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Series / The Exorcist

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A 2016 American horror drama television series based on William Blatty's 1971 novel revolving around a priest performing exorcisms on demonic spirits and the film series it was based on.

It follows two very different priests tackling one family's case of horrifying demonic possession. Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera) is the new face of the Catholic Church: progressive, ambitious and compassionate. He runs a small, but loyal, parish on the southside of Chicago. He has no idea that his quiet life is about to change forever. Deep in the slums of Mexico City, another priest has found himself locked in a life-and-death struggle with evil. Father Marcus Kane (Ben Daniels) is a modern-day Templar Knight, an orphan raised since childhood by the Vatican to wage war against its enemies. Father Marcus is everything Father Tomas is not: relentless, abrasive and utterly consumed by his mission – and he constantly butts heads with his adversary within the church, Father Bennett (Kurt Egyiawan).

Caught in the middle of the two priests is the Rance family, who are members of Tomas' parish. On the surface, they're a normal, American family, but all is not as it seems in this household. The patriarch, Henry Rance (Alan Ruck), is recovering from a traumatic injury. Eldest daughter Katherine (Brianne Howey) has become a recluse who refuses to leave her room. Her younger sister, Casey (Hannah Kasulka), thinks she's hearing strange noises coming from inside the walls. And mother Angela (Geena Davis) believes there is something in the house, a demonic presence, growing stronger by the day. Desperate, she begs Father Tomas for help, unwittingly setting the naive young priest on a collision course with Father Marcus. Separately, each faces an insurmountable task, but together they become the Rances' only hope against an evil force that has been mobilizing for centuries.

The series premiered on September 23, 2016 and aired for two seasons on FOX.

This page provides examples of:

  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Or should we say, uncomfortable? Throughout the series, Pazuzu continuously changes appearances; from being a simple man in a business suit, to his disguise to Regan as "Captain Howdy" , and in his scenes in the first season finale, a charred humanoid...thing with long fingers ending in points.
  • And the Adventure Continues: After saving the Rances, Tomas and Marcus decide to work together, with Tomas asking him to take him under his wing and train him to be an exorcist, along with the Friars of Ascension still active, now with a newly possessed Maria Walters taking over.
    • And in Season 2, Marcus temporarily leaves his position as an exorcist, but promises his return while keeping Tomas under Mouse's care. The foster children of the season are reunited under Rose's roof, and all seems well...except for the fact that Father Bennett has been spiritually twisted by the Friars of Ascension while unconscious, setting him up as the next Big Bad; on the other hand, after an entire season of relying on Tomas to hear God's voice, he appears to finally hear him, and it would seem he's destined to catch up with Tomas once more...
  • Ambition Is Evil: The Friars of Ascension flatter and openly play on Father Tomas's ambition in order to corrupt and recruit him.
  • Arc Words: "He is Coming", which refers to the upcoming Papal visit.
  • Asshole Victim: The man who assaults Casey on the subway gets eviscerated by a possessed Casey in chapter 3.
  • Badass Boast: After his moment in Lake Michigan, Father Marcus was feeling pretty sure of himself, leading to the following exchange with Father Tomas (regarding whether Tomas should tell Casey's family where she is, potentially giving the demon what it wants):
    Father Tomas: You're asking me to lie.
    Father Marcus: I was this close at the Rance house. I got it swimming laps in the lake. God is in me. Yeah. Lie!
    • Tomas has this well, proclaiming his sins and mistakes don't make him weak define him as to what he is: An exorcist.
  • Badass Pacifist: Mother Bernadette
    • Played straight as to her exorcism methods (see Badass Preacher entry, below).
    • Subverted, in that she is ready and willing to Mercy Kill Casey by poisoning her with a belladonna tea.
  • Badass Preacher:
    • Father Marcus has been in the exorcism business since he was a kid. He's skilled enough that he manages to bless an entire lake. Lake Michigan.
    • Mother Bernadette fights demons with little more than hymns and prayers. She and her sisters are committed to finding a kinder and gentler form of exorcism, even though it's caused her to be injured several times.
    • Father Bennett is attacked by possessed transients while investigating Tattersall Landscaping. He lays an impressive No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on them, killing one in self-defense and exorcising another.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: In the first season finale, Angela fights Pazuzu's possession this way. And backed by her family's love and Tomas' prayers, beats the shit out of him.
