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It's downright evil how long CBS's Evil has left audiences hanging. Yes, yes, there's a pandemic going on, but the Season 1 finale of the critically praised horror/drama dropped on Jan. 30, 2020, and we want answers now! Gratefully, creators/executive producers Michelle and Robert King were able to return to shooting Season 2 in New York City, which means they, and their talented cast, had plenty to talk about during their PaleyFest LA panel premiering today.
The Kings virtually joined castmembers Katja Herbers ("Kristen Bouchard"), Mike Colter ("David Acosta"), Aasif Mandvi ("Ben Shakir"), Michael Emerson ("Leland Townsend"), Kurt Fuller ("Dr. Boggs"), and Christine Lahti ("Sheryl Luria") to reflect on the first season of the show. And they also teased plenty of specifics about what to expect in 13-brand new episodes returning later in 2021.
Robert King reminded everyone that the Season 1 finale left us with the disturbing visual of Kristen holding a crucifix which burnt her hand. "We got the sense that she did something bad to LeRoux, the serial killer coming after her daughters, so we start unpacking that," he teased. "And then David is having a countdown to ordination. We talked to a lot of priests who likened that time to the intensity of a wedding. Temptations start flooding in the closer you get to that day. Ben is haunted. He's unsure if he's getting Kristen's night terrors and is terrified by the unreality of them, how they f*** with reality. How does someone so pragmatic deal with that? And in the first episode, Leland comes to the team and says he's possessed and wants an exorcism. Is it a con or real?"
And for those who loved George, Kristen's night terror demon who lurked in her bedroom to cajole her subconscious, Robert King says he could possibly make a return in Season 2. But he can guarantee that the designer behind George, Academy-Award winning makeup effects master, Joel Harlow, is back in Season 2 with five or six new monsters designs set to scare. "They are really cool and they terrify me."
Last year, the Kings shared there would also be a silent episode in Season 2 when the "Team of Three" (Kristen, David, and Ben) investigates at a silent retreat the possible sainthood of a monk. In this PaleyFest panel, they also allowed Mandvi to reveal that a folktale his grandmother used to tell him as a child made it into a Season 2 episode. "It's scary," Mandavi explained. "In the town my grandmother lived, she talked of these churrels, women who walk the streets who look incredibly beautiful but they're not real. They are ghosts or demons, and if you look down at their feet, they're backwards. It scared the pants off me since I was 8 years old...and I told Robert about it and now it's in the show."
Resident bad guy Emerson said that Leland will continue to be a bad actor. "I'm not sure he's the head bad guy. but he's an office holder," he grinned. "He enjoys what he does, and I enjoy him enjoying what he does. It's good to be the bad guy."
Emerson also said the "gamesmanship" between Kristen and Leland will continue to ratchet up in Season 2: "There is a sense she's a special target and they are both figures in a larger war between organized forces on either side of the good and evil divide."
As far as Kristen's dance with Leland, Herbers said, "I think he's out for me. There's something he wants to destroy in me, or in the people in proximity to me. I think he's pure evil."
To find out what each of the panelists thought was the scariest thing in Season 1, if Kristen and David's attraction will bloom into anything, and what topical issues will creep into the new episodes, watch the entire Evil panel on the Paley Center’s dedicated channel on Verizon Media’s Yahoo Entertainment page.