Michelle and Robert King have been vocal about how the move from CBS to Paramount+ has been liberating in what they can do with the show, and when Evil S3E3 is called “The Demon of Sex,” we’re probably not dealing with regular primetime material.
As we begin, a praying Sister Andrea notices a trail of slime leading from the room in which David is talking with frisky newlyweds Leo and Amalia. I immediately thought of the sludge from the demon box from “S is for Silence” and whatever it was that melted through two floors of the Bouchard household when Kristen and Andy did the deed later on in Season 2. It turns out that said sludge is stemming from a demon who has his hold on the couple, causing them to have physical problems including claw marks on Amalia’s torso when they attempt to initiate sex after saving themselves for marriage.
So begins the delightful interplay between Sister Andrea and Kristen Bouchard, who have a, shall we say, professional disagreement over how much sway the spiritual and psychological should have in examining Leo and Amalia’s intimacy problems.
A few years ago, Evil was pitched as a tense, creepy psychological/supernatural thriller. This week, the demon plaguing the newlyweds’ sex life is snarling at Sister Andrea, mooning her, and sounding like Daffy Duck when his jaw drops off due to Kristen’s sexual therapy eroding his influence on the couple–and yet it still brings the spooky. I absolutely love how the show has continued to embrace a campier vibe without abandoning the horror elements or that helpless feeling of not exactly getting complete closure of a case completely explained.
That lack of closure has been taking its toll on Ben the Magnificent, who, according to the Bouchard girls, hasn’t been very Magnificent lately. Look, we’ve all been under some stress when a toilet continues to make creepy gurlgly, creaky pipe sounds with the (hopefully rare) gushing of blood. But the Bouchard girls are insightful enough to know that it’s not just a possessed toilet that’s putting Ben on edge. As Ben plays tug-of-war with the snake he’s using to try to fix the toilet, Lynn diagnoses Ben with “Cultural derealization…when you become depressed by how weird the world is.” Ben continues to valiantly attempt to fix the toilet until a tiny eyeball floats up. The poor guy is broken, and he heads home, answering in the negative when Kristen asks if he’s okay.
This sends Ben into a brief depression spiral, complete with cartoons and pizza, until his sister Karima relentless blows him up on every phone and computer he owns in an attempt to drag him out of his stupor. Ben and Karima have a terrific, supportive dynamic, particularly on Karima’s side as she refuses to stop pounding on his door and calling him from both of her phones until he relents. Ben laments to Karima that after each case, and being faced with the angelic and the demonic, they just “move onto the next thing” without the answers that Ben thrives on. After taking Ben to a nerdy underground club (not a MENSA thing, “actually smart people”), Karima pledges to help Ben uncover the answers he needs. “Everything that God has given is solvable.” (I noted that she said “God” and not “Allah,” possibly with respect to Ben’s colleagues, though I’m not sure.) Ben is reinvigorated. Ben is Magnificent again!
Of course–of course Leland wants to push a f*cking cryptocurrency. This man’s evil knows no bounds! Makobs (appropriate name) refers to the new digital coin that Leland wants Sheryl to push to the doomscrollers and and increase its value. Episode writer Aurin Squire mines a lot of fun from Sheyl attempting to wrap her head around the concept of crypto, and doubles down on griefing Sheryl via her executive assistant (and dictionary-definition millennial) Taylor. Leland cites the film Working Girl and Harrison Ford’s line, “Make me money or I’ll kill you.” I haven’t seen Working Girl and I’m not sure that line actually exists, but Leland offers a similar threat per Sheryl getting Makob to $135k before telling her Taylor will keep him updated.
And then—YO SHERYL GOT OKAY BOOMERED BY TAYLOR! SHE GOT OKAY BOOMERED BY BOBBY THE OFFICE MANAGER TOO! It’s honestly hard not to feel just a little sorry for Sheryl, but that doesn’t really last long, since Sheryl soon bites back harder. Gifting some good-will chocolates to Taylor further in the episode, Sheryl reveals that she knows of Taylor’s Brazil nut allergy and that said chocolates contained nuts. As Taylor scrambles for her Epipen, Sheryl is shown to have swiped it, and will only give it to Taylor if the panicking assistant signs a resignation notice. Sheryl cruelly draws out Taylor’s suffering, taunting her as she escorts her out of the office, and turns around to threaten Bobby the office manager with a similar fate if she discovers his weakness. It is brutal. Like that, Sheryl is once again on top. While Leland is a character you love to hate, Sheryl can sometimes be a character you hate to love. She’s generally awful, but Taylor was appointed by Leland to spy on Sheryl and was kind of jerk, and Sheryl’s response was delightfully on-brand.
God, I hate Malindaz so much, and of course that’s by design. She’s chaotically vapid, she’s still in danger of corrupting the Bouchard daughters, and she’s a moron. After Sheryl successfully convinces Malindaz to promote Makobs, slightly more than doubling its value (and not nearly as much as Leland demanded), Malindaz does some quick mental math to proclaim that were someone to have invested $500, they’d now have $10,000! Sheryl celebrates in kind, and it’s just hilarious to watch her dance around her office without verifying the info coming from the idiot she just commissioned. Of course, Malindaz might not be as stupid as I’m saying and she’s just vomiting out numbers to appease her mass of followers. Influencer culture at its finest, I suppose.
The sex demon situation is eventually resolved…sort of, as Leo and Amalia finally unleash their repressed urges brought on by their religious upbringing and get it on after a couple of slaps, bites and a knife to the throat. The demon appears to be delighted at this as he discreetly joins the sexual encounter, and his final appearance to Sister Andrea finds him reassembled, and affirming his happiness with the couple as “the three of us.” Could their light sexual violence be leading towards something more intense, unshackled from the prior religious shame? Is this what the demon wanted, and what will make them a comfortable trio (with the uncomfortable reality of the newlyweds unaware of their companion)?
The final moments of the episode were as nail-biting as anything else so far in the season, and not for any supernatural or horror reason. Having observed Sister Andrea talking to the Sex Demon and of course not seeing the demon himself, Leland pounces on the opportunity to cite the Sister’s declining cognitive health as a reason to have her removed. The Monsignor ultimately consults with Kristen, with her psychology background and relatively unbiased opinion, on whether or not Sister Andrea appears to have been having hallucinations. The couple of seconds’ pause feels infinitely longer before Kristen, surprisingly, stands up for the Sister and denies any of Leland’s claims. Given how the two have butted heads a couple of times, I was extremely worried that Kristen would jump at the chance to get Sister Andrea out of the picture. This could have also been another chance to stick it to Leland, but immediately after Kristen approaches her (I hope) new friend, addresses her correctly, and thanks her for her help with a smile.
Man, if Sister Andrea becomes a regular part of the gang, I’m going to lose my mind. Her interactions with Kristen are so fun, and the fact that they seem to have quickly found respect for each other should pay off well in the coming weeks. She more than likely won’t, as she is beholden to her current duties, but at least make her a consultant! Hell, get Karima in the mix and get this team tackling every angle. Even if they stay on the fringes, it’s still a net benefit that each of our characters have their external rock to consult with. They’re probably going to need it in the coming weeks.
Evil is streaming weekly on Sunday on Paramount+.