Evil 3×10 “The Demon of The End” showcases the brilliance of this series, and its third season in particular, in ways that bring everything full circle and leave plenty of room for more storytelling. Before diving in to specific chunks of plot, it’s worth noting how the final sequence is enough to make you just sit back and realize how beyond special this show really is. As Dr. Boggs quips when he sidles up to Andy at that jaw-dropping demon nativity, which gathers together the demons we’ve met in this third season, “beautiful, isn’t it?”
Because it is. The demons themselves might not be, but the way everything comes together has a certain beauty — even of the grotesque type — that defies any description we might come up with here. So, let’s just say that Kristen’s big realization, Leland’s glee, Sheryl’s poor attempt at a cover-up…all as David prays away his temptation and Andy sees that…makes for very, very good TV. And, again, that’s only the final sequence, complete with the perfect soundtrack.
But we’re just getting started on everything we love about Evil 3×10. And all the questions, and answers, it’s left us with.
The Father David of it all
Earlier this season, David was struggling. Being a priest seemed to be all empty masses, listening to old white dudes slurping away at their bland soup, and taking the world’s most boring confessions. But he found some kind of purpose — and realized it, when Grace was brought home safely — through his secret work.
Even in the midst of all of that though, he’s never quite been able to shake his own personal demon. Literally. Demon Kristen has been David’s own, personal demon.
But in Evil 3×10, something happens. He demands, loudly, for her to leave. It’s another case of David, who is usually so very reserved and careful, being big and bold. It’s similar to how he projected when he speaking up for Grace when she needed a break in this season’s penultimate episode. Mission accomplished almost immediately there, a little bit more slowly here.
But it’s in “The Demon of The End,” after projects with conviction, that Sister Andrea finally realizes it’s time to make her move — to bring him a mosquito net. Before now, he probably wouldn’t have taken her advice. He definitely wasn’t ready to even admit what he was dealing with.
But in Evil 3×10, he’s honest with the nun, whereas last time they danced around this issue, that wasn’t the case. So, toward the end of the episode, when he jogs down the street and manages to refuse not-Kristen’s attempts to, quite literally, remove him from his path, that’s a pretty huge deal. Even bigger: He eventually uses the mosquito net…and she disappears.
On the one hand, we hope to see her again in Season 4 because it gives both Mike Colter and Katja Herbers completely different material to work with. But on the other, based on what this might say about David’s strengthening faith…
Perhaps Evil 3×10 truly is the last we’ll see of her.
There’s more to discuss here, though.
In general, David’s so much more comfortable with being Father David in Evil 3×10 than he has, overall, been before now. Superficially, he fits the look much more. It’s a complete departure from “The Angel of Warning,” where it was so easy to mistake him for anything else.
But his actions are telling, as well.
He prays for Andy, even when getting rid of the guy — as Demon Kristen points out, kind of voicing our darkest opinions on the matter — and introducing Kristen to God would be a way past her defenses. And then, there’s the scene where he basically tells Kristen she should probably stop living in denial.
“I think God keeps revealing himself. And at a certain point, you have to acknowledge it.”
It’s like he’s equal parts priest and friend here, whereas he’d normally be just “friend.” (Or whatever they are.) A parable, not Shakespeare, if you will.
If David had any doubts about who he was, or what he believed, when he began this third season, they’re beginning to fade into the ether in this finale. While we could talk about our favorite schoolgirl demon all night, the conversation with Father Ignatius is probably the most obvious indication of that.
Ignatius is, perhaps, in the process of losing his own faith. He may even have lost it already.But David believes. Even with everything he’s seen, he believes. To him, it’s so simple.
“Because…I believe God is good.”
If we look at all the genius ways Evil 3×10 ties up season-wide arcs and leaves the door open for more, David’s story is one of the prime examples. He started as a new priest, unsure of where he fit in. Willing to continue his hot demon affair, even when he realized Hot Demon was…a demon.
He’s come a long way. But there’s plenty of movement — in any and all directions — to go. Could giving up on certain emotional attachments lead him down a road that makes him no longer see God as a comfort, as has happened with Ignatius? Or will he just keep seeing more and more of the light?
