Editor's note: The following article contains spoilers for Season 3 of Evil.Evil, which is now in its third season, which continues to both expand and center its mythology as well as its haunting religious-tinged lampoon of modern pop culture. While Black Mirror and its various analogs look to the future to comprehend the present, Evil levels current technological innovations with the blunt religious context of yesteryear, with perhaps more relevant results.
Season 3, Episode 6, The Demon of Algorithms, depicts the algorithmic negative spiral of video sharing apps via TikTok analog Vidtap as the latest vessel for the underworld to operate.
Lelands Sinister Online Presence
The phenomenal pilot episodes conclusion underscores the terrifyingly real threat of endless interconnectivity by amplifying negative influence. In a conversation with Kristen (Katja Herbers), David (Mike Colter) clarifies the series' ethos.
There are people in this world who are connectors. They influence people. They have day jobs. Teachers, stockbrokers, and expert witnesses. They pretend to be normal, but their real passion is evil. Encouraging others to do evil. You dont have to believe in the supernatural to realize that there are individuals out there who do bad things and encourage others to do bad things for the enjoyment of it.
There are people in this world who are connectors. They influence people. They have day jobs. Teachers, stockbrokers, and expert witnesses. They pretend to be normal, but their real pursuit is evil. Encouraging others to do evil.
The Haunted Girl, which was likely inspired by the AR horror game Night Terrors, is a stunning example of Evil's tendency to incite terrifying effects on television. Laura (Dayla Knapp) is found lying on the floor, convulsing and screaming.
The girls return to the game later on and notice that user Rose390 (Nora Murphy) wants to join the game with them. As a skeletal demon emerges from the board, Rose390 leads them to say Hello on the board, then to hypnotically chant Hail, Hail, Hail, and Here He Comes.
B is for Brain
Season 2, Episode 8, B is for Brain, follows the team as they investigate the utility of a so-called God Helmet that stimulates the areas of the brain that are responsible for religious experiences. A brief introduction early on in the episode sparked a lawsuit from the creator of a genuine God Helmet device, which is now available for purchase.
The team begins the episode interviewing individuals who had spiritual experiences with the device, which ranges from a beautiful smile to an epiphanic conversation with Keith Moon. Kristen argues that the perceived religious experiences are a result of the device treating patients depression, while David asserts that the physiological effects of the machine are a result of the vision.
Due to the excessive ambiguity of Evil, there are few indications of an Anvilicious moral message to the general public. This type of revelation is typically directed at the characters themselves. Sister Andrea (Andrea Martin) states that technology can rewire the brain and that David has lost everything he has gained. She reminds him of the looming threat of Leland and that only the Devil can act through technology.
The Demon of Algorithms"
When applied to the cultural zeitgeist, evil earns its status as a modern-day myth, although there are still far more poorly understood scientific phenomena than the post-information age's unprecedented cynicism would have us believe. One striking example is the increasing integration of video-sharing apps into everyday life; it might take decades before the entire scale of its cultural impact can be accurately measured.
The second case involves a girl named Candice (Malina Weissman) who has been livestreaming her possession, which involves eating glass and reciting a Latin phrase. (In real life, a quick scroll through the possession tab on TikTok indeed uncovers alleged possession videos and debates on their validity.)
The second instance is concerning mother Marie Taylor (Lena Hall), who has been revealing a spooky figure in her house. However, the team receives undated footage from Vidtap that shows her scaring and attacking her children, as well as her editing herself out of the videos. This is in fact true horror.
Evil's quest for knowledge is merely to portray reality in a negative light. Kristen eventually turns to watching self-defeating videos, while David eventually becomes a suicidal priest. These are, in their own way, the equivalent of modern classic SNL TikTok sketches, which are both tongue in cheek, narratively consistent, and profound sociocultural significance.