I’ll just say it now. “Evil”’s religious politics are either going to get it in a lot of trouble or they’re going to do some “Heaven is for Real” shit. It’s going to be one or the other. And the pilot really makes it seem like it’s going to be the former, but not in any daring way; “Evil” is very safe.
Katja Herbers is a forensic psychiatrist who consults with the district attorney’s office. She’s a professional witness and has to be because she’s got an absentee rock-climbing, thrill-seeker husband off in the Himalayas, four daughters at home (you’d love to see the show bible on how Herbers managed to have all those kids, go to college, be a celebrity rock-climber, go to graduate school, become professionally successful, and not yet be forty; but whatever). It’s all going fine until she gets the case of serial killer Darren Pettie. See, Pettie says he just blacks out during his murders. But Pettie’s attorney says Pettie’s possessed. Herbers ends up quitting because the D.A. wants her to lie about something with the possession angle.
Couple days later, Mike Colter shows up to offer Herbers a job. He’s with the defense… sort of. He’s actually with the Catholic Church; he and partner Aasif Mandvi triage possession and miracle reports for the Church. Herbers needs paycheck and she’s also hot for Colter’s bod, so she signs up.
The rest of it is them finding a religiously informed clue, then a rational, scientific explanation. Non-believer Herbers talking to believer Colter about his faith and blah blah blah.
It’s all fairly predictable. Though maybe not when Michael Emerson shows up as an evil forensic psychiatrist out to make the world a worse place by encouraging people to do bad things. Hence the show title.
Also seems like show creators Robert King and Michelle King really liked that similar and dumb subplot from Halloween H40.
Herbers is likable and pretty good. Colter is likable and pretty good—he’s much more suited for this part than the Hero of Harlem. Mandvi’s fun.
There’s some poorly executed nightmare stuff and the script fails villain Pettie; both those fails seem foreboding for the future and the show’s potential. It’s uneven but has a lot of good pieces.