Have you ever wanted to stand up and slow clap for a show you were watching? Admittedly, that’s not a new feeling when it comes to watching Evil, but this episode especially feels like it deserves a round of applause. I mean, it compares social media algorithms and digital advertising to Satan’s work and calls out Amazon — I’m sorry, CongoRun — for dismal warehouse working conditions. All of that with yet another stellar appearance by Sister Andrea and whatever the hell Leland’s new exorcism outfit is? It’s almost too much, honestly.
Just kidding, it will never be enough.
Even though dear Ben almost died in a basement last week, our mighty Assessor Team is moving forward with a new case. Not even Ben will take some time off after a concerned Kristen and David suggest it. He’s totally fine, guys. (He’s not fine.) It’s best that the team is at its full strength anyway, because the Case of the Week hits close to home: Uhh, does Exorcist Priest need his own exorcism??
Well, the blood that keeps appearing on his back and the anger he feels rising up inside him, paired with his resistance to prayer, seem to point to something being up with Father Joe Mulvehill. Plus, Joe began noticing something was off about a month ago — you know, around the same time he began his exorcisms on Leland. So, that’s not great! David convinces him to let the team do what they do and see if he is, as Joe suspects, “under attack.” David will even give him the Friends and Family Demonic Possession Assessment Discount, and you just can’t beat that kind of deal.
It doesn’t take long for the team to figure out what’s up with Joe. In his session with Kristen, Father Mulvehill admits that an old gambling habit has popped up again thanks to the convenience of the internet. Ben takes a look at Joe’s computer and explains that online advertising algorithms are the figurative devil and based on his search history and keywords in his email, Joe was probably just getting more gambling ads showing up when he was online, thus leading him back into that bad habit. You know, I would love to blame some demon for the amount of planners I buy in a calendar year, but in my heart I know it’s because my willpower is no match for Instagram ads and I just have to live with that. So does Father Mulvehill.
Ben promises to clean up Joe’s computer and sends him on his way. But Kristen knows it’s not that simple because she knows Ben. He’s up to something. Friends, doesn’t it warm your heart to see how bonded our little team is? If there are any attempts to break this perfect threesome up I’ll probably toss myself into the sea or something. Dramatic? Yes. Appropriate? Also yes. Anyway! Ben notices that Joe wiped his inbox and does his computer magic in order to email the last person Joe did; the reply is pretty threatening. Ben sets up a meeting with this anonymous person because Ben is living on the edge these days. The shady email guy turns out to be Joe’s bookie. Joe is $40,000 in debt from gambling. So, uh yeah, that bad habit is a much larger problem than Exorcist Priest let on.
And the problem keeps growing: One night, Ben gets an alert from his Leland Spycam and watches as Leland and Joe text each other! About making the exorcism look real! Leland is using Joe’s gambling problem to his advantage. That won’t stand with the team, especially with David. David has one small problem, though: He knows if he goes to Bishop Marx with all of this it will end Father Mulvehill’s career. Instead, David goes to the one person at the rectory he really trusts — Sister Andrea.
How great is the addition of Sister Andrea to our wacky cast of Evil characters? The strange-but-charming mentorship going on between her and David only gets more delightful with each interaction. David fills his favorite nun in on what’s up with Mulvehill and Leland, and while we already know she loathes Leland, we learn that she can’t stand Father Mulvehill either, what with his faux-weathered leather exorcism satchel and living for the drama of That Exorcist Life. Sister Andrea suffers exactly no fools and Father Mulvehill is a fool. So, she decides to tag along for Leland’s second exorcism session. Honestly, the only thing that might rival the delight of a David/Sister Andrea interaction is a Leland/Sister Andrea interaction because wow wow wow is there fire between those two. And by that I obviously mean hellfire.
The usual suspects are all there for Le Exorcism Part Deux and while Father Mulvehill and Leland are really giving it their all to make this look real, something happens and Father Mulvehill just about faints — is this real or part of the plan? If real, is this Leland’s doing? Regardless, Sister Andrea takes over, yelling at the “hellfiend” to shut up (Leland’s “try me, bitch” is spectacular) with her crucifix in hand. She gives David the holy water and urges him to take over — he can do it, she knows he can. And when David starts saying the prayers and sprinkling that holy water, wouldn’t ya know, it begins to burn Leland’s skin. He looks scared for the first time and runs out of the room. Did David really do that?
