Evil Season 4 Premiere Review: How to Split an Atom

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The beginning of the end of Evil is here, and we're so ready for it, and yet not ready at all.

As much as we can't wait to see this season, knowing that we are looking at 14 episodes before the cancellation takes effect is heartbreaking!

If you need a reminder, watch Evil on all the places -- Paramount+ and Netflix (more the latter) -- to show them how serious you are about the show.

Particle Accelerator - EVIL S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

Kristen's Reaction to Learning Leland Stole Her Egg

At least we haven't missed anything -- Evil Season 4 Episode 1 picks up right where we left off, with Kristen's realization that Leland took and used her egg -- with his sperm!

I mean, ew. A thousand times, EW!

Boggs Needs Help - EVIL S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

Her reaction was very interesting, though, as learning about it was the kick in the ass that she needed to toss aside her short foray back into the Catholic Church and any other spiritual help she sought when Andy was missing.

Kristen even got rid of two huge dream catchers. She should have had a faith-related garage sale rather than tossing them in the trash.

23 Times the Devil Stole the Show

She also finally made her stand against her mother, Sheryl, cutting her right out of her life (and her daughters') once and for all.

Is Sheryl Really that Daft?

Sheryl's pleas to Kristen not to make an emotional decision fell on deaf ears, and rightfully so.

We know that Sheryl takes a magical serum to keep her looking younger and feeling supercharged, but has it also made her daft? Why would she think "being together" with Leland was the issue?

Not Having It - EVIL S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

Surely, Sheryl realizes that it's the baby that is far more problematic than her past (or current) romantic relationship with Leland.

In one scene, she's playing it like Kristen is an idiot, and in the next, she's brainwashing Andy (more on that in a bit). She can't possibly think any of this is OK.

Of course, we can't just take anyone's word for it that Kristen and Leland's baby will BE the anti-Christ, but the ominous 38-day delivery date coincides with a message David receives from one of his angel visions.

"Woe to Babylon. Thirty-eight days," it said, revisiting the phrase from the Evil Season 3 finale. That's too much of a coincidence to overlook.

New Boss Not the Same as the Old Boss - EVIL S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

Father Ignatius Sticks Around

Then again, Father Frank Ignatius (who we will call Father Frank to save me from misspelling Ignatius repeatedly) admitted flat out that he doesn't believe in any of the hokey pokey he's now overseeing.

The assessment team of Kristen, David, and Ben had a hard enough time getting resources and moving on aspects of investigations they uncovered, so it seems unlikely they'll soar under Father Frank's leadership.

If he doesn't believe, that doesn't stop him from bringing the team into a pretty cool first case for the season: assisting science to ensure firing up a new particle accelerator won't open the gates of hell.

EVIL Lead Trio

The Intersection of Faith and Science

It's a perfect reflection of what makes Evil such a success: the intersection of faith and science.

As an agnostic who can't wrap my head around any particular faith, I often wonder if I've got it wrong and will go to hell for not believing in something (the old Catholicism sticks with you), but Evil always reminds me of the difference between things like faith, religion, and science.

Are scientists faithless?

There can't possibly be a hard and fast rule in either direction and stories like "How to Split an Atom" help people like me wrap our heads around how others might feel about the same subject.

I would imagine there are still many unknowns associated with particle acceleration, whose sole purpose seems to be scientific research.

David Assesses - EVIL S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

According to Wikipedia, "Large accelerators are used for fundamental research in particle physics. Accelerators are also used as synchrotron light sources for the study of condensed matter physics."

So, outside of scientific research, they're not much use. Yet they instill in people both wonder and fear -- as the possibility of creating sudden black holes should!

The Evil writers capitalized on that with the season premiere to great effect.

12 Shows that Might Trigger a Crisis of Religious Faith

Anything that large and enclosed seems plagued with secrecy, and the less we know about things, the more likely we are to conspiracize (may not be a word, but it definitely should be) about them.

I can tell you one thing -- I'd be scared sh!tless in that place, and if the lights went off or even if I just heard an odd sound, I'd freak out. There is nowhere to run or hide and it takes so long to get back to the door.

Hearing the settling of the earth -- to the point that huge holes collapse in the floor under the accelerator -- would be the final straw. Scientists are a hearty bunch to feel safe somewhere like that.

Ben Looks Serious - Evil S04E01 - How To Split an Atom

It made me giggle when David was riding his scooter in the Not-CERN, and the battery began to peter out. His "oh, boy" was a simple and perfect response to his sudden dilemma.

Kristen, David, and Ben often go places where we wouldn't follow, and I like the similarities between what they do and what those who work at the accelerator do.

Whether faith in self, God, or science, you need something to go to those unfamiliar places.

Ben was pretty sure that anything they saw at Not-CERN was trickery and pulled out his ghost video as proof, which played nicely into his story this season.

He is battling a health issue that requires every bit of his investigatory skills to overcome.

The particle accelerator environment creates a feeling of terror and would seemingly espouse accompanying visions and other unsettling behavior. But for Ben, it went a step further.

Best Team Ever - EVIL S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

Ben Was Hit by a Particle Accelerator Beam

Ben was worried about the aforementioned black hole, but that was nothing compared to what actually happened to him.

