Faith Views: New CBS drama 'Evil' explores the intersection of religion and science
Article By Abraham Davis // EEW Magazine // Entertainment
Miracles, demonic possession, and unexplained phenomena happen every day—or do they?
A new CBS drama, Evil, explores the intersection of religion and science, seeking to answer a difficult question: can presumed supernatural occurrences be explained using research, reason, and a little skepticism?
The latest and second episode of Evil, "177 Minutes," introduced a new character, an 18-year-old African American teen who went into cardiac arrest in the middle of a soccer game and died. Naomi had been dead nearly three hours—177 minutes exactly—when a priest entered the morgue as her sobbing parents stood over her. Then he whispered something in the young woman’s ear and exited.
As her autopsy began, the mortician made an incision in Naomi’s jawline when shockingly, she suddenly revived with blood spewing from her face, and gasping for breath. It was an apparent miracle, or was it?
Confusion set in for Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers), a cash-strapped, skeptical forensic psychologist partnering with priest-in-training David Acosta (Luke Cage star Mike Colter).
In each episode, the pair explores paranormal mysteries (that sometime turn out to be non-mysteries) for the Catholic church. In the current episode, neither could initially find any other explanation for the resurrection. Despite Bouchard and Acosta suspecting a miraculous occurrence, a hospital executive disputed that any miracle happened at all.
“Medicine has limits to its knowledge,” he said. “It’s not all-knowing, and we’re not God.”
The paramedic, on the other hand, who had been on the scene performing life-saving measures on Naomi, told Bouchard and Acosta, “Look, I’m not religious. I don’t believe in all of that stuff, but come on. That girl was dead for three hours. I saw her dead. Lividity sets in after an hour, then brain death after 90 minutes.”
How, then, was Naomi alive and well, and fully functional? The perplexed EMT said, though he didn’t like the word “miracle” per se, he had to admit, “Something happened.”
EEW Magazine Online’s entertainment editors are fascinated with the smartly-written show— particularly its intelligent discourse surrounding the supernatural and the acknowledgement that religion, science, and medicine cannot answer every question.
Only God, the Omniscient One, can.
"We always wanted to do something where science was weirdest and religion was weird, too, and there might be a disagreement," said Robert King, co-creator with Michelle King, in an interview with SyFy Wire.
"It seemed like an opportunity. If you're going to show religion and science, or any two very different points of view, to show characters that have different ideas but are actually talking to each other and listening to each other,” said Michelle King.
One of these critical conversations plays out in episode two between Bouchard and Acosta. She asked, “So you think that if you just pray hard enough, God is going to grant you miracles?”
Acosta answered, “No, it doesn’t work that way,” but didn’t pretend to grasp the fullness of the process or how it all actually does work.
Bouchard admitted struggling with the idea that some people pray and don’t get a miracle. But that doesn’t negate the fact that some pray and do.
EEW Magazine Online recommends Evil to mature Christians fascinated by the intersectionality of religion and reason. The show is respectful to all perspectives, and for all its loftiness and fancifulness, it manages to stay, for the most part, quite rooted in reality.
Evil airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m./9c on CBS.