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Evil - S is for Silence - Review

2.7 - “S is for Silence”
Written by Robert King & Michelle King
Directed by Robert King
Reviewed by KathM

The second part of Season 2 takes us to upstate New York as the dynamic trio try to determine whether or not Father Thomas, who died last year but hasn't decomposed, should be sent on the path to Sainthood. This doesn’t really impress me, because I understand that cosmetic surgery doesn’t decompose, either. Unfortunately the Monastery is completely silent, and has been that way for over a hundred year. David, Ben and Kristen aren’t sure how they’ll be able to conduct an investigation without speaking, but the Bishop insists. What we get instead of dialogue is a really fun episode with physical comedy, group jogs outside of the Monastery to compare notes, and images in head bubbles to tell us what the characters are thinking. And wine. Lots of wine.

This was a fun medium to use, and the cast uses it well. Kristen and especially Ben both have very expressive faces anyway, and Ben in particular doesn’t really need to speak. You can practically hear his lines being spoken with a twist of his head or an sarcastic look in his eyes (no, really. He can bring it.). He almost doesn't need the little Magic Slate each of them was given to communicate with, but it’s nice to see vintage revisited.

Since the patriarchy is alive even in the silence, Kristen was basically ignored by the monks (except when they pushed her out of situations where she tried to interact with them) and wasn’t allowed to spend time with the investigation. While this was disappointing to Kristen, it also gave Katja Herbers the opportunity to throw some great physical comedy into the mix, particularly when Kristen was trying to coat a barrel that used to hold the wine the Monastery sold with whiskey while wearing bunny slippers.That’s whisky-coated barrels, if that wasn’t clear. Her newfound nun buddy Fenna was in the process of doing it, and she invited Kristen to help. And so she did, spectacularly. Honestly, Lucille Ball couldn’t have done it better.

The monks hover around David and Ben, watching closely and then scurrying off to huddle like football players and write on their little tablets and glare at our boys. Really, it’s been over 100 years since the monks took a vow of silence; could nobody bother to learn sign language? When Ben wants to examine a cabinet he is refused, because that is where the demon lives. If anyone speaks, or if the cabinet was distubed, a demon will be released. Ben and David were pretty laissez-faire about the possibility (Yeah, demon. Wherever.). They were respectful, although Ben studied it without touching it, using the meager tools he was allowed to keep when they arrived..

Another interesting tweak the writers did was to incorporate the time-honored tradition of bubbles over the characters to show what they were thinking because they couldn’t speak. This is how we learn that Ben is still battling his fears from being at the bottom of the elevator floor and that Ben and Kristen are still hot for one another. Just do something already!

Things are going...along? Until Kristen is sent to bed down in a stable with only life-sized male religious to keep her company. One of the problems Kristen has is that she likes to mock the evil. It is her job, I get that, but was shouting “Boo!” really necessary? It unleashed the Monasteries demon, after all. But there’s nothing for it, and the evil buzzes its way out into the world to completely gross out everyone in the monastery and the audience, too. Because blow flies were the answer to the mystery.

But while the “demon” is icky and scary and gross, in the end it’s science that wins the day. Icky, blow fly-related science. This was an interesting tale that ended abruptly but managed to tell a strange tale with no “spiritual” solution. Still I sense that there was still a bit of spooky somewhere in the background.

Points to Ponder:
Am I the only one who thought that Kristen spent nearly the entire time she was at the Monastery drunk? She even got a bottle for the road. Aside from that, her hobby seemed to be flashing her chest (still wearing her shirt) to see whether the monks would react. Answer: no.

I get the feeling that the monk who wanted David to stay at the Monastery and meditate was yet another hurdle by the bishop or the church or someone to keep David from becoming ordained as long as possible. Et tu?

Was the fact that the resident Exorcist was the on-sabbatical Father Mulvehill the scariest part of the episode for you?

I would like to see Fenna again; she has possibilities.

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