We have to talk about these dolls. Like, I can deal with gooey alien-worm things falling out of people’s stomachs, but freaky dolls? It might be too much. And now we don’t have just one Eddie doll, but three. THREE. And one is dressed like an old-timey clown. It’s honestly just crossing a line at this point.
Let’s start with Nathan and Elijah’s Eddie doll. Nathan is one of Kurt’s patients who lost his wife a year ago and is now experiencing some menacing presence in his house. It was targeting him, now it’s after his son, Elijah — he says something or someone pushed him while home alone and he broke his arm. Kurt suggests he meet with Kristen. Yes, Kristen, post double-cleansing, has apologized to her therapist for storming in and accusing him of a whole list of terrible things. In other great news: Kristen has been hallucination-free for four days. She attributes it to “a greater respect for the placebo effect” and not “secret exorcisms on the bathroom floor,” but whatever works for her. And something is working for Kristen here. She is lighter and brighter than she’s been in some time, and you can see it all over her. Katja Herbers, everybody!
Kristen agrees to take a look at Nathan’s house and invites the boys along, too. Even Kurt goes! Kurt is there not just for his patient, but he also would very much like to write a book about what the assessors are doing. David and Ben are, not surprisingly, very much against it, but Kurt is persistent in his own way. Not for nothing, but I would 100 percent watch a 15-minute-long scene of Kurt and Ben discussing the noises of a house settling, but maybe that’s just me. The team ends up in the attic, which smells horrible, by the way, and they find a trunk tied shut. Inside the trunk is a taped-up box. What’s in the box? An old, wrapped-up Eddie doll. You guys, I’d rather it be Gwyneth Paltrow’s head. And that’s a Se7en joke, not a knock on Gwyneth, just in case Goop is reading or something.
Nathan’s late wife bought the doll at a flea market because she thought it was funny that the person who sold it to her said you needed to follow strict rules in taking care of it. Do what it wants, or it will hurt you. Ben takes the doll with him (I yelled, “No!” I was not heard) to test for any toxic substances. But even without the doll in the house, Nathan and Elijah still feel the presence. Elijah feels it so much that he ends up taking a carving knife to his cast to get it off because it feels like bugs crawling inside it. It turns out Ben did find a toxic chemical on the doll, so he pulls out his UV light to see if there are traces of it in Elijah’s room. What he finds instead are three giant shadows of demons surrounding them on the walls. When they present everything to Monsignor Korecki, he sides with the family, who believe it must be a demonic infestation. Since demonic infestation doesn’t require a priest (seriously, who makes these rules?), he wants to send in Gregory.
Oh, Gregory. The only thing better than the level of ridiculousness Gregory brings to the proceedings is how much Gregory annoys David. Annoyed David is a wonder, and I’m so happy to have him with us. As he explains himself to Ben, it seems like any time he defends the Church, then he meets someone like Gregory. A performative showman who is super into leather and has nothing to do with the church’s teachings. Gregory does his weird stuff and declares the house cleansed. But we don’t really care what Gregory’s up to; we care about what’s happening outside Elijah’s bedroom. Kurt, who Kristen told not to record what Gregory was doing because it belittles their work, ends up walking down the hall and running into the very shadow figure Nathan’s been talking about. As it steps closer to Kurt — WHO DOES NOT RUN AWAY — it seems like it might be a relative of Kristen and Ben’s night terror demons. And then when it boops Kurt on the nose, well, it’s clear it is. Kristen comes out, and the demon goes away, but the mark on Kurt’s nose is still there. Kurt Boggs is spooked, you guys. He has been hanging out with the assessors way too long, and I really need this man to make it out of this whole Evil situation in one piece, okay? Can you do that for me, show??
After everything, after the Gregory of it all, Nathan ends up wanting his Eddie doll back anyway. The presence is still in his home (still living that straight-up boop life), and he thinks that giving gifts to Eddie might stop it. He meets with Ben and David and is like, LOL guys, forgot to tell you that my wife was superstitious and kept Eddie happy with gifts until I told her to stop because it was weird, and then she died a month later. You know, that would’ve been great info to have at the start of this thing. Best of luck to Nathan; he has left our David perturbed.