    • Tomas as well, although his more deals with the demon giving a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, beating into Tomas having sinned and lied, along with his Crisis of Faith. When the demon almost persuades him into killing himself, Tomas remembers suicide is considered a sin and he finally begins to accept his sins and mistakes, allowing him to regain his faith and pull a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown Exorcist style.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: On the one hand, there's the demon tormenting the Rances. On the other, there's the Friars of Ascension, led by Father Simon. While they have the same overall goal, they're mostly carrying out their own plans in that regard.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • How season 1 ends: Angela/Regan is saved by Tomas and she herself is finally able to beat Pazuzu to death, ending her torment from him and she and her family escape to the country to try to live a normal life. The downside is Casey will learn to deal with her Survivor's Guilt, Kat has another knee injury (probably killing whatever small chance she had of ever dancing professionally again), and due to Pazuzu breaking her back, Angela is now wheelchair bound. Meanwhile, Marcus is able to save Bennett and himself from almost being inducted into the Friars and able to prevent the assassination of the Pope by killing Father Simon, but the Friars are still powerful and Maria Walters has finally become intergrated with a demon, implying she now will take control of the cult.
    • Season 2 follows suit. The island demon is stopped but at the cost of Andy's sacrifice. The children are happily adopted by Rose. Unfortunately, Father Bennett ends up possessed by a demon and Marcus choses to leave Thomas overwhelmed by the guilt of having killed someone.
  • Blown Across the Room: Happens to a possessed Angela in the first season finale, after Tomas whips out a crucifix and shouts "The power of Christ compels you!"
  • Body Horror: Demonic possession causes all manner of horrible things to happen to the human body. Late in her possession Casey is visibly decaying. Actress Hannah Kasulka confirmed via tweet she needed a shower after the episode wrapped.
  • Break the Cutie: Casey is a sweet, loving daughter and sister, whom the demon takes immense delight in inflicting hell upon, just like her mother before her.
  • Bring It: A verbal version in the season finale, right before Angela faces off with Pazuzu in her Mental World:
    Angela: You want me? Come and get me.
  • Canon Character All Along: Angela Rance is actually Regan MacNeil from the original movie, and the Salesman, the new demon tormenting her, is actually her old enemy Pazuzu.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The series ignores Exorcist II: The Heretic.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Father Simon, the nice old priest that Tomas meets when looking for Marcus at the St. Aquinas retreat turns out to be a leading member of the local Satanists.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Cherry and Lester Rego, Lampshaded by Marcus.
    Father Marcus: Stop right there with your numerological "Number of the Beast" conspiracy bollocks.
  • Corrupt Church: The Friars of Ascension are a corrupted faction within the Church, under the guise of a Catholic charity.
  • Cult: Marcus eventually realizes that there's a group of Satanists running around murdering people in order to summon demons.
  • Cure Your Gays: Verity was sent to reparative therapy by her parents.
  • Creepy Child: Grace, Andy's youngest, has extreme agoraphobia and anxiety, so she has a "brave face" she puts on that's essentially a bag with eyeholes and some cute ribbons. It is really creepy when she suddenly pops out from behind a door wearing it. She also has a tendency to stare at empty corners like someone's there and asking vaguely ominous questions about whether she's Andy's favorite and will they be together forever. Turns out "she" is actually a demon trying to possess him; after The Reveal she gets much worse before deciding it's not working and switching to Nikki's form.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Father Marcus: His father killed his mother when he was 7 years old. Later, he was sold to the Church, a situation he implied wasn't much fun. And then there was the exorcism he performed in Mexico City.
    • Angela Rance: As we learn, she is Regan MacNeil, the possessed girl from the movie, who changed her name to escape her past and her mother.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Father Marcus, ever so much.
    Father Marcus: (flipping through DVD stack) Nicholas Cage fan. Aren't we all?
    Father Tomas: Can you please stop doing that? This is not your home.
    Father Marcus: You came and begged me for help with a case of demonic possession, and now you got your knickers in a twist because I didn't bring you flowers?
    • A lot of the demons, thus far.
    • Kat and Mother Bernadette have their moments.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: In season 2, the demon attacking Andy and his kids finally breaks Andy by appearing as his dead wife.
