Evil—Season 1

evil season 1 poster review episode guide
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good start to a series, some clever stories

Somewhat derivative of shows that came before

evil season 1 title card review episode guide

Are you “evil”?

Dr. Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) is the mother of four girls and a psychologist who frequently consults with lawyers about the psychological profiles.  When she is faced by a new psychologist named Leland Townsend (Michael Emerson), Kristen discovers new danger.  Kristen is contacted by David Acosta (Michael Colter) from the Catholic Church and finds herself on a team investigating possessions, miracles, and other reports of supernatural experiences.  Something dark is happening in the city, and Kristen finds it seems to be circling around her and her family.

Evil—Season 1 is a supernatural horror mystery series.  The show aired on CBS from September 26, 2019 to January 30, 2020.  A second season was approved but delayed due to COVID-19.

evil season 1 episode 6 let x = 9 cast michael colter katja herbers aasif mandvi

Let’s bust some myths…and miracles

I heard some positive things about Evil from a few friends and decided to check the first season out.  With a quick flow and decent story, Evil is a fun watch that is somewhat derivative of similar series.

I can’t argue that the format of Evil is original.  You have a believer (Acosta), a non-believer (Ben), and someone in-between (Kristen).  This set-up is a modified version of The X-Files with Acosta in the Mulder role with Kristen closer to Scully than Ben (which is also ironic since in The X-Files, Scully was the believer in Christian mysteries).  This is combined with Fringe which was a bit of a more forensic investigation and Millennium which had a demonic evil “big cult” occurring involving mysterious organizations.  The question becomes if there is enough differences and original stories to make it worth wild for viewers of the other shows…the answer is yes.

evil season 1 episode 1 genesis incubus george

Hey, George…how’s it going?

The show is tightly written and there aren’t as many “miracle-possession of the week” episodes. Unlike the other series which had long seasons, Evil has a shorter time to do it with a thirteen episode season.  There are the standard stories and the more dangerous stories like that of Sebastian Lewin (who Townsend encourages to commit a mass shooting).  It feels like the show really comes together with the holiday episode with the viral song “Pudsy’s Christmas” which brings a lot of stories and worlds together.  The overall story seems to be a majority about temptation.  As “the in-between” character, Kristen feels like it is a battle for her soul…the story feels like it is about corruption.  By the end of the season, it feels like Kristen is losing the battle.

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He’s beautiful

The cast also is strong.  Mike Colter moves from Luke Cage to this which feels like a big turn.  He demonstrates he can play the tough guy in Luke Cage but has a must softer and trusting side in this show (and the worse luck ever in the last few episodes).  Katja Herbers bring a sense of normalcy to the role.  She feels really normal and she feels like a real mom to a ton of kids, but she can have a dark side in some scenes.  Michael Emerson continues to play the same character that he played in Lost, but he plays it so well.  Christine Lahti plays the dumbest grandmother (and kind of irritating in her lack of belief in her daughter…but I also fault the Kristine character for not laying it all out for her).  Boris McGiver gets swapped out for Peter Scolari mid-season.  I really like Aasif Mandvi as the resident skeptic and look forward to learning more about him and his family (who was introduced early but quit showing up again).

evil season 1 episode 10 7 swans a singin pudsys christmas

Best. Christmas. Song. Ever.

The show demonstrates a lot of good atmosphere.  The series starts out strong with the incubus George who starts out terrifying in the first episode.  There are other great moments, but it almost feels they could have pushed the fear a bit further (even for a network TV show).  Even with the scares not maxed out, the surreal nature of some of the events in the show give it a real style.

Evil is a good start.  I look forward to Season 2 and hope that COVID issues don’t ruin a show with a lot of potential.  The characters have a lot of directions they can go and the stories can be expanded in new and different ways.  Evil could really still go all-out as the show progresses if the writing and cast continue to develop.  Network TV can still have bite if it tries, and Evil is a prime example of it.

Evil—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

evil season 1 episode 1 genesis george incubus katja herbers


1.1       Genesis Airdate:  09/26/19

Dr. Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) is a psychologist who frequently testifies in court cases regarding a patient’s sanity.  When she is called in to question Orson LeRoux (Darren Pettie), Bouchard learns that she’s being used by the DA to railroad their conviction and that a counter group led by David Acosta (Michael Colter) from the Catholic church is investigating if LeRoux could be possessed.  Taking a job from Acosta, Bouchard finds herself in a position of disbelief when she is visited by a demon (Marti Matulis) and LeRoux sees to know all about it…is the possession real and what does a man named Leland Townsend (Michael Emerson) have to do with it?

evil season 1 episode 2 177 minutes ghost spirit

“177 Minutes”

1.2       177 Minutes Airdate:  10/03/19

The sudden revival of a girl named Naomi Clark (Hannah Hodson) three hours after her death have Bouchard, Acosta, and Ben Shakir (Aasif Mandvi) investigating a potential miracle.  Townsend makes his move on Bouchard’s old job with a threat to Bouchard.  As Ben tries to track down the source of a ghost like image on security footage, Acosta tries to see if something else is at work.  When Bouchard is visited by the demon George again, and her daughter has the same vision, Bouchard questions if the visions aren’t visions at all.  Acosta’s attempts to reconnect with God take an unusual path.

