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The Exorcist - Darling Nikki - Review

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The beauty of this second season of The Exorcist is how masterfully they've built tension within and between episodes. We know things are about to explode in the foster home, but we don't know when. Teases are thrown here and there to keep viewers on their edge of the seat, but we had yet to see the demon turn its true head.

In 'Darling Nikki,' the midpoint of the season, the pin finally dropped, and by the Devil's neckbeard, was it amazing.

John Cho has been doing an exceptional job as Andrew Kim this season. In this episode alone we had seen him go through such a wide range of personalities from caring guardian to grieving husband to a paranoid guy influenced by the demon. However, though it seemed pretty evident that he is possessed, we do not know for certain.

Father Marcus and Tomas were fooled once with Grace, could this be a repeat? It is a question more for the characters than for us, as it wouldn't be The Exorcist if it was all a fake out. What that ambiguity did achieve for us though is the elevation of tension as we watch the two priests try to goad the demon out, as well as creating a foreboding atmosphere as the demon schemed its way into Andrews noggin.

The back and forth exchange between Marcus, Tomas and Andrew was such a well staged, well written scene. We root for the priests to find the demon, by any means necessary, but at the same time, how much goading can they do before it goes too far? They are bullying a grieving man as much as they are provoking a demon, and it is that conflict that gives this exchange such an emotional pull.

As great as the aforementioned scene was, it was the climax that truly resonated. Everything came to a head, not just the demon in Andy, but also Grace's mom and her unexpected appearance as she tried to take her daughter back at knife point. Having the two stories converge was brilliant, it really elevated both the action and the emotional stakes of the scene. Also, the mom provided the perfect sacrificial lamb to take Andy over the edge in order for the demon to come out.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Father Bennett and Mouse continue their crusade of eradicating the demons existing among the higher ups. Not a lot happened in this storyline in 'Darling Nikki' other than the reveal that Mouse has a shady past and there is more to her than meets the eye. I love how unforgiving her character is - a bullet in the head, that is all you really need. Poor Bennett though who keeps getting hurt.

Overall, The Exorcist continues to outdo itself every week. The show just continues to pile on the tension, right up until the climatic moment of 'Darling Nikki' we had been waiting for all season. A scene that was absolutely jaw dropping.

The Exorcist is a network show that does not feel like a network show - the effects, the thoughtful writing, the attention to detail in the directing - everything just feels so superior to much of what is airing on the Big Four networks. 'Darling NIkki' especially was a breathtaking episode full of non-stop tension and emotion, climaxing what the previous five episodes had been building to while taking this season to a whole other level.


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