Put your climbing ax in the air and wave it like you just don’t care! Because white privilege is here, so Kristen’s in the clear, all The Protectors in the house say yeah!
Dr. Bouchard is discovered as Orson LeRoux’s murderer in this week’s Evil, which is a study of the insidiousness of racism and how it may just be a demonic undertaking after all. But she also gets away with the crime, which highlights how Kristen’s experience in the world — and, specifically, with the police — is markedly different from David’s and Ben’s. And how she rails against that… until it benefits her.
Meanwhile, a white cop who shoots a Black woman claims the Devil made him do it, and a TV Producer Who In No Way Is Dick Wolf might be responsible for spreading infernal propaganda. Oh, and what’s all this about Ben and gene editing? Read on for the highlights of “C Is For Cop.” (And make sure to read our interview with Katja Herbers about Kristen’s big development.)
‘THAT’S MY TRAINING’ | In Bishop Marx’s office, Ben, David and Kristen listen as a representative from the policeman’s union tells them about an incident we saw at the very start of the episode: A white police officer approached the car of a Black woman with his gun drawn and repeatedly instructed her not to move. When she reached for something in her car, he shot four times. The cop in question, Officer Jim Turley, is pleading temporary insanity: He saw a gun in the woman’s hand, but she was really just reaching for her cell phone. But Turley also is Catholic and believes there was a “demonic intrusion” that led him to believe his victim had a weapon. Or, in other words, “He believes he was momentarily possessed when he saw a gun,” the union rep says.
After the rep steps out, Marx admits to his highly over-it team that he took the meeting as a favor. “A racist cop killed a Black mother, and now he wants the Church to give him a —,” Ben starts. “— Twinkie defense?” Kristen finishes. But the bishop urges them to look into it, so they speak with Turley. Kristen is surprised when he recognizes her; it turns out, their girls go to the same school. He swears that he only wants to understand what happened. A highly unimpressed David asked if Turley would’ve behaved differently if the woman in the car looked like Kristen, aka was white. Turley admits that he doesn’t know if he would’ve approached the situation the same way, but that if Kristen didn’t follow his shouted commands to stay still, he would’ve fired. “That’s my training,” he adds.
Later, Kristen and Mira — so nice to see her! I thought she had been swapped out for Anya, who is also good! — have a canned cocktail in front of her Kristen’s house. Kristen asks her about Turley. “Not everything is about race,” Mira says, recalling a time when she nearly shot a dad whom she thought was brandishing a rifle near his baby but who was actually holding a mop. “I’m not saying there aren’t bad cops. There are. But Officer Jim is one of the good ones, and so am I,” Mira says. “At least, I think I am.” Then the conversation turns to LeRoux; the new thinking is that LeRoux’s wife had her boyfriend do it.
TO SIGIL AND PROTECT | The next day, David, Ben and Kristen watch Turley’s body-cam footage and notice something rather intriguing: The cop has a tattoo of a demonic sigil on the inside of his forearm. David then pulls out his phone and fires up an app designed to record pull-overs from the passenger seat; he’s been pulled over five times in the last year, a number that shocks Kristen. Anyway, in one of David’s videos, the officer that stopped him also has the same tattoo. Could it be that there’s a satanic gang within the New York City Police Department?
Mira tells Kristen that the ink is a superstition that a lot of cops get to ward off getting shot. Oh, and LeRoux’s wife’s boyfriend has an alibi for the time of shooting, so while Mira’s at Kristen’s, she’s just going to have a perfunctory look-see, cool? Kirsten sweats a little as Mira searches the kitchen for a serrated blade, like the one that killed Orson. (Note to Kristen: It would probably help if your eyes didn’t keep darting to the climbing ax hanging in the closet.)
Before Mira leaves, she casually notes that she’ll have to talk with Lexis, because she was the only one who can say whether or not Kristen was at home at the time that LeRoux died. So without explicitly saying so, Kristen asks her daughter to lie and say that she remembers Kristen tucking her in that night.
MEET EDDIE | Which leads us to Sheryl, who is up to some freaky stuff. At the start of the episode, we see her muttering to herself as she walks throughout the house. And later, when Lexis confides in her grandmother that she thinks Kristen wants her to lie, Sheryl heavily suggests that she tell the truth and then seals the deal by showing Lexis the creepy doll to whom Sheryl has BUILT AN ALTAR WHAT?
