‘Evil’ 1×01 Review “Pilot”

Science vs. faith. That’s what it all boils down to on CBS’s new “horror drama,” Evil.

In its pilot episode, we see Dr. Kristen Bouchard- a skeptical psychologist, cross paths with David Acosta- a priest in training. To be honest, it was a bit underwhelming. It all seemed a little too cliché, with the idea of a non-believer being in the center of an unexplainable event- only to be intrigued enough by the end to want to continue on this adventure. Luke Cage (Mike Colter) aka Acosta (Colter will always pop up in my head as Luke Cage first), had a pretty solid performance in the first episode. It’s Katja Herbers that I’m a bit worried about. Something about her acting seemed dull and just not… believable. Perhaps it’s the lack of emotions that are conveyed from her facial expressions. I’m not sure- but I’m guessing.

Aside from acting, the plot of the show seems… stable enough. For now. It was interesting that the show decided to explain away this event, in its pilot episode with just straight logic and rationale; especially considering that the premise is to go on a journey with these characters and discover the world of the unknown. But, no demons, angels, heaven or hell in episode one- so it will be interesting when and if the duo – or trio- come across a real demon or miracle. The show has a touch of The Exorcist in it – which was canceled a little too soon in my opinion, with just not as many scares, yet. (Let’s be real! George was more funny and uncomfortable than scary). It’d be nice to see the show continue to ask the hard questions: Science or faith? Are demons real? And if they are, how does that affect our justice system?

I do hope that while there’s a new “occurrence” every episode, that there is an overarching plot throughout the season that will bring it all back together. Shout out to Bones to be able to do this extremely well! My guess is, that this big plot may have something to do with “The 60”- who were mentioned once, in a hushed whisper, a petrified close up of Kristen and such eerie music playing in the background that it couldn’t just be written off as a casual comment.

It’s a bit early to judge too much right now. The show has already dropped some pretty big bread crumbs on some mysteries we’ll see, or subplots that will be up and coming such as Kristen’s husband, why she’s not a Catholic anymore, and just exactly who is Julia to Acosta. Evil hasn’t shied away from telling us there’s sexual tension between the two leads (it’s almost exclusively what George the demon talks about), so I almost want to place a bet with someone to see how long it will be before Kristen’s husband turns out to be a demon, or one of these “psychopaths” that Acosta has been talking about- and they hook up.

It’s a theory. Just saying.

Additionally, one of the best aspects of the pilot, in my opinion, was to watch Kristen go to extreme lengths to explain away anything that challenged her disbelief in religion. Not for a second did she believe that it could just be anything supernatural (even with a priest by her side telling her that demons exist!), and it will also be a lot of fun to watch that change slowly over time and seasons.

As of right now, I’m not completely writing Evil off, but I am saying that it needs to be a bit more expansive and engaging. I didn’t get that in the first episode, but pilots are rarely an exact indication of what a show will be like. I want mysteries- real Fringe mysteries, that can’t be explained away by a crazy Walter Bishop-esque scientist, and I hope we get a chance to see that.

Evil airs Thursdays on CBS at 10/9c.

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