CBS’ Evil ‘Really Didn’t Want’ To Get Too Supernatural In Season 1

evil cbs kristen leland confrontation season 1 episode 12

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the most recent episode of Evil, "Justice X 2," are ahead. Come back once you've caught up!

It's been apparent from the first episode of Evil that we might not always be able to trust what we and the characters see, or the connections that might be made, on the creepy drama. While the show is reliably filled with serial killers and other very real world wrong-doers, a big question persists about whether or not these folks are driven by standard issue insanity / no-good-very-bad-personhood, or if they're actually taking cues from something demonic and more insidious in nature. We now know that series co-creators Michelle and Robert King were very mindful of not letting things get too supernatural in Season 1.

The most recent episode of the twisty psychological drama featured a standout final scene which complicates the idea of whether or not real evil is afoot on Evil even more. At first, it appears as though all-around Big Bad and awesome character Leland Townsend is talking to your standard issue therapist, but then the camera pulls back, and we see that he's taking advice from a massive, furry and horned devil-beast. Yay! Not freaking me out at all, Evil! Well, Robert King recently talked about why they continue to walk that supernatural / regular evil line:

I would confess that at the beginning of the year, I didn’t know whether we’d be able to do it. I thought we’d have to tip our hand towards ‘The world is supernatural’ and we really didn’t want to. I was a little worried we couldn’t kind of keep this rolling as long as I think we could. We had this thing in the writers room, which is ‘We don’t want to Scooby-Doo this.’ You just don’t want to be in that world, where you’re always saying, ‘Uh, yeah, it’s the amusement park guy who wanted to scare us away.

One of the things that Evil has managed so brilliantly is bringing in many supernatural elements without confirming (usually) whether or not they're real. As Kristen, David and Ben continue to investigate cases of potential miracles, demonic possession and other oddities for the Catholic church to determine whether or not real demons / devils and the like are involved, they consistently come across people and events that non-believers like Kristen and Ben can debunk with science, while believers like David can also see plenty of connections to the supernatural.

It turns out that that blending of the two potential causes for their cases was something that the Kings wanted all along, and, as Robert King told IndieWire, not only did they think they wouldn't get away with leaving things ambiguous for so long, they were worried they'd have to constantly do the Scooby-Doo dance. Meaning, of course, that they'd have to supposedly confirm that some event was supernatural and then pull it back at the last moment, telling the audience that it was really a trick perpetrated by a human with bad intentions.

Robert King continued, adding that the way they seem to get it away with how they handle the scary stuff on Evil, is by making sure the audience understands that, for the series, the way people see and experience reality is just as important as, well, things that are really real:

One of the things we thought we could get away with more, as you get brought into the bath of the show, is that metaphors are real and realities are metaphors and you’re never sure. That little demon child Kristen saw being born in the cornfield: Was that a real experience or was that hallucinogenic and represented some emotional state? Many of the scares in the show, whether George coming at her at night or the psychological scares, I think we’re allowed to get away with them and still suggest that reality is very pragmatic and empirical.

If you've been keeping up with Evil, you'll know that Robert King is, indeed correct. No matter how wacky things seem to get on the show, viewers are always open to the idea that it could be real, imagined, supernatural or not. And, that's something which makes it easy for audiences to want to see more.

Evil continues its creep-tastic reign, Thursdays on CBS at 10 p.m. EST, and has already been renewed for Season 2. For more on what you can see right now, check out our 2020 winter / spring premiere guide.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.