Yep, there’s an old-fashioned, marionette-ish doll Sheryl calls “Eddie,” who’s flanked by candles and whom Sheryl apparently has been worshipping. “When you need something, you bring him a sacrifice and he will bring it to you,” she says as she lights a dollar bill in front of her highly freaked-out granddaughter. Sheryl whispers to the doll, the flames grow unnaturally higher, and Lexis runs out as Sheryl croons, “Eddie, my Eddie” in very disturbing fashion.
WHAT IS CAS 3? | Let’s see what Ben is up to, cool? One night, courtesy of Abbey The Night Terror, we learn that Ben dropped out of college because he was offered a lab job at “U of M” (Michigan, I’m guessing?). As she tortures him, she ask him about “CAS 3” and says, “You thought your gene editing was going to change the world.” As photos flash of children with malformed bodies, Ben screams, “It was! It was going to end childhood diseases.” Then she makes a reference to something bad that happened to some children, Ben says he had nothing to do with it, and then he wakes up.
After Ben gets the string-around-the-wrist tip for lucid dreaming from Kristen, we later see him reading an article about genetic editing in Beijing and crying. That night, Abbey returns, but he’s able to take control of the situation and go after her with a knife similar to the weapon he wielded while playing a VR game. When the succubus notes that it’s two against one, he looks around and sees David, armed with a samurai sword, protecting his back. “I was always here,’ he tells Ben, who wakes up.
The next day, the two men have a conversation about forgiveness. (Side note: I can’t put my finger on why, but this scene feels dreamlike to me. Anyone else?) It boils down to Ben asking how he can get forgiveness for “a job in my past that I’m not proud of.” David invokes the 12 steps, telling his non-believer friend that he just needs to apologize to an entity bigger than himself — even if it’s something like the United States Post Office. So Ben goes down to the Queens Plaza P.O., bumps into a mail carrier and blurts out his apology. “I forgive you,” the put-out postal workers says. “Get some help.”
THESE ARE THEIR STORIES | Back to the Turley case. The reason those officers have that tattoo is because it’s associated with a Law & Order-type TV show called Justice Served. Via the police union’s rep, David, Kristen and Ben meet with the series’ creator during a location shoot. The executive producer freely admits that it’s a sigil that’s been used on police shows since Dragnet. (Side note: The highly successful series creator is the mastermind behind five TV shows and came up with a lead character who badgers suspects and doesn’t play by the rules. I’m not saying that Robert and Michelle King are coming for Dick Wolf, but I’m not saying they’re not, either.)
The Justice Served EP says that his shows are “aspirational” and that he’s only giving the viewing public what they want. As the trio leave, Ben says that the man is right. And soon after, the union rep is back at the church, letting them know that a grand jury cleared Turley, so he’ll have no need of a defense. “So was that The Protectors protecting one of their own?” David wonders, and receives a not-well-veiled threat in response.
On the way home, it intensifies. Both David and Ben are pulled over in separate incidents; the cops are clearly trying to intimidate them. And at home, Kristen thinks there’s someone in/around her house, so she starts to call 911 but thinks twice and calls Mira instead. Moments later, there’s loud knocking and someone is trying to open the back door; Kristen grabs her good ol’ ax and goes outside… where a bloody Orson LeRoux says, “Long time, no see.”
Kristen is scared beyond belief as she chokes out, “You aren’t real. You’re a manifestation of my guilt.” He taunts her. She knocks him down. He talks about how intoxicating it is to kill. And then Mira and Anya show up and find Kristen, alone, on the ground with her weapon in front of her. The detectives note that the blade is serrated, and that Lexis — whom Sheryl let talk to them while Kristen wasn’t home — couldn’t corroborate her mom’s whereabouts on the night of the murder. Kristen knows this is the end of the road, so she says, “I’m guilty” and starts crying.
Mira asks Anya for a minute alone with Kristen, then won’t let Kristen talk as she points out that her friend is a “good suburban mom” and that LeRoux was a piece of hot, flaming garbage. “What happened to LeRoux was justice,” Mira continues. “Some people deserve to die. Cops know that better than anyone.” Kristen is still crying hard, but not objecting, as Mira wraps up: “I’ll say we saw a Black man back here, we came out and scared him off.” She leaves, and Kristen kneels on the ground and sobs, a beneficiary of the very inequality against which she so recently railed.
At the end of the hour, Ben, Kristen and David are on to their next case: the non-decomposing corpse of a monk, who might’ve been humming in his coffin. When they reach the monastery where the odd events have taken place, the brother who opens the door puts a finger to his lips: The order is silent, and our favorite trio is expected to follow suit. Yep: Silent episode next week, everyone!
Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!