Father Marcus (Ben Daniels) and Father Tomas (Alfonso Herrera) are back. After exorcising the demon possessing the Rance family, Marcus took Tomas under his wing — and on the road — to learn how to cast out demons. Marcus is basically Tomas’ exorcist–Mr. Miyagi.
Season 2 will introduce the Fathers to a new family that needs their help. John Cho and Brianna Hildebrand join the cast as new targets of demons trying to get a foothold into our world. The Rances are hopefully happy and peaceful now. Good Lord, haven’t they been through enough?
Daniels and Herrera spoke with Rotten Tomatoes before the season 2 premiere of The Exorcist. Here are eight things they confessed about the show, both for the new season and a few of season 1’s secrets.
When The Exorcist picks up with Marcus and Tomas, they’ve been on the road together for six months. Father Marcus needed a vacation after having to murder Brother Simon (Francis Guinan) of the Friars of Ascension.
“I think he has absolutely loved this last six months on the road with Tomas,” Daniels said. “I think it’s been the highlight of his life. He’s thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think has taught him really, really well.”
Tomas asked Marcus to teach him exorcism, but six months isn’t even two whole semesters at Exorcism College. Even Herrera gives his character a “NI” for “Needs Improvement.”
“He has great potential, but he has to evolve, I think,” Herrera said. “I think that he needs to listen a little bit more. And, he loves to not follow the rules. We saw that in episode 8, season 1 that there’s two faces from him. There’s going to be lots of issues in this relationship.”
As far as the possessed are concerned, whatever gets the demon out of them is cool. However, an experienced exorcist like Marcus knows there’s a right way and a wrong way to exorcise. Too bad Tomas is turning to the dark side.
“We’re allowed to say this, that Tomas is developing a style of exorcism that Marcus disapproves of,” Daniels said. “Marcus has knowledge of this way of exorcising from the past. He’s like, ‘This is bad. Do not go down this road.’ Whether Tomas listens to that or not, you’ll just have to see.”
While Father Marcus is taking a load off on the open road, the newfound freedom could be enabling Tomas’ worst instincts. No longer bound by his church, his family, or his hometown, anything goes for Tomas.
“I think that he is starting to comprehend different layers of evil that Marcus obviously understands in a very, very precise, very good way,” Herrera said. “So this whole universe of good and evil is starting to expand, and he’s starting to feel more open. This openness is going to generate some conflicts.”
Nothing like an actual bona fide demon to expose someone’s personal metaphorical demons. It turns out Marcus has been hiding something, and the new demon he has to exorcise knows just how to exploit it.
“With Marcus, it pinpoints exactly — it finds his weakness very, very early on,” Daniels said. “It’s something that Marcus is dealing with from the moment we meet him really, and the demon picks up on it and starts to pick that open.”
When Angela Rance (Geena Davis) saw her daughter acting like she was possessed, she went straight to church. When Marcus and Tomas meet a new family, they don’t necessarily believe in demons.
“John [Cho’s character is] not particularly religious, their family,” Daniels said. “The Rances were full on go-to-church Catholics.”
The exorcisms you see on The Exorcist last less than an hour — with commercial breaks. To really bring them to life often takes weeks.
“There were some sequences, like the sequence in [Casey’s] bedroom, and the sequence in Mother Burnadette’s,” Daniels said. “The sequence in the bedroom, I thought I was never going to get out of that room. It went on and on and on and on.”
Herrera added, “It was basically two weeks, because it was two episodes.”
“You just go stir crazy, you can imagine all that shouting for 14 hours a day,” Daniels said.
SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen season 1 yet, there is a huge twist in episode 5.
Angela Rance was not who she said she was. Daniels knew the truth all along.
“We knew before we started filming,” Daniels said. “They told us before we started. I don’t know why they told us, but they did, at that meal in L.A. I just thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was like, Wow, that’s fantastic.”
Actually, Daniels deduced something himself, but producer Jeremy Slater gave him the whole scoop.
“I knew that she’d been possessed before,” Daniels said. “I said to Geena, ‘Has your character been possessed before? Because you jump to that conclusion really quickly, your daughter is possessed rather than just a hormonal teenager.’ She went, ‘Mmm, that’s very astute of you,’ but she didn’t tell me she was Regan. Then Jeremy said.”
The Exorcist returns Friday, September 29 on Fox.