According to David, he thinks all the power they witnessed actually resided in Sister Andrea. He believes this so much that he finds her at the rectory later and begs her to join his fight. She refuses. “I’m a woman and this is the Holy Catholic Church,” she quips. It is impossible to love her more in this moment. She continues to press upon David his own power and relationship with God, especially in regards to prayer. And then when he leaves, she dumps that holy water she handed David during the exorcism back into the ammonia bottle. She done and fucked Leland up!! Her endgame with David and Leland remains a mystery, but for now we should all just be enjoying the ride.
Elsewhere in the episode, little miss Lila Bouchard (L #2, if you need clarification) gets her time in the spotlight. Lila and her best friend Alex, who lives in the twin attached to the Bouchard house, are obsessed with zombies. They watch all the zombie movies, and debate which zombies are the best (definitely NOT The Walking Dead zombies, they agree). And then they think they hear a zombie walking around in their backyard. It’s both cool and scary for them!
Eventually, they discover that the zombie isn’t a real zombie at all, but Alex’s dad Brandon who works at a CargoRun warehouse and because of the work conditions is being turned into a figurative zombie. The workers there are exhausted beyond belief and leaving actual trails of blood because their feet bleed and they have no time to deal with their wounds. Alex’s dad can barely string a sentence together. Her “that’s not my dad”? Heartbreaking!
Somehow the girls find a woman who owns a shop nearby and is known for helping people before they turn into zombies. I don’t know, I’m just going with it. She explains that the zombie myth began on Haitian sugarcane plantations centuries ago: Slave drivers came up with the story of zombies to scare their slaves into not killing themselves because they didn’t want to lose workers; instead they told their slaves that if they killed themselves they’d be cursed to work in the fields for eternity. So basically another awful thing that people have forgotten about over the years. The woman gives the girls two vials of concoctions, one for the zombie and one for the slave driver.
Lila and Alex sneak the first one into Brandon’s food and it causes him to be late for work. But this is a good thing! It ends up saving him from being exposed to a gas leak that causes all of his coworkers to suffer permanent lung damage. It also fuels his fire and he begins gathering CargoRun employees to talk about forming a union. Brandon’s boss arrives at the meeting trying to stop the whole thing and the girls realize this guy is the slave driver. They slip the liquid from the second vial into his gum. He shows up at work the next day drunk and gets fired. Brandon gets offered to take his place. Now, you might be thinking, hmm that sounds like a tricky and super sleazy way to get Brandon to stop leading the path toward unionization and guess what? You’re right. But the management position also comes with a salary ten times higher than his old one. It’s hard to pass up.
And so, this zombie saga has no happy ending. Evil continues to be excellent at making the real world evils just as chill-inducing as the supernatural ones: Alex and Lila find Brandon happy and energetic as he performs his new duties from home, keeping the warehouse workers in-line via video. The girls realize what they’ve done: The employees are still zombies and now Brandon is the slave driver. Lila and Alex don’t want to watch zombie movies anymore.
• Thanks to Ben’s lesson on targeted ads, Kristen starts noticing that all of her online ads are about secret hookup sites and having affairs. She wants Ben to wipe it all because she swears there’s no reason for ads like this to show up on her computer. Which is hilarious because you, I, and the fire jinn who shows up again all know that’s just not true. Mommy is horny.
• Kristen has an interesting conversation with Lila, who asks if monsters are real. Kristen explains that sometimes people do monstrous things and it becomes difficult for them to remember the human inside — or they like being the monster. Lila brings up Orson LaRoux as an example, which of course floods Kristen’s memory with her own monstrous act. Perhaps the question with Kristen becomes who will win, the monster or the human?
• In more Michael Emerson Is Having The Time of His Life news, in his second exorcism it’s the “I’m melting! I’m melting!” that really steals the show.
• “Hey mom, can dogs be arrested for murder?”