Evil 3×03 “The Demon of Sex” ranks right up at the top of the list of the funniest and weirdest episodes this series has to offer. But surprisingly enough, despite some of the recent late night happenings, it’s not about that demon. Instead, there’s a goofy, vulgar, and confrontational demon of sex right at the center of some young newlyweds’ marriage.
As Kristen, David, and even Sister Andrea get to the bottom of what’s happening, the investigation makes one of the series’ strongest cases ever regarding the way science and faith complement one another. Or at least, the two should. It’s not an either-or, but a “yes, and.”
Elsewhere, Ben’s sister, Karima, saves the day—we’re just going to call it what it is. And Sheryl stays up to no good while we kind of…stay willing to die for her anyway.
“The Demon of Sex”
When Evil 3×03 opens with David officiating a wedding, there’s little reason to believe the newlyweds will face anything but happiness. They even get extra kisses in front of their friends and family, to the great joy of all involved.
…and then, all is silent as we see Sister Andrea praying…and noticing something’s off.
As it turns out, Leo and Amalia have been married a whole week and have physical reactions whenever they try to have sex. But not, you know, those physical reactions. There are hives, which look suspiciously like claw marks, and other problems that just get in the way. The biggest, most obvious problem—at least to Sister Andrea—is the (literal) demon in the couple’s marriage.
“It means there’s a demon in there between them. It has its hands on their shoulders.”
But since David can’t see it, he questions Sister Andrea’s private warning about the demon. And when Kristen is brought in to look for a scientific, psychological cause for Amalia and Leo’s marital issues, she and Sister Andrea do not work well together. At all. At least not in the beginning. There is zero professional respect there to start, and watching them fight through it is just entertaining as hell.
But something happens, somewhere along the way. Kristen’s role-playing attempts and advice for the couple to give in to their desires work, eventually. At the same time, Sister Andrea watches the demon of sex go from hilariously telling her to go fuck herself and shaking its ass in her face…to curling up in the fetal position. To accepting its weird place in the marriage, participating in all the sex, and somehow being in a happy relationship, of sorts.
In Evil 3×03, there’s no unanswered question about whether or not a real demon joined the marriage. We’re not asked to draw our own conclusions on if he was just a psychological manifestation of guilt or fears. Viewers still see a pretty clear message on the overbearing religious establishment’s demonization of sex, though, which we certainly appreciate.
But the demon is still there. He’s in the bedroom. He even, hilariously, leaves an ear behind to eavesdrop while taunting Sister Andrea in the hallway. But we have to accept that he’s there and face the spiritual reality for what it is while dealing with the mundane.
And by the end of the story, though Kristen and Sister Andrea spend so much of the episode at odds, there is a new mutual trust and respect between our scientist and our spiritual expert. Katja Herbers and Andrea Martin are wonderfully sarcastic and biting with one another when their characters argue. Kristen and Sister Andrea are equally firm in their beliefs and all-around tough. But by the time they find their peace, it’s the quiet way both performances show that newfound understanding and connection that really leaves a lasting impression.
“Ben the Magnificent, you are falling apart.”
Evil 3×03 sees Ben hit rock bottom before his sister does the work to drag him back up. The toilet demon’s eyeball is his last straw, but this has clearly been coming for a while. He’s always been the biggest skeptic of the trio, with Kristen fitting somewhere in what was once a firm “science only” take but now kind of in some weird—if often in denial—middle ground.
But he can’t explain the eyeball. Or the soul experiment that kicked off the season. And let’s not even begin to talk about what happened last season with the elevator game or, you know, the girlfriend.
“You can’t figure it out anymore. Things have gotten weird.”
Ben, brilliantly diagnosed by Lynn as being “depressed by how weird the world is,” is not, at all, ok. And it’s actually important that he admits that when asked on his way out the door.
How he deals with it is even more important, though. Sure, he initially refuses all phone calls and settles in with his laptop and some junk food (I feel called out). But his sister, Karima, refuses to let him give up. Not on science…but also not on faith. Or, well. That last bit is a little bit tricky. But she definitely gives him his scientific spark back, if nothing else.
Off they go to the Super Secret Science League where, after some initial skepticism, Ben has a blast. As he should. He’s with people who speak his language, which we all need to have. Not to mention, things make sense here, for him. Even the mysteries that science can’t quite yet solve seem like they just need more time, not faith in angels or demons. So, it’s a safe space for Ben.
“But still, as scientists, we have to acknowledge when something is beyond our knowledge.”
That is, until, Karima—the sibling who easily has it the most together—starts to slowly work the concept of God into the conversation. Ben agrees that, sometimes, we don’t know. But he doesn’t see faith, believing in God, as part of that acceptance. Karima, however, doesn’t think God is a matter of faith, only yet another truth. Another fact.
“I don’t believe in Allah. It’s just true. You don’t believe in something that’s true. Like the room you’re standing in.”
Her statement is so simple. Karima doesn’t have to struggle because she’s solid in her truth, whatever that is to her. And, again, it’s worth nothing that she’s not the sibling who’s having the crisis here. She is the one who comes along to help and who promises to keep helping. Karima, more than anyone or anything on this series, shows us that science and spirituality do not contradict each other. They coexist.
