WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Evil Season 2 Episode 8, “B Is for Brain”, which is now available for viewing on Paramount +.
After months away on an expedition, Andy, Kristen’s husband, returns home, which means it’s chaos as usual at the Bouchard household. Lynn, Lila, Lexis, and Laura are decorating the room with balloons – and having a bit of helium fun in the process – while Sheryl helps with the “Welcome Home Daddy” sign. Everyone is excited to see it. Well, all but Kristen, who sips her Trinity Whiskey quietly as she sits in a hot bubble bath, seemingly dreading her husband’s return.
Kristen’s lack of enthusiasm doesn’t stop her from making out with Andy in the bedroom. But this is not the same Kristen who left so many months ago. Her stomach is covered in cross-shaped burns (which she attributes to the stove), and her sexual repertoire now includes gags (courtesy of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity) and animal masks. Still, it’s raw, good sex, which Andy desperately needed after spending two months on top of a mountain.
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The next day, Kristen, Ben, and David are called on their next case. A brain mapping experiment is inducing spiritual visions in his subjects and causing a significant portion of them to convert to Christianity. The Church wants to know if this is something it should investigate further, or if it can be dismissed as a hoax.
The team interviews some of the subjects, who describe hallucinations and visions of happiness: walking down a gentle snowy road, floating in space, hanging out with Who’s drummer Keith Moon. Kristen considers this to be a basic use of brain stimulation to cure depression, but David argues that visions came first, before physiological effects, and that spirituality cannot be induced by technology.
Ben decides to test the machine himself. “A chance to see God and Keith Moon. Come on. How am I going to pass it up?” He says. Sadly, neither God nor Keith Moon make an appearance, but Ben is visited by his dead mother, who scolds him for abounding in “everything he was to me.” He takes him back to his hometown, only to be interrupted by a ghostly demon. Ben starts screaming and crying, prompting David and Kristen to rush out of the machine. It turns out that not everyone has a positive view, as some subjects experience episodes of “grief, sadness, darkness, meaninglessness,” according to the lead researcher.
Back at church, Sister Andrea is visited by Leland, who has discovered that the holy water that David had used during his last exorcism was actually ammonia. “Here, let me show you. Hold out your hand,” Leland threatens as he pulls out his own bottle of the dangerous chemical. Sister André happily agrees, raising her hand to show a huge knife the size of Leland’s face. “How come I’ve never heard of you?” Asks a stunned Leland. “Because I am a nun,” Sister Andrea replied calmly. Leland goes out and meets David. “I think the Church is too harsh on its nuns,” he tells his spiritual advisor as he leaves. “I think they are sexy.” David enters to see Sister Andrea, who implores him to work on her mediations. “Our enemy has become more aggressive. We have to prepare.”
While storing the masks in the closet, Andy finds hand-drawn maps of random houses hidden in a journal. He tries to confront Kristen about it while they are in line at a supermarket, but the two are interrupted by the worst demon of all: a row cutter, and a rude one. Andy is willing to let it go, but the new Kristen is not. Grab a bag of frozen French fires and punch the guy in the face – shocking Andy and this recap!
The team interviews some of the people who have experienced negative visions when using the brain mapping machine. But Kristen is not intimidated and decides to give it a try. However, the machine has trouble registering it, so he switches places with David, who sees LeRoux’s murder by Kristen detail by detail, right down to the ice ax, despite the fact that Kristen never told him about it. In a panic, Kristen calls an emergency session with Dr. Boggs. Dr. Boggs says that David must have subconsciously taken notice from Kristen’s behavior and news reports and advises her to tell him the truth. So Kristen runs to David’s chambers in the Church, only to find Leland there, nibbling on David’s dismembered arm as the priest-in-formation screams in pain.
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It turns out that Kristen was on the machine the entire time, and David never was. Kristen rushes to have a real meeting with Dr. Boggs. She explains everything that happened to her, including the advice Dr. Boggs gave her to tell David. The real Dr. Boggs points out to Kristen that he often talks about David, even though her husband has just returned home. “Reflect on what you want your life to be right now. If it’s your husband, it’s your husband. If it’s David, it’s David.” Kristen shrugs her shoulders like an unattainable attraction, as David is going to become a priest and will be completely off limits. But Dr. Boggs says your mind may be presenting a challenge. “If he does not become a priest, then he is not unattainable.”
Ultimately, it is David’s turn to test the machine, but ironically, he gets nothing. He goes to see Sister Andrea for his failure. But she doesn’t see it as a failure “because your visions don’t come from regions of your brain. They come from God.” “Start over,” he advises. “Don’t use technology to rewire your brain.”
David takes Sister Andrea’s advice seriously and starts his basic mediations again. He also recommends that the machine not be further investigated or used by the Church. But Kristen says it could be helpful to people with depression and Ben isn’t sure, leading to a 1-1-1 vote on his future.
Andy goes to see Sheryl about Kristen’s behavior, but Sheryl blames Andy for being gone for so long, forcing Kristen to “adjust” to a lifestyle without him. Sheryl then has a moment with Eddie, her creepy wish-granting doll, which scares Andy. (And rightly so!) However, Sheryl’s words affect him, and he confronts Kristen about her work and behavior, offering to sell her climbing business and get a real day job. Kristen refuses to believe that her Church work is the problem, but Andy brings up the maps, which her daughters believe are maps for killing people. Kristen clarifies that it is just a therapy technique. “It’s a way of dealing with anger. When people piss me off, I draw where they live,” he shoots. “But your kids don’t know,” Andy says, causing Kristen to collapse on the bed.
That night, Kristen makes her way silently to the kitchen. He lights the stove, heats her cross-shaped pendant, and pushes it against her stomach, buying her a moment of peace in the rush of pain.
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Evil Season 2, Episode 8, ‘B Is for Brain,’ Recap and Spoilers