Earlier this season, Kristen’s daughters trolled the troll (Leland, of course). Now, in Evil 3×10, they foil one of his biggest plans yet. Which, first of all, never underestimate young girls. Period. But secondly, we feel a little bit “had” here because, when we asked Michael Emerson about the girls beating Leland, specifically, he told us he “wouldn’t hold out for the daughters as being the salvation of good in the world.”
Which, ok. Technically, bringing Andy home isn’t exactly going to save the world on its own…But considering we’ve seen how even the tiniest things fit together —because, as always, the writing is top notch — couldn’t that be enough to tip the scales more on the side of good? It certainly gets Kristen, yet again, questioning whether or not she might need to believe in something. Except she hates religious people, and “can’t” (won’t) believe. Even so, it’s something. A seed of thought and the start of some wondering, so we’ll see what happens next.
But the big point, aside from not totally crushing Kristen and not making it much easier for some kind of Kristen/David thing to potentially lure him further away from his path, might just be the effect all of this has on Sheryl. Is there any point at which she’ll stop actively trying to hurt her family? We know she cares, after all.
Either way, it’s definitely got us thinking — in big ways — about what it all says about her. If nothing else.
“I’m so, so sorry.”
When you look at the way Christine Lahti walks through the Bouchard house when she expects her daughter and granddaughters to get the call about Andy’s “tragic” death, it’s really telling. As in, she’s moving with the kind of dread that makes it look like she’s walking off to her own execution. That’s not to say she’s not all-in with the power she’s managed to gain for herself in Evil‘s third season — she certainly is.
And that’s painfully, horrifyingly obvious during the ending sequence. (Which, again, we have to say is pure perfection from top to bottom.)
But, while she’s whispering the “I’m so sorry, but I know your dad would want you to carry on” line to herself, it may feel rehearsed. The extra “I’m so, so sorry” on the end of that, though…is not as clear.
The whole point of Sheryl showing up when she does is to swoop in and give comfort. This whole thing started because Andy didn’t want her coming around, after all. But now, she gets to be there to rush the girls out of the room, just in time, to protect them from hearing the bad news from someone who doesn’t care. It puts all the pain on her daughter but at least spares the children.
And Lahti just infuses the character with this sense of dread the whole time. There’s a certain frantic…something here that points to a lot more going on.
When Andy returns, with no memory of what happened and a sudden fondness for Sheryl, though. Now, that’s where the questions start to pile up. We’ve wondered, for so long, just how much of the Sheryl we see now is 100% herself…Based on the changes in Andy, it’s pretty safe to conclude “not all.” And as she’s trying so hard to cover her tracks — erasing Grace’s drawing after Andy sees it and has some kind of episode, stashing Kristen in her office to try and avoid her seeing the big baby shower at work — how much of our beloved Grandma Sheryl is forcing itself to the surface?
…or how much is it just her trying to stay “in” with the family so she can keep doing whatever she and Leland have in store for Lexis?
Really, the only answer here is “whatever the truth is, it’ll surprise us. Because this is Evil,” with a healthy side order of, “dear God, do we love Christine Lahti in this role. Very few others could make us not want to kick her ass for all of it.”
The good daughters and the evil daughters?
Everything on Evil has a sense of balance to it. So, it might be interesting to consider the fact that Kristen has an even number of daughters. Especially after, in “The Demon of The End,” Lynn admits to possibly wanting to become a nun. Even when she watches Sister Andrea, creeping through the house with a shovel and smashing at things only the nun can see, she stays interested. And when Kristen yells at her for even considering the possibility, Lynn still seems to want to see what’s out there.
Then, there’s Laura, who was so enthralled with Dr. Boggs’ book. Even after that, she still tells her mom she’s “a good girl.” It’s her sole reason for not doing whatever the mysterious “Crystal” in the walls wants her to do — she’s good. Full stop. She’s also determined to believe Grace’s words about her dad, even before pinging Pollie the Pig exposes Leland’s lie.
We know Leland and Sheryl are after Lexis. That…just leaves Lila. Who knows?
