Let's kick this thing off with one astute and deep question I'd like to throw out to you: Um, WHAT IN THE ACTUAL WHAT? David (Mike Colter) and Kristen (Katja Herbers) head upstate to David's father Leon's (Vondie Curtis-Hall) farm, called The Gully, to investigate just why a demonic sigil on the Map of Evil from that codex is popping up on Leon's paintings, and they find the artist throwing a party. You guys, this party has everything: throuples, sangria spiked with hallucinogens, ancestor ghosts, and what I can only refer to as Goblin Baby. Evil has had several truly insane moments (will we ever get clarification on Fire Sex?), but "2 Fathers" might take the cake. And I haven't even mentioned Ben (Aasif Mandvi) and his supernatural double date. So, in follow-up to my original question posed to you, I ask: Excuse me, what?
Kristen and David go to The Gully with the blessing of the Monsignor (Boris McGiver), who has now seen their contraband copy of the demon map and okayed their mission to investigate more of the 60 sigils drawn on it. Anything related to the 60 is no joke. The Monsignor is, however, concerned about David dealing with his father, should he turn out to be a demon. I mean, a natural thing to worry about regardless of the situation, only compounded by the fact that David hasn't seen his father for five years.
That would explain why when they roll up at The Gully, David is taken aback to learn that his father has a new wife. "You know how much I love marriage," is just the perfect explanation. Not only is Leon married to a woman named Esther (Nana Mensah), who is six months pregnant with his child, but he is also married to Cori (Jenn Colella). Yes, friends, they are a real, live throuple, living their best lives at The Gully. And by best lives, I mean they are preparing to hold a ceremony in which they are calling on the ghosts of their ancestors. You know, just a typical day in upstate New York.
David has a chat with his father in his art studio/barn in an attempt to figure out what prompted Leon to start using that sigil in his art. Leon insists is just came to him, but interesting tidbit: It started three years ago — when he met Esther and Cori. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the party is getting started, and as Esther and Cori ask if Kristen might enjoy being the third wife in their little farm situation they have going on, Kristen notices the sigil on a piece of pottery that Esther made. It's on all of her pottery. So, um, yes, we should be watching these two ladies.
Unfortunately, Kristen and David's investigation gets a bit derailed when they realize they've both been sucking down sangria spiked with hallucinogens. What's left for them to do but dance it the hell out with everyone else? Just for clarification, I do not mean literal hell. You never know with this show! The ceremony calling on the ancestors begins, full of singing and dancing, and I'd like to tell you that all of Kristen and David's dancing and flirting and getting closer and closer is the big news here, but, no, because some actual gosh dang ghosts arrive to this party. Ghosts!
Perhaps focusing on a David-Kristen hookup at this juncture would only result in disappointment because guess who just arrived home? Kristen's long-lost sherpa-husband Andy (Patrick Brammall), our second of the titular "2 Fathers." He does not get the welcome home he was expecting. Instead of a warm hug from his wife and doting daughters, and perhaps, I don't know, a baked good of some sort, he instead walks in on his mother-in-law Sheryl (Christine Lahti) humping Leland (Michael Emerson) in Kristen's office. All the canned margaritas in the world will not help him unsee that. Apparently, Andy and Sheryl have a contentious relationship, and they take multiple swipes at one another, he about her sex life, she about him abandoning his family for three months. It should be noted that Sheryl is still wearing red (Leon also wants to paint Kristen a red t-shirt upon meeting her, so red, red, red, friends), and she asks Andy to keep her afternoon tryst a secret from Kristen, which, like, is a big ask after you were just dressing the dude down for being a bad husband.
Post Sheryl, Andy's doing damage control with his daughters. Most are happy to see him, but the oldest, Lynn (Brooklyn Shuck), is standoff-ish. As the girls fill their father in on what's been going on while he's been gone — you know, evil dream demons named George, near-live burials thanks to randos in masks, freaky VR children, that sort of thing — Lynn mentions that Ben has been around fixing things for Kristen. Lynn is young, but well versed in the art of passive-aggressiveness. All of this leads to Andy and Lynn donning those VR goggles one more time, fighting past Rose390 (Nora Murphy), who is much scarier this time around, dear lord, a true power up, and closing whatever Rose390 made them open with that ouija board the last time. I doubt it will be the last time we see Rose390, but it is a nice family moment for Andy and the girls. Holy hell, is Kristen going to have some explaining to do when she gets home.
