“2 Fathers” (Episode 108)
November 21, 2019
Last week on EVIL, the God Squad battled an exorcism which contained a murderous twist. Also, the Vatican dispatched a team to investigate Grace the Prophet’s prophecies and in doing so, revealed more of the “Poveglia Codex” to our merry band of faithful skeptics. This Codex investigation led to the God Squad deciphering a Hierarchy of Demons (in which Leland seems to figure). Speaking of, Leland took Sebastian the IT Fraudster (from “3 Stars”) under his evil wing and David learned that his father, a painter, may be caught up in Leland’s demon sigil craze. Catch up on last week’s action with our deep dive recap and review here.
On to tonight’s all new EVIL. Are you ready to meet the titular “2 Fathers”? If so, read on … BEWARE OF SPOILERS!!!
The Church. David and Kristen are with Monsignor Korecki, reviewing the purloined photos of the Codex’s Hierarchy of Demons – the 60 demonic sigils we discovered last week. David explains that he thinks this chart is part of their previous discussion on how evil is becoming more organized. He specifically mentions Leland’s and Dwight Farrell’s sigils (you’ll recall Dwight Farrell as the murderous and manipulative husband from last week) and tells Korecki that he wants to find the rest of the people represented by the other 58 sigils.
Korecki is not sold and asks for Kristen’s opinion. While she isn’t buying into the demonic portion of David’s theory, she concurs that the effect of the sigils is real enough.
“Psychopaths seem to be aware of this document and organizing around it. These symbols seem to inspire them.”
Monsignor Korecki yields to their reason and permits focus on this investigation in a limited capacity. David tells the Monsignor that some of the sigils appeared in a local artist’s work and he wants to begin his investigation there with an interview. David shows the Monsignor his art book that we saw at the end of last week and Korecki is shocked to learn it’s by David’s father.
David wants to interview his dad but the “What the Fuck”-ness of it all. Monsignor Korecki insists that Kristen go with David for the most awkward Dad interview ever. Their mission is to ascertain if Papa A. is one of the 60. The Monsignor has a good question.
“If he is one of the sixty, what’s your plan?”
Road Trip! That question goes unanswered, apparently, because we cut to David and Kristen driving upstate and he admits he has no idea what he’s going to do. Speaking of his dad, David warns that his father can be “a bit of a bastard.” Also, it’s been 5 years since they’ve seen each other.
Kristen gets a call from “d’Artagnan,” her new nickname for Ben (that she doesn’t actually share with Ben). Who doesn’t love a Three Musketeers shoutout? Ben is in a studio doing ADR work (“automatic dialogue replacement,” where actors re-record their lines so they come out cleaner in the finalized episode of a show) from his Halloween appearance on the “reality” show, Gotham Ghosts. Kristen asks what’s happening with Vanessa, the woman from the show he hit it off with. Ben is noncommittal, telling Kristen he called her three times since and no response. He adds that she isn’t at the studio (but she totally is). Ben wishes her luck on the Dad assignment.
“Don’t kill any demons without me.”
Kristen fills David in on the goings on with Ben and his love life.
The Recording Studio. Ben goes back to doing the voiceovers with Tony Pacuci, the show’s host, directing him from the sound booth. Ben is having a real problem reliving this BS experience and even more of a hard time with edited lines that don’t let him express his real frustration with the charlatan product Tony is selling. Things get even worse for Ben when Vanessa shows up and waves awkwardly. This is going to be a long day for Ben.
The Gully. Kristen and David arrive at Papa A’s house in upstate NY (fun side note: David has the same car as me, down to the same color!). If you’ve ever been to the real country of upstate New York, this is a pretty accurate depiction of the available views. David, talking about the remoteness, remarks that they’re at the start of a horror film. Kristen doesn’t disagree, especially given the lack of cell service (another very accurate depiction of life in upstate New York).
“I guess all we need is car trouble and we’ll have won horror movie bingo.”
Leon Acosta (Vondie Curtis-Hall) is all smiles as he hugs David, talking about how “my son has returned.” Papa A has an equally warm welcome for Kristen, saying “Welcome to the Gully.” Also, he non-sequiturs that he wants to paint Kristen a red t-shirt.
Record Scratch. David and Kristen exchange pointed looks given Grace the Prophet’s warning to Kristen about staying away from the color red.
A lot of things happen in quick succession here, including Papa A asking Kristen if she’s there to convince David to not become a priest?
“I want my seed spread far and wide.”
Wow. Just, wow.
