[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Evil Season 2, Episode 8 “B Is for Brain.”]
If “B Is for Brain” does just one thing, it proves that Andrea Martin as Sister Andrea is one of the best parts of Evil Season 2. How can you not love her after she pulls a knife on the evil Leland Townsend (Michael Emerson) when he confronts her about claiming ammonia that burned his hand was really holy water? Even he does.
The episode also sees Kristen (Katja Herbers), David (Mike Colter), and Ben (Aasif Mandvi) investigate a “God helmet,” which supposedly gives people heavenly and hellish visions. Ben sees his mother, disappointed in him (and some creepy flashes). Kristen sees David finding out she killed LeRoux (and Leland snacking on his arm). And David … sees nothing, something that worries him, he admits to Sister Andrea.
Co-creators Michelle and Robert King break down the hour, tease what’s next, and still can’t say too much about what’s going on with Sheryl (Christine Lahti), who has that creepy doll, Eddie, she’s sacrificing to in the garage.
David isn’t getting any visions and didn’t see anything when he put on the God Helmet. How much are we going to see him questioning about his path going forward?
Michelle King: You will see it. And what’s wonderful is Sister Andrea — we love the character and we love Andrea Martin so much — is such a voice of reason and faith with him that it’s a good way to explore that.
Robert King: I do think you hit on, what is the dilemma for David, which is, is this real? Was this all a figment of my imagination and what do I do when God stops talking to me? There were the diaries or letters written by Mother Teresa about how she had visions and heard God when she was younger. And then for like the last, I think, 40 years of her life, she didn’t hear God again. And her questioning is just part of the strain of if you do believe in God, but you think that God maybe has lost affection for you or that maybe God didn’t exist and it was your imagination when you were younger. A lot of that is playing into David.
We’re seeing Ben struggling, not just with Abbey the friendly night terror demon, but also with things from his past — then he has a vision of his mom and wonders about her being disappointed in him. That’s about how he feels about himself, right?
Robert: You’re exactly right. It’s very much like the [James] Joyce character, Stephen Dedalus, the idea that he lost faith and even on his mom’s death bed, he wouldn’t kneel there, he wouldn’t pray. Ben is going through that same dilemma of, what did I owe my family? What do I owe my family, being Muslims, and is my moving away from that endangering a culture in a way? But for him, it’s complicated by the fact that he felt he did something very wrong. A lot of it is one of the reasons why he’s involved with this at all. He does acknowledge that there’s evil in the world, even if it’s maybe not supernatural.
It seems like Kristen, David and Ben are all dealing with these things separately. No one’s talking to each other about these things. Is that going to change?
Robert and Michelle: Yes.
Robert: One of the things we love about Kristin and David, and Ben and David, is how much they talk through serious subject matters that a lot of us deal with in the quiet of our homes, but don’t really talk about, and they don’t come out of it angry at each other or yelling at each other or ready to kill each other. They’re dealing with red state, blue state things that we all deal with, religion, no religion, and they don’t come out of it angry, which I think is aspirational. Not all aspirational is about having a nice car or a nice house or being Ted Lasso. It’s having a discussion about issues that matter and not wanting to kill each other. I do think all three of them are different points on an isosceles triangle, trying to deal with each other’s mindsets.
Michelle: And I would say it’s the part of the show I enjoy the most.
Sheryl has that that lovely, creepy doll Eddie she’s sacrificing to. There’s a moment in this episode where she looks at it. What can you say about what Sheryl’s up to, Eddie, and how much she knows about what she’s mixed up in?
Robert: You haven’t gotten to the bottom of this at all, and we don’t want to give away too much because it goes to some very strange places with Sheryl. The idea started this year of having Sheryl be more of a femme fatale character, and I do think she’s embracing her inner strength and inner weirdness in a sense.
There’s this question of how much Lexis (Maddy Crocco) was corrupted because of the fertility clinic, but should it be more of a concern of how much Sheryl could corrupt Lexis?
Robert: Oh yeah.
Robert: Oh, that’s it. You hit on it, not to give away too much, but I do think that is the bigger concern is not what Sheryl does to the family, but what Sheryl does to Lexis.
I didn’t think I could love Sister Andrea more, then she brandished a knife on Leland. The scenes with her and Leland are so good. How big of a get would it be for him to turn her to his side, even though it seems impossible?
Robert: It does seem impossible.
Michelle: I think it’s impossible.
Robert: Yeah. He’s got designs on Kristen and David and possibly the church. And Sister Andrea, one of her weaknesses is the church doesn’t take her very seriously as a nun and especially the way Sister Andrea does that. And then the way James Whitmore shot it, which is he says, put out your hand and [laughs] she does, but she’s got this knife.
And Leland is so surprised that he’s attracted to this. This is what he likes.
Robert: [Laughs] He does say on the way out, “I think churches are too hard on the nuns. I find her sexy.”
There is something about Sister Andrea and the way that she advises David. How much more is there to her than meets the eye?
Robert: A lot. First of all, there’s a lot more to Andrea Martin than meets the eye. One of the things we loved about this was this idea of her diminutive stature and then Mike’s towering over her, but there was this inner strength there that might beat everybody in the show. There might be so much strength there that is spiritual, supernatural, possibly even physical. We love this idea that there would be all these layers of her that you wouldn’t see right away but you’d start to peel away over the course of this season and next season.
Michelle: She’s unique in the characters in how much certainty she has. Unlike most of them, she’s not questioning. She’s not questioning her beliefs. She’s not questioning her actions. She is totally grounded in what she believes.
You’ve now played with David’s reaction to Kristen committing murder with her vision. What can you say about how much we should keep in mind of that when it comes to his actual reaction?
Robert: Everything. Here’s the thing: You don’t even need to interview us. You could just put your instincts down on paper and they would be correct. The bottom line is Kristen isn’t whole. She’s suffering. She thought it was enough that she didn’t feel guilt about this because this guy was threatening her children. Then she got this reprieve from the police, but there is still something in her that needs to be answered. The God helmet version of Dr. Boggs [Kurt Fuller] tells her, you’ve got to go to David and tell him, and that’s not what he says in reality, but obviously, that’s Kristin’s mind telling her. That’s what’s so cool about that middle: It’s Kristen’s mind telling her what she thinks she needs to do.
Speaking of Boggs, should we assume that Sheryl isn’t done using him yet? Because those scenes were so good earlier this season.
Michelle: Let’s assume that. … Kurt Fuller is spectacular. His natural impulse is always comedy, so there’s great depth in everything he does.
Are we going to see him being involved in more cases?
Robert: Yes. there’s quite a bit. If we went into too much detail here, it would give away too much of the fun.
Evil, Sundays, Paramount+