But she's not home. Kristen is still high as a ding-dong in upstate New York. She leaves the dance party for some air and relief from the sexual tension. David begins dancing with another young woman named Annie Commerce (Christiani Pitts). She's in a long white dress with no shoes, and she has scars all over her arm, but the two are having a great time. Then she tells David his eyes are just like his father's and retreats to the barn. Weird, but I imagine many things seem weird at a party like this.
Speaking of weird, Ben runs into Vanessa (Nicole Shalhoub) at an ADR session for the Gotham Ghosts episode he did and he learns that she didn't ignore him the three times he tried calling — the number she wrote on his hand was wrong. Back at her apartment, mid-makeout session, he learns why she wrote that wrong number on his hand, and the explanation is a doozy: Vanessa tells Ben that her sister died when they were young and that ever since then she's been grafted to Vanessa's right arm, and she is the one who made Vanessa write down the incorrect phone number because she doesn't want Vanessa and Ben to be together. That is either something very supernatural going on, an indication that Vanessa is actually cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, or the greatest excuse as to why you gave out a fake number but still are down to have sex with someone. Ben, dear, skeptical Ben, is extremely concerned about option No. 2. But he's also super into Vanessa. What will win out, his head or his, you know.
Meanwhile, back in the barn, David asks Leon about his friend Annie Commerce. But Leon has some big news for his son: Annie Commerce isn't his friend; she's one of their enslaved ancestors. She died in 1859. Leon has documentation and even a photo to confirm it. David was dancing with a ghost! Whether hallucinogenic-induced or not, that's freaking weird. On top of that, David notices that the wax seal on the letter from the man who owned Annie is branded with the sigil on Leon's paintings. That's where Leon got it from. Leon isn't the evil one; the racist slaveowner is. David tries to explain that this symbol brings nothing but pain, but that's exactly why Leon uses it — he's reclaimed it. It once meant something awful, but now, to Leon, it symbolizes resilience. The two men don't see eye to eye on many things, including this and also David's choice to be religious, but it's here they come to an understanding. It's a big moment for David.
Then you remember that this moment of healing is possibly because David just saw a ghost. A ghost, people! It's the perfect time for him to get a phone call from a panicked Ben. Honestly, this is a phone call that could only happen on Evil. Ben's all like: Help me, I want to hook up with this woman but she thinks that her dead sister is grafted to her, what do I do? And David's like: Sir, I just saw a woman who's been dead 160 years. The world is weird, get over it! The phone call is perfect. We don't see what Ben does next, but I really hope this is the beginning of Evil's second throuple.
And yet still, my dear friends, ancestor ghosts and dead sister ghosts do not even come close to what Kristen experiences this evening. When she steps away from the party to go catch some fireflies, as one does, she hears horrific screams coming from the cornfield. She follows those screams and finds Esther giving birth right there on the ground! She can't get through to 911 and no one hears them calling for help, and then all of a sudden Esther gives birth. You guys. I don't even know how to fully convey what Kristen sees. It's a sac with something inside. Esther, acting like this is her beautiful daughter born into the world this night, rips open that sac with her teeth and pulls out a disgusting, terrifying goblin baby thing that will haunt my dreams for the rest of my days. Is this a hallucination? Is this real? We do not know! Kristen does what so many of us would do: She yells that this is not normal and runs away.
So I ask again: WHAT IN THE ACTUAL WHAT?
We don't even know if Kristen tells David, because the next time we see them together, she's in her red t-shirt and they're cozied up asleep on one another in the back seat of an Uber on their way home. It's a very flirty, smiley, drug-induced goodbye, but I have to imagine Kristen goes stone cold sober when she turns around and finds Andy at her door. Honestly, her husband being back while she is having feelings for her co-worker is the least of her problems. Did you see that women bite that goblin baby out of that sac?
Evil airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS.
Previously on Evil...
Evil Season 1, Episode 1 Recap: "Pilot" | Evil Season 1, Episode 2 Recap: "177 Minutes" | Evil Season 1, Episode 3 Recap: "3 Stars" | Evil Season 1, Episode 4 Recap: "Rose390" | Evil Season 1, Episode 5 Recap: "October 31" | Evil Season 1, Episode 6 Recap: "Let x = 9" | Evil Season 1, Episode 7 Recap: "Vatican III"