Warning: This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of The Exorcist. Read on under the penalty of pea soup.
In the latest episode of The Exorcist, it was revealed that Angela Rance was, in fact, Regan MacNeil. For those unfamiliar with the source material, she is the little girl who was possessed by the demon #Pazuzu in the original film.
This brings new possibilities to the #remake #reboot genre. It actually acknowledges the original while building upon it in new and exciting ways. The episode ended with the reveal along with her mother, Chris, showing up. Evidently she had tried to run away from her mother who tried to capitalize on her #possession. Regan wanted no part of it and wanted to distance herself from the experience.
This makes the series a sequel to the film
All throughout the series, there have been subtle nods to the original movie. The #exorcism of the little boy at the beginning mirrors the boy Father Merrin performed the first exorcism in the film. The flight of stairs that Father Karras fell down after taking the demon into him to save Regan is shown in a photograph. The urination scene is brought full on as well as the allusion to the masturbation scene and the infamous ‘Power of Christ compels you’ line are all used to full effect in the show.
The show does all of this while setting the stage with entirely new characters, at least new from the beginning. By establishing that Regan Macneil does in fact exist in this universe, the producers are building on a foundation already established in the source while adding new twists and turns for the characters to deal with. Not a new trope to be sure but certainly a refreshing one in the days of #LethalWeapon rehashes.
It’s able to take more risks
As an established sequel, The Exorcist is able to go further with the #characters than the limits of a remake/reboot would allow. As of the last episode, they had already gotten to the iconic exorcism scene, which went horribly wrong. The priests were defeated, the demon-possessed child was missing and the aforementioned Angela/Regan now has to deal with the decisions she made following the original film. It appears that the show is able to pick and choose what it wants to acknowledge from the less than stellar reception of the actual Exorcist sequels.
This could prove to be advantageous as the show runners are able to push the boundaries in what they can do. They are no longer limited by having to explain what happened to Fathers Merrick and Karras respectively. Or even Regan, as we know what happened already. They are free to focus on other things, such as the possible demon uprising they have teased in the series thus far.
The revelation came to a series that was already very strong and handled extremely well. It didn’t feel forced and actually came about fluidly from the story. As a fan of the original, I welcome this nod and hope that they use it to their fullest advantage.