But Nathan’s not the only one who believes in the power of Eddie. There’s Sheryl, of course, but there’s also Sebbie. Sebbie is a little boy Lynn is babysitting, and things get weird, as they traditionally do for Bouchard girls. During a game of hide-and-seek, Lynn finds Sebbie sitting on his bed, staring into the darkness. He says he can’t play the game because his friend told him not to move, and he has to do whatever his friend says, or he’ll hurt him. Lynn walks up to the rocking chair this “friend” is sitting on — which is moving, by the way — and finds an Eddie doll. “He just seems small, but he’s actually big,” Sebbie explains, upping the creep factor. It doesn’t end: When Lynn gets home, she finds the Eddie doll is in her bag. Did Sebbie put it there? When she goes to get the doll so they can return it to Sebbie, she can’t find it. Later, we discover that Laura, the littlest L, has hidden the doll so she can play with it. When Lexis sees her sister with it, she believes it to be her grandma’s Eddie doll, and so the two girls go down to her grandma’s room — Sheryl’s not home — and put it back on the altar. Then they get scared by the train making the Eddie doll move and run away screaming, which seems appropriate.
So where is Sheryl? Our Eddie My Eddie Original is hanging out with Edward this week. He has asked her to perform two favors for him, with little context as to why (it’s better with little context, even for us), and in return, he’ll give her an invaluable gift. The favors are weird, as are all things regarding Edward. First, he has her join him in a high-powered meeting in which she is instructed to ignore the man they’re meeting with, and then when he says the word “daffodil,” she is supposed to slap him. She does so well; Edward goes down on her in the elevator as they leave. The second favor is to walk up to a man at a restaurant with his friends and wife and show him the clean STD test she just got. After that task, she wants her prize.
Wow, wow, wow, pals. I don’t know how to tell you this, but her prize is Edward’s great grandfather’s head in a jar. I just want to type out cackling sounds for the remainder of this recap because that is how I genuinely feel about that head in a jar, but it probably wouldn’t be the most informative use of our time. Or maybe it would be. It’s a tiny little floating head in a jar.
Edward tells her that Sheryl has “graduated” and she is now his “successor.” This isn’t just a head in a jar, it is her sigil. And lo and behold, when Sheryl goes home and pulls out her handy-dandy demon sigil map, there it is. Sheryl seems to think everything is falling into place. And so she sets up that head in a jar on her floor, flanked by the not one, but two, Eddie dolls in her room, gets on her knees and prays to them as the father, son, and holy ghost. As she does this, with tears in her eyes, she says, “I’m ready, use me,” and the camera pans up just enough to show us a statue of the Virgin Mary on the shelf, in the same prayerful position. What in the hell is going to happen to Sheryl??
It’s not just all doll play in this episode, though. David is one week away from ordination, and the doubts in his head are getting louder. He’s worried he’s making a mistake by choosing never to marry or have kids — by choosing to be alone forever. He asks Sister Andrea about her decision to take her vows and if she feels alone. She knows they are not alone. God is with them, but so is the devil. She really needs David to figure his shit out because it’s going down. And soon: She’s privy to a meeting in which Leland convinces the Monsignor to give him a permanent position with the Church, assisting those going through exorcisms. The assessors will have to answer to him now. “The war is beginning,” she tells him, and she and David have the gifts to fight that war.
To help him figure a few things out, David ends up visiting the Black minister he met several weeks ago who runs a Gospel church. He left the priesthood for many reasons, but a big one was falling in love with a nun. His church is buzzing with energy. As David walks around, it seems like they are actually doing things and providing services that really bring about change, rather than getting caught up in the red tape of the Catholic church. While it seems inspiring and inviting, there is a major problem for David: It’s clear this minister doesn’t believe in the devil the way David does. To him, they aren’t fighting some horned beast. They are fighting “the devil in the burning cross and in the corrupt cop.” He’s helping his congregation with real-life burdens and issues. He’s not, like, battling actual demons. How can David turn his back on this war Sister Andrea insists is coming?
He’s still conflicted when he has another heart-to-heart with Kristen. Oh, this conversation. I want to curl up with this conversation. Kristen, who, remember, is more at peace now than she’s been in some time, tells David he should get ordained. She knows that’s a change from how she felt earlier, but she thinks it’s important that someone like him, someone who “want[s] to be good,” balance out the bad people in the world. She’s scared of what will happen to him if he walks away. He wants to know if she’s ever thought about what would’ve happened if they had met earlier. “You know I do,” she responds. “Would we be in love?” he asks. Kristen nods her head yes. Then she walks over to him, puts her hand on his heart, and tells him to “go get ordained.” It’s all so lovely and quiet and complicated, and ordination day is really going to be something.