Entertainment

The 'Evil' Season 2 Finale Has a Scream-Inducing Cliffhanger

It was a perfect way to wrap up a great, gross season.

Paramount+
Paramount+
Paramount+

This post contains major spoilers for the season 2 finale of Evil.

The second season finale of Evil had me up off the couch and screaming. It’s rare that a TV show has that effect on me these days, but Evil is not your average TV show. The series, which jumped this season from CBS to Paramount+, is a special thing. It’s a monster-of-the-week procedural, all the while keeping you hooked with character tension that can drive you up the wall in a good way. It’s a throwback to the likes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files, when television could be, above everything else, just freaking fun.

Describing just what this most recent episode does so well has me sounding like SNL‘s Stefon. This episode has it all: Cannibals, satanic cults, creepy dolls, a demonic pop-up book, SCTV legend Andrea Martin, and, of course, priest sex. To that last point: Evil saved its most gasp worthy moment until the very end, finally following through on the fucked-up Sam and Diane will-they-won’t-they when it would be as messy as possible.

Yes, David Acosta (Mike Colter), now a full-fledged Catholic priest and not a priest-in-training, starts making out with his partner Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers). It’s bad enough that he waited to act on his impulses after going through with his ordination, but to make it even worse, Kristen has just confessed to the murder of Orson LeRoux (Darren Pettie), the probably possessed serial killer who was taunting her and her children. David hears her confession, offers her penance, and then they start making out. Absolutely wild shit.

Often when long-brewing romance is finally consummated, it can spell a certain sort of doom for the show. It’s the Moonlighting curse, after all. But, luckily, that likely will not be a problem for Evil. There’s absolutely no way for David and Kristen to be a happy couple. David will be reeling from the guilt of his sin; Kristen is a) still married and b) maybe just a tiny bit still possessed.

Paramount+
Paramount+
Paramount+

The good news is that Evil has already been renewed for season 3, so there’s no worry as to whether we’ll be left hanging on this or the many other cliffhangers. After all, showrunners Robert and Michelle King still haven’t fully explained what’s going on with the demonic cult that it seems Kristen’s mother Sheryl (Christine Lahti) is a part of, along with her ex Leland Townsend (Michael Emerson).

Turns out the Poveglia Codex, a document that has been looming over all of the spooky stuff happening on screen, is a “map of 60 demonic houses,” according to the intensely devoted nun portrayed by comedy genius Martin. The sigils each represent a house, and each house master must secure its successor by literally being consumed. That’s the reason why Mitch Otterbean (Taylor Trensch)-the grad student David, Kristen, and Ben (Aasif Mandvi) have been investigating-is so driven to cannibalism. In the finale, he’s invited to a Satanic shindig with Rosemary’s Baby vibes over at Leland’s, where he’s offered a taste of the flesh of a dead body tattooed with one of the Codex’s symbols. Sheryl is there, having been inducted into this cult by her and Leland’s mysterious friend Mr. Tragoren (Tim Matheson).

It’s juicy, lore-heavy stuff that also probably somehow connects to Kristen’s daughter Lexis (​​Maddy Crocco), who was conceived at the demonic fertility clinic and who has been visited (and possibly hypnotized) by Leland.

But all of this plays second fiddle to the tongue hockey that drives us toward the credits. From the start of the show, Herbers and Acosta have had irresistible chemistry, but it was also always clear that if characters ever got together, the consequences would be terrible. The Kings saved the big moment for when Kristen and David are each at their most vulnerable and the spiritual consequences of their transgression would be most damnable. You want to cheer, but you also want to recoil. It’s scream-inducing TV at its very best.

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Esther Zuckerman is a senior entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @ezwrites.

Entertainment

Why the Shocking Twist in 'Bodies Bodies Bodies' Is So Killer

The A24 horror-comedy has a lot to say about how logged on we are today.

A24
A24
A24

This story contains spoilers about the ending of Bodies, Bodies, Bodies.Even if you’ve tried to game the TikTok algorithm to feed you videos from #fashiontok, #foodtok, or whatever else you might be interested in, when you open the app, you tend to be inundated with a whole lot of discourse. In many ways, it’s incredible how attuned young people are in knowing who they are and how comfortable they are having frank conversations. But in other ways, sometimes it can feel like quick-hit platforms have a tendency to deduce real issues or strip things of their meanings-whether that’s teens self-diagnosing themselves with mental illness, or people labelling musicians as “female or male manipulator artists” without ever listening to their music.