Leon casually drops a bombshell when he mentions he’s married! We meet his new wife, Esther (Nana Mensah) and B T Dubs, she’s pregnant! Leon keeps the shock train going when he introduces David and Kristen to his second (and concurrent) wife, Cori (Jenn Colella). Cori proudly announces they are a “thruple.” You can literally hear the sirens and bells ringing in David’s and Kristen’s respective heads.
Papa A’s property is set up like an art commune, with lots of people milling about. Esther tells David and Kristen says they have to stay for the roots ceremony.
“We’re calling on the ancestors.”
The Recording Studio. Ben wraps up his portion of the ADR work and runs into Vanessa in the hallway. She’s waiting for him. There is an awkward greeting between them. Ben turns to leave and Vanessa chases after him to tell him she’s not sure what happened, but lets him know that one month is too long not to call.
Ben follows her into the studio and is confused because he’s called her three times and she’s blown him off. He shows her his phone with the number she wrote on his hand and sees that the numbers are transposed. She admits they had a bad beginning, but wants to see him after they’re done in the studio.
The Gully. David and his dad walk down to Papa A.’s art studio/living room. They have a drink to Papa A.’s happiness (reluctantly on David’s part) David turns the talk to his father’s work. Specifically, David asks about the sigil that has cropped up in his recent paintings and which we see is featured in a new work that Leon is in the middle of finishing. Papa A. says he does’t know what it is and asks if David likes it? Also, he asks if David’s query is a “Catholic thing.” Interesting place to go.
Leon dances around their split 5 years ago but brings the conversation back to his paintings, telling his son that when he paints, he feels how David feels when he prays. Papa A. elaborates that it feels as though someone is painting through him, like his hand is being “divinely” guided. David takes note of this very specific claim and asks his father who’s guiding him? Papa A. claims ignorance on a specific name but he knows there is a difference from when he’s painting on his own versus this guiding hand at work.
“… when somebody else paints through me, that’s when it all comes together.”
David presses, asking his dad how he knows if it’s a bad spirit at work? Leon dismisses this idea saying there is no good or bad in art, it just is. David presses the point by saying the symbol only started appearing in his paintings three years ago. So, what happened three years ago? Leon says that’s when he met Esther and Cori.
“They brought new life to me.”
In the commune kitchen, Kristen is talking to the wives about how a thruple works. If you’re interested, Tuesdays and Thursdays, it’s ladies only. The rest of the week, it’s “first come, first served.”
Kristen begins to ask about the jealousy factor and Esther says they it all works with great delicacy. Then, Cori and Esther invite Kristen to be their third.
Wow. Just, wow.
Kristen responds to this offer by way of feeling very light headed all of a sudden. The wives happily mention that they spiked the sangria with about “$750 an ounce of hallucinogenic love.” Woozy, Kristen notices one of the demon sigils engraved on the sangria pitcher. Esther tells her it’s from her pottery and she doesn’t know where she saw the symbol before.
Kristen verbalizes the connection to Leon’s paintings and Cori replies, devilishly, Leon gets the sign from Esther’s pottery. She and Esther are very smiley and coquettish here.
“The power of symbols.”
Bouchard House. Andy Bouchard (Patrick Brammall), the mystery mountain man, (finally) arrives home only to find the house empty. No Kristen. No daughters. He walks through the entire place and you can feel the disappointment radiating off of him. Outside the girls’ room, he eyes their growth chart and cocks his head when he sees an entry for “Ben the Magnificent” coming in an adult sized person. [Ed. Note: I would totally cock my head at that too.]
Andy heads to Kristen’s outside office and, instead of his wife, finds his mostly naked mother-in-law and a man sharing the bed inside. Awkward reunions all around this episode!
After waiting a moment for everyone to compose themselves, Andy re-enters the office and Grandma Sheryl has managed to put a robe on. The man is still under the sheets. He tells his mother-in-law that he’ll meet her inside the main house. Poor Andy, what a welcome home.
Luckily, the awkwardness is cut short when the girls arrive home from school. The girls are frozen with shock and Andy breaks the tension by asking them if it’s “too much beard?”
Three out of the four daughters shriek with glee to see their Dad; Lynn, the oldest, is distant from him. Lynn is miffed he was away so long this time.
The Gully. The party is underway as Kristen sees David drinking deeply from a glass of sangria. She asks him how he’s had and informs him the drinks are spiked with psilocybin. David’s response is epic in its simplicity.
Yeah, David’s pretty messed up.
Side Note: Psilocybin is often found in what we call magic mushrooms. It’s a naturally occurring psychedelic, the effects of which include euphoria, visual and mental hallucinations, changes in perception, a distorted sense of time, spiritual experiences, and sometimes, can lead to adverse reactions such as nausea and panic attacks.
