Evil Season 2, Episode 4, “E is for Elevator,” opens with Leland’s exorcism as Father Mulvehill and David try “purifying” his soul. As if! Mulvehill tells Leland that his exorcism will take repeated sessions because diabolical subjugation (willingly selling your soul) is the hardest and most challenging to extrapolate.
In the interim, Mulvehill assigns an irritated David to be Leland’s spiritual advisor, which is sort of like a sponsor for recovering alcoholics. They’ll need to meet for regular counseling sessions as David attempts to dissuade Leland from getting involved in any evil misdeeds.
David gives Leland a rosary to pray with during their first session, but Leland is more interested in his favorite pastime, trying to get under David’s skin. He claims David is just a diversity hire and questions how he deals with the racism within the Catholic church, mentioning KKK-member-turned-Catholic-priest Father William Aitcheson and the fact the majority of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in 2016. David argues that the issue is more about abortion than race, but Leland questions how he deals with the racism within the church.
David’s next priestly duty is to give a homily, and fittingly, it’s about racism in America. When he does a practice run for Father Kay, the father is less than impressed. He basically tells David not to start controversy for controversy’s sake. “Race is one of those words that can shut people’s minds to your real message,” Kay says. “Race is my real message,” David retorts.
After the homily, a fourth-year priest-in-training, Kevin (Hampton Fluker), warns David that the church will never let him deliver a homily like that, echoing Leland’s sentiments. Kevin thinks David is being groomed to become a figurehead for the church, “the great Black hope.” He invites David to join him and some other renegade Catholics for a meeting that night.
With Kevin and his friends, David gets into a tussle almost immediately with one of Kevin’s friends who accuses David of selling out his race for the Catholic church. David punches him and then tries to make a swift exit. But a minister from a local gospel church stops him. He invites David to check out his church one day. “Come there and you’ll be home. What the Catholic church doesn’t do, we do.”
Come Sunday, David is happy to inform Kevin that he didn’t have to whittle his homily down despite Father Kay’s attempts. But there might be a reason for that. There’s only a handful of people in attendance. It seems likely that Kay sabotaged the Mass that day to ensure David wouldn’t be preaching to a large pool of their congregation. Still, he does give his homily and Kristen congratulates him.
Evil Season 1, Episode 4 recap: The Elevator Game
This week’s case focuses on the terrifying Elevator Game and a missing teenager named Wyatt. While David is busy doing church stuff, Kristen and Ben meet with Wyatt’s parents to learn the circumstances surrounding their son’s disappearance. Initially, it sounds like a typical, ordinary police problem, at least until his dad reveals the giant pentagram carved into the floor of Wyatt’s bedroom.
Kristen notices the words EL GAME scrawled into Wyatt’s desk above a sequence of numbers. With some online research and the assistance of her eager daughters, Kristen gets a lesson in all things related to the Elevator Game. The game, which is a real thing people do, requires the player to step into an elevator in a building with 13 floors and travel up and down to various floors in the correct sequence. There are a few other rules to follow, too, with the game’s objective being to have the elevator take you to a nether world or Hell.
It’s essential that when you play the game, you don’t stop or break any of the rules, or else you’ll be haunted forever. The only way to fix the haunting is by drawing a pentagram in your house, which would explain the one in Wyatt’s bedroom.
Wanting to be part of the adventure, Kristen’s daughters convince their mom to take them along to test the game. All except Lexus, who can’t miss a tutoring session. I guess it’s a good idea not to bring the demon child around a potential portal to Hell.
Kristen’s other three daughters and Ben go to the haunted Ansolina Apartments on the Upper West Side where they meet with the doorman. He shows them security footage of Wyatt’s last appearance in the building. Wyatt is seen going in the elevator and never shown getting off of it.
Ben, Kristen, and the girls file into the elevator to play the game. “Do you feel like an idiot?” “I’ve never stopped feeling like an idiot on this job.” But there is a significant problem. The Ansolina is one of those buildings that doesn’t have a 13th floor due to the old superstitions. The numbers go from 12 to 14. Instead of landing in another realm, they just disturb the doorman by triggering the hotel alarm.
Calling it quits, the gang returns to the lobby where they run into Caroline (Midanah Penda), an old friend of Wyatt’s girlfriend Felicia. She warns them not to play the game. “It’s not safe.”
