Evil Season 2 Finale Discussion
The finale of Evil‘s first season set up an interesting premise. What if a fertility clinic that incidentally, Kristen used (to conceive her daughter Lexis), were actually a front? What if it were all part of a plan to produce evil children? And what would that mean for Lexis and the other kids? Good questions, me. However, the show wasn’t that interested in answering any of them, at least not in season 2. So let’s talk about that and other sins in our discussion of the Evil season 2 finale.
But First, Let’s Recap Evil Season 2 (Spoilers to Follow)
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Like Evil season 1, season 2 followed our trio of assessors–David, Ben, and Kristen–as they looked into various cases of possible demonic or angelic involvement. Where each episode title of the first season had a number, the second season was alphabetized. They were all purportedly stories in The Pop-Up Book of Terrifying Tales. These included stories like “E Is for Elevator” and the best episode of season 2, “S Is for Silence.”
When we last saw Kristen in the first Evil season finale, boy, it sure looked like she had killed Orson LeRoux. The show confirms that in season 2, a development that I found hard to believe. In fact, even though they showed her committing the murder (via flashback) and she confessed multiple times, I’m still having trouble with it. But that maybe says more about my willingness to trust the people I like, even if they’re fictional.
Anyway, as Kristen struggles with her guilt, it affects her marriage and her family life in general. Speaking of, I called her mom Sheryl (Christine Lahti) a “gold-plated dummy” in that discussion of the season 1 finale. I still believe she doesn’t make good decisions, but she’s craftier than I gave her credit for. However, I still don’t know or understand what she’s doing for or with Leland in season 2.
As for him, it’s pretty easy to understand his motives. In a word? Chaos. So of course he pretends to be repentant. He repents his way right into a position of authority over the assessors, most importantly Kristen. I’m glad she got to beat him with her shoe in the finale.
The biggest event of the second season, though, was David’s impending ordination. Although it seemed as if something would prevent it, he became a real, live priest in the final episode. And he had about five minutes of peace before Kristen told him the truth about LeRoux. At least he has Sister Andrea (Andrea Martin) to guide him now.
The Evil Season 2 Finale Left Me With a Lot of Unanswered Questions
The show introduced a lot of interesting ideas in season 2. Unfortunately, it didn’t really follow up with a lot of those. As I mentioned, for example, the fertility clinic plotline was pretty much an afterthought in this season. They went digging into it (in “O Is for Ovaphobia”), hit a couple of roadblocks, and then never mentioned it again, basically.
image via Paramount Plus
And I know I already mentioned Sheryl’s storyline, but it bears repeating. So let me just say, what? Sorry, what? First, she’s worshipping a terrible little doll, who comes with a list of requirements more suited to a mogwai. She’s replacing her blood with formaldehyde? And she’s doing favors for Edward (Tim Matheson), who gave her his great-grandfather’s shrunken head in a jar. By now, I’ll bet that Joshua thinks I’m doing a bit, but all of this happened in season 2. And I don’t get any of it.
Further, as Joshua wrote, the show is still hedging its bets on whether or not any of the fantastical stuff is real. They’ll show us demons and a succubus, but it’s unclear if they’re visions or hallucinations induced by medication and/or guilt. Or, you know, metaphorical sex goo. Sister Andrea seems to suggest in the finale that it is all true. However, she does it in a way that still leaves room for doubt.
Overall, Season 2 Felt Uneven to Me
image via Paramount Plus
As I said, there were some highlights in the second season. I mentioned “S is For Silence,” for instance, my personal favorite episode. As the title indicates, the episode contains almost no dialogue. That’s because it’s set in a monastery that has a long-standing vow of silence.
However, this only forced the writers, creators Robert and Michelle King, to get even more creative. While the assessors can occasionally leave the monastery grounds to have conversations, most of the communication in the episode is non-verbal. It includes hand gestures, onscreen text depicting thoughts, and a really great graphic night tee. The episode was a lot of fun.
Less fun, but no less important was “C Is for Cop.” This episode touches on both the topics of police-involved shootings and the role that the cop procedural industrial complex plays in how we perceive the police. Unfortunately, they didn’t quite stick the landing with that episode.
The commentary wasn’t sharp enough and the inclusion of Sheryl’s awful doll Eddie made it all seem a little silly. The show’s willingness to show us crazy stuff is often delightful–see also: Leland cooking his goat therapist–but it’s at its best when it’s trying to say something. More often than not this season, though, they fumbled the message.
But this is a close read for a show that’s almost always interesting. So I have high hopes for season 3. Hopefully, it’ll integrate its various storylines a little better than this season managed to do.
And as always, share your thoughts with us here in these comments or on our social media.
featured image via Paramount Plus
Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.