Evil S2E13: “C Is for Cannibal” (Season 2 Finale)

A cadaver in a pop-up book bites off a finger.

We’re finally here: “C Is for Cannibal,” Evil’s Season 2 finale, opens with David proceeding with his ordination, starting with a series of quiz questions from higher ranking members of the Church. One of the hot-button issues brough up stems from David’s sermon on God’s love and race, and he’s asked whether racial politics have a place in the Church, but David stands up for himself and cites the Church’s role in not turning a blind eye to racism. It’s been mentioned several times throughout the show how irregular a Black priest is, so I’m sure this topic will not be going away.

David’s final interrogator is Renee—yes, the very same woman who nearly embroiled David into a sexual tryst last season, and the sister of David’s late, beloved Julia. We learn during this conversation that David had previously attended a program for sex addiction. He assures her that he has not needed to return to a program, but it only takes until he’s back out in his car to start having invasive mental images of sex. This, I’m sure, will be a big topic for Season 3, as it seems that these images, his affection for Kristen, and his fears of being without another person to love were all matters to give him pause in his path to ordination.

However, the Case of the Week won’t stop for ordination! This week, we’ve got college student Mitch, who is introduced moments before everyone in the immediate vicinity on campus lets out a bloodcurdling scream. It’s startling, but an unfazed Ben clarifies that the students are in Hell Week, and this is merely a primal scream. It’s an inconsequential moment, but still a great “Boo, gotcha!” moment that Evil so loves to do. Mitch has got a new one: he has an insatiable appetite for raw meat, and even human flesh.

I’d be a bald-faced liar if I said my mind didn’t immediately wander to the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode in which Charlie and Dee believe they have developed cannibalistic urges after Frank feeds them “human meat” that ends up being racoon meat that had tapeworms. “C Is for Cannibal” doesn’t end up quite like that, and the way it’s handled is unsettling enough that I maintained my focus.

Mitch has been struggling more and more with his urges, particularly when he returns home from his classes of dissecting cadavers, salivating and smelling of formaldehyde and rotting flesh. At night, he dreams that he’s in the closed-down psych ward behind the school, running away from some horrible dark force. He also zipties himself to his bed when he sleeps so he doesn’t try to bite his roommate. Mitch’s roommate, to his eternal credit, is extraordinarily chill and deadpan as he recounts this.

David is given a great surprise party also involving Dr. Kurt Boggs, Sister Andrea, some of the men in the Church who have been involved in David’s ordination (but no Bishop Marx!), Sheryl, and the Bouchard girls. This scene gives us not only more time with Ben the Magnificent and his wonderfully wholesome interaction with the Bouchard daughters, but a terrific interaction between Dr. Kurt and Sister Andrea. Kurt wants to address his sighting of a demon with “someone who won’t laugh at me.” He can’t explain what sort of hallucination would have caused this. “Why don’t you think I’ll laugh at you?” asks Sister Andrea. This nun is stone-cold, I love it. What I love more is the genuine advice she imparts to Kurt: “Stop creating fictions to avoid God!”

Dr. Kurt Boggs and Sister Andrea discuss demons.

Sister Andrea acknowledges that Kurt has devoted his life to the empirical, and when he sees something he doesn’t understand, he tries to come up with a psychological or empirical explanation. She then challenges him with the concept that what he has seen might not have a psychological explanation that he can apply to empirical knowledge—and that knowing that, he should be terrified that demons actually exist. This really ends up being a pep talk to Kurt to get him to get baptized and accept God, lest that demon he saw drags him to Hell. Still, it’s another great chance for Andrea Martin to flex her acting chops. It also paints Kurt in a slightly more positive light, with his apparent genuine concern.

I’m still really suspicious concerning Kurt’s motives, and who exactly he was calling when Kristen blew up on him a few weeks ago. He had claimed it was his wife, but we didn’t get any confirmation of that. In his last session with Kristen, Kurt announces that he’s taking a two-month hiatus. Before the end of the conversation, he expresses concern that the trauma from killing LeRoux is manifesting in ways that will continue to damage Kristen’s life, and she needs make things right in her world.

We also get a short conversation between Sheryl and the Monsignor, who expresses concern over Kristen’s resistance to Leland joining the Church in an overseer capacity. Sheryl talks up Leland and cites how the exorcism cured him. This is really interesting, because: a) the Monsignor is completely unaware that the exorcism didn’t actually work; and b) the exorcism didn’t work because Sheryl bathed Leland in blood and revitalized his malicious spirit. Sheryl may or may not be aware that she was directly complicit in derailing the exorcism, so she may or may not be speaking the truth when she reassures the Monsignor that he’s better. But that doesn’t mean she’s innocent.

Leland is most definitely not better, in any case. His new role as an overseer of Kristen, David and Ben’s work is very bad news, and he wastes no time flexing his new muscles as he derails Kristen’s session with Mitch. He convinces the Monsignor to dismiss Kristen, and proceeds to encourage Mitch to pursue his cannibalistic urges as long as the person is deceased. Leland cites the Catholic Communion as evidence that consuming human flesh is acceptable.

