Well, that wasn't a very "merry" Christmas, though no one should have expected it to be.
From stabbings, to sticking sharp objects in your ears, and suicide instruction memes, EVIL Season 1 Episode 10 was a very violent ride.
Usually, it'd be worth discussing in great length that the episode ended with Acosta being stabbed, but there's not really a need, as there's no way under the sun The Powers That Be would kill off their male lead in the first season.
No, the stabbing is much more indicative of just how far Townsend's reach has become.
Townsend: In 1785, the king of France found that potatoes were the most economical way to feed the peasantry. The problem was peasants hated potatoes. So the kind has his servants build a big brick wall and behind it, he plants potatoes in his secret garden. The peasants grow curious and then upset. They climb over the wall and steal all the food planted there. And that’s how potatoes became a staple of the French peasantry.
Malindaz: What does that mean?
Townsend: The forbidden is always desirable.
On EVIL Season 1 Episode 9, Townsend had finally managed to convince Sebastian to take out Acosta. But then, the idiot had to go and shoot himself in the head, thus putting a major pin in Townsend's plan.
It only stands to reason that he would redouble his efforts and send someone else after Acosta, though I'm still unclear why.
Again, why does Townsend want Acosta dead? What is so special about the priest-in-training?
It's not like Acosta is the pinnacle of good on earth, or even God's creation, as we got confirmation that Acosta did, in fact, sleep with Renée.
Renée: You know why I really think you called? Because you’re not over this. Because you said we should stay apart, but you’re the one who called me.
Renée: What is the other option here? You thought I was teasing you with my sister’s handwriting? How does that even make sense?
It's already questionable that he slept with the sister of his dead fiancee, but having taken a vow of celibacy takes their hookup to a new level.
While disappointed with the show's turn of events, I do like how this action has Acosta questioning his future with the priesthood.
Or rather, it seemed like it did until Acosta was essentially let off the hook during confession.
As long as he promises to avoid such temptation in the future, there seem to be no lasting ramifications as far as the Catholic Church is concerned.
Kristen: It’s from an internet video called Pudsy’s Christmas. It’s an edgier version of Charlie Brown.
Ben: It’s just a meme. It’ll be gone in a week.
Marx: You think it’s harmless?
Kristen: I do.
Marx: Then explain this.
A few Hail Marys, and he's good as new.
Hopefully, Acosta's struggle will be a continuing theme throughout the rest of the season, as it'd be a shame if the conflict wasn't explored further.
Maybe, his recent brush with death will make him see things in a new light.
It could also have the opposite effect and make him double down on his convictions, believing his stabbing was God's way of punishing from straying from the righteous path.
Only time will tell.
Now onto the "biggest" surprise of the hour, which was that I didn't hate Kristen's daughters this time around.
Part of that was probably due to the fact they weren't screaming over one another, but their inclusion also made sense.
Santa got high, now everything is funny. Someone had a gummy, he thought he might try. His mouth is so dry, his teeth are kind of itchy. How’d he ever get so high? Ho ho ho, just the taste of a yummy gummy. Ho ho ho, yummy yum in my rummy tummy. Ho ho ho, gummy gum, tummy, funny gummy. Oh god everybody knows.Pudsy’s Christmas
For once, it didn't feel forced, as both Lexis' interaction with Sheryl and Lila stabbing her ear with a sharp object helped move the plot lines forward.
Sure, it's sad that Lexis was getting bullied, but the real kicker came when Sheryl told her granddaughter to fight back -- literally.
There's taking a laissez faire approach, and then there's encouraging physical violence.
Sheryl's style of grandparenting has always been suspect, but telling Lexis to punch the bully and then lying when Kristen asked about it made it clear that something was off.
Of course, Townsend was behind it, the master manipulator that he is.
What's unclear though, it how much of a grasp Townsend has over Sheryl.
Is he merely whispering in her ear and bringing out her darker impulses, or has he somehow managed to brainwash her into doing whatever he wants?
My thoughts are on the latter, as evidenced by both Sebastian's and his newly introduced patient's actions.
Kristen: Emotions are contagious, so many believe it to be an extreme emotional contagion.
Marx: What stops it?
Kristen: Nothing. I mean nothing in Western medicine. It usually just dies out on its own after a few months.
Acosta: And it’s harmless?
Kristen: Well, there was a dancing plaque in 1518. Four hundred people in France couldn’t stop dancing. In fact, many of them died of starvation and heart attacks because they couldn’t stop.
Ben: Half the things you talk about just sound made up.
Yes, that's right. Viewers were introduced to yet another one of Townsend's therapy patients, a social media influencer named Malindaz who tied into the "case of the week."
While the "science" behind the entire thing was iffy at best, this week's case did highlight the dangers of social media.
Besides the obvious dangers of cyberbullying and online predators, social media can pose a risk to teenagers, who are completely enthralled by the seemingly perfect lives of their idols.
From celebrities endorsing diet supplements to the inane -- and potentially life-threatening -- so-called "challenges," and the unrealistic standards by which everyone compares themselves, the internet can sometimes do more harm than good.
Sheryl: Oh, baby. Can I give you some grandmotherly advice?
Sheryl: You take a brick, and you hit her in the face.
Sheryl: This is where it hurts the most: right here. You take something heavy, and you smack her right there. She bigger than you? Yeah, that’s good. She won’t expect it. Okay, here. Wrap your hand around this. She’ll think you’re just hitting her with your fist, but you really have the thrust of a rock. What’s her name again?
Sheryl: Sammy’s going to bleed a little bit, but she’ll think it’s just from your fist. Then you just drop your arm down by your side like this and let it slip out, and people will never know you had a rock in there at all.
Lexis: I can’t.
Sheryl: Oh, sure you can sweetheart. I thought I couldn’t either, but you know what I found out? You either make 'em your bitch, or they make you theirs.
This, of course, is an incredibly difficult and complex issue to tackle in just 42 minutes, but the message was mostly successful.
It managed to illustrate the possible dangers of social media and influencers without devolving into an after school special and becoming overly preachy.
Also worth noting is how Malindaz managed to walk away from the entire incident mostly scot-free.
Like real life, a simple apology was all it took for her devoted fans to forgive her.
With her online presence living to see another day, Townsend firmly cemented just how much control he has over every little detail in our characters' lives.
Some stray thoughts:
Did fans of The Good Fight enjoy the Easter Egg in the form of the online video Pudsy's Christmas? I know I certainly did, as the cartoon built around the catchy tune written by Jonathan Coulton, also writes the very enjoyable and twisted songs from The Good Fight.
Townsend also has to be the one torturing Acosta and Renée with the note written in Julia's handwriting and the many photos of their romantic encounter, right? Who or what else would go to such extremes?
While Andy didn't play a big part this time around, he continued to be dismissive of Kristen's job. Who wants to bet that he'll have a major freakout when he finds out where Kristen's new earrings came from? My guess would be a seven on the freakout-meter.
So what did you think EVIL Fanatics?
Is Acosta a goner, or will his brush with death clarify his future about the priesthood?
How much control does Townsend actually wield in the grand scheme of things?
Did you finally find Kristen's daughters surprisingly tolerable, if not enjoyable?
Hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the latest episode, don't worry. You can watch EVIL online right here at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in October 2021.