Evil 3×01 “The Demon of Death” opens the series’ latest season with such an event, it’s impossible to move on. And, of course, the full truth and full consequences of that event don’t even begin to reveal themselves until we’re further along. Add all that personal angst—cleverly dressed up as actual culmination in the episode’s early moments—to every other piece of this episode’s plot, and we have quite a lot to digest.
In fact, there’s so much to this season premiere that, even after multiple viewings, we’re still picking up on things we missed the first time around. But we’re not exactly complaining there. Instead, we’re just happy to get to be entertained by it all. Over and over—and over (add in several more iterations of “over” for that opening scene)—again.
So, let’s break down the Evil Season 3 premiere as best we can…
…and, of course, we’re starting there.
About those nights
The irony of Kristen repeating the line, “to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin,” just before Kristen and David do exactly the opposite is both hilarious and a bit devastating. Or, it would be hilarious if our brains weren’t so stuck on the kiss, the tentative pause, the chemistry…and then, the ultimate guilt and avoidance that comes after. (See also: There’s the devastating part, which was always going to happen because of who these people are.)
The true genius, of course—and the bit that makes our brains completely stop functioning—is what happens when Kristen returns.
“Don’t look. Don’t turn. We’re doing this. We won’t talk about it, won’t mention it. Ever…”
Even though we later get a rude awakening in the form of a forked tongue and an increasingly not-Kristen personality, the moment where we get to fool ourselves into thinking that Kristen and David are having sex (as David later whispers) is just utter perfection. In fact, with the way Kristen’s pause in the hallway is framed and the way Katja Herbers plays that first “Other Kristen” encounter, it’s obvious that we’re supposed to spend our time watching this episode just as in the dark as David. Just as confused by what seem to be mixed signals.
…and just as incapable of wanting this to only be a one-time thing.
The whole situation builds just an incredible amount of awkwardness and angst. And while we’d love to actually, you know, get real happiness for pretty much any of our favorite characters on any of our shows, we’re not at all mad about how this series accomplishes the tug at our heartstrings. If you’re going to drag it out, make it new and interesting. Make it fresh, and make it make sense for who and what your characters are.
Mission accomplished, Evil. Well done.
Searching for the soul…or maybe “The Demon of Death”
Death is a terrifying prospect in which we are all, ultimately, alone. So, it’s more than fitting for the setting of Evil 3×01’s soul experiment to be so isolating for its subjects. And no, especially in the wake of that, don’t get me started on the throwback to that one bittersweet Season 1 moment. You know, that time on the steps when David expressed his take on how “unnerving” the prospect of death is to Kristen by quoting Shakespeare.
Then, of course, there’s Mike Colter’s dead-on portrayal of David’s reaction to the dying priest’s confession.
“My mind is full of lust—thoughts of being held, holding, that my life was pointless without love.”
David is clearly not ok when he hears this—and neither is anyone else.
Anyway, back on track…
“But what if there’s just darkness and I spent my life being an idiot?”
The whole goal here was to repeat a very real (I Googled it!) experiment from the early 1900s with all the extra diagnostic tools available in the modern era. But the answers are never clear cut or simple on this series.
So, when one test subject loses mass, only to miraculously (inconceivably, if you will) escape certain death, and another gains, what are we left to conclude?
Scientifically, something happened. Especially, you know, with the light shows and all. Mass doesn’t just disappear. It’s is also not something that can spontaneously be created out of thin air. With that being said, though, there’s no logical conclusion for us to draw here.
Perhaps, rather than “trying to use science as a crutch,” as Ben puts it, we should all just believe whatever we need to in order to help ourselves sleep at night. That seems to be the way we respond to all the other big questions, even those that do have scientific facts that can answer them, anyway.
“Science is not a game. It’s not a toy. Ok? It just needs a larger sample size.”
Hell, we completely ignore science in general, especially if it doesn’t fit our selfish wants and/or our weird “religious” desire to punish people who could become pregnant, don’t we?
Of course, the entire time Kristen and David are trying to
deal with their new post-not-sex awkward get to the bottom of the soul experiment mystery, there’s still Leland to worry about. Michael Emerson’s initial entrance in “The Demon of Death” is a thing of beauty. And then, when Kristen shows up, with that pause after she slams the door before legitimately stalking Leland…It’s the absolute lethality of Herbers for me.