  • Demonic Possession: The focus of the series.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Father Simon, Maria Walters... pretty much every member of The Friars of Ascension.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In the first-season finale, Angela does battle with Pazuzu inside her own mind and beats the ever-living shit out of him.
  • Due to the Dead: When Father Marcus finds the Regos dead, he settles the bodies and prays over them. Justified, of course, given he's a priest.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Some dogs bark at Regan after she has been possessed by Pazuzu.
  • Eviler than Thou: When Simon and a Pazuzu-possessed Angela finally meet, Simon openly states that he's been preparing for Pazuzu's return. The demon's thanks? Forcing him and the rest of the Friars to bow down, while offhandedly killing other members simultaneously, as well as calling out Maria for being a Spoiled Brat. However, when Pazuzu leaves, that marks the point where they go about their own agendas.
  • Evil Redhead: The demon in season 2, once it takes on the form of Nikki.
  • Evil Smells Bad: Subverted in Chapter One when Casey tells Kat she smells. While it initially seemed to be due to an evil force, it was just because she was depressed and probably hadn't showered in awhile.
  • Exorcist Head: Frighteningly played off as it would in real life
    • In the first episode, a demon kills a boy named Gabriel it's possessing by rotating his head.
    • In "Chapter 8", the demon tries to do this to Casey as well, but Angela stops her before it can happen.
  • Expy: Fathers Marcus and Tomas are this to Merrin and Karras from the original movie. Chris MacNeil specifically tells Tomas that he reminds her of one of them. It's possible Chris compared Tomas to Karras, as Tomas himself deals with a similar issue Karras dealt with: A Crisis of Faith.
  • Fallen Angel: Demons in this setting are specifically identified as angels fallen from grace.
  • Fan Disservice: And how.
    • In Chapter 3, the Salesman compels Casey to, um, harm herself with a hot curling iron.
    • In Chapter 4, a possessed Casey attempts to compromise Father Tomas by seducing him as Jessica. The result is... unpleasant.
    • Every. Single. Thing. about Pazuzu/Angela's scenes with Casey and Kat in Chapter 9.
    • Andy and Rose's almost-sex scene gets rapidly unsexy once the demon as Nikki sticks its oar in, first by wrapping its fingers around Rose's throat, then by cuddling up to her and suggesting a threesome. It also doesn't help that the demon previously took the form of a little girl who wanted Andy to be her daddy.
  • Fighting from the Inside: In the first season finale, it is revealed that Pazuzu failed to integrate Regan when her spirit prevents him from hurting Casey.
  • First-Episode Twist: The demon is possessing Casey, not Kat.
  • Foreshadowing: The groundwork for Grace's true nature is subtle but always there.
    • Only one other character ever interacts directly with or even talks about this character. Nobody else mentions them.
    • This character is rarely onscreen without the one person who talks to them. When they are, they're never in another character's line of sight—except for Verity, who looks very upset and walks away quickly. It's easy to read this as jealousy, but she's actually disturbed to see Andy apparently talking to himself.
  • Fusion Dance: The final part of the possession process is full integration between the demon and its host. In "Chapter 9", Pazuzu claims this has happened between him and Angela/Regan, but he turns out to be gloating prematurely.
  • Good is Not Nice: Father Marcus and Father Bennett are both unquestionably on the side of good, though neither particularly warm and fuzzy.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Not common in this show, but the audience was spared a graphic depiction of what was left when Pazuzu/Angela was through with the nuns.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Andy volunteers to be shot in order to stop the island demon once and for all before it fully corrupts Tomas in their spiritual tether, but not before sending Final Words to the kids and Rose.
  • Heroic Second Wind: In the first season finale, Pazuzu/Angela easily knocks Tomas aside, traps him in an illusion to torment him, and goes back to tormenting the Rances. However, after facing his failures and flaws, Tomas breaks free of the illusion, gets up, and leads the charge in exorcising Pazuzu once and for all.
  • Holy Is Not Safe: In chapter 6, Dr. Rexroth notes that while modern Christians like to imagine angels as being benevolent spirits, Biblical accounts describe their encounters with humans as being terrifying. Of course, Rexroth is also a closet Satanist, so his view of angels might be skewed.
  • Hope Spot: "Chapter 8" ends on several high notes — Casey is successfully exorcised, and Bennett exposes the Friars of Ascension as Satanists — only for them to come crashing down, as Bennett's superior is revealed to be a Satanist as well, while the demon has actually moved to Angela, who kills Chris.
