Evil S4E8 Recap: “How to Save a Life” — Weather’s Getting Weirder These Days

David prays at his bed.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Longchamp/Paramount+

The following recap contains spoilers for Evil S4E8 “How to Save a Life” (directed by Tyne Rafaeli and written by Nialla LeBouef). 

Sheryl (Christine Lahti) enters the empty church in the opening scene to Evil S4E8, “How to Save a Life.” She declines to use holy water and salutes the crucifix, before entering the confession booth with David (Mike Colter). She unsurprisingly doesn’t have a confession, but just wants to talk to David. Sheryl is worried she’s going to be murdered in the coming days by Leland, on account of her attempting to kill him. Sheryl admits that she never believed in the power of God, but the church is the one place Leland is afraid of. She also asks that David tell Kristen to protect Lexis, the alleged “John the Baptist of the Antichrist,” and asks that David baptize Timothy/the Antichrist the next day. David agrees, and Sheryl leaves. There’s a lot in this scene, not all of which I need to specifically delve into, but the conversation between Sheryl and David is really terrific, especially with the acting from Lahti and how she exemplifies Sheryl’s shame over her past actions and the problems she has with the Catholic Church. 

David returns to his quarters, only for Father Dominic (Chukwudi Iwudi) to come bursting out, worried about the evil coming to New York. The items presented to David this week are a danish, what appears to be a cigar cutter, and a large dagger. David asks the question on all of our lips: “How do you get this stuff?” Father Dominic ignores the question, asking David to focus on the objects, and presents him with new coordinates, telling him that in a successful remote viewing, he will see a red painting. David begins to protest, but suddenly gets a vision of Kristen entering her bathroom and disrobing. David chalks it up to an AOL (Analytical Overlay), a previous thought that can invade his attempts to remote view. Father Dominic tells him that if he can name objects in the vision from his actual life, they will fade away from the vision. 

David goes for a run to clear his head, and upon returning home, is greeted by a group of strangers singing “Happy Birthday” to Tyler (Sean Patrick Thomas), a man standing behind him. Tyler steps through David to greet his friends and family, revealing this to be an AOL. A knock at David’s door dispels the AOL, and upon answering it, he finds Kristen (Katja Herbers) and Ben (Aasif Mandvi) with a cake to greet David for his own birthday. Each of the Bouchard daughters designed a fourth of the cake, and in an interesting detail, David notes one fourth is a solid red, stated by Kristen to be designed by Lexis, as red is her favorite color. 

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

As they drink together, David describes his vision to his friends. Kristen leans weirdly close towards David and suggests that the vision could have been David’s idealization of a “normal” life outside of the priesthood, as a PR representative in Brooklyn. David never mentioned Brooklyn, but it feels “right” that Tyler is based there. Ben’s suggestion that he and Kristen should head out is interrupted by Kristen cracking open another canned margarita, and the three of them bond over singing The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” together. 

Leland (Michael Emerson) is having a pentagram painted on his living room floor, before the demonic Manager (voice of Kevin Chapman) and two other executives carrying a manger ring his doorbell. There’s no doubt that they’re preparing some sort of demonic ritual. Leland’s continued failure to calm down Timothy/the Antichrist will never not be amusing. He calls Leslie (Molly Brown) to pick up the kid, and she, at Sheryl’s behest, insists on keeping him until the next day. 

David’s next remote viewing of Tyler finds the man talking with his wife (Roslyn Ruff), mourning the death of his son. His wife tells him that she doesn’t want to lose him, and he reassures her that he wants the family to always be together. A moment later, we learn what he meant by this, as Tyler removes a gun from his desk, and contemplates killing his family and then himself. David begs God for help to stop Tyler, and Tyler, aiming the gun at his daughter, is stopped by the dog licking his hand and snapping him back to reality. He locks the gun back up in his desk and leaves. The rising score in this scene really escalated the tension excellently. 

Father Dominic is disinterested in David’s AOL of Tyler attempting a murder-suicide and asks David to focus on the totems, despite this being the most comprehensive vision David has yet had. David, for his part, believes that he is meant to intervene before Tyler carries out his intentions. Father Dominic reiterates that David must focus on the evil coming to New York, and David insists that this is evil, and wants to find out who this man is, and save him. 

Shockingly, David’s appeal to Sister Andrea for help is met with her kicking him out of her quarters as she refers to remote viewing as “magic tricks.” Although, I was amused that Sister Andrea knew it was David knocking at her door just by the way he knocks. Anyway, after David asserts that he’s trying to stop Tyler from killing himself and his family, Sister Andrea suggests that David play the Heavenly Chord, a chord progression involving FGAC on the left hand, and GCDE on the right hand. Played simultaneously, David is able to revisit his vision of Tyler’s room voluntarily. Unfortunately, he can’t quite conjure the image of Tyler’s mail to get his address, but does recognize a drawing of an angel holding a lamb that Adina (Miche Braden) drew in “The Angel of Warning.” Kristen insists that they go talk to Adina themselves. Adina, for her part, hasn’t been in possession of the drawing, nor did she give it to anyone. 

