Warning: this disaster summary can’t be much more than a rating post from Sister Andrea.
But can you blame me? The holy woman accomplishes more in a few minutes of screen time than most of us could hope for in a week — and that’s beyond the silver she polishes, the floors she scrubs, and the confidence she builds.
In this week’s episode, for example, she single-handedly upsets the shady father Mulvehill, gives David exactly when he needs it, and chases the bejesus out of Leland. (The latter is very satisfying, by the way.)
Read on for the highlights of “Z Is For Zombies.”
‘THE EXORCIST NEEDS AN EXORCISM’ | In class with Father Mulvehill, David and his fellow seminarians are concerned when the priest turns to write at the blackboard and they see bloody streaks on the back of his white shirt. David gets up and calmly lets the priest know what’s going on. Later, when they are alone, Mulvehill tells David that he fell when he got out of the shower, but swears David to secrecy about the whole affair. Sensing something isn’t right, David insists he admit, “The blood on my back, it’s just developing. It heals and then starts up again.” When he says he feels like he’s being attacked, David automatically assumes demonic interference – after all, Mulvehill performs five exorcisms a month. Who knows what supernatural slimy he accidentally stepped into? David offers a confidential assessment, and after Mulvehill reluctantly agrees, David calls Kristen and Ben over to do their thing.
In her one-on-one interview, Kristen determines that Father Mulvehill used to have a gambling addiction in seminary, but when he heard his calling, the problem went away. However, lately he has been playing online poker and falling into old habits. She immediately diagnoses mania. David is sure that the problem is spiritual and stems from a certain exorcism. But Ben (cleverly) asks to look at the pastor’s computer, because “many things are simpler than devils and diseases”.
Oh, and by the way? Kristen and David feel that Ben should take a month off to recover from his trauma in the final episode. He waves them off and says he’s been missing in a basement for 24 hours and that “it was nothing”. Uh, me and your succubus and that goodbye notes app beg to differ, buddy.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF POP-UP | At first, Ben says that Mulvehill is not relapsing, but succumbs to internet advertising for gambling apps/sites that keep popping up in his browser. But after the priest leaves, Ben shows Kristen how Mulvehill has cleaned up his search history, emails, everything – a clear sign that someone is hiding something. “Porn?” Kristien wonders. After doing some research on the internet, Ben finds out that some of Mulvehill’s deleted emails were from someone who is an enforcer: the good dad has accumulated $40,000 in online poker debt and he’s in real trouble.
In the meantime, Kristen is starting to notice a lot of ads for hook-up sites and the like appearing in her feeds. So when Ben calls, she asks why there are so many “meeting ads” (heh) popping up in front of her. He says he will install an adblocker and the like, but she barely hears him, because then the fiery-headed jinn appears in her room, waves at her, then mocks her by rubbing his hands up and down his torso in licentious fashion.
THE LIVING DEAD | Let’s take a break here to cover the episode’s B-plot, which is that Lila and her friend Alex, who lives next door, are obsessed with zombie movies and think Alex’s father is turning into a member of the living dead. Alex’s father works for an Amazon-like delivery company called CongoRun, which will become relevant in a few moments.
The girls do a lot of research, which can make the show exciting for a week, and eventually they end up in a mystical store where a woman tells them that the concept of zombie originated from slave drivers in Haiti who told the stories to scare those who wanted to commit suicide to escape the torture of such grueling and soul-crushing physical labor. She gives them a tincture for Alex’s father and one for the “slave driver,” which she promises to reveal herself.
Alex and Lila serve their first drink with dinner one night. The next morning, Alex’s father slacks off and he’s not in the warehouse when he should be…which means he’s also not injured in a gas leak that permanently injures his colleagues. Revitalized, he becomes de facto leader for union activities, and when his boss, Mr. Hamlin, shows up at the house during a union meeting, Lila and Alex know what to do. They sneak into the man’s pocket and lace his gum with potion number 2, then sit back and wait for the magic to do its work
That actually goes pretty quickly. The next day, a CongoRun director shows up at Alex’s house, apologizing for Mr Hamlin’s overrun. In fact, the director notes, Hamlin was fired for showing up for work drunk that morning, and would Alex’s father like the job? Of course, he will have to give up his union work, but he will also earn 10 times the salary he currently takes home.
So he accepts. And at the end of the episode, the girls watch in horror as Alex’s father barks orders remotely to the warehouse team, monitoring every move and pause in the bathroom via computer from the comfort of his dining table.
SISTER ANDREA CLEANING | Back to the Priest in the Expensive Pickle! David confronts Mulvehill and tells him to take six months off and get help or else David will be forced to tell the bishop what he knows. That night, Ben’s spyware warns him that Leland is using his computer; he sends someone a message about “make it look good” and “heard they found your bookmaker.” Ahhhh, so the priest is in league with the subject of exorcism! Meanwhile, David finds Sister Angela and discovers that she’s not much of a Mulvehill fan. Showing a keen understanding of diocesan politics, David tells her she… must join Leland’s impending exorcism.
So she does. Leland stops (“I’m melting!” he screams at one point in the procedure, as if he loves it), and it seems that no progress is being made. Then Father Mulvehill falters and has to sit down, so Sister Andrea stands up with her crucifix and taps it to tell David to take over. She hands him a bottle of holy water, which he waves to Leland. This time the liquid burns Leland’s bare skin; Kristen is surprised to see the smoke rising from his arm.
“What, are you suddenly a saint or something?” asks Ben later. ‘It’s not me, it’s her. “Sister Andrea,” David replies in awe, as the nun grins on his way out.
Back at the rectory, David tells Andrea that Father Mulvehill has gone on a retreat. “He’s coming back and just as proud as before,” she sneers. But the exorcism convinced David that he needs the nun on his team. “You’ve got all the strength you need,” she reassures him, not gently reminding him that if he did more on his breathing, Leland wouldn’t mess with him so easily. Another reason why she can’t become the newest member of Acosta’s Angels? “I’m a woman, and this is the Holy Catholic Church,” she says, asking him to throw out some sewage for her.
While he’s gone, she slips the bottle of holy water from David’s belongings and tosses the contents back into the large bottle of caustic sanitizer from which she apparently filled it for the exorcism. I LOVE THIS WOMAN.
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!
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