Sign me up!
Back to altered reality, David tells Kristen that Papa A. says he has no idea what the sigil in his paintings means. Kristen asks if David believes Leon?
“No. He told me this was just sangria too.”
Kristen tells David about Esther being the source of the sigil. David adds to the Esther download by saying it was Esther that introduced Papa A. to the roots ceremony – a weekly seance where they commune with the ghosts of their ancestors.
Drunk and drugged David is fairly amusing. He wears a very serious face that is hard to take seriously. Kristen speaks very loudly and slowly for him, saying they should keep an eye on Esther. This whole exchange made me laugh out loud.
The Recording Studio. Vanessa takes aim at Tony in the sound booth because he futzed with Ben’s voice by making it an octave higher. What she calls. “the scaredy cat edit.” Vanessa accuses Tony of doing this repeatedly to people of color. Girlfriend deletes everything she and Ben recorded that evening and threatens to sic Human Resources on him if he protests or retaliates against her. Ben is very turned by this badass attitude. The couple leave, heading to Vanessa’s apartment.
The Gully. Esther begins the roots ceremony. There is preaching and free verse chanting invoking the spirits to join them. There is stick pounding, clapping and soon, everyone is dancing. It’s not long before Drugged David and Sober Kristen get pulled into the fray, it’s all very innocent (so far) and free spirited. The camera quickly zooms away from the house and there is a lone person in an upstairs bedroom seen from the window turning on the light. Creepy!
Bouchard House. Andy is playing with the girls when Grandma Sheryl comes in. She’s rocking a (devil in a) red and black striped dress, wanting a word with Andy. They enter the kitchen and wow, all facades are off. These two do not like each other. Grandma Sheryl starts off by asking how long before Andy leaves again and he responds by asking about the boyfriend in the office? Grandma Sheryl has the nerve to ask for Andy’s discretion, specifically asking him to not tell Kristen. She explains that Kristen is not a fan of Grandma Sheryl’s boyfriend.
Well, if that isn’t the understatement of the year! Interesting that Grandma Sheryl is still clinging to this idea that Kristen doesn’t like her beau because she wants Grandma Sheryl to be alone. Denial much?
The venom is palpable between these two. Andy, acknowledging that Grandma Sheryl just asked him to keep a secret for her, asks her why Lynn is mat at him? Grandma Sheryl lets him have it, telling him he’s an absentee father which is especially worse given all Kristen has to deal with. In the end, Andy agrees to keep Grandma Sheryl’s secret.
He calls his wife’s cell but he’s having no luck getting a hold of her. He thinks it must be turned off.
The Gully. We see Kristen’s phone in her back pocket, ringing. But, Kristen doesn’t even notice because her and David are sexy close dancing. Kristen confesses that it’s been about 15 years since she was high and David jokes that it’s only been about 15 days for him.
The attraction and chemistry between them is so tangible. There is a good 15-20 seconds of them just dancing close, the music thumping in the background, staring into each other’s eyes. Kristen hungrily biting her lip. This is the hottest, horniest scene I’ve seen on network TV in a long time. It’s jam packed with so much unspoken desire. Kristen tells David why this moment is special for them.
“Because it’ll never happen again.”
Vanessa’s Apartment. Vanessa and Ben are getting comfortable. Vanessa asks if he wants to kiss her and he says yes. They start smooching on the floor but Ben stops, remembering the phone number thing and wants to know if she intentionally messed up her number. Vanessa stares at Ben a hard second and asks him to not judge her.
Ben immediately starts hypothesizing horrible scenarios, like she is in a relationship. It’s really nothing like that. Vanessa (cryptically) says that it was her sister that didn’t want them to be together.
Ben is all, say what now?
Vanessa tells Ben that her dead sister is grafted to her right side, like a phantom limb. Vanessa’s sister died when they were both young and now her sister is always with her and very protective.
What the actual fuck? Ben, The Magnificent, run! This bitch is crazy. Also Ben, you have THE BEST facial expressions!
The Gully. Kristen excuses herself from the dance floor and loopy David keeps on dancing. A pretty young woman, all dressed in white, slides rightin front of him and asks him to dance. She is going for it, all hands in the air. David notices that she’s barefoot but she laughs it off that she’s not worried about anyone stepping on her toes. Then loopy David notices she has old, deep scars up and down her arms.
The lady in the white dress says her name is Annie Commerce (Christiani Pitts). Loopy David thinks that sounds like a made up name. Annie asks if David believes in ghosts?
“I believe there is a life after death, so, I guess I do believe in ghosts.”
