It’s a week of unlikely partnerships as Evil settles into season three.
Spoilers follow for episode 3.03…
Episode 3.03 “The Demon of Sex”: Sister Andrea joins the team to fix a demonically possessed marriage.
Case of the Week
The case of the week is a bit slight in that it exists principally to shine a light on Andrea Martin‘s Sister Andrea (to be clear: this isn’t a problem because it just means we get a ton more Martin, who is always welcome).
The nun opens the episode following a trail of slime into David (Mike Colter)’s marriage counselling session with newlyweds Amalia and Leo. They’re experiencing an unusual physical reaction when they try to have sex, which Sister Andrea immediately connects to a literal Marriage Demon (voiced by John Sanders) she sees perched between them.
What follows is the show’s usual battle of will between science and religion as Sister Andrea inserts herself into the proceedings. This doesn’t sit well with Kristen (Katja Herbers), who initially fears that the nun’s presence will affect the couple’s willingness to be candid. In true Evil fashion, though, Sister Andrea is far more clairvoyant than anyone else: only she can see the true problem, and there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had at how the demon taunts her with juvenile glee.
It’s nice to see Martin get a strong showcase episode after being promoted to series regular this season. The esteemed character actress has always brought a gravitas to her scenes, and her curt, clipped dialogue-delivery is always welcome, particularly when she butts heads with someone like Leland (Michael Emerson) or, in this case, Kristen.
Perhaps even more enjoyable, though, is how the nun and the forensic psychologist come to begrudgingly respect each other over the course of the episode. The recurring joke where they correct the other about their preferred title – Sister and Doctor – is amusing, but also reinforces that they are experts in their fields and deserve respect. It winds up feeling like a minor victory when Kristen refuses to throw Sister Andrea under the bus to the Monsignor (Boris McGiver) late in the episode because it not only confirms that respect, but suggests a kind of alliance against Leland.
It’s also just a nice moment of female solidarity to end the episode on.
“The Demon of Sex” is also a strong showcase for Aasif Mandvi‘s Ben, who is “diagnosed by twelve year olds” with Cultural Derealization, a depressive reaction related to the lack of answers to unexplainable phenomenon. Or, in simpler terms: shit got weird and he’s depressed that he can’t figure it out.
Enter his sister Karmina (Sohina Sidhu), who intervenes by bringing him to the Super Secret Science Club (“we’re working on a better name” she admits sheepishly) so that he can reconnect with people who believe in science.
There’s a great montage as the siblings create a makeshift explosive out of household kitchen items, but the real take-away is when Karmina encourages Ben to “acknowledge when something is beyond our [scientific] knowledge.” This is yet another variation of the long-simmering tension between religion and science, but just like Kristen and Sister Andrea, it results in a welcome new partnership between the siblings. Karmina agrees to help Ben balance out his religious colleagues and his brief sojourn from the doldrums of the case of the week puts some pep back into Ben’s step.
Hey, if this means that we’ll see more of Karmina in the future, then I’m all for this.
“The Demon of Sex” is more Sheryl (Christine Lahti)’s episode than Leland’s as we learn more about the job he appointed her in “The Demon of Memes.” In classic Robert and Michelle King fashion, the show has introduced a fictitious counterpart to real life events/products in the form of Makob, a bullshit cryptocurrency that Sheryl is tasked with artificially inflating the stock of.
Part of the fun of this storyline is watching “boomer” Sheryl learn to control her 30 person millennial staff using tactics derived from Kristen’s daughters’ 10 Commandments Mood Board. There’s never a doubt that Sheryl will (re)discover her mojo and find a way to dominate her sullen staff, though using a nut allergy to convince Taylor, Leland’s plant, to quit is impressive even for Sheryl. “Faster, you fucking millennial” she barks at Bobby, the office manager, in yet another winning moment for Lahti.
- It’s always nice to see Leland’s pawn Malindaz (Taylor Louderman). The influencer, last seen in video footage in S02E10 “O Is for Ovaphobia”, negotiates with Sheryl for a Fyre Festival-inspired pay-out to shill Makob on her successful YouTube show. And it works!
- The resolution of the case of the week involves not just light S&M, but Amalia literally pulling a knife on husband Leo and ordering him to fuck her or she’ll kill him. It’s a little much, but the pay-off of the resulting ménage a demon justifies the wackiness.
- Evil obviously has a bit of a mean satirical streak and it’s never been afraid to poke fun at its characters. That certainly applies to Kristen’s white board 10 Commandments, which is not only undercut when her daughters make their own version behind her back, but when they – and by proxy the audience – note that nearly all of Kristen’s rules are about her. I love that Evil isn’t afraid to critique Kristen’s parenting style as both narcissistic and mildly ineffectual.
- In case you were wondering, Kristen is still considering making those extension home renovations that she and husband Andy spent episodes 3.01 and 3.02 discussing.
- Finally: give Andrea Martin an Emmy for her pitch perfect deadpan delivery of “I never speak metaphorically.”
Evil airs Sundays on Paramount+