcus gets some information and place to sleep that’s not a convent park bench.
Cherry and Lester are duly impressed with Marcus’ “exorcist with a gun” rep as the trio begins discussing the rise in violence in Chicago that seems to be spreading “like a virus.” Of course the Englewood murders come up. The Regos know all about the Vocare Pulvere, the “Ceremony of Ash” used for (all say in unison) a summoning. The fact that Marcus sees another ominous HE IS COMING papal announcement next to an article about ritual murders is not reassuring.
Mother Bernadette is finally ready to talk to Marcus. In the convent garden Marcus notes the Belladonna growing by the bench; Mother Bernadette assures him it’s only for “extreme cases.” She also gives Marcus a kind but direct talking to. It’s time for him to put on the big boy pants and get back to the fight, excommunicated or not. “Do you think it’s the collar or wimple that gives us our power? The gifts don’t’ belong to you or me – they are God’s alone.”
Marcus takes Mother Bernadette’s place at the exorcism that evening. He starts to use his tried and true “coerce and compel” technique before reciting the Litany or Loreto with the sisters. Marcus embraces the man as Mother Bernadette did; we hear a whooshing noise as the candles flicker. The man gazes at the circle around him, stunned but aware.
The Marcus/Rance/Fr. Tomas storylines converge in the final minutes of the episode.
Marcus returns to St. Anthony’s and agrees to help Fr. Tomas with the exorcism. “There’s a Light” plays over an exorcism preparation montage – a room prepared with boarded up windows, mattress, and a long silver chain bolted in the center of the room. Marcus helps Fr. Tomas with his collar. A chained growling Casey rushes to the door as Marcus says “Let us begin.”
Parish News and Notes
Angela finally has what she’s been after – an exorcism for the demon she insists is in her house. I wonder if this turns out to be a case of “be careful what you wish for”- for a couple reasons.
~ Is the bus ticket list of friends designed to help – or lead Marcus (along with Fr. Tomas and the Rance family) further into a trap?
~ Deanna Dunagan’s Mother Bernadette seems to be an ally; but there are some disquieting elements at the convent.
~ Belladonna thrives in the convent garden – it’s also known as the Devil’s Berry.
~ The litany used by the sisters features another name for Lucifer,” Son of the Morning” and the ultimate “Fallen Angel”. The Litany of Loreto that begins the ceremony is a well-known prayer; the “Son of the Morning” portion? Not so much. And “Ashes of the Earth” sounds a bit like the English translation of Vocare Pulvere – Ceremony of Ash.
~ Deanna Dunagan portrays faith filled compassion is this episode just like she knocked it out the proverbial park depicting Sundowning Crazy Grandma in The Visit.
~ Jessica from Evanston makes an appearance this episode – right after that $100,000 check from Maria Walters goes to the bank. She comes to St. Anthony’s with a sob story about the breakup of her marriage. Will these two forms of temptation – money and physical love – play a part in the upcoming exorcism?
~ That gigantic check also listed the fictional addresses for Maria Walters (1824 East Racine Chicago Ill 60608 and St. Anthony’s (1332 East 32nd Street 60616).
~ I could swear that the Convent of Our Lady of Mercy (and its red door) is the Fourth Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue. But since that is partly based on memories of thinking I saw a church like that while walking down the Avenue in the middle of winter, I could be wrong.
~ The dream sequence eggs bore a striking resemblance to Balut (the Philippines) and/or Thousand Year Eggs from China.
The Exorcist airs Friday nights at 9/8c on Fox.