Evil Recap & Spoilers: Season 2, Episode 11, “I’m for the IRS”

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WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Evil Season 2, Episode 11, “I Is for IRS”, now airing on Paramount +.

If there was an equivalence to Wrong in the world of music, it would be Andrew Bird’s “Fake Palindromes”. Of course, there are plenty of songs that deal with sin, desire, and darkness, and Bird’s rhythmic indie captures all of that. But it also provides some bizarre, confusing, and horrifying imagery (“My dew-eyed Disney bride, what tried / Swap your blood with formaldehyde / Monsters? / Whiskey voices screamed fratricide!” ) Wrong fills his world with. So it’s only fitting that showrunners Robert and Michelle King open “Is for IRS” with a music video-style montage of Sheryl injecting herself with Leland’s blood transfusion drugs and flirting with number men while Leland watches. far. (With Sheryl’s knowledge, of course, making it slightly less creepy.) The edit – which is shown on the big screen, not the usual full-screen aspect ratio – culminates in Sheryl apparently drilling a “little hole in it.” [a man’s] head]”, to quote Bird, as the electronic violin muffles his – and my – cries.


While Sheryl is digging holes, Kristen, David, and Ben are hired by the IRS to assess the tax exemption claim for the New Ministry of Satan, a burgeoning religion that chooses to worship the Father of God. ‘at the bottom rather than the one above. (“The new ministry? Is there an old one?” Asks Ben, half joking, half not.) They tour the ministry and are greeted by the handsome, handsome Graham Lucian, COO. “How do you know Satan? David asks dryly as the team begins their assessment. “The same way you know Jesus. He makes sense to you. He describes the world to you. Satan does the same for me,” Graham replies. It also provides them with the history, literature, and belief of the new religion, apparently meeting the IRS’s requirements for tax-exempt status. However, the ministry’s t-shirt business raises red flags for Kristen and Ben.

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David continues to deal with his own Satan, Leland, who is about to begin his three-night exorcism. Leland notices one of the pamphlets David took from Satan’s New Ministry and is very offended by their universal and watered-down portrayal of his lord, going so far as to call it “blasphemy.” (To Leland’s credit, the pamphlet image of a family enjoying a picnic under Satan’s watch doesn’t really match the Devil’s Mark historically.) “What is belief in Satan? David asks. “Power, rejection of authority. Manipulation. Violence. Disgust with people like you,” Leland replies.

Despite an apparent reconciliation between the two at the end of “B Is for Brain,” Andy and Kristen are still grappling with their marriage and their meeting with Dr. Boggs. But what starts off as a simple mirroring exercise turns into an accusation session, with Kristen criticizing Andy for being gone for so long and Andy asking Kristen if she’s sleeping with David. As Kristen offers a non-response on trust, the jinn appears, causing him to ask Dr. Boggs for more medicine to stop his hallucinations.

On Leland’s first night of exorcism, the possessed one displays strange behavior, even to him. He begins speaking in different voices, including a young girl and a British woman, and kicks an eight-foot priest across the room. This shocks both Leland and David, the latter asking Kristen to spend the second night to observe.

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Prior to Leland’s second exorcism, however, the team travel to the New Ministry for services with Bishop Jim and his naked “altar girl” (who is truly female). As Ben points out, the “production value” of the department’s service is quite good: dark purple lighting; slow, techno music from a DJ sporting various piercings; goat heads hanging on the wall. As David and Bishop Jim verbally argue over the fate of Saint Christopher, Kristen and Graham flirt / discuss Satan as a metaphor, force, and … beacon of feminism.

Later that night, Kristen and David attend Leland’s exorcism. But it’s not just strange voices this time. Leland also upchucks black bile. Unable to take it, Kristen runs to the bathroom to find herself bleeding from her stomach. The bleeding turns into a wound in its own right, spilling out its guts and a living organ-like creature. It all turns out to be a hallucination, which Kristen attributes to her new drug. Kristen goes to a bar to relax, where she meets Graham and sleeps with him in his car.

As Kristen arrives home, Sheryl sees her put on her underwear and immediately recognizes what Kirsten has done. She advises Kristen to take a bath, a shower and get rid of her clothes. “I know what happened, honey. It was the same when I got home to daddy,” her mother said. “I had something on my panties, that’s all,” Kristen replies. “Something sticky?” Sheryl jokes. “If you ever want to talk, I don’t judge. Kristen does exactly what her mother suggested, bathe and shower in her bathroom, the only light coming from a Princess and the Frog-themed night light (the second reference of the episode to the Disney princesses). But that is not enough for him. She also cleans the tub, trying to clean out the remaining dirt – and the guilt. Kristen then goes to see Dr. Boggs about her hallucinations, but she quickly begins to collapse, accusing her psychologist of spying on her and sleeping with her mother.

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After the second night of his exorcism, Leland is not doing well. He calls Sheryl for help, who reminds him that “it only works if it’s transactional.” Leland offers him Edward, which is enough for him to continue. She finds Leland shivering on the floor and puts him in a tub of blood and bodily fluids from various “donors” such as “Jeremy” and “the two women at the airport”.

(This explains what the jars in Leland’s backroom were and what Sheryl injected herself with: other people’s blood. Surely that’s what Leland meant by “Edward.” He was offering her his. And speaking of Leland’s back room, the camera shows a still body behind his back, presumably that of Dr. Cara Autry.)

The team presents its findings to the IRS, claiming that Satan’s new ministry should not be granted tax-exempt status since its primary function is to sell t-shirts, not to worship a deity, and because all the profits go to Graham. Graham and Bishop Jim stop and accuse Kristen of trying to sabotage their request because she slept with Graham. Kristen laughs at the accusation, saying she’s even willing to swear it on the Satanic Bible. The IRS agent fires Graham and Jim, but not before the latter warns them that Satan is coming for them all.

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On the last night of Leland’s exorcism, he renounces the Devil and all his works and accepts God as his true protector and savior. But he’s not the only one to release a new man. During the ceremony, Kristen squirms and screams on the bathroom floor, as if the exorcism is working on her as well. She too renounces the Devil and his works, though the camera turns away before revealing whether she accepts God.

A changed woman, Kristen rushes over to Andy’s, hoping to catch her before he leaves for Colorado to sell the business. She calls her tearful husband and apologizes, admitting that she has been “off”. However, when she arrives home, Andy is nowhere to be found. That is, until she notices her fireplace lit in the garden with Andy waiting for her there. He leads her through a fire puja, a Tibetan Buddhist ritual where one writes an affliction that they want purified and burns the paper in the fire to get rid of the impurity. While Andy’s affliction is not revealed, Kristen writes down her case. The two kiss and kiss, ready to start over. The dew-eyed Disney princess is reunited with her prince.

However, with Kristen seemingly healed of her affliction, the jinn needs a new host. And with Demon Therapist dead, the spirit settles on Leland, who greets his new visitor with a cheerful smile.

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