    • At several points in the back half of season 2, Andy snaps out of the demon's mind control and tries to throw it off. Unfortunately, not only does this not stick, the demon manages to get its hooks into Tomas, too.
  • Hot for Preacher: Jessica.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The Salesman, that is, Pazuzu, looks human, but his demeanor is most certainly not.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Chris MacNeil's justification for exploiting her daughter's ordeal was that they needed the money, as she was blacklisted following news of the possession and exorcism got out.
  • Karma Houdini: Played with frequently enough to feel like a theme of the show. Probably not surprising for a series dealing so extensively with Catholicism.
    • Most significantly, it is subverted, deconstructed, and more or less invoked in Chapter 9 when it's revealed that in spite of being outed to his superiors as an adulterer Father Tomas is continuing to rise in the Church and being given a prominent, influential parish to run, complete with gorgeous church and swanky rectory. Tomas tells Bishop Egan he doesn't feel he deserves it, he's clearly conflicted and guilty, but he's given little alternative but to try to do right and make the best of it.
    • There is also Kat's massive survivor's guilt over the car accident. It's insinuated that, with effort and rehab, she might be able to dance again. Her refusal to try reads as a self-imposed punishment. In the season finale, she shatters her own kneecap with a hammer, possibly ending any hope of dancing again.
    • Straightforwardly averted with Father Marcus being excommunicated, generally for being insubordinate (and specifically for pulling a gun on Father Bennet in Mexico).
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks:
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: Season 2's demon stabing Harper's abusive mother who gaslighted her into thinking she was posessed.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In episode 8, the demon about to twist the head of Casey says "Time to give the people what they want".
  • Lecherous Licking: The Salesman tells Regan that he misses her taste then licks her face.
  • Man on Fire: One appears outside a dinner where a group of Church officials and laity were discussing the upcoming papal visit. There was no apparent source of ignition.
    • When Mouse finally kills the demon integrated with Sister Delores (she and Bennett have to move, and they can't exactly take her a plane), she injects it with holy water. Sister Delores goes up a light.
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: There is massive media and law enforcement attention when Casey goes missing, even before the possession rumors. Meanwhile, there are numerous people (mostly POC) in other parts of the city who were horribly murdered and mutilated. The disparity isn't lost on their families.
  • Motive Rant: In episode 9, the demon explains what he really wants.
    Casey: Why do you keep hurting us? What do you even want?
    The Salesman: The only thing that we've ever wanted: that which is rightfully ours. We were His first creations. Did you know that? We were loyal and perfect in every way. And do you know what God did? God got bored. He got bored with our perfection. So He created Man, mortal and ugly, and... and then He built them a sandbox, and He filled it with tangible and sensual delights. Delights that we could never feel or taste or experience. He created paradise, and he handed it over to a pack of primates rutting in the dirt. Well, this world was meant for us. And we're gonna take it back.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Chapter 1 ends with Father Marcus's departure to Father Tomas's home, with the oh-so-familiar "Tubular Bells" playing in the background.
    • Chapter 6 features Casey "spider-walking" in a manner similar to Regan in a deleted scene from the first film.
    • Chapter 2 shows the Rance family having an unidentified green soup for dinner. (Angela had spiked Casey's drink with holy water, in order to determine if she was, in fact, possessed.) For fans of the film, it is a clear reference to its infamous "pea-soup" vomit effects. It's not hard to guess what happens next.
    • The "Exorcist Twist", which is actually shown to be fatal rather than a scary gag.
    • "The power of Christ compels you!" is one of the most memetic lines from the original movie. Fittingly, it shows up during the climax of the first season finale.
    • The revelation of Tomas's Crisis of Faith seems to also be a reference to Father Karras's own crisis, right down to the factor being the death of a loved one note .
    • Andy echoes another famous quote from the movie during episode 10 of season 2: "what an excellent day for an exorcism"
    • The finale of the second season contains a recreation of perhaps the most famous scene from The Exorcist III.
  • Neck Snap: How a possessed Angela kills Chris.
    • The Neck Snap actually becomes a point of realistic results as well: In the 1971 film, it was used for horror effect. In this series, It only leads to deaths, as seen with the boy Marcus was unable to save and even almost attempted by Casey when possessed by Pazuzu.
