Police partners and long-time friends, Brock (Lee Tergesen) and Luke (JR Bourne), go bowling as a double-date with Luke's wife and a friend—but Brock's not acting like himself. He's consistently throwing gutterballs and being unforgivably rude to his date.
With the night shot, he follows Luke and wife Teri home. The diagnosis seems simple enough: Brock's coming down with something. So, Luke heads to the store for soup and medicine, while Teri puts on the kettle for tea.
But this is no mere cold or flu, and no sooner is Luke gone before Brock is brutalizing his helpful, kind wife. The cop returns home to find his wife horribly murdered and his erstwhile friend looming over her corpse.
Flash-forward to our heroes Kyle (Patrick Fugit) and Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) on the road to the state pen. Luke's summoned them to exorcise his friend—the only explanation he can accept for what happened is that Brock was under demonic influences when he attacked Teri.
Kyle asks the Reverend why he thinks they need to continue working together. “Jesus likes the buddy system,” is the confident reply, and he's probably on to something there. There's a reason why exorcisms are usually a team event, after all. There's strength in numbers, and no one man should have to face down evil all by his lonesome.
While our heroes are squaring off against the unsettlingly jovial, talkative Brock, back in town, sister Megan (Wrenn Schmidt) and brother-in-law Mark (David Denman) have their own hands full.
Megan begins seeing a red car around town and a face that is far too familiar for comfort. Whoever this “Donny” is, he's clearly bad news, judging by Megan's panic—oh, and the way he's got her Facebook page pulled up on his laptop…that's not a warning sign at all.
There's some definite shades of stalker about this guy, and I'll hazard an educated guess that he's a rapist, as well.
Just what we need in the midst of all of the current demonic activity. His appearance would be terrible enough by itself, but now that we've got murders and misshapen bodies at every turn, he's the asshole icing on the devil's food cake.
As Megan narrowly avoids the man who puts her on the edge of an anxiety attack, hubby Mark is “playing CSI” at that charming camper in the woods—the one Leatherface would be proud to call his summer home.
Police Chief Giles (Reg E. Cathey) is a little too nonchalant about the place for my peace of mind, especially considering what Mark finds there: plenty of blood, hair, a whole human fingernail embedded in the ceiling (“Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!”), and a rather expensive watch. Clearly, this isn't just a situation of teens meeting up in the woods to get high and “swap herpes,” as the Chief puts it.
Add in the fact that there's a damn wolf waiting outside for Mark when he finishes—not to mention the crucified raccoons we saw last week—and I'm definitely getting Creepy Cult Vibes out the wazoo.
Surely this is all connected to Evil Data (Brent Spiner; since his character hasn't been officially named yet, I'm taking a little license here), who's got to be another of the possessed.
I know this because of his visit to Kyle's mother last week, because he's a little too interested in our hero, and because he totally coughs up black goo after his immaculate hygiene routine.
That dude is bad news with a capital B-A-D, and something is most assuredly rotten in the city of Rome.
Back at the prison, the Reverend's preaching is having no effect on Brock, who's gleefully preying upon the holy man's pride and fears as he wheedles him about his powerlessness and past sacrifices.
I always hate when demons play unfair like that.
But then, a single touch from Kyle elicits a definite reaction. When the murderer hisses “Outcast!” at the bewildered Barnes, you can practically feel the plot thicken.
After another bloody, violent fight (is poor Kyle going to end up bleeding in every episode?), Brock remains possessed by the evil that drove him to kill Luke's wife, and Kyle tells the Reverend, “He can't be saved. Whatever's in him is there to stay.”
We end this week's installment with the Reverend upset about the loss of his son's photograph (there's going to be some juicy background about that, I'm sure), Megan keeping her concerns about Donny from her husband, Luke nearly suffocating Brock in despair, and Kyle making yet another grisly discovery close to home.
It appears that kindly neighbor Norville has committed suicide—but, given that we didn't see where Evil Data went all day, I'm drawing my own conclusions. I suspect the demonic forces are doing everything they can to strip away the last of Kyle's friends and family, and I've got a bad feeling about what's on the horizon for Megan and the Reverend…
After the lull that was last week, this episode was another kick to the teeth. It's gonna take an awful lot of brain bleach to get rid of the image of Luke's poor wife after Brock was finished with her. And, before we close this week's chapter, just a few words about the stellar guest stars:
I'm sure Lee Tergesen is an incredibly kind, thoughtful, and funny man off-camera, but ugggh, can that guy play nasty creepers with a gusto. As soon as I saw him in those terrible bowling shoes, I knew Brock was going to be up to no good. Kudos to the casting director for snagging him, because there are few character actors in the biz more suited for playing possessed murderers.
On the flip side of the equation, JR Bourne always excels at playing guys you want to sympathize with (or want to have a few beers with). He fairly exudes heartbreak and shock as Luke; he's a guy who just wants answers and closure—and ends up with neither. Having lost his wife, his best friend, and his career in one fell swoop, he's now a shell of a man and just another example of the toll these sorts of supernatural conflicts rack up.
The victims here aren't just the dead or the possessed, but the survivors and family left behind, too. For an episode called “All Alone Now,” that message is crystal clear.
Angie Barry wrote her thesis on the socio-political commentary in zombie films. Meeting George Romero is high on her bucket list, and she has spent hours putting together her zombie apocalypse survival plan. She also writes horror and fantasy in her spare time, and watches far too much Doctor Who. Come find the angie bee at Tumblr.