Evil Season 2, Episode 3, “F is for Fire,” opens with Kristen doing some sexy fantasizing in a montage that looks straight out of some paperback romance novels.
Elsewhere, David takes the new nun up on her offer for assistance. They take a look at the photographs they took of Leland’s copy of the sigil map. Leland added five notations that David is struggling to translate, so Andrea takes over. One of them is a name, Mathilda Mowbry (Matilda Lawler).
Mathilda is another child born from RSM Fertility. She’s been moved from foster care to foster care due to her tendency to start fires. It looks like pyromania runs in her family as Mathilda’s mother was arrested for allegedly committing arson.
Mathilda is currently in the care of Brian (Ben Rappaport) and Jane (Zuleikha Robinson) Castle. They’re concerned with their daughter’s behavior as three fires have started since she’s been in their care. But they also have a feeling that there might be more to the fires than a psychological condition. Nanny cam footage shows Mathilda yelling at an unseen presence before a fire seemingly starts from nowhere in her closet.
One of the main themes presented in this episode is the interfaith relationship between Catholicism and Islam. It’s worth mentioning now that Jane is a Muslim while Brian is a devout Catholic, as this comes back into play later in the episode.
Kristen chats one on one with Mathilda to learn more about her and the reason behind the fires. Mathilda admits that a monster with no eyes and fire coming out of its head has been attached to her for her entire life. Whenever he’s angry with her, he sets things on fire.
Ben’s sister is the one who realizes the creature Mathilda has been seeing is a jinn. At home, he does some research and asks Karima if she remembers the story their mom used to tell them as children, it was about the fire-headed Ifrit, a jinn.
Armed with this knowledge, Ben tells Kristen and David about the jinn and how they can benevolent or malevolent. There is some disagreement between Ben and David regarding the Islamic and Catholic faith. Ben doesn’t like how Christianity sees everything as black or white, morally, while Islam leaves more room for gray. Kristen plays devil’s advocate to their debate and is surprised that Ben sounds like he might be starting to believe in the supernatural, although he denies it.
But as Evil always provides a potential real-life explanation for the strange happenings in each episode, Ben finds Mathilda’s chemistry set during his investigation. Inside is a packet of chlorine tablets and brake fluid. If you pour brake fluid on chlorine tablets and leave it alone, it can combust, so it would have been possible for Mathilda to create a setup in her closet that we saw on the nanny cam.
Of course, Mathilda vehemently denies this, admitting she likes to watch fires but hasn’t been starting them. She also says the jinn will not leave her until it has found someone else to latch onto. Then things get even weirder as she suddenly latches onto Kristen and starts speaking in Arabic. Jane translates: “The fire will burn whoever is close and jump to one of you.”
The next course of action is an exorcism, but there is an argument over whether it’s best to have a Muslim sheikh perform it or a Catholic priest. Since the jinn is of Islamic origin, it makes sense to perform a Muslim exorcism because it is more detailed and will let him decide if the jinn is benevolent or not. If it is, it might be better to leave it alone. But the priest argues that he could do more damage by leaving a demon in place thinking it is benevolent. Ultimately, David suggests they work together for Mathilda’s sake.
During the exorcism, Mathilda starts hissing, speaking in Arabic, and then claims that “Adnan” is gone and now she is an entity named “Dan.” This Dan looks directly at Kristen and says, “I’m coming for you, the father below will embrace you in his warm hellfire,” which sends Kristen running for the door.
After, Mathilda comes to and apologizes. But given the last we see of Mathilda is her sitting in her front yard as the trash can spontaneously catches fire, I’m assuming the exorcism didn’t take!
Evil Season 2, Episode 3 recap: Kristen & Ben struggle with creatures outside of work
When she’s not working, Kristen decides to explore her wild side in this episode. Based on the opening, Kristen is sexually frustrated and potentially bored with her marriage especially since Andy is still away. She gets dressed up and goes to a local bar, attempting to pick up a handsome guy there named Colin.
But instead of going home with him, she bails instead. Throughout the episode, Kristen also sees a version of the jinn, which she believes is a hallucination. It shows up at moments where she’s most stimulated, in this case, it seems like it appears when she’s feeling sinful and sexually devious.
Kristen intends to go out a second night, perhaps to finish what she started with Colin at the bar, but she sees the jinn standing outside her window and chickens out.
And while Kristen is getting creepy visits from a jinn that may or may not be real, Ben is once again visited by his own demon, the one who looks kind of like a female George. He set his phone to record him that night, but by morning nothing has saved. Ben redoubles his efforts, positioning his iPhone camera above his bed to take photographs at intervals throughout the night. We don’t get to see what, if anything, he captures in this episode.
If only David, Ben, and Kristen would communicate with each other you’d think they would be able to solve things! They’re all seeing weird stuff in their personal time and all three are having supernatural experiences, talk to each other!
Evil Season 2, Episode 3 recap: Sheryl visits Dr. Kurt Boggs
Now that Sheryl and Leland are broken up, Sheryl is determined to find a way back into Kristen’s life. She starts by going to Kristen’s therapist Dr. Boggs, for advice, except she tells him her daughter’s name is “Jasmine.”
Using Dr. Boggs’s advice, Sheryl finds Lexus at school and coaxes her into feigning sickness to play intermediary between herself and her daughter. It’s the only way Sheryl can get Kristen’s attention since she refuses to answer her calls.
After bringing Lexus home from school, Sheryl tearfully apologizes and tries to make amends. It appears to work, as Kristen and Sheryl hug, but the whole scene feels off. Neither Sheryl nor Kristen are acting like themselves these days so it’s hard to figure out who to trust.
Things get even weirder when Kristen visits Dr. Boggs to address her hallucinations, fishing for a prescription and reveals her mother’s name. Dr. Boggs pieces two and two together and realizes Sheryl is Kristen’s mom. Since it’s generally frowned upon to treat related patients, he calls Sheryl back to tell her they can’t see each other anymore.
Sheryl drops to her knees, begging the doctor to help her. It’s all rather awkward and embarrassing. What the hell is going on with Sheryl? Is she back under Leland’s charms and trying to find a way back into Kristen’s life for his benefit?
Odds & Ends from Evil Season 2, Episode 3
- The little girl who portrays Mathilda in this episode, Matilda Lawler, also portrayed the creepy girl in a mask, Brenda, from the Season 1 Halloween episode. Remember, Brenda also told a scary story about a fire. Coincidence or is there more to this connection?
- Mathilda owns a tea set identical to one Lexus has. After making the connection, Kristen throws out the tea set and then finds it has somehow returned and is sitting on Lexus’s bed at the end of the episode. What’s the deal with it? Maybe Kristen is worried there is an evil connection between it and the fertility clinic?
New episodes of Evil Season 2 air Sundays on Paramount+.