Well, that was quite a trip.
Though, not exactly the kind of trip I was expecting, both in the actual visit to the remote art commune and of the hallucinogenic fun Kristen and Acosta got into.
Without a doubt, EVIL Season 1 Episode 8 was one of the crazier -- if not the craziest -- so far, but it sure was plenty of fun to watch.
As it turns out, the hippie-dippie commune was just that: a hippie-dippie commune.
There was a point during the episode -- somewhere between the ghost of Annie and the birth of the ghoul baby -- where it seemed like the writers may have made a hard left onto Supernatural Boulevard, but once again, they decided to stay on Gray Area Lane.
Kristen: Ah, God, it’s great here.
Acosta: Not another house for 10 miles. It’s like the start of a horror movie.
Kristen: Oh well, bad cellphone coverage. Guess all we need is car trouble, and we’ll have won horror movie bingo.
While this will get old eventually, I was happy things didn't end up being entirely supernatural.
The episode was much more powerful with the sigil symbolizing the evil of slavery than if Acosta's father Leon had been possessed or communing with a demon.
Even though it would have furthered the overarching mythology of the series, the conversation between Acosta and Leon toward the end of the episode was a moment of beauty.
Everything came together in a seamless transition that was flawlessly executed by actors Mike Colter and Vondie Curtis-Hall.
It can be easy to get lost in the supernatural and mystical elements of the show, but what grounds it are scenes like these.
Leon: I lied.
Leon: Because I birthed you and I knew exactly what you’d say. But that seal is mine.
Acosta: It’s the seal of a racist who owned human beings. It’s evil. It’s not, it’s not you that’s evil. It’s about slavery. Dad, this symbol is nothing but pain.
Leon: That’s right. There’s pain in my paintings, and in my DNA, and in yours, and in Annie’s. But that’s not all that I am and not all you are. What I know is that I’m in charge of how I shoulder that weight. So I reached out and reclaimed that brand for myself. Made it my property, not the other way around. To me, that’s a symbol of resilience, of grace beyond all measure.
Acosta: That’s just not what I see when I look at that.
Leon: I leave you that room. You leave me mine. You carry your weight the way you need to carry it, and I’ll carry mine my way. But what’s true is we’re both gonna carry it.
Sure, the conversation started after Leon showed Acosta the letter from the slave owner, which had the demonic sigil on it, but what followed was pure unfettered truth.
That, in fact, might be the best scene of the entire series so far, as it relied on universal emotions and tragic but true events rather than any cheap tricks or reveals.
What this episode also offered was the return of Andy, but his homecoming was less than ideal.
That was mainly due to him getting saddled with the most annoying quartet of young girls to ever grace our screens and his lack of screen time with Kristen.
Kristen: I haven’t been high in 15 years.
Acosta: I haven’t been high in 15 days.
However, since she was radio silent most of the episode, that left Andy stuck with his daughters and briefly Sheryl.
His interactions with Sheryl were the highlight of his scenes, and not just because both characters are over the age of 13.
There seems to be a lot of contention between the pair that predates Andy's extended travels.
It'd be nice to dig into that dynamic more in the future, but what viewers are waiting to see -- or at least I am -- are his scenes with Kristen, also known as the breadwinner and mother who is singlehandedly raising their four daughters.
Leon: Look, I know we hit that fork in the road -- you danced off toward religion, I got swallowed up with art. What you feel when you pray, get a whiff of that incense, I feel right here with color. The way St. John of the Cross talks about mysticism, that’s how I feel about painting. Someone paints through me; my hand is divinely guided.
Acosta: By who?
Leon: I don’t know: spirit, perfect muse. All I know is when I’m painting, it’s crap, but when somebody else paints through me, that’s when it all comes together.
Acosta: How do you know it’s not some bad spirit painting through you?
Leon: Now, you’re talking like a priest. There’s no good or bad in art. The more years you put on you, you’ll see. Duality doesn’t exist. There’s just what is.
