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A title like “Evil” comes with expectations. Just a handful of weeks into the CBS drama’s run, this week’s episode showed that Michelle and Robert King’s latest TV creation intends to follow its name to grisly places.
Episode 4 of “Evil” — “Rose390” — sees the show’s central sleuths trying to determine whether one boy’s increasingly alarming actions are the result of innate sociopathy or a symptom of an environmental explanation. Psychologist Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) and Church investigator David Acosta (Mike Colter) take their respective approaches in reasoning with young Eric (Luke Judy), trying to understand and counteract his mounting disturbed behavior. Meanwhile, perpetual pragmatist Ben Shakir (Aasif Mandvi) searches for answers in the more unexciting explanations (like water pollutants).
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The trio’s services are enlisted by worried parents who have turned Eric’s bedroom into a de facto holding cell. The boy’s actions toward the family’s new baby have gone from “acting out” to something far more sinister, and the parents believe it might be caused by something that lies beyond parental intuition.
Kristen and David’s methods in interacting with Eric are a solid microcosm of the show’s approach to potentially malicious forces: proceed with an appreciation of the broad capability of human behavior, but search for common ground where empathy can start to work as a salve. Though Kristen and David each have different foundations for both their work and their personal beliefs, there’s narrative and emotional value in the show making the argument that,...
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