A24’s latest horror comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies (out now in theatres) about a group of 20-somethings partying during a hurricane that turns into a hunt for a killer is like a movie downloaded from the current millennial-Gen-Z cusp moment of the internet we’re in. When the trailer for the movie directed by Halina Reijn and written by Sarah DeLappe, based on a story from “Cat Person” author Kristen Roupenian, dropped earlier this year, it made that very clear. In just over a minute and a half, we hear the cast of cool girl breakouts yelling, “You’re always gaslighting me,” “you fucking trigger me,” “you’re so toxic,” and “you’re silencing me.” Even the movie’s tagline is, “This is not a safe space.”

Bodies Bodies Bodies is very much logged onto millennial/Gen Z social media-isms throughout, from lines hilariously pieced together by the Twitter zeitgeist to scenes featuring TikTok dances. The movie operates on a delectable kind of slasher-movie paranoia, making the audience just as unsure as the slumber party gone wrong with who is killing them off left and right. But given how much of a playful satire it is of contemporary youth culture, it ends up being a twist that feels all but inevitable, and couldn’t be more razor-blade sharp.

A24
A24
A24

Once the torrential downpour stops and the sun comes up, it seems as if Maria Bakalova‘s Bee is about to be our Bodies Bodies Bodies final girl, now that she’s realized how much her relationship with Sophia (Amandla Stenberg) is based on lies. As a test to see how easily Sophie can lie-and therefore deny killing all of her friends from midnight until dawn-Bee asks her if she cheated on her with Myha’la Herrold’s Jordan. It’s a fact that Bee already knows to be true, considering she came across a pair of panties in Sophie’s car that matched a bra she noticed in Jordan’s bag. When Sophie denies it, Bee tries to take her phone (which Jordan admitted would have texts about their recent hook-up on it), and the two start fighting outside in the remnants of the storm. Bee eventually pulls a phone out of the mud, and it looks like the WiFi and cell phone service that was gone all night is finally back. Thinking she’ll pull up the evidence she needs-and confirmation to get the hell out of there-she’s surprised when Sophie says, “That’s not my phone,” and even more surprised to see what’s on it.

It turns out that it belongs to David, Pete Davidson’s coked-out rich kid character whose parents’ house they’re partying at and was the first one to die in the movie. They know it’s David’s phone because it opens to a TikTok, soundtracked by the lockdown classic TikTok song “Bored In The House” by Curtis Roach and Tyga, that shows him waving around his dad’s decorative but very real sword (!) to try to open a champagne bottle (!), idiotically waving it towards himself, only to slice right into his own neck. As it turns out, nobody killed David-not an intruder, not Jordan, not Sophie, not Alice’s (Rachel Sennott) older boyfriend Greg (Lee Pace) she knew nothing about (except for the fact that he was a Libra moon), and not their friend Max (Conner O’Malley) who left early the night before. David accidentally killed himself, and hysteria is what killed everybody else. You could say that it’s almost predictable that it turns out to be a clout-chasing TikTok that led to the movie’s murderous spiral of events. Although, that would undercut what Reijn and DeLappe are trying to say with the darkly funny movie with an especially dark, funny twist. Like TikTok or Twitter, the movie is a constant feed of discourse, buzzwords, and blanket statements that snarkily laugh at and with its ensemble. There are many moments in particular that drive this home-like Alice trying to be sympathetic in talking about mental health, only to make the conversation about her, and David ridiculing his girlfriend Emma (Chase Sui Wonders) for getting all of her thoughts from Twitter after she says he “gaslights” her. On top of that, David picks up the sword and tries to go viral to begin with because his masculinity felt threatened by Greg, who did the trick in the first place.

While it would be downright terrifying if a party with people who are supposedly your best friends turned into a slasher flick, in Bodies Bodies Bodies, the horror isn’t a vengeful or heartless killer. Everybody may become a psychopath of sorts when they feel physically threatened or legitimately toxic name-calling and backstabbing ensues, but Bodies Bodies Bodies and its devilish twist is about the humour and horror in the devoid way we can use social media today more than anything else. Like Sophie and Bee’s terrified realization at the end, it makes you want to log off for awhile… right after you post a 100K-worthy tweet about it.

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Sadie Bell is the entertainment associate editor at Thrillist. She’s on Twitter and Instagram.

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