Andy is a guy that viewers know very little about, except that he seemingly left his family for three months to galavant around the world.
Not a great first impression, but maybe seeing Andy interact with Kristen will make him a little more likable.
Right now, he's just the guy who swooped in with
bribes presents and overruled his wife just to get back into the good graces of Lynn.
Definitely dad of the year material right here.
It's also hard to like or root for Andy, as his presence means that whatever is or isn't happening between Kristen and Acosta will be indefinitely put on hold.
Kristen: I haven’t been high in 15 years.
Acosta: I haven’t been high in 15 days.
Their chemistry this episode, especially while they were high on psilocybin and dancing together, was electric.
Nothing officially happened, but if eye banging counts as cheating, then Kristen is definitely guilty.
And it seems like Andy may have picked up on some of that sexual tension, which was only reinforced by his daughters' comments about Ben.
The girls, of course, have no idea that telling their dad some random guy name Ben swings by on the regular and helps out around the house is sort of code for sexual indiscretion.
Kristen: Are you drinking the sangria?
Acosta: Am I?
Kristen: How many cups?
Acosta: Two. Why?
Kristen: We’re gonna take an Uber back. It’s spiked with psilocybin.
To them, he's just one of their mother's coworkers. To Andy, he's a threat.
And after some unknown guy, who Andy probably presumes to be Ben, drops Kristen off late at night, he's most likely to assume the worst.
Granted, Andy may not be far off, as Kristen and Acosta's innate attraction gets continual nods or mentions.
A big blowout between the spouses is all but guaranteed at this point, and it's shaping up to be a doozy.
Leon: Tell me, are you convincing my son not to become a priest?
Leon: I’ll tell you right now, I want my seed spread far and wide.
XXX: Is he talking about his seed again?
Leon: Hey, I’m in my 60s; what else am I gonna do?
And speaking of blowouts, Ben and Vanessa came pretty close to having one of their own.
However, after much "careful" thought, Ben decided to think with his, well, let's just say it wasn't his brain and agree to disagree with the very pretty lady; l
ove lust will make a man do crazy things after all.
It was great to see Vanessa again, as she and Ben clicked from the very beginning. She's nerdy and cute and her dead sister just happens to be grafted to her right side. Sounds like the dream girl, right?
That was an unexpected twist, and it's confusing on all sorts of levels.
On a show that regularly deals with the supernatural and demonic possession, Vanessa's beliefs aren't insane exactly, just really weird.
Ben: You seemed so sane.
Vanessa: Thanks a lot.
Ben: Come on. What do you want me to do with this?
Vanessa: All beliefs look weird from the outside. You believe in quantum entanglement.
Ben: Yes, because it’s proven.
Vanessa: You have two different particles in two totally different locations, and they impact each other instantaneously at 10,000 times the speed of light. How is that possible?
Ben: Wait a minute. Are you seriously comparing quantum entanglement to you believing that your dead sister is grafted to your left side?
Vanessa: My right side.
Her dead sister may still be by her side, but I was more on board with Leon's wives being demons and practicing black magic than this revelation.
It seems all realms of the supernatural are now on the table, and nothing should be discounted from this point onward.
Some stray thoughts:
How cute was it that Ben went to Kristen and Acosta for dating advice. Sure, calling your friend/boss for advice on whether you should sleep with a woman who may or may not be insane may not be our version of normal, but you do you.
To those commenters who theorized that we hadn't seen the last of Rose390, you were right. However, I was disappointed that her return didn't pack a little bit more of a punch. All it seemed to accomplish was to get Lynn to forgive her absentee father, which is a big deal for her but not so much for viewers.
So what did you think EVIL Fanatics?
Did you find that scene between Acosta and Leon as moving as I did?
Does Andy suspect Kristen of infedelity?
Are Ben and Vanessa going to last?
So hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you missed the latest episode, don't panic. You can watch EVIL online right here at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.