Evil Season 3 uncovers a road to hell in a terrifying episode
“It’s like the start of literally 100 horror movies,” Kristen says, and captures exactly why this episode is so fun. It keeps the genre going, prolongs the suspense, and delivers the scares and humor with precise timing, often simultaneously. The second time we are on the road, alone with David, this is further complemented by a spiritual element. The hunt for demons and possible divine intervention, while open to interpretation, is white-knuckled excitement from the moment David scratches the grass in the dark to find his keys.
The effects are spooky, more realistic in the dark, and much scarier seen through the eyes of David, who sells the holy signs in a way the visual presentation only tries. When Ben points out that the team may only be seeing what they increasingly expect to see, it indicates supernatural teamwork, but also how Bad shows up. The seals the team seems to find in each dark crevice could very well be a circuit diagram, tunnel vision being one of the reasons Ben recently shattered his last nerve. So when he swaps Kristen’s “third man syndrome” theories for a cloud-chasing reality, it fills a need, but still turns into unanswered questions.
Russ Owlman, a sneaky game about a perennial black house conspiracy, is a member of a demonic family, but he only plays with drones for kicks on the dark web. The genius of the episode is that even when a mystery seems solved, it only feels like a small layer has been uncovered. The atmosphere is further clouded by the Entity, whose job it is to keep things covered. The pervasive suspense that accompanies ultra-secret Vatican services is doled out like wafers at mass and sticks to the roof of the mouth. Audiences are just starting to get used to the entity, but we can already sense that it’s going to become one of the most addictive aspects of the series. It’s not the hardest habit to break, though.
Sister Andrea is a badass nun. The opening sequence is framed as a slightly askew Stanley Kubrick set. It is spacious and desolate, even dusty, everything is designed to make the character, not a tall woman, seem small in comparison. He fails. Andrea Martin takes up space, and her character will continue to take up space in a church that tries to lock her into a silent retreat. Sister Andrea is not supposed to be silent. Her one-word answers speak volumes, and the National Coalition of Nuns’ appeal for arbitration has the power of a Teamsters strike. Like the room in which Sister Andrea is interrogated, it will not be crowded.
With very subtle notes, Bad implies that Sister Andrea’s power of faith is so strong that it can be weaponized. She’s already shown she can burn Leland Townsend (Michael Emerson) to the soul with ammonia or afternoon tea. One of the episode’s highlights comes after Sister Andrea’s session with Dr. Boggs (Kurt Fuller), who examines her for signs of dementia and sets out to hunt her own inner demons. The expectation and fear we see on Boggs’ face as he plays the celestial chords on his grand piano are delightfully blended with equal volume and deafening drollery.
Amid all the noise, Kristen seems to be getting in touch with her inner Sasha Fierce. This mini arc unfolds like a running gag. The guy she punched in the face with frozen fries hasn’t calmed down, and even on the outside her husband Andy (Patrick Brammall) continues to be useless. Why bother setting up a video call when it’s snowy and outgoing? It really does seem like audiences should feel that Kristen’s mom, Sheryl (Christine Lahti), is right.