by Julian Spivey
When “Evil,” created by Robert and Michelle King of “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight” fame, debuted in the fall of 2019 on CBS it quickly became one of my favorite new shows on television. It wrapped in early 2020 and then due to the Covid-19 pandemic ended up being delayed more than a year and its second season was shipped off to the Paramount+ streaming service at the last second instead of airing on CBS.
There were probably minimal changes to the show because of this switch in where and how it’s seen – some more mature language was tacked on, it became possibly more gruesome (but that’s kind of hard to tell) and in the season two finale there’s some nudity.
What also changed between the first and second season was a bit of unevenness in the stories. Where there were few, if any, duds in the first season there were a handful of clunkers in the second season. However, amid these clunkers there were some truly terrific episodes like “S is for Silence,” which is possibly the second best episode of the series to date (I have season one’s “Room 320” as the best), and “I is for IRS.” Yes, all the season two titles have a children’s storybook theme that I hope is dropped for season three.
The biggest storyline of the season two finale “C is for Cannibal” is David’s (Mike Colter) ordination to become a priest is approaching and before the end of the episode has happened, despite some anxiety and questioning about it. All the while the team, which includes Kristen (Katja Herbers) and Ben (Aasif Mandvi), has their usual weekly case to work on in which a college student is having cannibalistic urges.
The cannibal storyline isn’t all that interesting, except for a couple of scenes, one in which David experiences a demon in the flesh for truly the first time and another in which we come to find the demons must eat the sigil of deceased demons to carry on their line of evil, in which Leland (Michael Emerson, the show’s main villain) performs essentially the satanic version of the Catholic Eucharist with the scalp of a dead demon (where the sigil was tattooed) before the new guy chows down on it.
The best part of the episode is saved for the end when at David’s ordination, Kristen sees Leland hand something to her daughter Lexis (who we’ve known all season isn’t quite right) and she confronts her daughter about it. Kristen, who gets real mama grizzly when her daughters are threatened, grabs her ice axe used for mountain climbing and seems like she’s finally going to put an end to Leland.
Instead, she ends up at David’s place and asks him to hear her confession, something she hasn’t done in probably 20 years as she’s become agnostic in her adult years. She comes clean to him about her previous murdering the serial killer Orson (who also threatened her daughters). There have been sexual inklings between David and Kristen for much of the series’ run, but of course the two have never acted upon it and now that David is a priest it’s forbidden – so what better time to have the two kiss than after his ordination and Kristen coming clean to him about offing a guy! That’s how season two ends.
It’s going to be interesting to see how “Evil” manages this moment we’ve all seen coming but will certainly have a massive impact on our two leads going forward. I can’t wait for season three but do hope the Kings can real in some of the clunkers – it’s the only thing keeping the show from being good to potentially the best on television.