Regardless of what happens with the other two girls, there still seems to be at least some kind of setup for Lynn and Lexis to be at odds going forward. Further planting the seed is Sister Andrea’s “not yet” when Lynn asks if she
can may help. Some kind of sibling rivalry could be an interesting dynamic indeed, especially now that the last egg — apparently — has been fertilized by Leland. A demon half-sibling is bound to be a disaster and bound to make things into a struggle, to say the least.
And no, in case anyone was wondering, we’re not ever going to be ok with the series of emotions Herbers heaped on us when Kristen made that realization.
But…the Bouchard family has help
During the brief, devastating period of time where we have to watch Kristen and the girls essentially mourning Andy, they are not alone. Found family is, forever, a big thing that stands out to us in television, and the Bouchards’ found family is one of the most magnificent.
Yes, we’re talking Ben the Magnificent and, to a less visible extent — at least for the kids — David fits into this found family, too. While Ben is the person Kristen wants spending the night to help support her daughters in Evil 3×10, it’s David she calls when she’s downstairs, alone, and having a freakout. It is, of course, also David who immediately offers to rush over, follows her cue when she asks him to stay behind, and still shows up the next morning when he’s on his way to an exorcism.
“I know you don’t believe in God, but sometimes it helps to even pretend to believe in him. It’s comforting.”
He’s there for her, in whatever capacity they both feel is “safe” right now. And he’s also trying, so desperately, to give her the one thing he knows has always helped him. It all circles back to the faith argument, and how important it is to David…and how much Kristen pushes back against it.
But Ben…Ben has spent much more time at the Bouchard household over the years. And the girls love him — always have. And whatever struggles Ben might have been through this season, in terms of whether or not to believe his own eyes or how to fit all these unanswered questions with his scientific knowledge, he’s still able to pull himself together on this dark night.
“You kept me from going crazy. And I appreciate it.”
For Kristen and for her kids. Laura, specifically.
When Laura can’t sleep, she goes and talks to Ben. And Ben comforts her, just by being there. Just by making a corny joke about not sleeping when he can’t sleep. And, most of all, by just being someone she can trust — someone who will listen to her and treat her like an equal human being instead of just the baby. In an episode packed with big moments, the way Ben comforts Laura, and even gets her to fall asleep, in Evil 3×10 should not be discounted.
It’s a reminder that, sometimes, all you have to do to support someone in their grief is just show up. Ben shows up. The scene is also a reminder that the quiet, human moments are just as vital to this series’ success as are the big, batshit demonic WTF ones. And it’s also a big, loud declaration that, for as much as the chemistry between Colter and Herbers will forever have us screaming about how unfair it all this, the way Aasif Mandvi manages to never feel like a third wheel in any of it is important. Ben fits in both parts of Kristen’s life, possibly in a way that David never will (screaming forever about hating it). He also fills a vital role on the team and is just…he’s exactly what we need. Not sure how else to put that, so…yeah. We just need him.
And while he may have been “falling apart” earlier this season, Ben the Magnificent is at the top of his game right when we need him to be — right when Laura needs him to be — in Evil 3×10. Because he’s family. And that’s what family does when someone they love needs them.
More on Evil 3×10 “The Demon of The End”
- Full disclosure of what a dumb clown I am: When I first saw the Evil 3×10 still of David and Demon Kristen praying…I was like, “ok but why are Kristen and David planking in the finale?”
- No, but Kristen being betrayed by her own mother and realizing it…Herbers nails how awful that feeling is. When your family hurts you, it’s an agony that you try so hard to deny even as you’re suffering it.
- The opening was a little bit melodramatic for me? But the rest of the episode made up for it, so whatever.
- Also, shoutout to Colter for pretending so well that those two dudes would at all be able to hold him back. Please.
- “Don’t stop. He’ll come for you next.” Grace, if this is for real…Next season’s gonna be scary.
- Another full circle detail from Evil 3×10: In the season premiere, Ignatius was supposed to die. “Matt” the Monsignor had that sweet moment with him. And now…this. They’ve switched places — except for the part where the Monsignor ain’t coming back.
- Emerson’s little shuffling sashay during that scene of Leland with all the blood, getting ready for bed. Absolutely delightful.