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“3 Stars”

1.3       3 Stars Airdate:  10/10/19

Townsend works to reverse Bouchard’s case assessments and forces Bouchard to take action.  A Broadway director named Byron Duke (John Glover) suffers from selling his soul, and Acosta, Bouchard, and Ben discover the demon appears to speaking to him through his office assistant speaker…leading to a search for the cause.  Ben and his sister Karima (Sohina Sidhu) discover their own speaker might know more about them than they ever expected.  Acosta’s vision of the Salvator Mundi could have deeper meaning.

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1.4       Rose390 Airdate:  10/17/19

The purchase of augmented reality goggles by Kristen’s mother Sheryl (Christine Lahti) leads to terror when a mysterious online visitor named Rose390 claims to know more about the Kristen’s husband.  Acosta, Ben, and Bouchard are called in to investigate a child named Eric (Luke Judy) presenting demonic behavior toward his family but stopping the behavior might be impossible.

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“October 31”

1.5       October 31 Airdate:  10/24/19

An exorcism has Bouchard and Acosta at odds over the treatment of the “possessed” woman Caroline Hopkins (Karen Pittman) forcing Bouchard to bring in her psychiatrist Dr. Kurt Boggs (Kurt Fuller).  Ben agrees to appear on an episode of Gotham Ghosts which has him questioning if something supernatural is really happening.  After meeting Townsend at a restaurant, Sheryl finds herself babysitting her grandchildren and their friends on Halloween night…but one of the friends doesn’t belong and “Brenda” has a story to tell.

evil season 1 episode 6 let x = 9 review

“Let x = 9”

1.6       Let x = 9 Airdate:  11/07/19

Grace Ling (Li Jun Li) claims to have messages from God.  When Bouchard, Acosta, and Ben investigate, they each receive certain warnings from Ling…but learn the Church’s concerns with Ling go deeper with a secret prophecy.  Kristen learns about her mother’s relationship with Townsend and has some opinions on it and tries a new trick to deal with the return of George.

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“Vatican III”

1.7       Vatican III Airdate:  11/14/19

The Vatican comes to speak to Acosta’s team about their experience with Grace and what she might know about secret Vatican files.  Townsend finds a new person to mentor in a man named Sebastian Lewin (Noah Robbins) and encourages Sebastian’s rage.  The exorcism of a woman named Bridget (Annaleigh Ashford) leads to the revelation of multiple murders…and Bouchard must decide what to do with the information.  Studying the photographs of the Vatican’s codex reveals a shocking result for Acosta.

evil season 1 episode 8 2 father michael colter vondi curtis hall

“2 Fathers”

1.8       2 Fathers Airdate:  11/21/19

Acosta and Bouchard travel to meet David’s father Leon (Vondi Curtis-Hall) and question him about the symbol from the codex found in his artwork.  Ben makes amends with Vanessa Dudley (Nicole Shalhoub) after the ghost hunting experience but discovers Vanessa has a side he cannot accept.  When accidentally taking drugs, Acosta and Bouchard have very different visions at the farmhouse which could change their views on events.  Kristen gets a surprise when she learns her husband Andy (Patrick Brammall) has returned home.

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“Exorcism Part 2”

1.9       Exorcism Part 2 Airdate:  11/21/19

Caroline Hopkins is suing the archdiocese for her exorcism putting Kristen in an awkward position with David.  At the hands of Judith Lemonhead (Jennifer Ferrin), the archdiocese enters negotiations with Hopkins, but David finds help in the assistant of his former girlfriend’s sister Renee Harris (Renée Elise Goldsberry).  Andy has some ideas about how Kristen should spend her future.  Townsend’s plans for Sebastian are revealed but fate could step in.

evil season 1 episode 10 7 swans a singin song

“7 Swans a Singin”

1.10     7 Swans a Singin Airdate:  12/12/19

Christmas is coming, and Acosta, Bouchard, and Ben are called in to investigate a mysterious singing plague “infecting” children.  When they discover the song is tied to a popular online challenge by Malindaz (Taylor Louderman), they discover there could be more the “insanity” it claims to induce.  Lexis (Maddy Crocco) deals with a bully and gets advice from her grandmother that doesn’t go well.  As David deals with his new feelings for Renee, he discovers someone knows what he’s done…but a darker event could overshadow it.

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“Room 320”

1.11     Room 320 Airdate:  01/09/20

David tries to recover from the knife attack but quickly discovers that his nurse Louise Bloch (Tara Summers) might have other plans.  The police search for Richard Ghana, and Ben calls in their former partner Judy James (Megan Ketch) to help locate the man they formerly investigated…but Ben uncovers a shocking tie.

evil season 1 episode 12 justice x 2 leland townsend devil michael emerson

“Justice x 2”

1.12     Justice x 2 Airdate:  01/16/20

David’s out of the hospital but in trouble again when he goes to provide spiritual consultation to a woman named Sonia Kamanzi (Emayatzy Corinealdi) who has her own secrets in the basement.  Kristen learns that Orson LeRoux could be freed which leads to a showdown with Leland which could expose his secret past.  Doctors determine Laura (Dalya Knapp) needs emergency surgery, and Andy finds he can’t reach Kristen.

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“Book 27”

1.13     Book 27 Airdate:  01/30/20

LeRoux begins harassing Kristen, and Kristen discovers that the tables are being turned on her and her family.  Townsend takes the next step in his plan against Kristen by proposing to her mother.  Acosta is called in to consult on Boggs’ patient named Eleanor Chakiris (Laura Heisler) who believes the male twin in her uterus is trying to kill his sister.  The discovery of ties to multiple cases the RSM Fertility clinic could provide answers…and new fears for Kristen.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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