Reader, have you been spending the last week replying, "Oh boy, do you have that right," to anyone who even remotely tries to tell you anything about yourself? If not, I highly recommend it — it is extremely empowering. By now, we should all be worshipping at the altar of Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers), who in "177 Minutes" again refuses to take crap from anyone, even if that 'anyone' happens to be the very disturbing and definitely evil incarnate Leland Townsend (Michael Emerson). That's right, folks: Just because Kristen, David (Mike Colter), and Ben (Aasif Mandvi) are investigating a miracle instead of a demonic possession, it doesn't mean it's any less creepy on Evil this week.
In fact, both of our monsters from the pilot are back. You didn't think they'd introduce a fabulously horrible demon like George (Marti Matulis) and then get rid of him, did you? This week, he visits not only Kristen in a night terror but her youngest daughter Laura (Dalya Knapp), as well. After fretting about it, Kristen realizes that George looks an awful lot like the monster of the new scary show her daughters are watching — excuse me, streaming — and that must explain why both she and Laura saw the same demon in their nightmares. It makes sense, but something tells me that's not the end of old Georgie boy.
The more pressing and, let's be honest, much scarier monster resurfacing this week is Leland. That dude is the definition of "giving one the creeps," and it looks like he's not going away any time soon. Kristen is approached by D.A. Lewis Cormier (Danny Burstein) about forgetting that whole "if you can't lie for me on the stand, I don't want you" thing from last week and bringing her back on board as his expert forensic psychologist. Kristen, most definitely not a dummy, uses this offer as leverage to secure a two-year contract with David Acosta and the Catholic Church (she is their "psychological and medical expert," after all). She looks like she enjoys telling Lewis she has to turn down his offer, but any enjoyment is completely crushed when he informs her that he actually found a different forensic psychologist to take over all of her cases: Leland Townsend.
Apparently, Leland was able to convince Lewis that his connections to Orson the Serial Killer were due to an online hack. Leland once again harasses Kristen about what he knows from the notes he stole from Kristen's therapist, Kurt (Kurt Fuller). He also informs her that with his new position he'll be letting the bad guys go free because, well, because he's a dick. Finally, he tells her that David is not what he seems and she should ask him "about the second time he saw God." Which is a very creepy thing to ask even when you have context! Can this dude get a life? Or at least a plant?
Not like Kristen isn't already stressed enough without Leland poking around. The case she, David, and Ben are working on is making her feel all sorts of ways. Three weeks prior, a teen named Naomi Clark (Hannah Hodson) suffered from cardiac arrest during a soccer game and was declared dead at the hospital. Three hours after that, and after she'd been given a blessing by a Father Augustus (Dakin Matthews), a doctor began an autopsy...and Naomi Clark woke up. She's alive! It's a miracle!
Well, it's a miracle under investigation. Father Augustus and his new legion of fans would like you to think it was a miracle. The hospital would certainly not: Naomi suffered from hyper-inflation and undiagnosed COPD, meaning her lungs couldn't hold oxygen and it gave the appearance she was dead. That's it, the very defensive Chief of Whatever says. And David Acosta's boss, the Monsignor (Boris McGiver), just wants to get to the bottom of it without embarrassing the church.
The biggest clue for Team Miracle comes in the form of some bright white entity flashing across the surveillance footage that shows the doctors at Harbor Hospital administering chest compressions to Naomi Clark in the trauma bay — a bright white entity that has the face of the woman who died in that very same room just an hour before Naomi. You guys, we've got a Maybe Angel. If anyone is going to debunk such a ridiculous concept, it is "tech specialist" and contractor Ben Shakir, who is a treasure we do not deserve. He thinks it could be an artifact from an old digital recording on the same card, or maybe something called "ground looping" that is also very tech-y and possible and whatever, I believe Ben. Protect Ben at all costs!
There's also Naomi's own experience to be considered. She tells David and Kristen that while she was "dead" she saw a swirling black hole from which 60 people emerged (is it The 60? Who are those people?), but then that Maybe Angel touched her hand and she woke up on the autopsy table. It is a story equal parts compelling and terrifying, and I wish that teen the best of luck in her future endeavors. Although there is some evidence pointing toward miracle, ultimately, David takes a closer look at the surveillance footage and figures out what's going on. This is no miracle; this is implicit racism. That's a wild sentence, but by no means will it be the wildest I'll ever write in regards to this show.
David goes back through the hospital records and discovers that on average, the doctors at Harbor Hospital spend 58 minutes performing life-saving measures on white patients and only 23 on patients of color — patients like Naomi Clark, who, yes, suffers from COPD, and who would never have been declared dead in the first place if they had worked on her longer. Kristen and David gather all the evidence and get it in the hands of a prosecutor who can argue a civil rights lawsuit against the hospital. Suck on that, Chief of Whatever! Still, there is the matter of the Maybe Angel that cannot be explained either way — and the Monsignor shadily tells David to just drop it — so the Miracle Squad doesn't get all the answers they may be craving.
It's more than curiosity; this case hits Kristen from an emotional angle, too. She reveals to David that her youngest daughter, Laura — the one dreaming of demons — was born with a heart condition that means she has a 50/50 shot of making it to her 20th birthday. It's hard for Kristen to wrap her head around the idea of miracles — that God chooses some people to bestow them upon while leaving others to fend for themselves. How could God pick winners and losers, she asks David. He doesn't really have an answer for her, but would any answer suffice?
David has his own issues with God, anyway. We get a glimpse of just how plagued he is by temptation. He's constantly praying — even when a vision of Leland hangs around and performs Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First" to try to distract him — and in the end, he can't seem to fight temptation on prayer and jogging alone. He ends up in a club buying hallucinogenic drugs in hopes of having spiritual visions. Yes, it's true: Leland wasn't making things up when he mentioned Kristen should ask David about "the second time he saw God" — David had a vision and he's kind of a big deal with the Church because of it. It happened around the time Julia died, and the vision helped him through it — but he hasn't had one since. Well, hopped up on drugs, we see him have another one. While floating above his bed, he peers into the bring light swirling above him, full of people (souls?), looks closely, and says, "Julia?"
To say things on this show are getting weird would truly be an understatement.
Evil airs Thursdays at 10/9c on CBS.
Previously on Evil...
Evil Season 1, Episode 1 Recap: "Pilot"
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