Of course, Kristen has every right to want to get under Leland’s skin—though, God only knows what kind of dead goat-demon…innards would be there if she did. She’s got the image, from Lynn, of Leland grabbing Lexis’ arm. Then, there’s the just very icky “man stalking little girls online by pretending to be another little girl” vibe of the whole gameland he’s set up.
“It’s not a restraining order for me. I can take care of myself. It’s for my 11-year-old daughter.”
Pollie the Pig from Bumblebee Valley comes fully-equipped with Leland’s glasses, complaints about “her” mom, and even “prank” opportunities to put something in Lexis’ mother’s food. But what “she”—what Leland—doesn’t come prepared with is the absolute badassery required to deal with four children on your own. That, of course, belongs to Kristen Bouchard.
There’s just about nothing more hilarious than seeing Leland, with all his “power,” getting foiled by the kids, constantly sending him notifications all at once. But that’s what happens when you underestimate the powers of incredibly-online young women. While it’s doubtful that the Four Ls can be the ones to give L Number Five his big loss (or big L, if you will), we’re more than happy to see this online troll get a dose of his own medicine.
As far as his involvement with the Church and the trio goes…What’s the takeaway here? In true Leland fashion, Emerson wasn’t the most forthcoming when we asked him what his character was up to. (And we wouldn’t have it any other way.) So, let’s just make up our own theories here, too.
For me, it’s all about the shade from David and Ben. See also, time to obsess over Colter’s delivery on, “Like you said, Leland. Liability’s a cross we all have to bear.”
And cue Beethoven’s Fifth on the organ.
Additional thoughts on Evil 3×01
- Kristen really said she was sorry for *gestures* in that room. Women are forever apologizing for everything, even when it takes two to tango, huh?
- “I want you, David. I want you more than anyone I’ve ever wanted. And I’m not leaving here until you fuck me.” I just. No thoughts, just this. It was Other Kristen? Don’t care.
- David be like, “where’s Kristen” every chance he gets, huh? Same.
- Ben’s reaction to Kristen’s whole “we’re good” during her not-at-all private moment with David is basically all of us.
- “Doing what?” “I don’t know. Demon stuff!” Me, when people try to ask me to explain this series.
- “Well, I guess it’s a good thing that the Catholic Church has no issues with older men touching children.” I just love this show. They said it. Kristen said it.
- They’re finishing each other’s sentences in that Shakespeare quote throwback one minute, awkward, and angsty, and barely able to talk to each other the next? Bit unfair to my mental health.
- Extreme missed opportunity to drop an “inconceivable,” especially after “I’m not dead!”
- “No, I’m hungry!” A mood.
- “Fucking kids!” Also a mood.
- For the record, this is a Sheryl stan account. “Listen, Daddy. You don’t want to get on my bad side.” Like mother, like daughter, with the stare-down and the giving no fucks, for sure.
- Or. “Your time to be a husband was a year ago.”
- And my favorite: “Give me the clarity and wisdom to know how to stop this goddamn cock-sucking piece of motherfucking shit.”
- The contrast between Kristen, over-dressed in bed with her totally out-of-his-depth husband…And Other Kristen being sexy AF with David. It’s a lot, ok?
- Have we mentioned that Katja Herbers does that?
- “David thinks highly of you.” “Well. I think very highly of him.” Uh. Yeah…Is that what the kids are calling it?
- “What’s that?” “This is a jar.” A comedy.
- Sister Andrea, aka Cool Nun: “When you die, God won’t look at your struggle. He’ll look at what you believed. And then, that demon will return. And there’ll be no more hope. Live in fear of that day.” Seems to be a good final word on where Evil wanted to take us in this premiere.
- Just kidding. It wanted to take us here: “Unless you want me to do things to you that are truly forbidden. Bite my hand to keep from screaming.” And now, we’ll never leave.
What did you think of Evil 3×01 “The Demon of Death”? Drop us a comment!
The Evil Season 3 premiere is now streaming on Paramount+. New episodes release every Sunday.