The big setpiece of the week comes when David breaks away from his friends exploring the abandoned psych ward, and encounters a winged demon snacking on a cadaver’s leg. The demon immediately takes chase, bearing down on David before he runs into a confused Kristen. Later, David confides in Sister Andrea, who confirms what he saw was real. “The closer you are to God, the more good and evil has corporeal presence.” She shows David a welt on her arm, from a “tail” from an attack a week ago—confirming that David is indeed in physical danger from these demons. So far, demonic visitations haven’t really had a physical effect on David, but that will change in the coming season.

David encounters a demon in the abondoned psych ward.

David and Ben respond to a phone call from Mitch’s roommate, who nonchalantly informs them that Mitch has chewed through his zipties and made his way towards the old ward with the cadavers. They manage to dissuade an anguished Mitch from chowing down on a cadaver with a bald head and sigil tattooed on said head. The sigil, they learn, is part of a sigil map charting 60 Demonic houses of Satan, going back 60 decades. A successor of a house inherits their role via consumption of his or her predecessor. Mitch literally believes that the cadaver “wants” him to eat him. Not sinister at all, right?

The feast scene is one of the most chilling of the season: Leland reveals to Mitch that they have recovered the cadaver of “his predecessor.” The bald guy with the sigil tattooed on his head. Leland carves the sigil out of the skull, and lifts the circular piece of flesh as if he were a priest presenting the Eucharist to the congregation, with the others in the room bowing their heads, and presents it to Mitch, who consumes it (or we can assume so, since it cut away just beforehand). Mitch, having consumed his predecessor, is the successor to one of the 60 Houses of Satan. This is all set once again to a haunting rendition of “Kumbaya” that also played during David’s ordination.

During David’s ordination, Leland suddenly moves to exit the church and hands Lexis a folded piece of paper with the word “Daffodil” written on it on his way. Recall that “Daffodil” was the code word Edward gave to Sheryl for her to slap a dude. Kristen grills her daughter on what Leland’s been up to, and Lexis reveals that Leland has been coming around the school and chatting with her. This is a terrifying prospect: we already know something’s off about Lexis given that she was a product of the sinister RSM Fertility, and Leland is clearly targeting her for further corruption now. Although, just to spice things up, earlier in the episode Sheryl pulls a knife on Leland and tells him, “If you ever hurt one of my granddaughters, I’ll cut off your d*ck.” That’s some consolation, and I think Sheryl’s…selective morals will continue to make her one of the most interesting characters on the show.

Upon hearing that Leland had been talking to Lexis, Kristen sets out with her ice axe once more, but instead takes a detour to David, in search of Confession. This scene is an incredible emotional climax for S2, as a newly-ordained Priest guides his dear friend through the Rites of Confession and she dissolves into anguish in his arms confessing her murder of LeRoux and her intent to murder Leland that night. This isn’t the first time Katja Herbers has been able to flex some raw emotional muscles, and she makes it look painful. It’s a searing, heartbreaking monologue and David is cleary struggling to reconcile his discomfort, shock, his love for Kristen, and his duties as a priest. The intensity of it actually brought me to tears just a little bit, too.

Kristen weeps into David's arms.

And then, THEY GET IT ON. The will-they-won’t-they ends with a bullet as this final, brutally emotional conversation is too strong for them to resist any longer and a fiery makeout scene ensues, likely escalating. This is a huge deal: David’s been a priest for like, literally hours, and Kristen is not only cheating on her husband for the second time, but is doing so with someone she cares about, has an emotional connection to, and not just as a carnal expression of power.

The finale didn’t really end on the crazy note I was expecting it to, and it didn’t expand on some of the plot points I was hoping for (RSM Fertility). But I’m okay with that, given what we got instead: Kristen and David finally doing the deed, Mitch inheriting one of the 60 houses, and Leland’s growing influence. It’s clear (as it ever has been) that Evil is playing the long game, planting seeds and letting them sit for a while. That long game, and my continuing trend of incorrectly predicting what may happen later, is just part of the fun.

Evil has quickly grown into one of my favorite series of all time. It’s a spectacularly creative drama that invites copious amounts of genuine horror, campy scares and self-aware humor, excellent characters worthy of investment, and a genuine, respectful treatment of both the spiritual and the scientific. I have completely fallen in love with these characters and I eagerly await what Michelle & Robert King have in store for Season 3.

Written by Hawk Ripjaw

Hawk Ripjaw has been sharing his opinion on film and TV since his early teens, when the local public library gave away prizes for submissions to their newsletter. Since then, he's been writing for local newspapers, international video game sites, booze-themed movie websites, and anywhere else he can throw around some media passion. He watched the Mike Myers Cat in the Hat movie over 50 times in two years, for science.

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