‘Evil’ Recap, Season 4, Episode 7


Evil

How to Bandage a Wound

Season 4

Episode 7

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

Photo: Elizabeth Fisher/Paramount+

You can’t trust Sheryl Lauria for much, but you can trust her to keep her promises regarding her granddaughters. Sorry, Leland, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal, but the woman did tell you back when things first started that if you tried to come for one of the girls she would cut your dick off. You don’t make that kind of threat lightly! This is why we pick up right where we left off last week, with Leland returning home to find the place ripped apart, the blood-written threat on the floor, and Sheryl sitting in wait, knife in hand.

Leland only starts to take Sheryl’s threats seriously when she informs him that save for some bottles she took for herself, she destroyed his entire stock of that youth-transfusion goo. Apparently, if they don’t take it they’ll age 20 years in 20 days. It sounds gross, but also I would like to see that. Both Sheryl and Leland stab each other. Like, really, really stab each other. “Too bad you’re a little short down there,” Sheryl laments, unable to go all the way with her promise before she heads over to Kristen’s for help and winds up in the hospital. Both Sheryl and Leland survive their wounds, but wow, is it so on. There is no way both of them will survive this, and by the way Sheryl is tearfully telling her daughter that she’ll “earn [her] trust back,” I’m worried about her. Regardless, it’s fun to see Sheryl and Leland finally up the ante on their demented relationship. What a joy to watch these two stab one another!

Things are escalating everywhere, which is no surprise since, and I’m very sorry to say this but, we’re entering the back half of the season. Things are especially escalating over at the Bouchard residence which this week we learn has a literal path to Hell underneath it. Now, I learned everything I know about real estate from Selling Sunset, but I’m sure this feature will up its resale value.

How do we come to such a discovery? Well, if we’re being honest, we should’ve seen it coming since there is that giant hole in the basement wall that no one has ever explained, and that’s on us. But thanks to a haunted train engineer, we find out anyway.

This poor guy! The assessors are tasked with helping a train engineer who believes he’s been seeing ghosts on his route. He tells them this awful story about the amount of people he’s had to watch kill themselves on the tracks and not be able to do anything to stop it — by the time he sees them, it’s usually too late. The latest death, a girl in her prom dress, keeps returning to the same spot and now he sees her appear and then get dragged away by something scary. This whole scene is gutting. Jefferson White, who plays the engineer, is so great here — Evil really does get some great actors to come in and play for an episode, don’t they? — everything about him is screaming haunted. The air around him feels heavier. Has our team ever been so quietly traumatized just listening to a victim’s story? His “it’s terrible, it’s terrible to kill someone” will, well, haunt me!!

It’s David and Ben who wind up taking a ride on the train that evening, and our engineer once again sees the ghost in the same spot, a section of track he calls “the Death Stretch.” David and Ben don’t see it, but when they get out to investigate, they find two very interesting things. First, David spots a horned demon — definitely could be the scary thing dragging the prom ghost off. Second, when the demon runs away from them, jumping off the bridge they’re on, the guys look down and realize they are standing right above Kristen’s house. The reveal that Kristen lives directly under “the Death Stretch,” I wanted to slow clap for that reveal. After they find some claw marks down the side of the bridge leading into Kristen’s backyard, David wants to assess her entire house. While Kristen is staunchly against it, her daughters overhear the conversation. They do their own investigating via a Demon Tracker app and immediately run into some sort of being that informs them that, yes, it would like to harm them. Suffice it to say, the Bouchard girls beg their mother for an exorcism on their house, and that’s probably the fifth weirdest sentence I’m going to have to write in this recap.

An exorcism — or “minor exorcism,” as Kristen calls it — it is. At Lynn’s request, now that her sister narced on her and her secret meetings with Sister Andrea, Sister Andrea is joining David in the ceremony to cleanse the house, too. She finds some remnants of Tommy, the Grief Demon, still in Kristen’s bathroom, although he doesn’t show up (#WheresTommy). However, the biggest discovery is down in the basement. In the hole! Kristen explains that the hole was just there when they bought the house. A contractor was supposed to fill it in, but he never did, and they just let it go all this time. Wild, if true.

