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S02.E02: Speak of The Devil

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When a priest is found murdered in his place of worship, Bright grapples with its effect on his own trauma. Martin, trying to help with the case, consults his fellow inmate, Friar Pete (guest star Christian Borle), whom he learns is keeping a secret of his own. Meanwhile, Ainsley grows worried that Jessica is keeping something from her regarding her relationship with Gil. And Dani, Gil and Malcolm rally behind JT, urging him to speak to his union rep about the discrimination he's been facing.

Airdate: Jan. 19, 2021

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Dani wearing body armor to wake Malcolm up was messed up but still kinda right at the same time.

Does anyone else think Jessica would look really good in Gil’s turtlenecks?

Thank God Mr David doesn’t pay attention to phone time rules.

Malcolm performs an exorcism on someone who isn’t Martin Ainsley or himself.  
 

And yes Martin is very interested in....Exodus..

Edited by Chaos Theory
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I really wish they didn’t shoehorn this whole police racism angle into the show, because it is so poorly written and heavy-handed and in the context of the show makes no sense! It just makes me roll my eyes at the writers. If they really felt they had to mention all the BLM stuff, there were so many other ways they could have incorporated that without forcing this idiotic JT plot. 

Edited by Cotypubby
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I understand wanting to be topical in addressing it, but everything else about this show is so over the top, balls to the wall, sure let's go with that level of crazy that it feels so very forced or shoehorned in so they can say they did it.

But I'm already feeling anxious that we're seeing the signs of a show realizing a character is popular and blowing that character's role up to the point of destroying the balance that makes the show work in the first place. We all love Martin, but suddenly he's getting friends and all sorts of freedom of movement, and now he's talking about escaping? To do what, exactly? No, show, no.

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I thought the premiere was pretty solid, but I'm not really feeling episode 2. Didn't like their attempts at being extra spooky/creepy/etc.

I remember I used to hate all the family drama, but now that's the only thing that interested me in this episode. Ainsley should be a lot more interesting this season, but so far it seems like they still don't know what to do with her, outside a few key episodes. On/Off Again couples annoy me more than 'love' triangles, so I'm not liking what they're doing with Gil and Jessica.

I get that Malcolm's guilt is going to be a recurring theme, but I hope he isn't going to be called a killer in every episode. We get it, show. Anyway, please see a therapist, Malcolm!

JT's police discrimination arc -- I'm waiting and seeing where they go with it for now.
 

14 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

 

Does anyone else think Jessica would look really good on Gil’s turtlenecks?

No, but I did laugh at that line!

14 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

But I'm already feeling anxious that we're seeing the signs of a show realizing a character is popular and blowing that character's role up to the point of destroying the balance that makes the show work in the first place. We all love Martin, but suddenly he's getting friends and all sorts of freedom of movement, and now he's talking about escaping? To do what, exactly? No, show, no.

Yeah, I'm guessing they've got Mr. Sheen for longer than season one, when they had to space out his appearances. I agree, they're going to throw off the balance.

Edited by Trini · Reason: gah! dropped word
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I found the killer genuinely spooky but also far fetched with the lead poisoning.

I didn’t realize Dani wasn’t in the first half until she showed up. I can get what Malcom would see in Dani but I have no idea what Dani would see in him. I get a babysitting vibe from her when they talk.

I liked the twist of ‘like Father like Daughter’ last season and still think that’s something the show will build to but I wish they would address it a bit more now. Amnesia Ainsley is a little boring.

Mixed feelings about Martin’s prison BFF. I like the idea that Martin is so smart and dangerous, his interactions have to be limited to his son. 

I think they could do JT’s storyline better. The bad cops feel like cartoon villains. The one last week was rabid and this one sounded like a joker (wasn’t he on a public line too? WTH). I appreciate what they are trying to do but I wish it would be more thought out. They are making these big bold statements but we’ve lived in this universe for a year and haven’t seen any of that. It’s kind of jarring. 

Edited by Chaser
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I get WHY they might want to expand Martin's interactions now to other patients, but I also don't know how much I love the idea. He's a dangerous man, clearly shown with how he's already planning an escape. I don't quite see HOW he could escape and get away with it for more than a couple of episodes, either. He'd need to find a way to get out legally and I don't see that happening any time soon.

I was also hoping that Martin and Ainsley would get more interactions after last season's finale. Alas, it looks like they really want to continue with the Martin/Malcolm dynamic instead. Imagine how Malcolm would feel if Martin actually turned his full attention to Ainsley. That would have been way more fun to explore. Maybe that's coming once Ainsley remembers what she did, but that's what I was ultimately hoping for. And now Ainsley is back to basically doing nothing. 

