It’s so great to have Evil back again, and what a great episode to get us back into the swing of things.
The search for three miracles at the monastery got underway, and it proved quite challenging for our favorite religious investigators. EVIL Season 2 Episode 7 proved that silence could be frightening.
The consequences of silence have been studied in the genre before.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer had one of their biggest successes with Hush when a sinister group of creatures sought human hearts, and the townspeople lost their power of speech.
Quiet Place is one of the biggest horror movies franchises in recent history, which called for its characters to rely on anything other than speech and sound, in general, to keep creatures at bay.
“S Is for Silence” has what appears to be a less tropey reason for their hushed existence, which is soon proven to be much more than a vow.
I did a little research and discovered that monks take a vow of silence generally as a way to practice proper speech and keeps them violence-free because they have time to think before communicating silently.
The monks this go around had a far greater reason to stay silent, though.
David: Monks like Thomas have been watching it since the ’30s to keep the cabinet closed.
Ben: Why? What’s in it?
David: A demon that wants to destroy the world. That’s why the silence. The legend goes that if even one word is spoken within the monastery walls, the demon will be out. And if he’s out, he can never be recaptured.
While the team was at the monastery to find the three miracles necessary for Thomas to be inducted to Sainthood, there was more at play.
Thomas was indeed very well kept. It was miraculous, but was it a miracle? Ultimately, the team destroyed any hope for Thomas and sainthood, but how it happened was unexpected and provided good fun for a team that is too often surrounded by more traumatic events.
Although Ben did a good job utilizing science to negate most of the monks’ claims, it wasn’t all so easily swatted aside.
The Demon Box was creepy as hell, as were the catacombs. Ben tied the supernatural occurrences to botflies, and if you’re tempted to Google the experience in real-time, please, please, do not.
It’s the grossest thing I’ve seen in a while, and I really wish I hadn’t looked. At the same time, I am tempted to share what I found with everyone I know so that I’m not alone in having experienced it. If you take the plunge, please report back.
What’s on-screen is super tame, but it was still quite troublesome for those living through it. But unless I missed the explanation for these few things, perhaps some mysteries are not meant to be solved.
Ben easily brushed off the humming sounds and the preservation of Thomas’ body, but what did he discover about the stigmata Fenna was experiencing?
It couldn’t be as easy as claiming botflies, right? After all, if they were similar to the swirly flesh wound she and the others had, she would have known.
Who wouldn’t know that flies had literally broken free from their skin? That revelation, once the exorcist (like the team, he was a surprise!) started using vaseline on them, took everyone by surprise, including Fenna.
The scratching inside the demon box and in the basement where Ben was collecting samples wasn’t explained. If attributed to botflies, how did they manage that?
The demon box remains a mystery to this viewer, too.
As soon as they arrived at the monastery, Kristen was segregated. Every time she tried joining her coworkers, the monks rebuffed her unless David stepped in to help.
But the silence, her segregation, and having no means of communicating with the outside world left Kristen freer than we’ve ever seen her, and Katja Herbers brought the girly side of Kristen alive.
Forced silence is often responsible for the giggles (remember childhood in church?), but it was so much more than that for Kristen.
She immediately connected with Fenna, a young nun who invited Kristen into her world, including recycling and cleaning barrels in the distillery.
Once they got together, Kristen’s demeanor changed. She was brighter and had more positive energy than we’ve ever seen. Free is the only way to describe it.
She opened herself to new experiences, including prayer and open flirtation with David, which he was doing in response to what he thought he saw on Magic Slate. Who knew you could miscommunicate so easily that way?
While Kristen was freed, David was a little more troubled than usual because he couldn’t free his mind no matter how hard he tried. His inability to clear his head of thoughts, especially of Kristen, prompted him to consider staying with monks for a spell.
His attempt at freeing his mind was brilliant, with the fucks and fuckity fuckity fucks and Kristen moistening her lips rolling across the bottom of the screen. Those little flourishes are Michelle King and Robert King touches that enhance their shows across the board.
Given all of that and how much Kristen changed behind the monastery walls, it’s not surprising that she dared speak aloud, demons be damned.
That room she was given to sleep in would have been enough to drive me mad.
She didn’t play it cool, no matter how much wine she had (and OMG, who hasn’t poured so much wine at least once that left you slurping from the glass on the table?), keeping the light brightly lit and hallucinating death moving about the room.
Oh my God! This place is so fucking anti-woman!
It’s hard to imagine why that was the room she got unless it was just another way to make her feel uncomfortable in an already bleak setting. On the other hand, it was so bizarre that there’s no other explanation than that putting her in there was done on purpose.
David: Don’t take this the wrong way, but I wish there were some things you can’t explain.
Ben: There are! I can’t explain these people.
But, like David, I wish some things didn’t have an explanation. Ben always puts a dart in the fantastical elements of their investigations, and I’d like fewer practical answers. Still, those items above seem open to interpretation.
So, did Evil successfully prove that silence is frightening? They did. The monks spent so much time in silence that they accepted the strange occurrences as supernaturally driven. It wasn’t easy for them to discuss alternatives, and the longer you’re quiet, the more you start to expect the unexpected.
It was one of my favorite hours of television in a long time, and I hope you agree. It was fun from start to finish, allowing the characters we love to shine in a different environment.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.