Sunday, June 26, 2022

REVIEW: 'Evil' - Sister Andrea and Kristen Confront a Demon Targeting a Newlywed Couple in 'The Demon of Sex'

Paramount+'s Evil - Episode 3.03 "The Demon of Sex"

Sister Andrea joins the team to fix a demonically possessed marriage.

"The Demon of Sex" was written by Aurin Squire and directed by Nelson McCormick

For the first time, Sister Andrea assists the accessors on a case. She can tell them exactly if their actions are helping or hurting the situation. She witnesses a demon targeting a newlywed couple. She infers they've come in for counseling with a problem before they bring it up. It's more than just a strong intuition. She has physical confirmation of the corruption. She can see it without having to look at the scars on the woman's back. Her powers are simply that strong. She is attuned to the world. It makes her indelicate in certain situations. She's still a powerful ally especially for David whenever he's confronting these forces of evil. In this case though, Sister Andrea is largely working with Kristen. They haven't had much time together. In fact, they clash early on in the counseling. They view themselves as being in the right. The other is only making things worse because they aren't approaching the situation with the right tools. Kristen sees a couple dealing with a psychological blockage. They simply need the freedom to express themselves sexually without feeling tortured by the expectations of their religion. Meanwhile, Andrea sees a couple at the complete mercy of a demon. He wants to latch on and influence them into heinous behavior that will corrupt their souls far beyond the bedroom. Kristen and Andrea eventually come to an understanding. They have to work together. They have a common enemy in Leland. They recognize that. Kristen may not accept Andrea's approach. However, she won't follow Leland's lead in trying to oust her from the parish. The hallucinations are powerful. That's hardly unique to Andrea. She simply has the benefit of seeing them play out alongside the rest of life. Everyone else has largely been tormented in their dreams. That's when the barrier between worlds breaks down. Sure, the narrative plays with hauntings and the eery nature of life amongst the personal lives of its characters. The psychological peril is just as daunting. Meanwhile, the physical demands are more prominent for those who give themselves truly to these beliefs. Ben doesn't believe in the existence of God. He doesn't want to surrender himself to an all-powerful being. He still has to cope with not knowing all the answers. He hasn't been in this battle alone. It's still been isolating. Now, he has new friends who can potentially help him solve some of the biggest mysteries the accessors have had to walk away from. An eyeball coming out of Kristen's toilet isn't the weirdest thing Ben has experienced. It's simply the clarifying moment that forces a depressive break from reality. His sister is the only one who can inspire him to dig deeper. Everything has an explanation. It's simply beyond his reach. As such, it's comforting to have friends to aide in this exploration. 

Kristen truly believes she helps the central couple. She's not in the bedroom when they act on their true impulses. In that circumstance, it plays as an act of self-harm. On one hand, it's exploration in the pursuit of getting closer. But it's also the most toxic escalation that could have been imagined. They are essentially having a threesome with the devil. As such, the demonic energy isn't defeated. It's only strengthened. The physical ailments were a warning sign mostly to showcase how strong this couple was in resisting temptation. When they disappear, they believe Kristen has helped them. Andrea knows not to be fooled so easily. She has no reason to question the peace everyone else is willing to accept. She knows the battle with evil is much more expansive than anyone is willing to admit. Her skills aren't commonplace amongst her profession. She needs David to practice so he too can see what she experiences. Her life is constantly in danger. The forces of evil present themselves in so many ways. They enjoy taunting her. She can handle so much. She remains steadfast in her faith. She is proud to have allies. But again, that doesn't lead to souls being saved. As such, she may not have made a difference whatsoever. She has a history in this community. She's impacted people. She can connect to that past. That doesn't help ease this situation. Instead, she's locked in her own battle regardless of the individuals who are asked to divulge their most intimate thoughts. That's what she has ascribed value to. It's not unique to her. Plenty of people believe in things in order to make them real. That conviction makes it so regardless of what the truth actually is. That plays out in so many ways. Sheryl views the newest cryptocurrency mostly as a way to fulfill an assignment for Leland. She doesn't know the impact it has on her own family. She exploits influencers to hit a specific quota. The world reacts accordingly. It's all treated as real even though those behind the scenes are skeptical of what they are promoting. It's all a scam. It simply divides those who have power from those being exploited. Sheryl runs with that. She takes back some of her own agency by forcing Leland's spy to resign. It's despicable to see how far she'll go to achieve that result. She hits back harder whenever someone tries to intimidate her. It can be championed for a brief moment. It's about so much more than this one interaction. It's still positioned as further corruption of her soul. That only strengthens Leland's hand. He barely has to influence her at all. That's the scary part of how deep these hooks have sunken in. That's the fate for anyone targeted by a demon. Genuine souls are out there wanting to help. Practical concerns keep them from achieving what they believe needs to be done. That's a delicate balance when operating in such absolute terms as this show frequently does with good and evil.