blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Evil (2019) s01e11 – Room 320

I resent how affecting this episode of “Evil” gets because it doesn’t deserve to be. The stuff about Katja Herbers and Aasif Mandvi discovering how the guy who attacked Mike Colter before hiatus is the same guy who posed as a creepy little girl in AR to stalk Herbers’s kid early on in the series… not affecting. It’s all connected in “Evil” just gets an eye-roll because it’s so contrived. Terrorizing its viewers about technology and the possible demonic influence—blah.

But Colter trapped in a hospital bed where a racist nurse (Tara Summers) is apparently killing off all the Black patients? Effective. Affecting. Even though Peter Sollet’s horror direction is lousy and the episode’s never as scary as it ought to be. It’s always manipulating, which just happens to work out because Summers is so unstoppably evil (because her white colleagues don’t care about the Black patients enough to check on them) and Colter’s so sympathetic.

There’s also a reveal on the pre-history of the show, with Herbers just now finding out she’s not Colter’s first psychiatrist sidekick. Previously he had Megan Ketch, who has longer hair than Herbers and no kids (or husband) but otherwise looks the same. No explanation of why no one mentioned Ketch’s existence to Herbers before—it’s almost like Mandvi didn’t work as steadily with Colter before Herbers came along either. Ketch teams up with them to try to catch the bad guy. The one who put Colter in the hospital, not the bad guy in the hospital.

There are all sorts of question marks and plot holes due to Colter being constantly overprescribed painkillers and unable to discern what’s real and what’s not. It’s also not clear if he’s in a Catholic hospital… seems like… no. But then yes. But then no. I guess it doesn’t end up mattering given the conclusion, which is in the open-minded “Evil” so we can find out later on Summers was really inspired by Michael Emerson (blissfully not present this episode) to kill her Black patients and get away with it because the hospital doesn’t notice all of her Black patients dying on a daily basis when in the hospital for routine things.

Maybe the scariest thing about “Evil” is how reasonable it seems Summers could get away with it.

Is it a good forty-two minutes of television… no. But it’s an effective forty-two minutes of television, which is something given how silly it gets when it’s trying to be scary.

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