blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Evil (2019) s03e03 – The Demon of Sex

This episode ends with an odd, incomplete feeling. There’s no oomph to any of the storylines, and the resolutions are all put off until next time. There’s not even a cliffhanger, just Katja Herbers and Andrea Martin not being shitty to each other. It feels like a long episode cut up, but it also feels like the first really streaming episode of “Evil.” Whenever there’s an F-bomb, it’s a good F-bomb, onscreen, in scene, not tacked on later to flex.

The investigation plot this episode involves a newly married couple—Freddy Miyares and Freddy Miyares—having troubles in the martial bed. They’re both virgins, and whenever they try getting busy, he gets nauseous and she breaks out in hives. Initially, now priest Mike Colter thinks they just need a couples’ counselor, but nun Martin convinces him there’s a demon. Because she can see and talk to the demon. I’m not sure if it’s a new demon costume, but it’s not a good one. It’s like “Evil” knows it’s got its audience; it doesn’t need to try anymore.

Colter calls Herbers in to consult, then disappears for the episode, presumably off on secret Vatican secret service business like covering up more Indigenous Canadian child murders or something. Herbers and Martin don’t hit it off, but they agree to work together—there’s a weird “we’re being condescending to another woman” stand-off they do, but it’s well-acted weird, so it’s okay.

Will Herbers figure out how to keep the demon out of the martial bed? Will Martin get in trouble for talking during the meetings? It’s high-stakes stuff.

Aassif Mandvi’s got the other main plot. He’s suffering from depression thanks to his job; specifically, the mysteries of “Evil” leaves unresolved after the episode finishes. His sister, Sohina Sidhu, decides she’s going to help him out of his funk. It’s a good character episode for Mandvi, who gets to do more and different things than usual. His semi-breakdown starts when he can’t fix Herbers’s toilet; her husband flushed a shrunken blood sacrifice to Satan head down the toilet in the first episode of the season, and it’s been causing plumbing problems since. It gets to be too much for Mandvi.

Then there’s some stuff with Herbers and her kids being mentally abusive to one another. It’s unsuccessful except for tying into Christine Lathi’s superior workplace subplot. Michael Emerson tasks her with selling demonic crypto, only he really puts her millennial drones in charge. Lathi’s not going to take their shit and has to figure out how to succeed selling nonsense. Crypto and religion. “Evil”’s got all the nothing for sale.

Lathi’s great this episode, Mandvi’s great this episode. Martin’s only okay, which isn’t great. And Herbers is only okay, too; despite being around a bunch, she’s got nothing to herself.

It’s a peculiar episode. If it’d had some kick, it’d be one of the better this season. But, instead, makes you wonder if they know what they’re doing. Like when Monsignor Boris McGiver comes off like a total rube and draws attention to him always being a total rube, which is a problem since he’s the patriarch.

Nelson McCormick’s direction is fine; it’s the dramatically stalled script, credit to not new-to-“Evil” Aurin Squire.

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