The whole Google Street View thing is creepy enough without it being Evil-ized, thank you very much, but “The Demon of Memes” is a not-so-friendly reminder that anything on the internet can be used for nefarious reasons. Street View becomes the key to the Assessor Team solving the Case of the Week: An urban legend/meme called “Visiting Jack” is gaining popularity and led one teen in the area to kill himself, but the whole thing ends up being the cruel invention of two college kids, one of whom drives one of the Street View cars around, enabling them to plant creepy images in some of the maps that make teens believe they’ll die unless they complete seven items on a list being passed around. It’s all a hoax, and it’s not the most compelling case Evil’s explored, especially when held up against what’s going on with Father Acosta.
If you thought David seemed stressed last week, what with all the visits from the Kristen Sex Demon, he’s really getting into a precarious situation now. He ends up with another visitor in his bedroom, but this one is there less for hallucinatory humping activities and more for shadowy Vatican-related activities. It’s Victor LeConte! You’ll remember him as the mysterious “friend of the Vatican” who shut down the UFO case the team was investigating last season — the guy David assumed was part of the Vatican Secret Service organization he referred to as The Entity and who David spotted with some info on RSM Fertility. Well, Victor explains to David that “the Entity” isn’t a real thing and that “friend of the Vatican” is more like Friend of the Vatican. LeConte explains that these Friends are a powerful system of ambassadors, parish priests, CIA and MI6 agents — you get the picture — and they assist the Vatican with information and other favors. LeConte wants David to become a Friend of the Vatican. “There is something happening in New York that is evil,” he tells David. While much of the evil David’s been experiencing as of late has been of the supernatural variety, LeConte is more concerned with the “corporeal” evil going on; the evil organizations and individuals. He wants David to join the fight — to serve God in a different way. There are some caveats, of course: He wouldn’t be able to tell anyone about it — not the Monsignor, not Kristen and Ben — and would have to perform most tasks asked of him without question. Oh, and tasks can come at any moment. So, like, it’s not the most stable or chill gig, but after a week of hearing mundane confessions, performing mass to an almost empty church, and eating soup quietly with a bunch of other priests, David isn’t really interested in stable or chill. After what he has seen? The man wants to be doing more. So, yes, he’s in.
We get a taste of what will now be asked of David: Victor has David go to a hotel, introduce himself as Father Michael, and perform last rites on a man about to die. The scene is chaos. The man’s wife is wailing, his young son is crying, and there are lots of important-looking people in suits making phone calls. David has been instructed to look for a postcard in the room and take it with him, which he does after the man on the bed dies and to leave the door open on his way out. David does all of this pretty willingly, but he refuses to let Victor get away without explaining himself. And in doing so, David learns that the man was poisoned by someone who did not want them to get the message that was supposed to be on that postcard. The postcard is blank, but the message Victor is looking for turns out to be written on the cash tip one of the men in the room shoved into David’s pocket on his way out the door. And what is this mysteriously important message? A way to locate our old prophet friend from season one, Grace Ling, who was sent back to China and has since been lost in a work camp there. Don’t you love to see Evil tying things together?
While the task itself brings up a lot of practical questions, it also puts our dear David in a bit of an emotional quandary. First of all, as he points out to LeConte, what they’re doing here doesn’t exactly feel completely removed from “evil.” He was wooed into this job with the promise of being a warrior for God, and this mostly feels shady so far. But more troubling might be the idea that David will have to keep this new job from Kristen and Ben. When David has to bail on them multiple times at the last minute during their Visiting Jack investigation, both Kristen and Ben know something weird is going on. Of course, Kristen believes it must have something to do with what happened on Ordination Day — your friend confessing she murdered someone and then almost having sex with that friend is probably a lot for a priest to take in, you know? When Kristen finally confronts David about how things have been awkward, he tries his best to give her a “It’s Not You, It’s the Priesthood” excuse without revealing that he’s now working for a secret church organization. It’ll come out eventually, but for now, I’m just going to revel in the fact that even in the middle of all the batshit crazy stuff Evil throws at us each week, it’s also able to give us these layered and complicated relationships between characters. Doesn’t Mike Colter’s face just kind of break your heart in this scene? That’s some real Guilt Face right there.
The two shake on being friends again, and that’s excellent news since Kristen will need as many friends as she can get at some point in the near future because, um, there’s something extremely not right going on with the plumbing in her house. You didn’t think Andy was just going to shove that shrunken head down the toilet and we’d never hear anything else about it, did you? The first little sign that something might be wrong is probably when little Laura is in the bathroom and the toilet just starts overflowing with blood. I’m not a plumber, but I’m pretty sure that’s not great. Ben the Magnificent comes by to try and fix it, but days later, the toilet is still flushing itself and there’s moans, getting louder and louder, coming from the walls of the Bouchard house. I don’t know much, but I do know that cannot be good!
• I’m surprised that Andy has made it this far without becoming a casualty of Kristen’s line of work, so now that he’s headed off to Nepal for three months with our old pal Edward — I’m sorry, the venture capitalist buying Andy’s company — as part of a secret plan hatched by Sheryl and Leland, I feel like Kristen’s husband might be on borrowed time. Kristen makes him promise he won’t die, which just seems like they’re asking for trouble.
• Sheryl is still getting those formaldehyde treatments, in case you were wondering. Her deal remains a complete mystery.
• Leland gives Sheryl a swanky new job doing Satan’s bidding as … an online troll! That feels so, so right.
• Karima is back! She helps Ben out when he hits a snag in the Visiting Jack investigation and I hope they bring her back more often this season! She’s able to talk to Ben in ways that Kristen and David can’t and confront him about things they don’t even know about, plus Aasif Mandvi and Sohina Sidhu have a great sibling chemistry. Add her to the team!
• How powerful did Brian d’Arcy James feel delivering the line, “would it surprise you to learn that I do know what God wants?”
• The woman flipping off David when he starts walking around in his priest collar!!
• I love how the show continues to find organic ways to get the Bouchard girls involved in the plot. Here, Ren, the boy Lynn is kind of, maybe dating, is mixed up in all the Visiting Jack stuff and it’s a nice/terrifying reminder for Kristen that her oldest daughter is growing up (and some talks might be necessary in the near future).
• The Visiting Jack case also brings the crew right to Orson’s doorstep — one of the houses included in the spooky Street View stuff is his. Kristen seems almost overly eager to go talk to Orson’s wife Emily, but both David and Ben’s faces are immediately ones of concern (even Ben’s, who doesn’t know but definitely knows). Plus, Kristen has a violent flashback to the murder while there, so I don’t think confessing to David means she has in any way processed what she did.
• “Mom won’t miss a margarita!”