The show Evil deals with the adventures of a group of investigators whom the Catholic Church has charged with investigating reports of supposed divine or diabolical activity, and who also occasionally run into such events unprompted.

On the one hand, pretty much every episode contains some element that could be viewed as supernatural. These are usually debunked partly by the end of the episode, but with some aspect that is left unexplained. A further wrinkle is that most of these elements are investigated as religious phenomena. For instance, a prototypical example would be an executive suspected of being influenced by a demon.

By the end of the episode, it might be revealed that all the demonic signs have at least plausible mundane explanations, and the demonic voice coming from his speaker is that of a disgruntled ex-employee. However, the employee might insist that he had stopped hacking the executive's device days ago, and the voice might torment a team member with information that it could have almost no way of knowing, and then prompt the executive to cheerily commit suicide.

While most of these elements could be subject to mundane explanations with varying degrees of plausibility, some are not easily amenable.

For instance, while under the effects of a drug, David has a vision of one of his ancestors, complete with her name and specific identifying details, which he had not known before.

We also see "Leland" talking to what appears to be the Devil, although admittedly this could be intended to represent him hallucinating. But then, it is the exact same Devil that appears in Kristen's dreams, and apparently in her daughter's.

Most obviously, a "demonic" message in a YouTube video made any children who listened to it hum a song endlessly, and a substantial proportion tried to kill themselves to make the song go away, apparently following the explicit directives of the message to commit suicide. Even if one believes in largely debunked subliminal messages, i.e. that rock albums really could make teenagers "do it," the message was completely superliminal for its intended audience. That is, adults could not hear the message about committing suicide, but its intended audience of teenagers could hear it perfectly well.

Finally, in the last episode, it is revealed that, to all appearances,

the 60 have been using the RSM Fertility Clinic to modify the DNA of egg cells to produce psychopathic children, or something along those lines.

This might well qualify as science-fictional, particularly if it is later revealed that this explains some of the more apparently supernatural events of the previous episodes (e.g. modifying DNA to make people susceptible to being mind-controlled by an audio message or develop a congenital condition that would later "miraculously" heal" would certainly fit the bill).

Is Evil on-topic? Or, if it is not, does it have science fiction or fantasy elements that are on-topic in accordance with the site's policy on works with only a small SF&F conceit?

  • 1
    From the episode descriptions on wikipedia, the answer appears to be a fairly firm 'no'. Although some elements are left hanging, the fact that there's a rational explanation for everything else would suggest that digging a little deeper would find reasonable explanations for this as well.
    – Valorum
    Oct 10, 2020 at 7:56
  • 1
    Duplicate? scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/q/12628/82909
    – Laurel
    Oct 10, 2020 at 18:38
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    Having seen (I think) every episode of Evil aired so far, my take on this question is that the issue is not whether anything supernatural happens in the show (my viewing is that the answer there is a definite "yes"), but rather whether the supernatural in Evil is primarily religious in nature. If I understand correctly (which I very well may not), we normally don't want to talk about religious stories here? E.g., The Ten Commandments is not on-topic, because acts of god are not SF or Fantasy, right? Although I don't know if The Exorcist or Prince of Darkness are on topic or not. Oct 21, 2020 at 8:20
  • Perhaps Evil is closer to Raiders of the Lost Ark than anything else, in terms of appropriate for the site. Oct 21, 2020 at 8:27
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    @ToddWilcox - We don't cover religious works that the author possibly or probably intended to be taken as non-fiction, like the Bible or the Baghavad Gita. The Ten Commandments is dubious because it is a straightforward retelling of such a work. A work that is clearly intended to be a fictional story counts as fantasy like anything else, as long as the supernatural plays a role. So Good Omens is fine, despite almost all the supernatural elements coming from angels, demons, the Antichrist, God, and other elements of Christian religion.
    – Adamant
    Oct 22, 2020 at 2:44
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    Somehow this reminds me of Scooby-Doo since while there are some fantasy/SciFi elements, most of the episodes aren't..?
    – Andrew T.
    Oct 22, 2020 at 16:33
  • @AndrewT. - aside from the anthropomorphic/talking dog that all the characters can understand ;)
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 23, 2020 at 21:20
  • 1
    @NKCampbell: Nope, the dog is insufficient by itself.
    – Kevin
    Nov 1, 2020 at 17:22


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