Evil’s S3 Finale: ‘End’ brings us Death Interrupted, Life Unexpected..?

After the Monsignor's untimely death, Kristen receives more devastating news, but there are more revelations to come...

The aftermath of the Monsignor’s murder reverberates, with everyone horrified by his demise but unsure who is responsible. As the investigation into his death begins internally, there’s also distressing news delivered that Andy Bouchard has been caught in an avalanche and is missing presumed dead. However, some smart detective work by the Bouchard kids makes them suspect that the origin of the news may not be trustworthy as he seems and when there’s a knock at the door, things pivot dramatically once again…

As Leland and Sheryl’s plan needs quick rethinking, the church team themselves are assigned a new case… and if one crisis after another isn’t enough, this is one that will literally strike close to home…



Thirty-eight days. Woe to Babylon…

The End is near, or at least in this weekend’s instalment of Evil, entitled The Demon of the End is here, though it’s pointed out it might be the ‘Angel of the Beginning’…

And, no, the obvious answer before it’s asked is that the show, one of the best series currently on television and already renewed for that fourth season, isn’t in the mood for sweeping answers, so much as some revelations and some welcome connective tissue that binds our team together. Containing many of its signature moves, The Demon of the End has moments of human strength and weakness, a handful of zags instead of zigs and some abstract demons lurking around the crevices of perception.

After only being back for a short while, Grace is whisked away, apparently back to the Vatican, though one hopes that’s not the last we see of her or that she’s simply being a maguffin to conveniently foreshadow moments in the run so far and removed to prevent that on a narrative level. The case of the week turns out to be in the house next door to Kristen, with the neighbour claiming strange noises and voices are coming through the grating. Kristen confirms with her girls that it’s not them playing tricks but that they’ve heard a little girl’s voice as well… When Kristen wonders if the reverse is true and the neighbour’s daughter is responsible, it turns out that there isn’t a daughter in the house – only her son.  Spooky. It’s yet again a case serving as an access point to broader themes… this time we do know that it’s actual demons who are traipsing through the Bouchard household – or certainly the sights we share of them through the eyes of several characters –  though it’s unclear if the situation is ever resolved to the neighbour’s satisfaction.

And… Andy’s dead. No, wait, Andy’s home! When it comes to his survival and return, the reaction in our own house was mixed. Clearly we wanted Andy (Patrick Brammall) to be somehow saved as he’s arguably the most innocent character in the show to and hasn’t been used as well as he might (partially due to Brammall’s schedule/availability). Plus, y’know…anything that thwarts Leland’s plan is fine by us.  Early scenes seemed to point to his demise (boo!) but when he walked back through the door (huzzah!), just as Grace described, it was several minutes before we accepted it wasn’t some dream/fake-out. The amnesia defence still feels a little soap-operatic, even if it was the only logical alternative to writing him out/having the conspiratorial house of cards come tumbling down. (That being said, if the family had arrived home to find Andy stepping out of the shower and him being bewildered about news of his supposed ‘death’, that would have been gloriously meta!).

Frustratingly, there are things that don’t quite work within the episode, things that happen (or don’t) because of the needs of the plot rather than those which should transpire more organically.  After Leland’s murder of the Monsignor, he apparently escapes the premises far too easily. Are there no security cameras in the entire building? When asked, Grace simply says that a strange man did it, but if she’d been asked for just a bit more detail, I’m sure a ‘Horrible little weasel with glasses and a demonic smile‘ would have narrowed down the suspects to one obvious candidate.  Given Wallace Shawn’s appearance in this episode and how distraught Father Frank Ignatius is over his friend’s death, did Grace manage to relay the Monsignor’s dying words for him – it seems not given the timeline. It’s also not clear why the Bouchard girls (currently the smartest people in the house, it seems) instantly link the incoming video message from the ‘Himalayas’ (relaying Andy’s death) to Leland’s account. Of course. they don’t want to believe the news of their father’s demise, but to draw that immediate connection of deception to Leland/Pollie the Pig and brilliantly confirm it is a bit of a leap… and equally when they do work it out, there’s no immediate reaction from the adults as to this keen bit of detective work. One can argue that everyone’s so consumed and numbed by grief that they disbelieve the girls or don’t take them seriously, but given how manipulative and intrusive Leland has been to the family, it feels like someone should have got them to explain their discovery and then gone nuclear on the matter. Ben does listen to them several scenes later, but it seems like it’s still something he should now be alerting everyone about. When Andy surprisingly returns home the following day, there’s much celebration but the whole ‘Why did Edward say you were missing presumed dead?‘ aspect (which seems like the question in a mountain of them) is mentioned and then discarded in the joy of his survival and with Andy’s amnesia a convenient ‘fix-all’ for the gaps in logic.

There were smaller, faith-based moments across the scale as well. From Kristen quietly praying to God and then wondering if he had to keep her side of the deal and her more shocked reaction when one of her daughters wants to have a serious conversation about becoming a nun – both ring true to character. Sister Andrea (Andrea Martin) continues to be lovely… able to extract humour and horror as she swats and pummels demons around the Bouchard home while looking to onlookers like she’s actually lost her ecumenical marbles. However, her mosquito-net solution to David’s woes (being tempted by the faux-Kristen) was long overdue.

The ending, revealing that Kristen’s egg now seems to be being carried by one of the employees at  DF Global Solutions (remember the cursed money-making from last week and the connection to where Sheryl is working?) and that Leland is indicating he’s the father, also feels like a literally diabolical twist on some daytime soap plot. That said, Katja Herbers – as always – sells that look of disbelief and horror to the same degree that Michael Emmerson once again nails that certain serpentine smile.  Where does that leave everything – surely there’s going to be massive fallout, not least that Leland and Sheryl are now openly working together? It’s good that the show already has a fourth season renewal (because this would have been a horrible place to end entirely) and one hopes all its amazingly talented cast come back for more… but one also hopes that the next run will start to solidify some of the threats or at least provide a banquet of resolutions so as not run the risk of leaving us unsatisfied by its last supper. Given the Kings have been quoted as saying they don’t have a long-game blueprint, that’s always a factor…

Perhaps the ‘Babylon’ quote (seemingly referring to Revelation 18:10) indicates not just blood-soaked vengeance but actual revelations too…

'Evil  S03/EP010 - The Demon of the End'  (Paramount+ review)
'Evil S03/EP010 - The Demon of the End' (Paramount+ review)
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