- Let’s discuss Kristen’s hella put-together, hair-up, sleek look at the beginning of this…and then the unraveling after the Andy revelation. Hair, Makeup, and Wardrobe said, “we’re doing a violence today.”
- “I cried all last night. I’ll cry again tonight! But…During the day…we’ll work.” If this ain’t our real-life hellscape in a nutshell…
- “Things are getting more personal, aren’t they?” Uh. Yes.
- Bottle Colter’s “WTF” face for me. Specifically, the one when he realizes Kristen and Ben have just, casually, been not sharing about the bloody toilet and the eyeball.
- “I don’t know…because I’m a bad mother.” Still her greatest fear, huh?
- That scene where Kristen gets Laura to stop jumping on the bed…The quick “I sleep on the floor…come on” bit of it, especially. That’s our improv background girl! I’d say Evil is a comedy based on this, her acting like an orchestra conductor to shut them up, and Andrea’s shovel scene. But then, there’s Herbers destroying me with the grief during that video call. So…no.
- But Sister Andrea with the shovel? Comedy gold.
- Leland’s ringtone for Sheryl. STOP.
- And “Bye Bye Birdie!” They really said, “let’s give Emerson some Broadway,” and I appreciate that!
- “Dear God. I ask you, on my knees, to please find Andy, under all that avalanche snow, and make sure that he’s dead.” 10/10, no notes.
- “You know what I do when I can’t sleep?” “What?” “I stay awake.” Evil writers, @ me next time.
- But seriously, that scene is the sweetest. And it’s barely layered with humor from Mandvi because his character knows now isn’t the time to go full out. Genius work.
- Choose your fighter: Kristen’s little baby punches on Andy vs. Unhinged Kristen smashing shit up. I know which I prefer.
- The hugs in the office. They’re so different, yet both so meaningful??? This show is pain.
- The way my girl’s eyes bug out of her head when she sees Sheryl and Andy hugging, though. SAME.
- “I’m trapped.” The delivery here, with that dead look. And the collapse when Andy sees Grace’s drawing…Look. My feelings on Andy are probably blatantly obvious. But Patrick Brammall killed it in this finale. And the shot of him, against that construction backdrop? Gorgeous.
- “Am I losing you…to the Father?” Are you stealing Andy’s line?
- “Maybe! Not just yet.” And that flirty AF look? I hate them all.
- “You know how you don’t feel connected to other people? That they seem to care about the stupid stuff.” Kiddo, it never goes away.
- “Do not. Let a boy. Make. This. Decision.” The way Sister Andrea smashes away at that demon when she tells Lynn this…fucking iconic.
- And I wonder if Kristen would have a different view on the “patriarchal bullshit” of it all if she’d witnessed Andrea giving that advice.
- Ok but why did the other part of Valerie’s fetus’ DNA have to be Ashkenazi. I’m…My Jewish ass…not a fan.
- In other news, I can say Father Ignatius’ loss of faith is…yeah. It happens to some of us when we see what goes on behind the scenes. Can confirm. “I wish I took comfort in the thought of God,” too.
- Not my heart dropping right out of my ass (too graphic?) when I realized David told the wrong Kristen to leave him alone. I was fully expecting Evil 3×10 to give us a major break going into Season 4, just to pose a sharp contrast to how we entered this third season.
- Again with being a dancer who appreciates movement quality: The restraint and hesitancy from Colter when David reaches up to stroke her cheek. That takes intention. It’s a dance. Good acting is a dance.
- “No…I mean…I like you. But you’re the exception.” I actually hate them both right now.
- The way Emerson looks at Herbers with the “we’re gonna be parents’ line and grins that devil grin. Genius.
- Have I mentioned enough how utterly mind-blowing, life-changing, and indescribably everything that final sequence is? Just. Wow. Forever. No words. (Lots of words in this finale review…still not adequate.)
- It’s fitting that we didn’t get the BOOK until the end of Evil 3×10. It’s “The Demon of The End,” after all.
- See y’all next season for “The Angel of the Beginning,” I guess?
Thoughts on Evil 3×10 or the season as a whole? Leave us a comment to help us get through hiatus!