Sister Andrea doesn’t hesitate to climb in and what she finds is much stranger than a colony of bats. She follows a long trail deeper and deeper until she comes upon the horned demon from the train tracks. He’s Lou and Sister Andrea’s holy water and crucifixes and prayers won’t work on him down here. He doesn’t exactly say that, yes, this is a path to Hell, but it sure seems like one. He has more power here than our demon-fighting nun; he grabs her wrist and it burns. This house is under attack, Sister Andrea tells Kristen. She isn’t leaving until they block up that hole. Ben leaves to grab some bricks from the rectory to do it that night; Sister Andrea isn’t messing around. She watches guard — Lou is more susceptible to her power outside of the tunnel, so he stays put, relegated to making fart noises while Sister Andrea does her thing — until the Bouchards are safe. The assessors find out not long after that the patch has solved our sad train engineer’s haunting problem, too. Good for him! Well, I guess he’s still forced to watch people kill themselves on train tracks, but it … feels almost like a win? Maybe?

The thing is, the hole to the path to Hell might be patched up, but the demons who were using that path are now all hanging outside of the house. Late one night, Lexis takes the Demon Hunter app out to the backyard and suddenly dozens of those demon spirits appear. The Bouchard house isn’t safe just yet.

The Bouchards aren’t the only ones with a tougher fight ahead of them. Poor Ben! His, uh, brain situation is only getting worse. He’s seeing and hearing the jinn, he’s getting massive migraines, and he is blacking out for huge parts of his day. He doesn’t remember asking Renée to move in with him, he doesn’t remember a call he made telling her he was picking up scented candles (he doesn’t have this call on his phone either, suspicious!), and he definitely doesn’t remember sending her a video of him singing “Baby Come Back” and begging her to stay. I, on the other hand, will remember that forever.

But what’s happening to Ben is alarming in ways we’re only just diving into. This man of science is now questioning his very reality. He has no scientific explanation for what’s happening to him. More than that, through this job, especially in the past few months, he’s seen more and more that he can’t explain. His world crumbles even further during a conversation with his sister Karima about their parents. Ben remembers his dad having migraines, too, and he asks his sister what he did to get rid of them. Karima has to break some bad news: Their dad was cheating on their mom for years, and he used migraines as an excuse to get out of the house. When their mother died, the migraines stopped altogether. Here he is, questioning his reality once again, in a different, deeply personal way.

His conversation with Kristen during the exorcism shows just how much all of this is messing with him. Ben is struggling. “I thought I knew what I believed, what I wanted,” he tells her. Instead, he is overwhelmed with how much “life is a fucking mystery.” He’s overwhelmed by the immense evil he sees taking hold in this world; There’s no scientific explanation for that either. Realizing he might have had so many things wrong, realizing he can’t find all the answers he wants in science is throwing Ben.

He seems deeply depressed by what’s happening, but does his final conversation with Renée point to a less cynical outcome for the guy? He’s completely confused by the Ben in the video Renée shows him. That guy is nothing like him. He is open and vulnerable. In an unexpected moment, Ben tells Renée that maybe he could learn to be more like the other Ben. He clearly sees something in this other version of himself that he wishes he had. It’s such a powerful character moment. In another surprising moment, Renée turns him down — that’s some really sound decision-making coming from the woman who runs a cult. I mean, I love Ben, but let’s maybe not be dating the man who is blacking out and blaming it on a jinn, even if it may be true. Especially if it may be true! Leave helping Ben to the experts. (David and Kristen, obviously, do you even know me?)

• Kristen’s conversation with Sister Andrea about Lynn is so lovely. Kristen admits she would be heartbroken to watch her smart, caring, all-star of a daughter choose a life where she is relegated to mopping floors for men. (A shout-out to Fenna and the silent monastery episode is always welcome!) Sister Andrea eases some of Kristen’s fears: She isn’t there to convince or persuade Lynn to become a nun; she just wants to answer her questions honestly — and she’ll answer any Kristen has, too. I think they’re bonding!

• “It’s like I’m right back in Catholic school. A nun tells me what to do, and I fucking do it.”

• Kristen, when she learns about what her daughters have been up to, including Laura dabbling in some chewing tobacco at school: “What happened to my daughters? Since when have they become demented longshoremen?”

• Another delicious moment in Leland and Sheryl’s feud: As Leland tries to bandage his wound, Timmy is screaming, but when he goes to play the recordings of Kristen’s therapy sessions, he finds that they’ve all been deleted. Michael Emerson is just over here absolutely eating up his “YOU BITCH!”





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