Is Mike Colter okay? As in, not injured? Six episodes into the season, and Colter’s still got nothing to do—and even less than usual as he’s not bickering with Michael Emerson (who doesn’t show up this episode). Then in the scene where he’s supporting Aasif Mandvi’s subplot, Colter looks pretty uncomfortable in his chair. Though it’s an awkwardly shot scene, with Mandvi trying to talk to Colter about his newfound potential spiritualism without, like, acknowledging he’s starting to believe in the supernatural. Because of his night terrors. Ron Underwood (Tremors, Pluto Nash) is the director, and I was paying attention to his horror chops, but this one particular conversation flops.
And ends up being Colter’s most significant contribution to the episode outside being perturbed boss Peter Scolari wants him to cosign on a white cop killing a Black lady. The A plot is Katja Herbers dealing with the ghost of serial killer Darren Pettie and telling daughter Maddy Crocco to lie for her. Crocco’s the only daughter who appears in this episode and, just like with the last one, seems entirely new to the show despite having been on since the start. “Evil” has done a lousy job defining the daughters solo. Outside a lengthy walk and talk with “Extreme Law & Order” producer Fredric Lehne about mystery tattoos, there’s not much to the killer cop arc. It’s engaging, sure, but because it’s about shitty white people defending killer cops and Herbers trying to be an ally to men of color Mandvi and Colter, but… I mean, she’s still a white lady.
With a cop friend, Kristen Connolly.
Connolly might give the episode’s best acting as it turns in the screws on how her kind of corrupt cop works.
Mandvi’s subplot involves trying to go Dream Warriors on his night terror (voiced by Ciara Renée, suited by Ashley Edner). Renée’s latest tactic is bringing up Mandvi’s previously unknown backstory, which includes genetic engineering gone wrong. Genetic engineering was one of the first season plotlines, and they’ve ignored it so far this season, so maybe they’re bringing it back. Though Mandvi seems somewhat resolved with it after he consults with Colter.
Christine Lahti also seems to have one heck of a character arc brewing—she terrifies Crocco because she’s practicing hipster voodoo—which ought to be fun.
Herbers is outstanding in her arc—Underwood does direct the hell out of it (as much as one can do a done-in-one TV gig)—but it’s just character building. Character building is fine, obviously; it’s just a cop-out of a significant subplot.
It’s a good episode, but it’s one of those “good episodes for ‘Evil’” situations. And, wow, is Scolari good as the piece of shit priest boss. Though I can never tell if he’s in on the joke.