    • Father Marcus wears one, strikingly similar to the iconic hat Father Merrin wears in the 1973 film.
    • Chris has one, too.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Kat calls the cops on Father Marcus, convinced that he's hurting Casey, causing him to get arrested and Casey to be taken away to a hospital, from which she easily escapes.
    • Chris attempts to reconcile with Angela hoping to help her through Casey's troubles. Instead, her presence attracts massive media attention, enabling the press to uncover and report the truth about the possession. In turn, this causes the public to viciously harass the family, eventually leading to her own death.
    • Angela giving herself up to Pazuzu to prevent him from performing the Exorcist Head on Casey, causing him to Body Surf into her. Yeah Casey is safe, but Pazuzu got what he wanted: Regan and his first act of revenge was killing Chris for stopping him 40 years ago.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: In the first-season finale, The Salesman goes searching through Angela's mind for her last shred of resistance. And that last shred of resistance, fortified by the prayers of Father Tomas and the Rance family, beats the shit out of him.
  • "No More Holding Back" Speech: In the first season finale, Pazuzu attempts to use Tomas' long list of failures to goad him into committing suicide. However, the sight of a cross reminds him of his faith, and he shares his realization that despite his flaws, he has never truly strayed from his faith.
    Tomas: These things do not make me weak. They make me what I am.
    Pazuzu: And what is that?
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The demon possessing Casey goes about it a lot more subtly than Pazuzu, going through the trouble of obfuscating which daughter it was possessing. Then we find out it is Pazuzu, meaning he's apparently learned from past experiences.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: In "Chapter 9", we revisit a key moment from the climax of the previous episode — when Angela stopped Pazuzu from Neck Snapping Casey, she quietly told him to take her instead, causing him to Body Surf into her.
  • Papa Wolf: Andy, hands down. It's his love for his children that allows him to resist so long, and when the demon tries to make him stab Verity while she's trying to help him snap out of it, he digs the shard of glass into his own hand instead. Unfortunately, though, as devoted a father as he is, it's not enough to stand up to the demon's psychological torment forever.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The demon seems to prefer possessing young women because it regards them as inherently weak. This just makes the aforementioned No-Holds-Barred Beatdown delivered by Regan herself all the more ironic and satisfying.
  • The Power of Love: Angela embraces Casey and proclaims her love, finally driving the demon of her daughter - until we see that all she did was give it the host it really wanted; Angela herself.
    • In the season finale, it's the power of her family's love, paired with Tomas' prayers, that give Angela the strength to fight back against Pazuzu and defeat him.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: We get two immediately back-to-back in "Chapter 10", as Father Simon prepares to kill Pope Sebastian, only for Marcus to kill him instead:
    Simon: The Morning Star sends his regards.
    Marcus: And I send mine.
  • The Purge: In "Chapter 9", Pazuzu and the Friars of Ascension murder Mother Bernadette, her convent, and the Regos.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: At the end of the first season, Pazuzu is down and possibly even dead, the assassination of Pope Sebastian is thwarted, and the Rance family is free from the demons' plans. On the other hand, Maria Walters is Integrated, Casey's got a massive case of Survivor's Guilt, Kat might never dance again even with rehabilitation, and Angela is paralyzed.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: In "Chapter 9", the demon claims that everything its kind has done and is doing is revenge on God for giving the flawed humans a world of wonders and pleasures, which the angels could never partake in.
  • Red Right Hand: Possessed people develop a third pupil that occasionally appears on one of their eyes.
  • The Renfield: Maria Walters who craves to be possessed. Father Marcus even compares her to the Trope Namer.
  • Revenge by Proxy: The Reveal that Angela is Regan makes Marcus realize that this is what's happening — the same demon has returned to make her suffer by going after her daughter.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • Father Marcus, pretty much all the time. He goes so far as to perform an excorcism after being excommunicated.
    • Father Tomas, following Marcus's lead.
    • Angela Rance has no patience for Church bureaucracy, and allows (demands, actually) an unsanctioned exorcism on her daughter.
  • Sequel Escalation: The priests in the original movie had to deal with a single demon. This time around they have to deal with a whole infestation of them, aided by a cult of wealthy and prominent Satanists plotting to sacrifice the Pope.
  • Sexy Priest: Father Tomas, especially to Jessica. He's referred as "the hot priest" at one point.