Knowing that she needs to get Timothy/the Antichrist baptized tonight, Sheryl calls the church and only gets Father Ignatius (Wallace Shawn). She refuses to take no for an answer from the confused priest, and sets off for the church, where Sister Andrea attempts to turn them away. Sheryl gives it to Sister Andrea straight: Timothy is the Antichrist, Leland is his father, and he needs to be baptized tonight. Sister Andrea smells something, and pulls back the blanket to find a demonic child in the carrier. This appears to be confirmation that Timothy is indeed the Antichrist, or at the very least some sort of demon. This is all she needs to let them in to continue with the baptism. 

The baptism scene is awesome. The power goes out, and the pipes freeze. Forces are attempting to stop this baptism. “You will not defeat us,” Sister Andrea says defiantly. She grabs a mop bucket and runs outside, holding it over her head to collect rainwater during the downpour. Sister Andrea always comes in clutch in the most epic way. 

Sister Andrea, Father Ignatius, and Sheryl stand in the chapel.
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Fisher/Paramount+

As the demonic Antichrist baby cries like a baby dinosaur (because I totally know what that sounds like, but whatever), Father Ignatius begins to baptize Timothy over the bucket of blessed rainwater. The doors blow open! Father Ignatius asks Sheryl if she rejects Satan and all of his works and empty promises. Sheryl pauses for what seems like an eternity, before saying that she does. Ignatius asks Sheryl if she believes in forgiveness, to which she responds much more quickly that she does, and Father Ignatius completes the baptism. The lights immediately spring back on, the storm appears to subside slightly, and Sister Andrea no longer sees a demon, but Timothy as a human child. Sheryl asks to take a picture of Sister Andrea and Father Ignatius holding Timothy, as well as asking for the baptismal certificate. With those in hand, she returns to Leland’s apartment and nails both to the door. “Like Martin Luther, motherf*cker.”

After describing the odd circumstances around baptizing the Antichrist, Father Ignatius has a new case for David, but David asks for it to be postponed to the following day. Father Ignatius asks if it’s because of the Father Dominic business, and after David responds in the affirmative, Father Ignatius warns him to be careful: he doesn’t trust Father Dominic. I don’t know about you, but I trust whatever Wallace Shawn says. 

The baptism has caused a profound change in Timothy: he’s sweet, smiley and giggly, with no crying whatsoever. Leland shrugs and approaches his apartment door with Timothy in tow, which is where he sees the baptism certificate, and behind it, the photo of Sister Andrea and Father Ignatius holding the baby. Leland’s shocked and frustrated yell over the cut to black has to be one of my favorite moments in the season so far. Leland is very close to smothering Timothy with a pillow, but is interrupted by a text from the Manager. 

David recruits Kristen and Ben to help him remove AOLs from his remote viewing: he’ll call out things that he sees in the viewing, and if his friends recognize them from David’s life, they’ll write them down and say them, which should eradicate the objects from the viewing. Trying this ends up fairly successful: as David calls out things he sees, Ben and Kristen remind him of objects they’ve encountered from the past, and sure enough, they disappear from David’s view. One object in particular, a yellow book titled Feeling Your Way Through It, is a book on depression that Kristen recognizes as a book that Dr. Kurt gives to all of his patients. 

Dr. Kurt (Kurt Fuller) gets a call from Kristen, asking about a patient named Tyler. Dr. Kurt can’t give her any information due to confidentiality, and anyway he is about to enter a session. During the session, his patient mentions her husband, Tyler—this patient is Tyler’s wife. Upon realizing this, Dr. Kurt steps out for a moment to call Kristen back. He can’t tell her much, but he tells her enough. Kristen, David and Ben follow Tyler’s wife after her session, and when Tyler returns home, David finally confronts him. In one of David’s remote viewings, David begged God for help, and Tyler heard him, and reached out. David tells Tyler that it was God in that room, and Tyler admits that he planned the deaths of his family. Breaking down, Tyler embraces David and says that he’ll do anything for his family. 

The DF stockholders stand around Timothy's manger in Leland's apartment.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Longchamp/Paramount+

One floor above in Leland’s apartment, the DF stockholders gather for the Antichrist’s ritual. All three of Father Dominic’s totems from the beginning of the episode appear here: the danish and the cigar cutter are seen on a table, and the dagger is passed around for everyone to slice their palms and dribble their blood on the floor around Timothy’s manger. The Manager proclaims that their masterpiece is complete, and a veil is pulled down from a painting. We don’t see the painting, but it gives off a red hue, which completes the totems Father Dominic presented, and also aligns with coordinates he gave David. What could this mean?

As things are starting to come together, I hope we get some more sigil action in the next couple of episodes, and the four final ones after them. For this episode, the baptism was the highlight of the week, but the sequences with Tyler were very tense, and the bonding between the core trio were nice. I also was very intrigued by Father Ignatius being skeptical of Father Dominic, and I feel like Father Ignatius might know what he’s talking about. To boot, Sister Andrea and LeConte both being skeptical of remote viewing lends credence to Father Dominic not being entirely credible. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.

Evil streams Thursdays on Paramount+. 

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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