Evil: “Seven Swans a Singin'” Review

In keeping true with the TV tradition of Christmas themed episodes, CBS’s Evil saw fit to tackle a truly terrifying subject: Christmas songs getting stuck in our heads!  Sadly we’ll have to wait until January for the next episode, but “Seven Swans a Singin’” has a more than enough going on to hold us over until then!

Spoilers Ahead – You’ve Been Warned!!!

Christmas Overload
Under the directions of the ever eccentric Bishop Marx, our trio of paranormal investigators respond a Catholic high school where students can’t stop singing a particular Christmas song to a hypnotic level.

As Kristen digs deeper into the case, once again she struggles to keep the case from spilling over into her home life.  However, her daughters start singing the same song, and they discover the source is a YouTube influencer (under the direction of Leland) who has infused her video with a subliminal message to keep singing, and eventually kill yourself.

Once the singing begins, the end result is far more devastating!

Meanwhile, Sheryl is teaching her granddaughter some questionable lessons about standing up for herself at school by striking with violence and keeping quiet about they discuss.  We later find that she too is under the influence of Leland as they ‘re clearly in a romantic relationship and she doesn’t see how easily Leland is manipulating her.

Genuinely Creepy
Compared to several other episodes of Evil, “Seven Swans a Singin’” seems smaller and quieter in scale, but that’s partly what makes it work so well.  On the surface it may seem trivial that the threat they’re dealing with is a Christmas song, but at its core, it’s a battle between Kristen and Leland over the souls of those around them.

What makes Leland so threatening and dangerous is how he’s able to trick everyone around him into do  his bidding and making the world a worse place.  His previous attempts to groom a mass shooter failed miserably, but perhaps this current plan of his will have far reaching ramifications.

Leland is always scarier when he’s being quiet, cold, and calculating with his evil schemes.

By using a social media influencer, he’s widened the net for his nefarious influence, and by getting close to Sheryl and using her to manipulate the children, he’s slowly unhinging the one person who might be able to stop him.

Waiting a Whole Month
In typical TV fashion, CBS saw fit to leave us with a bit of cliffhanger, knowing that we have to wait until after New Year’s to see what happens.  After an episode of struggling with his own sins and inner demons, David was brutally attacked outside a church and was left on the ground, writhing in pain.  It’s unclear who exactly did this or what their motive was, but it won’t be at all surprising to discover that he is another one of the Leland’s “followers”.

As far as Christmas episodes go, it was pretty decent.  As far as episodes of Evil go, it was quiet, subtle, and just the right level of creepy to keep the momentum going.  Until January, we’ll just to rewatch everything up until now for a refresher on the season thus far!

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