WARNING! This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS!
In tonight's episode of FOX's The Exorcist, titled “Through My Most Grievous Fault,” it was revealed that Angela (played by Academy Award and Golden Globe-winner Geena Davis), the matriarch of the Rance family, is actually... Regan MacNeil!
Yup! That's right! She's the grown-up version of the 12-year-old girl (played by Linda Blair, whose brilliant performance was nominated for an Academy Award) who became possessed by an evil supernatural entity after playing with a Ouija board in the 1973 classic horror film.
This major revelation confirms the series is directly connected to the William Friedkin-directed film, which was based on William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel of the same name.
"I can't remember most of it, thankfully," Angela (Davis) told Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera). "Post-traumatic amnesia, it's called. Afterwards, I just wanted to move on with my life, put it behind me. But my mother, she was always finding new ways use my story to make a buck. 'This is the path God gave us. Use it.' But I ran away from all that. I changed my name. I never told her where I went. I never saw her again. I reinvented myself. But it didn't matter. No matter what I did. I chose, Angela. Like a name would protect me. That I dreamed that I could have a life, a chance. It didn't matter. It wasn't done with me. It's coming for me, father. I know it. My name is Regan MacNeil."
In the first four episodes of the FOX series, bread crumbs of this big twist have been subtly dropped throughout. Angela's youngest daughter, Casey (Hannah Kasulka), has been the one possessed during its freshman season, so far, and the demon has kept asking for "HER" to be brought to him. At first, it seemed as though the demon was referring to Katherine (Brianne Howey), Angela's eldest daughter, but now we know, the demon wants another crack at Angela/Regan.
Also, Angela being Regan explains why the mother was so willing to pursue exorcism as a solution for her daughter's unusual problem.
Another neat nod to the original film came during Angela's revelation. We see a shadowy figure approaching the Rance' home, which is blanketed in an eerie fog, looking very similar to the iconic image of Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) approaching the MacNeil home many decades ago. This time around, it was Regan's mother, Chris MacNeil, who comes knocking.
The exorcism begins. As the storm of the century descends upon Chicago, Father Tomas and Marcus engage the demon in spiritual warfare. But the demon is ready and waiting with a few secrets of its own. Meanwhile, the demon’s manipulations slowly begin to drive a wedge between members of the Rance family. Loyalties will be tested and lives will be forever changed.
The cast features Alfonso Herrera as Father Tomas Ortega, Ben Daniels as Father Marcus Keane, Hannah Kasulka as Casey Rance, Brianne Howey as Katherine Rance, Kurt Egyiawan as Brother Bennett, Alan Ruck as Henry Rance, and Geena Davis as Angela Rance/Regan MacNeil.
The Exorcist airs Fridays at 9/8c at 9|8c on FOX.