All right, seriously, is Mike Colter okay? He’s literally only the episode as a sidekick. He’s in an interview montage, he and Aasif Mandvi follow someone, he goes into the fertility clinic for a non-scene with Mandvi and Herbers, and he’s there for the initial team meeting. Otherwise, he’s not in the episode. Wait, he runs into Christine Lahti in an awkward situation. That scene lasts maybe ninety seconds. Maybe. When everyone said they didn’t really want him to become a priest, it didn’t mean they didn’t want him on the show….
But there’s also no Church case in this episode. The procedural isn’t a procedural. Herbers is trying to figure out how she’s still got eggs on ice at the demonic fertility clinic when she hasn’t been paying any of the bills, which puts her on to suspicious, religious gynecologist Francesca Faridany. It’s more Herbers’s B-plot, with her daughter Maddy Crocco’s self-image issues. Initially, it seems like it’s about her vampire teeth—side effects of the demonic fertility clinic—than about her weight, but then it turns out to be about something else entirely.
Meanwhile, Mandvi’s got a fantastic adventure with girlfriend Nicole Shalhoub, who wants to get exorcized of her twin ghost sister and drags Mandvi along. It gets more and more concerning throughout, cliffhanging with the extraordinary. So both Mandvi and Herbers (or Crocco) have actually supernatural arcs going on, with “Evil” ratcheting up the possibility of confirming it sooner than later.
The other big arc is Lahti—against her better judgment—getting involved with Michael Emerson, who introduces her to silver fox creep, Tim Matheson. Giving Emerson an actual human friend or two makes his storyline seemingly less supernatural. So the show’s grounding him while letting Mandvi and Crocco take proverbial flight. Herbers is entirely unaware—everyone else goes to Mandvi for help, but he doesn’t share his love life intrigues with anyone—ditto Colter, though for different reasons. Crocco’s calmly not telling Mom everything but Colter’s just not around enough. We don’t even get meditating montages.
Good acting from Herbers, Mandvi, and Lahti. Matheson and Emerson seem like edge lord frat boy rapists gone grey, which is probably the idea. Crocco’s fine, but her arc is only about working towards the reveal. Shalhoub’s in a similar situation where the episode’s tricking the audience with her scenes, so she doesn’t work up any momentum.
It seems to be a bridging episode, which is fine. The plotting just plays a little off. Especially if the show eventually rationalizes all the fantastical stuff.