‘Evil’ Bosses Warn Not to Discount Sheryl: ‘She Is a Killer in Her Own Right’
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Evil Season 2 Episode 3 “F Is for Fire.”]
Evil took a look at the darkness in both psychologist Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) and her mother, Sheryl (Christine Lahti), in the third episode of Season 2. One headed to a bar, while another went to therapy with Dr. Kurt Boggs (Kurt Fuller) — and you might not guess which is which.
The Paramount+ horror series has shown there may be more than a bit of darkness in Kristen (and we’re not even counting the fact that she murdered a serial killer threatening her family and wasn’t very remorseful). In “F Is for Fire,” amidst having hallucinations of a Jinn and dreaming of sex, Kristen headed to a bar, flirting with the idea of leaving with someone. (Sorry, Andy. Maybe stop going climbing?)
Meanwhile, the evil Leland Townsend (Michael Emerson) dropped his act with Sheryl in the second episode of the season and called off their wedding. (He’d been using her to get to Kristen.) She then wrote “DIE YOU STUPID PIG F**K” in blood (that tasted like hers, he noted) on the wall in his office. Her next move? She went to see Kristen’s therapist, Dr. Boggs, asking for help reconnecting with her daughter “Jasmine” after they fought about her ex. It only took a quick Google search (and what Kristen’s told him in her sessions) for him to realize who she really is, and when he called her out, she turned on the waterworks … but did she mean it?
Sheryl’s a bit terrifying this season, I have to admit, and I can’t help but think she’s manipulating everyone — Boggs, Kristen, maybe even Leland?
Michelle King: I think you are right. And it is fantastic to watch Christine Lahti devour the role.
Robert King: I think we were always influenced by Sopranos‘ second season; Tony Soprano’s sister comes and you think, oh, she’s going to be a comic character, but she turns out to be the major mover of the show. Sheryl’s more interesting when you maybe are discounting her, but in fact, she is a killer in her own right.
How much can you say about what she may be planning at this point in the season?
Robert: Not that much, because so much of the season depends on the mystery of where she is, but do know your first instinct of how fun it is to watch her do that, that goes even to a ballistic place.
Is she really trying to get any help with therapy or just using that for what she’s planning?
Michelle: Isn’t that a good question? [Both laugh]
Robert: We like to have the scenes with her and Boggs together, so I think you’ll see more of those.
She asks Leland, “Do you know how many demons I dated before you?” Is it possible that she dated one of the 60 or that one of the 60 could be Kristen’s father?
Robert: Oh, wow. Yes. Here’s the thing: We wanted the line to play as a group you followed around, a rock band in some way, like, “I’ve dated a demon, I dated Keith Moon or someone just as bad as you or just as crazy as you,” but also to play as maybe she is knowing a little bit more about this ecology of evil than she’s letting on and then she kinda knew what she was doing right from the word go. We want things to work both psychologically and supernaturally at the same time.
Michelle: It’s interesting. She’s sort of the inverse of Sister Andrea [Andrea Martin]: They both see evil and Sister Andrea recognizes it as something to be fearful of and something to fight, and Sheryl sees it as something not to be fearful of.
There have been hints at the darkness in Kristen since Season 1 — cutting Leland’s neck, David’s [Mike Colter] vision — but this season is turning it up to a whole new level. In this episode, there are the visions of the Jinn and her flirting with adultery. That guy and his name didn’t even seem to matter. That could all be tied to her PTSD, but it seems like there’s something more going on?
Michelle: We’re playing with that, the question of, is there evil that’s infected her or is she just behaving badly in a mundane sort of way?
Robert: It’s interesting to me about Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, does Macbeth continue to kill because once you have a taste for killing, you need to keep covering it up, or is there something, in that case, the witches that are influencing him and getting him to kill? What we like is when the narrative plays both ends of that, so this whole idea of her hand being burned by the cross seems to be the metaphor for her for the whole season.
Evil, Sundays, Paramount+