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It was around the time Kristen Bouchard’s (Katja Herbers) homicide detective friend Mira Byrd (Kristen Connolly) popped over for a visit and, after being introduced to Priest-in-Training David Acosta (Mike Colter), turned to Kristen to ask, “Are you Fleabagging it?” that I stood up and said aloud to no one, “I just really love this show.” It was very sincere and emotional and I wish you could’ve seen it. I cannot be alone in this! Aside from clever writing and pitch-perfect cultural references, the other thing Evil is doing that really gets me going is that in “Vatican III,” the show is starting to connect some dots. Evil works extremely well as a case-of-the-week procedural, but from the beginning it was clear there was a larger story being told. In this episode, the procedural elements are starting to inform the bigger picture in a much clearer way, and we’re getting solid clues as to what’s going on here. Of course, any answers we might find only beget like 300 more questions, but that’s okay because you can tell this show has a plan. And man do I enjoy a show with a plan, even more so than I do shows with self-referential hot priest jokes, which, as you can tell, I enjoy a lot!
So let’s get into how things are starting to connect. Our team has a lot on their plates this week. First, they’re meeting with three assessors sent from the Vatican in regards to Grace the Prophet from last week. Honestly, they seem more curious about Kristen’s birth control situation and Ben (Aasif Mandvi) growing up Muslim than getting to any truth about a possible prophet who may be heralding the end of the world, but sure, “they’re just doing their job.” Thankfully, David puts an end to their ridiculous questioning and tells the Monsignor (Boris McGiver) that they won’t answer any more questions about Grace until they get an apology. The next time they chat with the assessors, it is as a team because David is a goddamned hero!
The assessors press for more information about what Grace was writing while in ICE detention (the guard who threw out her notes mysteriously disappeared), but our team wants something in return for their help — they want to see the full codex of prophecies. The Vatican assessors take them into a secure room and show them the ancient codex. Aside from reminding Ben that he could look at the security footage from when Grace was detained and figuring out that one of the things she was writing translates to a “massacre of the innocents,” which sounds great for everyone, it also allows Kristen and David to get a look at a document that seems to be a key to so many of the shenanigans going on. It’s a hierarchical map of demon sigils — 60 OF THEM, IT SHOULD BE NOTED. And wouldn’t ya know, one of those sigils looks EXACTLY like the weird drawing Leland (Michael Emerson) put into one of the diaries he gave Kristen’s daughters as his “I’m Dating Your Grandma” Gifts.
It should also be noted that when David finds out that Leland was in Kristen’s house and is obviously targeting her by dating her mother, he is extremely concerned and protective, and, like, can’t we really just be Fleabagging it at this point? Are we not owed that for all the demon sigil stuff? Can we not have good things?!
The answer is no, we cannot. We can only have demon sigil-related things. According to David, and his Wikipedia search, these sigils are believed to have magic powers and act as a way for demons to recognize one another. The sigil Leland drew was that of Anatas, the “king of the beasts,” who feeds off of the sins and lies of humans, which is like so Leland, amirite?
Speaking of, feeding off the sins and lies of humans to gain power is exactly what Leland is up to this week as well. This time, he finds Sebastian (Noah Robbins), whom you may remember as the pissed off IT guy who hacked the high-strung Broadway producer’s office, after he’s spurned by his local barista and pissed about it. Leland uses that anger to manipulate Sebastian further, and in just a few meetings — he gets the guy into therapy sessions with him — turns him into a woman-hating incel who derives power from punishing the women who hurt him. Leland encourages him to join a like-minded online community, and in a truly nauseating scene, Sebastian joins other incels in planning an attack. Everything that Evil laid out in the pilot episode about Leland breeding evil and chaos, and about evil being able to thrive because people are more connected than ever, is coming to fruition here. Leland’s plans are working.
Okay, so let’s get back to this light storyline about demons and the end of the world, shall we?
The team is dealing with more than just mysterious codexes in stark white rooms: There is yet another exorcism situation at hand! This time, the Monsignor shows them video of an exorcism in progress, in which the possessed, Bridget Farrell (Annaleigh Ashford), who is nightmarish levels of scary, admits to killing a young boy named Enrique and then calling his parents to tell them but only being able to laugh. This demon’s name is Howard, and a thing I did not know I was here for but am definitely here for is all these demons with regular dude names. This choice truly brings me joy, but not too much because we are talking about demons.
Kristen believes they could be dealing with split personality disorder, but really what they are investigating is whether Bridget/Howard actually committed a murder. There’s a lot of debate: If someone really was killed, is Bridget to blame or is Howard? You know, your typical “Can We Say the Demon Did It?” ethical quandary. But before we can get into that mess, they need to know if this murder actually happened. This is what brings Kristen to her aforementioned homicide detective and apparent rock climbing buddy, Mira. When Kristen not-so-casually asks her about any cases involving a boy named Enrique and the parents getting a prank call after, Mira sits in shock. How could Kristen possibly know details like that when they haven’t been released by the police?
So, the answer is yes — Bridget/Howard’s story about Enrique checks out, and more than that, there are two other missing Latino boys in the area whose parents received the same phone call. Bridget/Howard must’ve killed three boys. Kristen’s in a tough spot — giving up Bridget would sort of go against patient confidentiality, and in the end, after some intense ethical duty vs. justice debates I imagine Kristen had internally, she decides she can’t give Bridget up, but she can tell Mira the location of the bodies.
The team reconvenes at the Farrell house as signs point to the end of Bridget’s possession. Before that happens, however, Ben walks in on Dwight Farrell (Dan Bittner) calling the police and turning his wife in. It is highly suspicious, and honestly, never trust a man named Dwight (a good demon name, by the way). By the time Bridget returns to herself, the police — including Mira — are at the door, ready to take her away. Case closed!
Just kidding! Ben informs Kristen and David about Dwight’s phone call and some other suspicious activity, and it doesn’t take long for them to figure out that Dwight framed his poor, possessed wife. David goes to see Dwight ALONE and AT NIGHT and finds this dude going through his stash of souvenirs from his kills, along with the murder weapon, in his little hiding space behind a baseboard in his house. At first Dwight tries to say he was hiding these things to help his wife, but then he gives up the act and attacks David. David easily puts him in a sleeper hold because, hi, have you seen him? The shocking part is not that Dwight actually murdered those boys (he gets arrested and Bridget is released); the shocking part is that engraved on the baseboard where Dwight was hiding all of his murdery things is one of the demon sigils from the map in the codex.
Thanks to the handy-dandy photos Kristen snapped of the demon sigil map, the team now has a copy of their own and will be able to be on the lookout for more of them out in the world. David’s obviously using it as a literal demon tracker, but Kristen assures Ben that she hasn’t defected to Team Faith just yet, but if this is where all the psychopaths they’re dealing with are leading them, they need to follow up. While they’re looking the document over, David gets a concerned look on his face — he recognizes another one of the symbols. He grabs an art book off his desk and starts flipping through the pages. On every painting by the artist in that book, one of the sigils is drawn in the corner. And the artist just so happens to be David’s father. So, yes, that is concerning.
Evil airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS.
Previously on Evil…
Evil Season 1, Episode 1 Recap: “Pilot” |Evil Season 1, Episode 2 Recap: “177 Minutes” |Evil Season 1, Episode 3 Recap: “3 Stars” |Evil Season 1, Episode 4 Recap: “Rose390” | Evil Season 1, Episode 5 Recap: “October 31” | Evil Season 1, Episode 6 Recap: “Let x = 9”
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