Evil (2019) s03e01 – The Demon of Death

The opening titles for this episode show up about halfway through the forty-five-minute episode. They’re full “movie” credits, getting all the guest stars, going through the entire crew; big stylistic flex because “Evil” knows it’s earned it, at least for this episode.

The action starts right where we left off, Katja Herbers and Mike Colter finally giving in to their sexual tension—he just needed to become a priest for them to give in—and it’s an intense scene. It’s got episode-long repercussions; it’s a long-threatened plot point, and the show delivers on it. Actually, lots of this episode is just “Evil” fulfilling promises.

For example, there’s no more delay with Herbers telling her kids Michael Emerson is a bad guy and needs to be treated as such. Of course, she doesn’t mention the reason he’s interested in Maddy Crocco is because they got her at a demonic sperm bank or something, but the kids have a good plot in this episode. The show’s obviously still doing its “this online thing is probably dangerous for your kids,” but it’s a valid one this time and has a solid conclusion.

Then Patrick Brammall’s back home, seemingly throwing a wrench in Herbers and Colter’s timing, but then he decides to pick a fight with literally demonic mother-in-law Christine Lahti. Lots of promise for that story arc coming up; a couple of Lathi’s scenes are particularly great. The character’s got much more potential when not playing rube to Emerson.

The investigation plot involves a twenty-one grams-type experiment. Scientist Ruthie Ann Miles (who’s good but barely in the episode) wants the Catholic Church to provide her with someone dying so she can measure the weight to the picogram. They give her dying, bah humbug priest Wallace Shawn. Only when they try to weigh his death… Shawn comes out alive and cured. The show doesn’t get into the science, instead focusing on a rejuvenated Shawn’s new outlook, including his friendship with monsignor Boris McGiver. It’s probably McGiver’s best acting on the show, though he’s never had anything particularly difficult before. And Shawn’s a delight.

Also regulars Andrea Martin and Kurt Fuller show up for a little scene together, which also has Martin and Herbers meeting for the first time. Again, it’s future promise stuff, with everyone thinking about Herbers and Colter only not knowing what’s really going on. Though Herbers and Colter have different perspectives as well.

Aasif Mandvi doesn’t get anything to do but support. He’s excellent as always, just wish he’d had a little something more but setting the tone for the season—they get to use curse words intentionally now, with this season their first written from scratch for streaming versus broadcast—is more important.

Written by series creators Michelle King and Robert King (he also directed), it’s one of the stronger hours of “Evil” I can remember. Partially because it doesn’t make any significant fumbles, but also because the cast does so well with the material.

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