Despite my preference for less of the younger crowd, Lila and Alex's story on EVIL Season 2 Episode 5 was a winner.
The zombie portion of the hour was mostly allegory, but it fits in the "what's really happening here" category, as usual.
The power of the mind drove the storylines, and as I always say, anything that makes you think is worth exploring.
If you're a horror fan, you likely began your fascination in childhood. That's when everything scares you because you still believe that anything is possible.
Of course, Lila and Alex were neck-deep in zombie storylines when their own zombie activity began. Can you remember when your imagination was so incredibly free?
Bu the truth of the matter was just as horrifying as the zombies they watched on TV, and taking Amazon down a peg or two was worth the effort even if Evil chose to make CongoRun a competitor to keep their official word on Amazon's practices to themselves.
Alex's dad, Brandon, worked for CongoRun, under a slave driver named Mr. Hamlin. As we know from the horror stories from Amazon warehouses, to keep up the steady pace and the two-day (once upon a time) deliveries, the companies run their employees ragged.
In the height of COVID, when the world was locked down, and there seemed to be no end in sight, warehouse employees for online retailers never stopped. Instead, they pushed themselves to the limits.
It was already a brutal pace, but the effects of pandemic shopping haven't abated, and employees are still working to the bone.
Evil's zombie effect harkened back to Congo slave drivers who worked their slaves so hard they thought death was preferable. They were scared out of the idea when tales ensured them that suicide would make them zombies, and there wouldn't be eternal rest in heaven or hell.
Did the blue and green tinctures have anything to do with how Brandon and Mr. Hamlin changed? Probably not. But the power of the mind is untapped, and belief alone could be enough to effect change.
For Alex, it was a horror story that knew no end as her father, freed from his chains, picked up the habits of the slave driver, proving there is no end to the punishment that humans are willing to inflict on each other to get ahead of the curve.
Cross-referencing real situations with the idea behind supernatural horrors isn't always easy to do, but this was a perfect example of how our everyday lives can mirror fantasy.
The same premise worked well with David's concern over Father Mulvehill. It seemed as if it would cross over with the zombie theme. After all, what else other than zombies would have created an open wound on a priest's back?
When doing an assessment, David usually veers toward the supernatural, while Kristen veers toward the psychological. That's why Ben's presence is so important. He takes a practical approach, often circumventing the metaphysical and the psychological.
Targeted marketing is just as frightening as the corporate giants behind companies like Amazon. Silicon Valley wields too much power, from online shopping to pushing unwitting and vulnerable people toward bad habits.
Everything you do online is tracked. Sometimes, you don't even need to be online to influence how you'll be targeted.
Anybody who has spoken to Alexa or Google or merely spoken in front of a recording device to find their seemingly private thoughts suddenly splayed across their Facebook feed knows exactly what I'm talking about.
It's surprising that for all the psychological knowledge that Kristen has, she has failed to connect the dots between her profession and how it's infiltrated marketing.
Advertisers track everything you do, everything you read, all of your searches, and everyone you talk with and plugs that information into an algorithm that will then influence your purchases and further online habits.
That's what happened to Father Mulvehill. That's what happened to Kristen, too. Did you hear how defensive she was when she asked Ben how she was targeted when she "didn't do anything"? She sure did something, and someone has discovered what it was through her online behavior.
Being tapped into Leland's computer suggests that he's privy to the wonders of the internet. It's probably uniquely poised to influence his "demonic" behavior. Whoever is pushing his buttons has access to his secrets the same way he learned Father Mulvehill's.
Leland: Oh my. Don't know my own strength!
Sister Andrea: SHUT UP HELLFIEND! You think you have power over Jesus Christ, demon?
Leland: I think I have power over a priest who owes money to his bookie.
Sister Andrea: You have no power over God.
Leland: Try me, bitch.
What the exorcism suggests is that Leland has believed himself above suggestion. But when the awe-inspiring Sister Andrea used a smooth move, usurping Father Mulvehill's attempt to let Leland skate out of the exorcism, Leland practically soiled his odd exorcism attire.
He's too big for his britches, that's for sure. Why does he think that screaming "I'm melting" would fly during an exorcism? His dramatics were lame at best. With the "Holy Water" Sister Andrea used, though, he might be wondering if he's as free and clear as he often thinks himself to be.
The final lashing out at "the man" in the larger sense was when Sister Andrea, the smartest person out of all in attendance at that exorcism, revealed why she wouldn't join David on a grander scale.
David: Why won't you join me?
Sister Andrea: Because I'm a woman, and this is the Holy Catholic Church.
Religion remains one of the longest-lasting misogynistic mainstays in any culture. That's not to say that women are treated as we should be across the board, but that religion, in particular, can allow the purveyance of misogyny in their ranks to flow unquestioned.
Before the Judeo-Christian, Islamic, and other mindsets, when matriarchal societies still had a place in history, women were more prevalent in issues of faith, but they've been sidelined by patriarchal society.
Sister Andrea's brilliance in upstaging Father Mulvehill and Leland was a nice reminder that sometimes, the fairer sex is exactly what's needed to accomplish miracles.
This thought-provoking episode was a welcome addition to Evil Season 2, which has generally been kicking ass, making Paramount+ a must-have streaming network.
I'd love to hear what you thought about this one, so please drop below with your comments!
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.