Nobody would survive a sudden eruption of a black hole, but Ben DID survive being directly in the path of a particle beam!

Evil Cast Talks the Baby Anti-Christ, Remote Viewing, and Hope for Another Season

And before you ask, yes, you can, in fact, survive such a direct hit, although Ben's damage was minor compared to what happened to Anatoli Bugorski.

Bugorski received physical and mental damage, but we'll see Ben suffer only the latter this season. For Ben, that might be worse, as it will have him questioning his sanity.

We got a peak at what his sanity may look like when the beam hit, flooding his mind with images of the devil and hell.

Boggs Needs Help - EVIL S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

The question I have is why those particular images were what appeared.

Was it suggestive thinking because of the case, or was something similar happening to some degree to everyone who went down there?

And I can't help but wonder if this is what worries people when they talk about the dangers of 5G networks.

Now that I think about it, this story could have been about 5G and addressed that madness just as easily as using a particle accelerator.

Either way, my nightmares are bad enough, and I don't need anything to enhance them, so visits to a CERN-like place are out. And if 5G is a culprit? Unlucky, I guess.

Sweet Portrait - EVIL S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

David Questions the Reality of Hell

The Not-CERN experience rattled David quite a bit, enough that he began questioning whether he should believe in hell.

His problem, which is shared with this agnostic, is why someone who doesn't believe in God (or, if you're Christian, someone who doesn't believe in Christ) would go to hell for that.

Sister Andrea says that people go to hell of their own volition because of their choices, but David disagrees for that reason alone.

Whether it was just the Not-CERN experience or Ben's in particular, it makes sense that David would question hell.

His best friends don't believe, and he knows in his heart that they don't belong in hell.

Bedside Chat - Evil S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

Leland's Hold on Andy Continues

Andy may be home, but he's not out of the woods by a long shot.

Leland and Sheryl continue programming him right under Kristen's nose.

He's such a nice guy that it hurts to see how his mother-in-law, of all people, is manipulating him.

21 Complicated Mother-Daughter Relationships

Seeing Patrick Brammall in Colin From Accounts, also on Paramount+, adds a new dimension to his character here as he's given something new to do as Andy.

Leland has a dog whistle to the tune of Feliz Navidad that compels Andy to return for a tune-up anytime he wants him by his side.

It's so gross that Sheryl goes along with this, and it doesn't bode well for Andy.

Between Her Men - EVIL S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

The pain on Andy's face, when he confronted David about their latest mental implant, proved how easily they could get to him.

Andy believes what they say. How long can he and Kristen survive in the face of something like that?

Making everything worse was Kristen's reaction when David told her.

You know the saying, "Thou dost protest too much"? Kristen protested too much. She admitted right away that she had feelings for David and, in the next breath, blamed Andy's absence for it.

Will Kristen ever find out what her mother has done to Andy? He was only gone so long because those maniacs trapped him and fed him a load of verbal and chemical crap, which has led them both to this moment.

Last season, Kristen admitted that her biggest fear wasn't that Andy would return home but that his return wouldn't be the best thing for her. That's coming to fruition now.

Still Torturing Andy - EVIL S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

38 Days

The final moments of the premiere tied it all together by revealing that Not-CERN opens in 38 days, which is when Kristen's baby is due and when the reign of the Anti-Christ begins.

Katja Herbers gave Kristen the most delightful cackle in reaction to the revelation (pun intended!).

How Evil Season 4 Can Deliver a Satisfying Series Conclusion

She knows that Kristen doesn't believe that her baby will be the anti-Christ.

Yet, with so many strange coincidences, wouldn't even the strongest person flounder just a bit at the thought?

Temptation - EVIL S04E01 - How to Split an Atom

This is just the beginning of an incredible journey to the end of Evil.

I can assure you that 38 days comes relatively quickly in terms of the final season, so we'll have plenty of time to explore what a living anti-Christ might do for the story.

Hint: Kristen was right about how well Leland will take to fatherhood. Oil and water, as they say!

What did you think of the premiere? Are you ready for the final ride of this scintillating journey?

Share your thoughts in a comment below!


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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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 X and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Evil Quotes

Acosta: The Church has a backlog of about 500,000 requests for exorcisms and miracle appraisals, and my colleague Ben and I are hired by the Church to investigate unexplained phenomenon and recommend whether there should be an exorcism or further research.
Kristen: I didn’t know that was a job.
Acosta: It is.

Kristen: Why did you give my therapy notes to a serial killer?
Townsend: You’re in way over your head, Ms. Bouchard. Why don’t you leave this to the professionals?
Kristen: Who are the professionals?
Townsend: Your boy toy Acosta, Leroux, the Sixty.
Kristen: Who are the Sixty?
Townsend: People who know who you are, now. Hey, that session No. 37 was a juicy one, wasn’t it? ‘I just want my daughters gone so I can have my freedom.’ Just say the word Kristen, and ‘Poof, they’re gone.’ No one blames you, no guilt; just four little caskets.
Kristen: Go to hell.
Townsend: With pleasure. In fact, I’ll make room for your daughters.