blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Evil (2019) s03e05 – The Angel of Warning

The sad thing about this episode is Matthew Kregor’s direction is good. The episode starts with Mike Colter getting called to his first emergency crisis intervention; a building collapses, and he’s there to talk to the Catholics. He doesn’t remember his collar; everyone thinks he’s a cop; it’s fairly amusing despite the grim circumstances; it’s probably the best the episode gets.

A handful of survivors see an angel. Throughout the episode, Colter and Katja Herbers will have independent experiences with the same angel. Obviously, the show gives some reasonable doubt outs for the experiences—with Colter’s being the show’s running subplot, is all this religious mumbo jumbo real?

The show’s got four plot lines: the angel investigation, Colter defending nun Andrea Martin at her hearing, Christine Lahti’s professional stuff (albeit demonic), and Herbers’s kids being scared at the right-wing fear-mongering grandma Lahti publishes to the internet. But, of course, no one in the family knows about Lahti’s job because Lahti doesn’t want Herbers knowing she’s a cannibal.

None of the plot lines pay off. Most intentionally. The angel investigation is all a red herring to tie into Colter and Martin’s hearing. Martin’s always trying to convince Colter to believe his visions, but he has a very obvious eureka moment during the angel investigation about race and religious idolatry. All of it wraps nicely into the resolution for Martin’s hearing, which gives Kurt Fuller one of his two scenes; there are still big unanswered questions outstanding with him. The show’s been ignoring one of Herbers’s kids having a demon tail all season; ignoring Fuller’s possible religious conversion is small potatoes.

Lahti’s arc is the most amusing. She gets to be funny, awkward, enthusiastic, confident, scared, uncomfortable, confused. All sorts of things. The rest of the cast gets maybe two emotions; Aasif Mandvi gets one. He doesn’t get jack this episode.

The script—credited to Rockne S. O’Bannon (which I think should be a red flag) and Erica Larson—impressively ties some of the threads together and gives director Kregor a lot of setups for character development, but none of it goes anywhere. “Evil” is all about kicking the can down the road another few episodes; they haven’t even been back to the demonic adoption agency since saying they would be at the end of last season.

Episodes like this one, with its big but presently unimportant reveals, seem geared for fifteen-second clips in future recaps, not an actual story.

I’d been getting too bullish on “Evil.” This episode’s an adjustment.

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