Created by the brilliant Robert and Michelle King (who also helm the other best show on Paramount+, “The Good Fight,” a very different show narratively but one that consistently subverts storytelling expectations),” Evil” is essentially a modern “The X”. -Files” with the supernatural and the religious instead of the extraterrestrial. The skeptic in this case is Dr. Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers), a forensic psychologist who has been hired to determine the veracity of potential miracles or a demonic implication.The believer is David Acosta (Mike Colter), a former journalist studying to become a priest and dealing with his own crises of faith.They work with an entrepreneur named Ben (Aasif Mandvi), the logical mind who is supposed to prove the scientific explanations for what they discover but finds himself increasingly questioning what he knows to be true.Causing trouble on the fringes is the amazing Michael Emerson as Dr. Leland Townsend , a real vessel of evil, and Kristen’s mother, Sheryl (Christine Lahti), who is both attached to her daughter and fascinated by her rival.
The ten-episode third season opens precisely where the final season left off, as Kristen and David seem about to give in to their strong mutual attraction. Of course, in “diabolical” fashion, it doesn’t go as planned, and the show centers some serious issues for David early in the season, especially after he’s approached by a Vatican envoy to perform some tasks. The Catholic Church is presented on “Evil” almost like an organization that would employ the cigarette smoker in “The X-Files,” operating in the shadows to amplify acts of faith and hide instances of unchecked evil.
The “Evil” writers unpack its title in different ways each episode, and that’s the show’s main joy, seeing how they can find instances of evil in everything from memes to a game that feels like “Animal Crossing.” to cryptocurrency. What does the word evil mean? And how does it creep into everyday life? It’s one of the most written-about shows on TV, and I love how it embraces the lost art of episodic storytelling. Much like its inspirations, episodes often feature stand-alone stories, but they work within the fabric of the overall piece. They are like patches in a quilt, great on their own but also easily appreciated in the context of the cumulative piece.