Evil S4E5 Recap: “How to Fly an Airplane” — Not Little Kids Anymore

Kristen, Ben and David stand in the doorway of a tunnel.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Fisher/Paramount+

The following recap contains spoilers for Evil S4E5, “How to Fly an Airplane” (directed by John Dahl and written by Sarah Acosta). 

Evil S4E5 opens with Kristen (Katja Herbers) and the girls driving home from visiting Andy at the facility he checked himself into after the chaos of last week. The girls take turns asking questions: Is Dad crazy? Are we the problem? Kristen assures them that Andy is going to be fine, but she’s doesn’t seem entirely sure herself. Returning home, the girls agree that their father didn’t seem well, while Kristen turns on the water in the bathroom to disguise the sounds of her anguished weeping. The Demon of Grief is in the bathroom with her, and his attempt to crawl into her side is barely interrupted by a phone call from David (Mike Colter): an exorcism has gone wrong. 

The exorcism subject in question, flight attendant Vicki (Mary Cavett), has slit her wrists, and Kristen, David and Ben (Aasif Mandvi), as the assessors, are being called into cover the Church from a legal standpoint, exacerbated by the fact that Father Jeffries (Darrin Baker) went around our trio to do the exorcism. The Church’s lawyer, Mr. Flowers (Reg Rogers), tells Kristen, David and Ben that if they do not identify a spiritual reason for the exorcism, the Church is liable for having jumped the gun. 

Vicki is expected to survive, but is found to have severe boils on her back. Her husband Marcus (Bryce Pinkham) is a pilot. The two work opposite shifts and sleep in separate beds, and he hasn’t experienced any skin disturbances or allergic reactions from his uniform. He also describes how Vicki would hit herself and claw at her face, and never brought her uniform home, instead leaving it at a “crash pad”—a hotel room for pilots and flight attendants to sleep at in between shifts if there wasn’t enough time to get home. 

Kristen, David and Ben visit this crash pad to piece together the pieces. Knocking at the door, Ben notices that Kristen seems troubled, and counters when she says she’s fine. Kristen finally relents and tells her friends that Andy is in a psychiatric hospital. David offers comfort and Ben assures her that he’s getting the help he needs, and he’s going to be fine. David offers for him and Ben to take on this assessment so she can take some time, but she insists she wants to stay busy. It’s a small exchange between the three, but I love when the show leans into the love and care these characters have for each other. 

Entering the crash pad, our heroes find multiple flight attendants drinking and partying, blowing off steam before a layover. Here they meet Tori (Sydney Lemmon), a coworker of Vicki’s. On a red-eye flight from Rome, Tori said Vicki told her she saw Captain Lemire, the ghost of a pilot whose flight had gone down in the Atlantic, and who had been reappearing on flights over the Atlantic whenever there was turbulence perhaps trying to cause another crash. Following the flight on which Vicki claimed to see Lemire, she collapsed to the ground, foaming at the mouth.

Tori elaborates that Vicki was transporting relics from Rome. One in particular she wouldn’t show Tori, but stated, “I need to destroy it, or it will destroy me.” Now we are talking, this is that spooky Evil I know and love! Marcus shows the relic in question to Kristen, David and Ben, and it’s an ancient-looking box housing…a piece of wood. 

Kristen hugs her daughters around the kitchen island.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Fisher/Paramount+

I thought it was interesting when, in introducing himself to Kristen and Ben at the church, Father Dominic (Chukwudi Iwuji) insists that “there is no Entity.” So what had LeConte been doing all this time? I really hope we see that sneaky son of a gun again soon. Anyway, the piece of wood in the box is, according to Father Dominic, a missing piece of the True Cross—the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified—and our heroes must transport it to the Vatican to confirm. 

This week’s intro gag read: “How to stop the haunting…watch the intro twice.” Not as funny as last week’s, but I continue to admire the commitment to the bit of watching the intro. I for one don’t need any convincing, as I need to watch it to research each week’s cast, and I certainly don’t want to be haunted, but apart from that the intro music is a certified banger. 

Returning the relic to the Vatican and reuniting it with the rest of the True Cross may be what fully exorcises Vicki, and the gang isn’t being asked: the flight is scheduled for the next day. Kristen and Ben are unsderstandably not happy about this, but Father Dement (Patrick Breen), as their de facto employer, isn’t taking no for an answer. Kristen arranges for a babysitter in Yasmine (Dana Gourrier), despite Lynn (Brooklyn Shuck) insisting that she can care for her younger sisters. 

She gets her chance anyway, as Yasmine quickly gets an emergency call and needs to leave. And what a chance it is, as Lila (Skylar Gray), Lexis (Maddy Crocco) and Laura (Dalya Knapp) almost immediately trip the breaker by running three hair dryers simultaneously. The girls consult a YouTube video featuring Bob the Built Builder, a ridiculous-looking man wearing suspenders with no shirt, to help them restore power to the house. 