  • Something They Would Never Say: Demon!Nikki makes the mistake of insulting Andy's kids, leading Andy to realize that whatever he's talking to, it is not his wife. Shame it doesn't stick, though.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In "Chapter 10", Father Simon tries to convince Marcus to to accept possession and join the Satanists' ranks, citing how the Church has never respected his service. Marcus responds by stating that everything he's done hasn't been for the Church, it's been for God.
  • Stealth Sequel: While Father Tomas is researching Demonic Possession online, he comes across articles about the events surrounding the events at Georgetown and the death of Father Karras.
    • And now, following The Reveal at the end of "Through My Most Grievous Fault," it has become a full-fledged Sequel Series.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Chris.
  • Suicide Is Shameful:
    • In the first season finale, Father Thomas breaks the vision designed to goad him into suicide when he realizes it would condemn his soul to hell.
    • Averted in season 2. Andy's wife Nikki is fondly remembered and no one shames her for having committed suicide.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: In the third episode of the second season, Mouse sprinkles sacremental bread on almond tarts causing the Friars of the Ascension to vomit blood and die.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Kat (sullen and disrespectful since returning home) yells at her brain-injured father and snaps her fingers in front of his face, the very genial and charismatic Father Tomas gives her a priestly version.
    Father Tomas: You know, I had an advisor back in seminary. He was called in to give last rites to a young woman in a coma. She was brain dead. No hope of recovery. So he goes there, he does his thing, but the next day she wakes up. It was a miracle. But here's the thing. That woman could remember conversations that took place inside her room while she was in her coma, which suggests- I don't know- to me anyway, that even while the rest of the body shuts down, there's some part of the brain that stays aware, knows everything that's going on. So keep your damned hands out of his face.
    • Pazuzu tells Maria Walters that she was never chosen for possession because she's too weak and pathetic.
  • This Cannot Be!: As the demon is being exorcised for good, it expresses shock at the fact that it's being beaten not just by Tomas' prayers, but by Angela, a woman, who it sees as naturally weak.
  • Tired of Running: As she's undergoing exorcism, Angela decides that after 40 years, she's tired of living in fear of Pazuzu, and fights back.
  • Trash the Set: The Rance home is torn apart by the force of the final exorcism of Angela.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass After the events of the film, Chris MacNeil used her daughter's possession for money and publicity, insisting it was "God's will." She attempts to make up for it by returning to Regan/Angela's life but it only leads to more drama. They do slowly reconcile but this is cut short when Chris is killed by her own daughter, who's now possessed by Pazuzu.
  • Uncleanliness Is Next to Ungodliness:
    • The Salesman's tidy appearance degenerates as time goes on. His suit becomes shabbier, his body becomes dirtier, until Casey finally gives in to him, at which point he is downright revolting.
    • Angela invokes this while discussing her Dark and Troubled Past with Chris.
    • In season 2, it's revealed that "Grace's" room is actually a Room Full of Crazy, covered in dust and full of rotting food that Andy brought up for her but an incorporeal demon of course can't actually eat.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After Marcus kills Simon and saves the Pope, the other assembled Satanists all quickly flee.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Father Simon is watching Father Tomas's career with great interest.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The Friars of Ascension charity are actually a group of Satanists. They include the police superintendent and one of the benefactors of Tomas' church, along with other "pillars of society". They set themselves up as sponsors of the upcoming papal visit, so that they can assassinate him.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Well, it is The Exorcist, after all.
    • Exaggerated in Chapter 2 when Casey unknowingly ingests holy water, throws up her dinner, and then pulls a huge live centipede from her throat.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Angela's husband questions this after learning that his wife lied about her name and her past.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "Chapter Five: Through My Most Grievous Fault." Angela is the adult Regan MacNeil.
    • Episode Eight, where it seems everything is good: Casey's been exorcised, Bennett's exposed the plot to assassinate the Pope, and now the Rance family's going to be on the run in order to save Casey the grief like Angela/Regan endured. Then it's revealed that Bennett's superior is in the plot as well, and Angela's revealed to be possessed by Pazuzu, who kills Chris.
  • Wham Line: In Chapter Five, Angela Rance reveals her identity: "My name is Regan MacNeil."
    • In season 2: "Who are you talking to?... Who's Grace?"