And learning that seems to make life more bearable. After his day in “Nerd Narnia,” as he first calls it, and after some time to process, Ben is a lot more himself. The Ben who is irritated with the kids as he tries to fix the toilet, full of defeat when he leaves the Bouchard home, is not the Ben we see at the end of Evil 3×03.
Aasif Mandvi takes us, and Ben, on a journey here. By the end of it, his faith in what he believes—that all things are possible to explain with science—is restored. But he seems, also, to have heard Karima out as well.
First, they kept us doomscrolling. Now, Leland and Sheryl are selling us…cryptocurrency. This, of course, is the height of Leland’s evil. Fake money, pawned off on the unsuspecting by rich folks, is, and always was, a bad idea. And by the time we’re watching Evil 3×03, the real world is already starting to watch its predictable fall.
But, for Sheryl, turning Makob Coin into a success story is a life or death prospect. Leland threatens her, as Leland does, and it’s up to Sheryl to find a way to raise the stock. Her “team of 30 employees—all minimum-wage millennials with meaningless promises of stock options” basically refuses to help her and does nothing but tell her they’ve got it handled and call her a Boomer.
Hi. Gen Z. is more known for the “ok, Boomer” thing. And millennials, while definitely working jobs that pay nothing…Well. We definitely deserve a break from being called “young people” and blamed for canceling every industry. Just saying.
But back to Sheryl, who winds up getting advice from Lexis on how to fix her problem with the “bullies” (millennials are bullies, really? Us?! The ones blamed for everything? Ok) at work. She recruits Malindaz, in all her “influencer” glory, and—BAM!—problem solved.
Or, really, problem successfully created.
And then, Sheryl sends a clear message to any employee who may want to mess with her from here on out: Fuck around, and find out.
And wow, is it wish fulfillment. Think of someone who had made your life miserable when you were trying to work so you could live. And remember: In Sheryl’s case, it is life or death here—just as it is for so many of us lowly millennials in our capitalist hellscape. Now that you’ve considered all that, envision having your tormenter in the palm of your hand, ready to snap out their life the way Sheryl has her assistant by the end of Evil 3×03.
It’s just delicious watching Christine Lahti turn on the condescending, self-assured version of Sheryl that nearly snuffs out Taylor’s life. This is especially true when it’s barely a moment after seeing her do her adorable happy dance.
Hell hath no fury and all that.
Now, let’s not consider the larger picture of how, for millennials, we really do have to beg our employers for our lives. And epipens. That’s…not as fun of a thought.
More thoughts on Evil 3×03
- “That’s right. High school Calculus. You were terrible.” “Guess what I’m doing now.” “Teaching Calculus.” The scream that came out of me! (Don’t get me on my soapbox about the blind leading the blind in Mathematics education in this country…)
- “No, I’m a sound recordist. But once I did use Calculus.” (The former president of my undergrad, who repeatedly talked about how no one needs Calculus, has been slaughtered by Evil. Thank you.)
- “Are you sure?” “Don’t patronize me.” I have had this conversation about my rights every single day since November 8, 2016.
- No, but the way Sister Andrea is just stone cold unaffected by every single one of the demon’s attempts to throw her off her game. An absolute icon.
- The hilarious AF demon: “Yeah. What do you mean, bitch?” Sister Andrea: *displays a total lack of fucks to give. My notes: “I would die for her.”
- “It means disgusted with the insanity of reality.” Ok. We’re all culturally derealized at this point, then. Right?
- “What is thiis, like, a MENSA thing?” “No. These are actually smart people.” Karima Shakir, genius and comedienne extraordinaire.
- “I’m always right.” Smart women always are.
- Missed opportunity for a “live long and prosper,” gang. However. Hilarious that Ben got interrupted by a nerd cliche when he was…making threats about what would happen if he heard any nerd cliches.
- It’s the “bring it on” and the nun equivalent of a Leland smirk for me.
- “I’m feeling a little attacked here.” The perpetual mood.
- As a Jew, Lila’s whole “what if” scenario with The Jews™ and lying was…not great.
- “Yeah. Because until you’re 18 and I kick you all out, I’m the most important person here. Ok?” Mom!Kristen supremacy, as always.
- “Your presence, ma’am.” “Sister.”
- “Let me be blunt, ma’am.” “Doctor.” I screamed.
- It bears repeating: The Kristen/Sister Andrea confrontation was magic from Herbers and Martin.
- “Weird’s good.” The moral of Evil.
- Kristen’s rules. The kids’ rules. Discuss.
- Did anyone else notice the girls’ sixth rule incorrectly ended in “your” when Lexis first held up the whiteboard, yet was corrected by the time she and Sheryl were sitting down?
- “Sex is something you don’t want to domesticate. You want it to run wild.” Tell that to SCOTUS.
- And now, despite being right all along, Sister Andrea is in danger. Typical.
Thoughts on Evil 3×03? Leave us a comment!