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The Exorcist - A Heaven of Hell & Ritual and Reputation - Double Review

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All hands on deck for these last two exciting episodes of The Exorcist heading into the finale.

'A Heaven of Hell' dealt with what we thought was the exorcism of Andy, only for the episode to reveal that it was all in Tomas' head while he was in some kind of demonic trance.

After the unexpected reveal, 'Ritual and Reputation' followed Andy in full on demonic mode, as he captures the kids and Rose, with Marcus on his heels and Tomas still in a trance.

The past few weeks haven't been near as compelling as the first several episodes of the season, but that has more to do with how great the season started than with the quality of these back half of episodes ('Help Me' [2.07] did suffer from some pacing issues though).

What made the first half of the season so exceptional was how well paced it was while creating a foreboding atmosphere, tension, and intriguing mystery, while developing each of the characters with a level of depth rarely seen in a network TV show about demons.

Those episodes raised such a high bar that these last few episodes, though were entertaining in their own right, pale in comparison.

This is not so much a knock on 'A Heaven of Hell' and 'Ritual' - I don't think they could have done any better - but they just did not feel as compelling as the first half.

Essentially, I am just grasping at straws to find something to complain about this consistently well written and well thought out show.

One positive of these two episodes that can't be ignored is how, because the season has done such a superb job in building up the characters, especially the kids and their relationship to Andy in particular, there is a certain emotional attachment we have that helps raise the stakes even higher.

The MVP these past two episodes has undoubtedly been Verity. Actress Brianna Hildebrand has done a wonderful job in portraying the strong, resourceful, and rebellious teenager as she confronted Andy during his exorcism in 'A Heaven of Hell' and then escapes from him and confronts him in the episode following. Through it all she has truly been the heart of the family, as the kids seem to feed off her strength. Hildebrand, who seems to be a head strong woman herself, was perfectly cast for the role.

Overall, 'A Heaven of Hell' was a standard, but exciting straight up exorcism type of episode, while 'Ritual and Reputation' worked well as more of an action oriented story. On a side note of worth, some of the best action in the last episode had to go to Mouse who easily dispatched two operatives on her way to Seattle before meeting up with Tomas at episodes end. Finally the team is coming together! If only poor Father Devin wasn't in a coma.

A Heaven of Hell: 8/10
Ritual and Reputation: 8.5/10

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