But the timing is fortuitous as Caroline is able to give Ben and Kristen valuable information on Wyatt and Felicia, who disappeared a month after her boyfriend. According to Caroline, Felicia went looking for Wyatt after he disappeared, knowing he had been playing the Elevator Game. Caroline recorded a call between herself and Felicia when she went to play the game herself in search of Wyatt.
However, Felicia didn’t want to end up disappearing like her boyfriend so she stayed on the phone with Caroline the whole time. Caroline plays the recording for Ben and Kristen, it ends with Felicia’s scream.
Still seeking answers about the Elevator Game, Ben calls Vanessa for the first time since she confessed that she believes her sister’s ghost is attached to her. Vanessa knows a thing or two about the Elevator Game and the legends of the Ansolina.
She takes Ben on a ghost tour of the building. The tour guide, Mila, says the Ansolina is one of the Upper West Side’s most haunted buildings. The legend says that more than 300 people died there during the 1918 Spanish Flu and their bodies were stored in the subbasement until they could be collected. To this day, those people supposedly haunt the building.
But even creepier than that is the legend of the Teke-Teke Girl. Supposedly in 1963, a 14-year-old girl took her dog on a walk and the dog escaped from the elevator. While trying to reach it, the girl got stuck in the doors and the elevator dropped, cutting her in half. To this day, residents claim they can hear her crawling down the hallways, dragging her lower half along with her nails, hence the “teke-teke” sound.
Ben tells David and Kristen the legend, and that Vanessa thinks they need to finish the game. But how do they do that without a 13th floor?
That night, Kristen hears a creepy tapping sound inside her house. It’s just Sheryl typing on her laptop. And here’s your weird Sheryl moment of the week. Kristen asks her mom to stay longer so she can go out again and Sheryl is fine with that, but worries about driving home so late at night. She asks Kristen to consider letting her put a bed out in her office, so she can “be close to her granddaughters.” I’m just not buying it!
Kristen returns to the Ansolina alone to play the game. She messes up and gets stuck between floors, resulting in her seeing the dreaded, Grudge-like, Teke-Teke girl crawling down the hall. Of course, when Kristen frees herself and gets out, she calls Kurt and complains that the meds he gave her are making the hallucinations worse, not better.
She calls Ben after and he returns to the building. There they ask Mila how to play the game without the 13th-floor button. She thinks maybe the building renumbered the floors specifically to stop people from playing. Kristen also pointedly avoids telling Ben that she saw the Teke-Teke girl. Ugh, I wish they would just talk to each other!
Evil Season 2, Episode 4 recap: Ben tries to play the game alone
Later, Ben attempts the Elevator Game alone. He figures out that they need to hit buttons 1 and 3 at the same time, as Felicia says something about the number two in her recording, but it’s not floor two, it’s two buttons! This time the game works and the elevator reads 00, dropping Ben down to the subbasement.
It’s a dark, dank place with brick tunnels, wet gravelly floors, and the dead bodies of Wyatt and Felicia (How did the pentagram get on Wyatt’s floor if he was dead, then? Maybe if he played the game before and did it wrong?)! Ben realizes that Wyatt must have found the basement and gotten stuck there just like he does. Once you leave the elevator and the doors closed, there is no way to recall it as the button is broken. Ben starts to panic thinking he’s going to die down there just like the couple.
He manages to get a few phone calls out to Kristen and David but the reception is horrible and his phone is on 10% battery life. The only comfort he has is his nightmare demon Abbey, who shows up to torment him. She also advises he use his remaining battery to write his will, which Ben does. Interestingly, despite his skepticism, Ben asks and recites dua during what he believes are his final moments. Abbey calls him out on his hypocrisy.
Thankfully for Ben, Kristen and David are savvy enough to work out what happened and solve the two-button mystery. They make it to the subbasement in time to save him and Ben breaks down in tears in the elevator as Abbey comes along for the ride. I’m assuming the subbasement is the same one Mila mentioned during the ghost tour where bodies were stored during the Spanish Flu. So that explains the Elevator Game and its nether world… unless the Teke-Teke Girl was real?
What did you think about Evil Season 2, Episode 4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
New episodes of Evil Season 2 air Sundays on Paramount+.