Sunday, June 19, 2022

REVIEW: 'Evil' - David Receives a New Mission That Requires Secrecy From His Fellow Accessors in 'The Demon of Memes'

Paramount+'s Evil - Episode 3.02 "The Demon of Memes"

David, Kristen and Ben investigate a Slender-Man like internet meme that is quickly spiraling out of control and inciting teenagers to commit blasphemous acts in order to avoid death.

"The Demon of Memes" was written by Davita Scarlett and directed by John Dahl

Kristen worries that her confession has destroyed her friendship with David. A shift has been noted in their dynamic. Ben has picked up on it. However, David's distance has to do with a completely separate matter. He's asked to serve as a friend of the Vatican. Victor LeConte returns to the parish. He doesn't do so to offer an update on the investigation into RSM Fertility. Instead, he offers mysterious tasks for David. He hopes to use his appearance as a priest in order to help pass information along. Victor operates with clarity over the evils of man being just as dangerous as the demons that lurk below. Of course, the show has always walked the line between what's real and what's supernatural. Leland persists as an ongoing threat. He has his hooks in deep with Sheryl. Part of it is a continuing process where he has to constantly keep her hooked on an addictive substance. In doing so, he can more effectively control her. And now, she's accepting of whatever manipulation he wants to do with her family. She doesn't want any of them to get hurt. However, she sees the possibilities that can come from this dynamic. It was forced onto her against her will. She no longer truly has any agency over her life. That presents a unique challenge for the show. It also comes at a time when the narrative is once again offering a reason for why Kristen's husband will be gone. It will theoretically take Eddie off too. It's all done in the service of something greater. This season was the first to open with Andy home with his family. Now, he's being whisked away to the mountain climbing business once more. The family home is falling apart. That makes it tantalizing when an insane offer comes in to buy the business. Kristen and Andy should look at it more skeptically. However, they are struggling financially. This money can provide them the opportunity to build on their lives. They can embrace what they've always wanted. It's all in the name of coming together as a family. That result never actually occurs. It may just be done to make the tease of Kristen pining after David more legitimate. It's difficult to focus on that when Andy is also around. It's also the show somewhat going around in circles. Sometimes, it's very rewarding when the show digs into its past to showcase how the accessors have made an impact in this world. Most of the time they are simply being yanked around. Politics controls the outcome of their cases more often than any sense of true clarity. It's all meant to convey ongoing importance. No one understands the true scope of what's happening. That chaos can be overwhelming and confusing at times.

David doesn't feel like he's doing any good during his first tasks for the church's secret service. Instead, he's disgusted by his actions. He abandons his friends when they need him the most. And then, he administers last rites simply to retrieve information. Yes, those details are important. The church may have found where Grace Ling is currently being held. The accessors believed she could potentially be a genuine prophet. Further investigation couldn't happen because she was deported to China. It's been agonizing to receive any more information about her. David, Kristen and Ben always believe the church is acting slowly because it doesn't want them to succeed. Sometimes, the answers they seek can only be rewarded with patience. They are still entitled to that clarity. David is told he shouldn't ask questions. It's hard because his friends know him so well at this point. It's no secret when he starts acting differently. Kristen believes it's because of their kiss. She projects her own feelings onto the situation. That's awkward especially when she's forced to interact with Orson's widow once more. That scene is chilling because it's just Kristen and Ben. He doesn't know the truth about what she did. He has inferred it. It hasn't been confirmed to him. He is still willing to help Kristen around the house. It's falling apart. But Kristen also trades in confidently making declarative statements. She knows the details of the investigation into Orson's murder. As such, she isn't surprised by what has been happening in the life of his widow. She claims it's all stuff she's heard. She's happy for what's happened. It's unnerving because the truth is known and largely accepted elsewhere. David can't reckon with it because he's told to be of service in a different way. He doesn't pass on the Bible he has retrieved either. That carries importance too. He can't open it. It all comes across as a test. It's a way to examine his resolve for this mission. He gets to serve in a way that's more exciting than the typical work of a priest. It's boring when he's just listening to confessions. He wants more. That's what he needs from this calling. He needs visions from God and a battle against the forces of evil. He's received that before. It's created a powerful reality for him. It also presents as this being the only way to know he's acting with purpose. The actual reality of the job doesn't seem that exciting to him. It's not made to come across that way given all the other details of the world. That was still the choice he made. And now, David has to juggle all these demands without being able to trust anyone along the way. Kristen and Ben can handle the meme investigation by themselves. It's easy to figure out it's a harmless prank that people want to then blame for their bad behavior. Not everything operates with such clarity. That has always been known. It's simply been amplified further this season.