How Evil Pulled Off Its Beautiful, Bizarre Silent Episode


If Evil is bizarre TV, “S Is for Silence” marks a real peak of weirdness. The standout episode from the second season of the acclaimed collection, created by Emmy nominees Robert King and Michelle King (The Good Spouse), is sort of solely silent, set at a monastery the place there’s no electrical energy and speaking shouldn’t be allowed. The supernatural investigative group of Kristen (Katja Herbers), David (Mike Colter), and Ben (Aasif Mandvi) arrives to check the loss of life of a monk, who’s being thought-about for sainthood, for proof of a miracle: A yr after his loss of life, his physique nonetheless reveals no indicators of decay.

Gorgeously shot on location and cleverly dedicated to its silent-movie conceit—whereas often breaking the fourth wall—the episode was filmed below the idea it’d air on CBS, as the primary season did; that may have made the episode about as progressive as community TV can get. (It ended up debuting on Paramount+, after CBS determined to maneuver Evil to the streamer; extra on how that impacted issues in a second.) However the Kings have lengthy demonstrated a selected brilliance at working throughout the confines of broadcast—even embracing them—whereas additionally pushing the shape ahead. Evil’s procedural part is amongst its freshest components, providing a weekly type of ghost story imbued with the Kings’ singular model of quirky. “S Is for Silence” is not any completely different: It takes our essential characters to a brand new place, for a haunted house-esque journey into issues of intense religion and horror.

Robert King directed the episode with longtime D.P. Petr Hlinomaz, working off of key reference movies and texts whereas additionally sticking to the present’s zany spirit. They filmed at St. Josaphat’s Monastery in Lengthy Island, a location so beautiful it required some scaling again. “​​If something, we needed to play down how fairly it was as a result of what we handled because the entrance of the monastery was truly the again, this four-story or three-story a part of it,” King reveals. “In case you went round to the entrance, it appeared like a New England faculty. Simply huge.”

King has been desirous to do a silent episode for over a decade. “It began with this concept of learn how to meet the challenges of doing a silent film in a world the place you don’t must—like, we might have folks discuss on a regular basis. I believe it’s the madness of it,” King says. “Within the room, all of us performed with the thought this was going to be the worst episode of the yr.”

In actuality, it was among the finest of the yr—for any TV present. King and Hlinomaz walked us via a couple of pictures that present precisely why.

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