Annie looks deep into his eyes and tells David that he’s definitely Leon’s son. Suddenly, Annie Commerce leaves, telling David that she needs to go to the barn. They share a cute little wave and then she is gone.
David, I don’t mean to tell you how to do your priest job but homie, Annie Commerce is a ghost.
Outside, Loopy Kristen is catching fireflies. She’s the most adorable high person ever. Her moment of bliss is interrupted by the sound of someone screaming in pain.
Timidly, Kristen follows the screams right into a cornfield out of every horror movie ever. The terror induced by this entrance is is well done: Kristen’s high, disoriented, and frightened as she walks into the unknown. And you, the viewer feel it, you feel her terror.
Kristen finds Esther lying on the ground, screaming and bleeding. Kristen yells for help and tries calling 911 but her phone isn’t working. She urges Esther to breathe, but Esther bears down saying it’s coming. There’s a sickening thud as she gives birth. The baby is encased in the caul and is enormous. Without hesitation, Esther picks up her sack baby, rips open the membrane with her teeth and cradles her newborn, complete with cooing.
Kristen backs away, half nauseous and half terrified. We see what she sees and Esther is holding the most evil looking creature ever birthed on television. Pretty sure this is a psilocybin hallucination but dammit, I’ll take George any day of the week over that ghoul.
Loopy Kristen is funny as she’s trying to tell Esther that she “needs a doctor” and that something isn’t right here. No shit, Kristen. Esther asks if Kristen wants to hold the “baby” and our heroine takes off running and screaming. That is the right reaction. 100%!
Bouchard House. Andy is settling the girls in for bedtime. The girls, not really appreciating the bizarre happenings that they’ve been apart of the last two months, absent-mindedly tell their dad all about George the demon haunting Kristen’s dreams, Rose390 from the AR game, and how, on Halloween, Freaky Brenda convinced his daughters to bury Laura alive.
Fun times since you been gone, Andy!
Seizing on Rose390, the girls start telling their dad to play the AR game and Lynn is all, you don’t need to play the game because Ben will play with us. Nasty play, Lynn!
Who is this Ben, Andy asks, making the connection to the measurement outside the bedroom door.
The girls explain that Ben is a man who comes to their house ALL the time, but offer little else in way of explanation. They do say he fixes things for their mom. *eye roll* on these daughters. They mention the AR game again. Not to be outdone by Ben the Magnificent, Andy asks what the game is about. NOOOO!
Andy tells his girls that they need to finish the game, “Bouchard family style” and they fish the goggles out from Kristen’s closet.
The Gully. David goes to the barn looking for Annie and finds his Dad starting a new painting. Papa A. asks David who Annie is and David calls her Annie Commerce and describes her and her scars. Leon knows exactly who David is talking about and David snarks that he hopes his father isn’t planning on marrying this woman too.
No, Leon explains that Annie Commerce was a slave who died in 1859 and was an Acosta ancestor.
We come back from break and Papa A. is reading David an old-timey letter from June 7, 1836. It’s essentially a Bill of Sale and it describes the sale and purchase of a 23-year old woman named Annie from the ship, Commerce. The letter gives a basic description of the woman and it is signed by a John Bertens.
There is a picture of the slave in question and it is absolutely the woman from the party. The letter is in a plastic sleeve with an embossed red wax seal. Leon describes the seal as the slaver’s brand. The seal matches the demonic sigil from Papa A.’s paintings.
David confronts his father about the seal and why he lied about not knowing it earlier? Leon comes clean that he uses the sigil as a meaningful tool in his art and has made that symbol something else. David disagrees on this interpretation of the symbol’s use.
“It’s the seal of a racist who owned human beings. It’s evil.”
David realizes he’s not investigating evil in his father but the evil brought by slavery. He asks his father why he would use something that represents so much pain? Leon tries to explain to his son that there is pain in all of their DNA and by taking back the symbol from its original meaning, he hopes to re-purpose it. This is how he carries the weight of his pain.
“To me, that’s a symbol of resilience, of grace beyond all measure.”
David still disagrees on what that symbol means. Leon says that’s fine and that they each need to be left the room to carry their weight however they need to. But, make no mistake, an undeniable fact is that they both need to carry the weight somehow.
Vanessa’s Apartment. Ben and Vanessa are arguing the validity of her belief that her dead sister is attached to her. Vanessa asks if he wants to call it a night, but all her alluring bits are calling too Ben. Ben has a change of heart and apologizes to her.
Cut to Ben and Vanessa in bed, making progress but Ben’s distracted by Vanessa’s right side. He excuses himself to the bathroom. He gives himself a great come to Jesus moment pep talk in the mirror.
