Evil (2019) s03e02 – The Demon of Memes

Usually, when “Evil” veers too far into Catholic Church propaganda, Katja Herbers remarks about them all being a bunch of pedophiles or pedophile enablers. I can’t remember if she mentioned they killed hundreds of indigenous Canadians and buried them in holes.

She’s not in the scenes she needs to be this episode to make such comments, so the episode—script credit to Davita Scarlett—does one big fake news related to the Church’s crimes and a second eyebrow-raiser. The first involves the episode’s “case.” Kids are spray painting a message on Catholic properties as part of an online prank; in reality, people are spray painting messages about the Church covering up the murders of hundreds of indigenous Canadian children.

The eyebrow-raiser is Mike Colter’s subplot, which has him joining the Vatican secret service. Appropriately suspicious Brian d’Arcy James recruits him, with the mission involving one of the series’s outstanding but forgotten big arcs. Not the one directly affecting most of the cast (the demonic fertility agency), but rather a considerably less pressing one. Colter asks about the fertility agency, but the Vatican’s not interested. Live demon babies are a-okay.

But obviously, the Vatican secret service is for laundering Nazi gold and shuffling rapists.

Anyway.

The rest of the episode checks most of the “Evil” boxes. The kids are slightly in danger: daughter Brooklyn Shuck knows a boy who’s doing the pranks; he’s got to do it. Otherwise, this demon the kids can see on Google Maps will kill him. Herbers and Aasif Mandvi investigate—Colter’s called away on secret business—and find a grad student (Jay Will) squatting. The episode flexes about unused living spaces and people experiencing homelessness, but it’ll demonize them by the end.

Shuck accidentally sees the demon on Google Maps, so she’s worried she’ll be next. The show never explains how her friend, Uly Schlesinger, who’s locked himself in his room for days, counting down the clock on the curse, has apparently been doing the required tasks for the demon. Shuck starts the list: they all occur outside your room.

That plot takes a backseat to Colter’s, which is fine; it’s not a very good mystery. And at least Colter’s plot is intriguing. Though Herbers and Mandvi do go visit returning guest star Brooke Bloom for a scene; it’s the first Herbers has seen Bloom since killing her serial killer husband, which Colter definitely knows about but thinks the visit is okay, and Mandvi suspects and maybe doesn’t think the visit is okay.

Meanwhile, Christine Lahti, Michael Emerson, and Tim Matheson are conspiring against Herbers’s husband, Patrick Brammall. He wants to kick Lahti out of his house—which, unbeknownst to Brammall, would probably put his daughters very much in immediate danger from Emerson. It’s a weird subplot because Brammall’s such a jackass you’re rooting for the bad guys to get him off the show.

It’s a very low okay episode. Herbers and Shuck don’t have enough chemistry in their mother and daughter scenes, the one jump scare’s super cheap, and the cliffhanger’s boring. But at least Colter gets something to do; hopefully, that emphasis will continue this season.

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