“Evil” is back and it hasn’t been gone anywhere near as long as I thought. The last episode of the first season aired in February 2020, pre-Rona lockdown, pre-Catholics killing babies and dumping them in mass graves (well, pre-discovery of it, but “Evil” won’t care). But it’s only felt like a while. The episode picks up right where we left off, with lead Katja Herbers being very suspicious after serial killer nemesis Darren Pettie ends up dead. We get some very quick resolution on whether she did it or not, with Herbers more concerned about getting a rash from a rosary when talking to her sometimes boss and also therapist Kurt Fuller. I forgot how much I like Fuller on this show. He just has a good time. Effortlessly.
When Michael Emerson is having a good time camping it up, it’s not effortless. They try really hard to make Emerson a notable villain; the A plot this episode has Catholic boss Peter Scolari wanting Herbers, Mike Colter (who’s got zip to do this episode), and Aasif Mandvi (who gets more but not really) to evaluate Emerson for an exorcism. Seems Emerson has been donating big time to the Catholic Church—again, “Evil” has a problem with itself. Not to mention having now moved to Paramount+—sorry, CBS having decided to move it to Paramount+—it’s now a show for people who wish Rona doesn’t exist, the Catholic Church is the good guys, and who pay for Paramount+. Fragile white Democrats?
There’s even an f-bomb from Herbers at one point and I swear it was looped in because they can do it now (all of the season, presumably, filmed thinking they’d go on TV not streaming—the commercial fade outs are annoying now and are just going to get worse as it goes along).
So the team decides they’re going to play with Emerson to see what he’s going to lie about because they’ll still learn stuff about him. Or he’ll just get into their heads and infect Mandvi with a dream sex demon dominatrix (possibly played by “Legends of Tomorrow”’s Hawkgirl, Ciara Renée), which is kind of amusing until they do a “is Mandvi dreaming or not” with the subplot for the cliffhanger.
Herbers should have a tough episode and doesn’t because the show doesn’t want to really get too tough. Mandvi’s good. Colter’s present. Scolari’s a really shitty dude (not sure if it’s intentional, but the character’s definitely a shitty dude and Scolari’s definitely good at being a shitty dude). And Emerson’s… much better than his worst on the show.
It’s a somewhat easy start to the season—one of Herbers’s likable but interchangeable kids grows vampire molars and gives some decent Martin vibes—but it’s, you know, fine. Especially for “Evil.”
With all the standard “Evil” asterisks, of course.