“She’s just a little nuts. what’s wrong with that. You don’t have to argue about everything. Come on!”
He takes out his phone to make a call.
The Gully. David’s phone rings (he definitely has better cell service that Kristen) and the caller ID says God. God is calling David. On an iPhone. David is still really disoriented as he picks up, asking who is calling?
It’s Ben the Magnificent! Ben admits he changed his contact info in David’s phone. And Holy cow did I laugh out loud out that.
Ben is in need of advice, whispering fervently into the phone about his current situation with the crazy lady. David tells Ben he just had a conversation with a 160-year old, dead woman. Ben takes a specific bit of advice away from this call.
“Just ignore the weirdness?”
Bouchard House. Andy and the girls fire up the AR game. Lynn joins him in the game. The butcher has a head rolling down the hallway, freaking out Andy. It takes a minute but Andy gets the hang of the game is making solid Dad jokes.
Fun time is over, though, because Rose390 is back. And, if possible, she is even creepier now because she knows why they’re here: to shut down the game.
The Ouija board is in the corner of Kristen’s room. Rose390’s voice gets deeper and angrier, trying to block them. She morphs her head into scary shapes but Andy is a good dad here. Lynn warns her father that Rose390 is dangerous, but Andy is confident they can take her. Andy takes Lynn’s hand and together, they cross through Rose390’s morphing and protestations. Rose390 disintegrates. Father and daughter move the piece on the board over the word “Goodbye” and everything in the game disappears. Lynn gives him a big hug. The family celebrates.
Kristen and David are taking an Uber back from upstate because they are still under the influence. They’re so fricking adorable and cuddly in the backseat.
Side Note: Kristen has her red T-shirt on from Leon.
Kristen doesn’t think they should tell the Monsignor about the sangria, but she will regale him with the tale of the baby ghoul she helped deliver. They fall into fits of laughter as she puts her head on David’s shoulder.
I wanna know the tab of that Uber ride?
At her house, David gets out of the car with Kristen. She tries to give back his sweater that she is wearing but he tells her to keep it. Gah, these two are so cute. Kristen has a wide goofy smile on her face as she waves goodbye to the departing Uber. We hear the door open as she turns around. Kristen’s smile falters a bit as Andy greets her from the front stoop with a “Hey Stranger.’
I said at the end of last week’s episode that I needed more on Ben, his character and the plot lines that have been left underdeveloped. Such as the thing with Vanessa from the Halloween episode. And here we are, more on Ben’s story arc! The gods are good.
This episode had a lightheartedness to it that was needed after the last few intense outings. I’ll say “lighthearted” as a qualifier so you don’t think I’m completely crazy. The thing with Ben changing his contact information on David’s phone to “God” tells me so much about Ben’s sense of humor.
A high Kristen and David? Just adorable. I have nothing to base this on but the David-Kristen romantic angle isn’t happening anytime soon, if at all. If something were to happen romantically, then it would have happened this episode when their defenses were low with the spiked sangria. A few times when they were dancing … they were so close. So Close.
Andy Bouchard is home and trying to catch up on what he missed. Hoo boy there is a lot and not for nothing, his daughter Lynn and all her stand-offishness didn’t help the situation. I think she knew what she was doing when she said Ben was coming over a lot and fixing stuff for Kristen.
Remember the pilot light from the first episode and the shower head from the episode where the parents killed their psychopathic kid? All Ben. Grandma Sheryl wasn’t happy with Andy when he was away and sending money home and now he’s home and she’s not happy. I need to know what happened here. They absolutely hate each other!
I have an observation about Kristen’s bed. I got my husband to finally cave and watch EVIL and we watched the first episode together. From the scenes with George and her daughters hopping into bed with her, she has a double bed, which is barely big enough for 2 people. I notice the weirdest stuff.
Are Leon’s ancestors the muses guiding his hand when he paints? I’m a hobby genealogist. I love the mysteries of the past and the discoveries of similar personality traits and physical features as they get passed down. But like all mysteries, there is both light and dark lurking in the past. How can Leon be sure he’s got a handle on a symbol of a supreme evil from our nation’s past?
Or does that even matter to him? he says in this episode that good and bad don’t matter so much to him when it comes to his art. It is what it is.
Since Leland only made a veiled appearance in this episode, bet your bottom dollar he’ll be back with a vengeance next time. Sadly, that next time won’t be until December 5th!!! The God Squad is taking Thanksgiving off.
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EVIL airs Thursday nights on CBS at 10pm (ET/PT). We’ll be live tweeting from time to time so check us out on Twitter!
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