Created by the brilliant Robert and Michelle King (who also run the other best show on Paramount+, “The Good Fight”, a very different show in narrative but another that constantly undermines the expectations of storytelling), “Evil” is essentially a modern “The X-Files” with the supernatural and religious rather than the alien. The skeptic in this case is Dr. Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers), a forensic psychologist hired to uncover the truth of possible miracles or demonic The believer is David Acosta (Mike Colter), a former journalist studying to become a priest and facing his own crises of faith.They team up with a contractor named Ben (Aasif Mandvi), the logical mind who is supposed to be prove the scientific explanations for what they discover, but finds himself increasingly doubting what he knows to be true.The incredible Michael Emerson as Dr. Leland Townsend, a literal vessel for evil, and Kristen’s mother Sheryl (Christine Lahti), who is both devoted to her daughter and fascinated by her rival, causes trouble on the fringe.
The ten-episode third season picks up right where the previous season ended, as Kristen and David are about to give in to their strong mutual attraction. Of course, in the “evil” way, things don’t go as expected, and the show poses serious problems for David early in the season, especially after he is approached by a Vatican envoy to perform some tasks. The Catholic Church is presented on “Evil” almost as an organization that would use the Cigarette Smoking Man in “The X-Files”, which operates in the shadows to amplify acts of faith and hide examples of unchecked evil.
The writers of “Evil” pack the title in different ways each episode, and that’s the show’s greatest joy, seeing how they can find examples of evil in everything from memes to a game that looks like “Animal Crossing.” to cryptocurrencies. What does the word evil mean? And how does it make its way through everyday life? It’s one of the most sharply written shows on TV and I love how it embraces the lost art of episodic storytelling. Like his inspirations, episodes often present self-contained stories, but they work in the structure of the overall play. They are like patches in a quilt, great on their own, but also easily appreciated in the context of the cumulative piece.