EVIL Season 1 Episode 9 Review: Exorcism Part 2


And so it begins: the dreaded love triangle.

Of course, I could be completely off base, but EVIL Season 1 Episode 9 saw another leg being added to the Kristen/Acosta flirtationship with the introduction of Renée.

Played by Renée Elise Goldsberry, the character Renée Harris works as a lawyer for the Catholic Church who shared a history with Acosta.

Initially, naive viewers, like myself, thought the pair’s only connection was through Julia, the late love of Acosta’s life and Renée sister.

Things were even on the upswing, as Renée’s introduction allowed viewers to get a better understanding of Acosta’s past, and how Julia’s death prompted him to join priesthood.

Renée: So the priesthood.
Acosta: Are you surprised?
Renée: That wasn’t your thing.
Acosta: It wasn’t your thing to be a church lawyer either.
Renée: My sister screwed us both up.
Acosta: She got you to promise too?
Renée: On her deathbed – The church needs you.
Acosta: She probably told everybody the same thing that last day.
Renée: That’s Julia for you: Always has to have the last word, even from the grave.

It even made conceptual sense that her character showed up, as Renée was the lawyer who represented Acosta in a lawsuit filed by Caroline Hopkins, the woman who Acosta helped exorcise in EVIL Season 1 Episode 5.

She was a smart, loyal, “take no prisoners” kind of character, and then the writers decided to ruin it.

Why, oh why, did Renée have to proclaim her undying attraction to Acosta?

What good does it do anyone to have things further complicated by another confession of love like?

As a priest, Acosta is supposed to practice clerical celibacy, though viewers have seen how loosely he tends to follow some of the Church’s other teachings.

The final scene between Acosta and Renée ended on a rather suggestive implication, and it is impossible to guess what did or did not happen.

I’m on the side of nothing happening between Acosta and Renée as the whole ordeal will make things more complicated for his faith and his relationship with Kristen.

I am in favor of Acosta admitting that he wanted something to happen, and then questioning where that leads him.

Acosta: Did you get a subpoena?
Kristen: No, but I probably will because they’ll use my testimony against you.
Acosta: That’s why I wanted to know how much we disagree.
Kristen: David, I’m sorry. Whatever we say right now, I will be asked about and they’ll want to know if we tried to get our story straight. That’ll make you look worse. So you need to be able to swear that we didn’t get our story straight. Right now, I can say that we talked. You asked if I was subpoenaed, and our conversation lasted exactly five minutes. If this goes any further, I’ll be under oath and have to admit to more.

It would be a much more compelling storyline to watch Acosta question his faith due to his differing beliefs over some of the Church’s teachings rather than just because he slept with a woman.

Like Renée said, there are other ways Acosta can serve the Church without joining the priesthood.

As for Andy, well he’s still pretty much a dud who stands in the way of Kristen getting together with Acosta.

Putting aside all his past transgressions, of which there are many, he continued to be the unsupportive husband viewers have expected.

Maybe his jealousy of Ben was understandable, but his blatant disregard for Kristen’s changing religious beliefs was out of line.

If Kristen is questioning her faith and maybe wants to become an “unlapsed” Catholic, who is Andy to stand in her way?

Plenty of couples have differing religious beliefs and still manage to make it work, so why couldn’t they.

I thought Andy may have figured that out when he first presented Kristen the small gift toward the end of the episode, as I assumed it was a small cross necklace.

Kristen: It’s exciting. You know how we always talked about not wanting to work in an office or knowing exactly what our day was gonna bring? This is that. I’m just always surprised.
Andy: I’m glad. Are you high?
Kristen: Yeah.
Andy: Is that part of the work too?

That gift would have said, ‘I’m sorry for being an [explective], and I love and support you know matter what.’

What he gave her was essentially a “Get Out of Jail Free Card” where she could abandon her family to go climbing and not feel guilty about it.

And it’s not like Kristen ever said she missed the adventures — which she probably does — but Andy just assumed that must be it because she’s really enjoying her new job.

Andy, quick word of advice: Let’s save the therapeutic talk about transference for the trained professional, also known as your wife.

It’s become clear that Kristen and Andy just aren’t connecting on an emotional level anymore.

While they seemed to have no trouble with physical intimacy, that’s not enough to sustain a marriage.

Whether it’s due to Andy’s extended time away or Kristen’s new experiences through work, these two are most likely headed toward a divorce down the road.

And since Andy is so firmly a “lapsed” Catholic, a divorce is something that can actually happen based on his religion.

Renée: Do you have a jacket with that?
Kristen: With this? Yes, but not with me.
Renée: Can someone get it for you?
Kristen: Why?
Renée: I want you to look like a doctor.
Kristen: A jacket will make me look like a doctor?
Renée: Yes.

Though it may be too soon to expect any sort of papers to be signed by the end of the season.

Lastly, Townsend continued to be the worst therapist in the world, and his actions led to the literal death of his patient Sebastian. 

Keen viewers will have noticed that Townsend was planning on using Sebastian for some “great evil,” but I didn’t expect that plan to involve killing Acosta.

What exactly is Townsend’s obsession with Acosta anyway?

To the untrained eye, Acosta is just a priest-in-training with a slightly salacious and drug-addled past.

The Sixty are the incarnate of all evil, so what about Acosta makes him a target that demons are bent on destroying?

Is it because Acosta has drawn the attention of God, as Bishop Marks mentioned this episode, or because he’s able to talk to God when he’s high? Is it some other reason altogether?

Judith: Did Ms. Harris prep you for this testimony?
Kristen: Yes.
Judith: And what did she say?
Kristen: She told me to be honest and concise.
Judith: And did she say anything about me?
Kristen: Yes, she told me that you hated your last name and wanted to take it out on the world.

That question has mostly skirted beneath the surface, but I’m interested in seeing how the series will address it in the future.

Some stray thoughts:

  • Though there was no new “case of the week” this episode, the series had more than enough material to work with, thus furthering proving the show is at is best when it doesn’t get boggled down by logistics of possessions or miracles. 

  • There was too little of Ben this episode, and his snarky quips were missed. I get that not all ensemble characters are created equally, but is it too much to ask for a few more Ben scenes here and there?

  • As scary as the subplot involving Sebastian going on a mass killing spree was, especially since it does happen on a regular basis, there was some comfort to seeing him accidentally shoot himself in the head.If we didn’t live in a world plagued by constant mass shootings, the end result would have been more humorous rather than little tone deaf.

So what did you think EVIL Fanatics?

What are your thoughts on the introduction of Renée? Do you love her, hate her, or fall somewhere in between?

Did she and Acosta actually sleep together?

On a scale of loveless marriage to a gruesome divorce involving a heated custody battle, where do Kristen and Andy stand?

Why is Townsend so obsessed with Acosta?

Hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the latest episode, don’t worry. You can watch EVIL online right here at TV Fanatic.

Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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