To find the circuit breaker, Lynn takes Lila to the basement. As Lynn randomly starts throwing switches, Lila breaks the silence by asking Lynn if she’s becoming more religious, and if it’s because of their father. Remember that Lynn is apparently being mentored by Sister Andrea to become a nun, against Kristen’s wishes. Lila also laments that Kristen may be “losing it,” and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that just yet. 

The girls also find a massive hole in the wall. What follows is a lot of bats, and a lot of four little Bouchard daughters screaming in terror. I loved the little detail of the bats all having glowing red eyes, and the shot of them all hanging on the walls up the house’s upper stairwell was terrific. The girls manage to reunite in the kitchen, but one more bat in there scares them outside. It’s not a good night for the girls, as a falling branch, a lightning storm, a large centipede on the fake rock to unlock the shed, and being completely locked out from the house finally prompt the terrified sisters to make a call to Sheryl (Christine Lahti). 

In the limo on the way to the Vatican with David, Ben and three stern-looking priests, Kristen receives a text from her daughters that everything is fine. Kristen kept worrying that something would go wrong, a testament to her motherly instincts given the terror her girls are going through back home. Ben wants something to eat, and Kristen wants to take a picture of the Coliseum, but the priests refuse to provide food or even lower the window until the relic has been returned. Ben says he doesn’t think they speak English, so Kristen starts singing the extremely vulgar “Sodomy” from Hair. Kristen remarks that the priests don’t seem happy with them, and the look David gives her is priceless. 

When they arrive at a very non-Vatican-looking alleyway, the character credited only as Sternest Priest (Vincenzo Amato) says, “You get out here,” hilariously confirming that he at least does indeed know some English. The trio head down a tunnel, where they encounter a sheepish Father Dominic, who insists that there was no reason for not having flown with the trio, and awkwardly denies Ben’s accusation that he flew separately because he thought the relic would cause the plane to crash.  

When they arrive at the room in which the base of the True Cross is housed, both Dominic and David use the bowl of Holy Water to make the Sign of the Cross, while Ben keeps his hand in his pockets and Kristen reaches for it, but stops short of actually partaking. In the room, Father Dominic attempts to fit the relic into the True Cross, but is unable to: the relic is a counterfeit, and therefore Vicki remains “possessed.” Father Dominic sends the trio home with a vial of Holy Water blessed by the Pope, and the instruction to explain to Vicki that the relic was counterfeit. 

Father Dominic, flanked by David, Kristen and Ben, attempts to fit the relic into the True Cross.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Fisher/Paramount+

Over the phone, Lynn assures her mother that everything went fine, while disguising the fact that Sheryl came over and managed to rid the house of the bats. The girls collectively fawn over the Antichrist that Sheryl brought over because Leland is too much of a child himself to effectively take care of him. I don’t know if I should call the child by his name, Timothy, or keep calling him the Antichrist, which, since this is Evil, may or may not even be the case. 

On the flight home, Kristen, David and Ben find that Tori is their flight attendant. Tori is not happy to see the relic box sitting on the seat, given that Vicki was convinced it was going to crash the plane, but David insists that it’s a fake, and Ben assures her that the plane is not going to crash. Tori isn’t convinced. 

During the flight, the light above the seat on which the relic is placed keeps turning on, despite Kristen repeatedly turning it off. David is informed that he has a phone call: it’s Father Dominic, telling David that while the piece of wood might not have been a genuine relic, the box containing it is. It’s a demonic relic, part of a collection being assembled in service of an Ultimate Corruption in New York. “So, an Ultimate Evil is coming to New York?” David asks. 

“It’s already there.” And with that, the airplane is thrown into chaos: flashing lightning and severe turbulence. Before David has to stumble back to his seat, Father Dominic tells him that he must not let that piece reach New York. As the plane continues to experience turbulence, David starts to see flashes of the ghost of Captain Lemire (Andrew Breving). The real captain’s voice over the speaker transforms into demonic screaming, and David realizes that he must destroy the relic. He grabs the vial of Holy Water given to him by Father Dominic and begins throwing it onto the box, which fully dissolves, after which the plane immediately is freed from the turbulence and chaos. What a climax! 

Sheryl finally spills the beans on the Antichrist. Holding back tears, she informs the girls that he’s their brother. What’s Sheryl’s angle here? She clearly loves the girls, and maybe couldn’t bear to hold the truth from them any longer. This could also be a play to further pit the girls against Leland in her crusade against the villain if she shares additional details, but this will come with the consequence of souring Kristen against her even more. I have zero doubts that at least one of the girls will press Kristen on this soon. 

This week was back to spookier Evil, which I appreciated. While not as entertaining as last week, the mythos around Christ’s cross, the humor in the Vatican’s secrecy, and the ghost elements made “How to Fly an Airplane” a great time. We’re now halfway through what was originally going to be 10-episode Season 4, but Paramount+ gave the Evil team another four episodes, so it remains to be seen how things will ramp up in the coming weeks, and get wrapped up in those final episodes. We’ll find out together!

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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