blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Evil (2019) s03e10 – The Demon of the End

“Evil” leans heavily on this season finale being a transitory one, making efforts to close off some strangling story arcs. There’s some more complicated Katja Herbers and Mike Colter making eyes at each other; she, of course, doesn’t know his demon is just her in a schoolgirl outfit, which gets touched on this episode. Nun Andrea Martin shames Colter for not keeping his demons in check. She’s seemingly forgiven him from a few episodes ago, so now they can have awkward moments while Herbers’s husband, Patrick Brammall, is around for once.

Presumably. The show never seems to have Brammall available when they need him. He gets a significant arc in this episode, which ends with at least two threads going into season four. The only person without a future-facing plot line is Aasif Mandvi, actually. He’s just along for the ride.

The episode begins with a resolution to last episode’s shocking cliffhanger. Turns out Li Jun Li isn’t going to be a new regular; there are some “trust us, we’re the Catholic Church” shenanigans, with the episode further pressing the religiosity button. They try real hard to give Herbers a “questioning her agnosticism” story arc. She makes a deal with God and everything at one point. It’s not a great arc, but Herbers is lined up for an all-time big reaction scene at the beginning of next season, so the show makes it up to her. And it does give her and Colter more time together.

There’s a possibility Wallace Shawn is joining the show as a regular next episode. It seems like the job’s his if he wants it. He’s good. But the show’s also set up so it doesn’t need him to return regularly to keep things going; they’ve got the requisite cast down to an already unmanageable ten, but with fourteen or so familiar characters. It’s such a big show for so little.

The case involves Herbers’s previously off-screen only newish neighbor, Quincy Tyler Bernstine. Bernstine and Herbers share a duplex, an arrangement the show’s never made particularly clear before. The place next door is haunted and it seems to be because Brammall flushed a demon baby head down the toilet at the beginning of the season. The mystery keeps Herbers close to home for her family arc there; otherwise, it’s barely relevant. The big season finale stuff more involves Brammall, and then Herbers’s missing egg from her fertility clinic. They tack a scene on with it to get to the main cliffhanger.

It’s okay? Probably the smoothest John Dahl-directed episode I remember and, given my aversion to seeing Rockne S. O’Bannon’s name on the script credit, probably his smoothest episode too? It’s “Evil,” there’s only so much it can ever do.

Oh, there is some great stuff with Martin and Herbers’s oldest daughter, Brooklyn Shuck. It’s the first time in ages Shuck’s shown any character outside being part of the sister banter.

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