Yes, show, we get it. Malcolm's a killer or whatever. I mean, he's technically just an accomplice, not a killer. 

Yeah...Dani's mostly a fine character on her own, but I really want them to stop with the Dani/Malcolm teasing. I don't see why Dani would like Malcolm, to be honest. He has a lot of baggage and when she has to wear a bullet proof jacket when he's sleeping, that's not typically a sign of romance blooming.

JT's discrimination/racism storyline has a good premise, but the execution is just so poor.

The case of the week was creepy, not gonna lie, and I had a good chuckle at Malcolm's reluctance to perform a fake exorcism. I get it, Malcolm; it seems ridiculous to me, too.

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For as well as the show has previously worked in so many disparate and obscure elements of things to tell such gleefully twisted stories, the Catholic church murder-exorcism story fell rather flat. Like oh, here's a ritualistic murder and something something exorcism and demons, and oh yeah, lead paint on religious art too, I guess. It felt almost phoned in.

I was really hoping too with the events of last season's ender that this season would be more about Martin realizing he'd backed the wrong horse, so to speak, in his insistence of "like father like son" and was looking forward to seeing Malcolm add a sense of sibling rivalry anguish to all of his other issues where Daddy Dearest is concerned. Ainsley already has long stretches where she's barely on the canvas and feels like an afterthought, so it would have been far more interesting to me to see her reacting to Martin suddenly focusing all of his Malcolm-level of attentions on trying to remake her in his mold. Endicott last season summing up Malcolm as "all smoke, no fire" really said it all, so it's a little tiresome to keep returning to "Malcom's a killer! No really!" when the show has already established that while he's definitely a headcase with all of this, no he really isn't.

I can't fathom why anybody would want to get romantically mixed up with any of the Whitlys. Seriously, and especially not someone who has seen them spiral from one crisis to another for years.

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I really enjoyed this episode.  Christian Borle was amazing and so very different from how I've seen him in previous work.  However, Martin should not be getting more privileges as he is as dangerous as ever.  

Like above posters, I would really like to see the Ainsley-Martin relationship grow and how Malcolm would react to it.

I don't like the JT story line (although I do like the character and actor).  The villany seems too cartoony.  Also, wouldn't his call go to a call center rather than a random cop?

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15 hours ago, Chaos Theory said:

Dani wearing body armor to wake Malcolm up was messed up but still kinda right at the same time.

Yes, this was a solid choice given their history! 

I like that the show seems to be leaning into the crazy this season so far (watched first two episodes back to back last night).  The primeire was a little more Cocoa Puffs, but I enjoyed this one as well.  In both cases, as is typical with this show, the chase ends up being a lot more interesting than the actual murderer.  

I get where the show is coming from with the JT storyline.  As a police procedural of sorts, with two of the police on the show being people of color, I can see where they would feel the need to address current events.  But, given the nature of the show there is really no way for it to not feel shoehorned in.  I don't fault them for trying. 

Is it just me or is Sheen looking far more unkempt/crazed this season? 

Still enjoying this odd little show and glad it is back. 

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I admit I always enjoy the exorcism/demons/Catholic imagery stuff, having gone to Catholic school for several years, so I enjoyed the case of the week, even if I knew right away that it was the professor. I think they could have done more with it, but tying it into Malcom's guilt for covering up the murder was done pretty well at least. It was creepy and weird and right in this shows wheelhouse. 

I am really disappointed that they gave Ainsley some kind of ridiculous amnesia so that we don't get her reaction to killing last seasons bad guy, it seems like a real cop out to protect the status quo. It also means that Ainsley is still stuck in the periphery of the story, when she should be getting a really interesting story dealing with the fall out of the killing and Martin realizing he backed the wrong horse when it came to grooming his kids to follow in his murderous footsteps, but instead we are just getting more of Martin telling Malcolm what a killer he is (even when he isn't) and Ainsley is still stuck in domestic subplots while we wait for her to find out what really happened. I hoped for Martin to try and start putting Malcolm and Ainsley against each other or them feeling a sort of sibling rivalry about being dads favorite, even if they are still disgusted by their dad and what he wants from them and certainly don't actually want to be killers, but still kind of want his approval because of their massive daddy issues, but I guess they didn't want to change the Whitly family dynamic too much. 

I get why they wanted to do this story with the issues of race and the police, with two main characters being people of color who are also cops, but the way they are doing it just isn't working. The tonal shifts between the over the top crazy cases and the gothic Whitly family drama and a very real hot button societal issue just gives us this tonal whiplash, especially when the tones start to blur. I generally think this show going more over the top has been a great thing, but mixing that with something like police brutality just strikes this strange tone, where we are talking about these very real issues but with these cartoon villains and contrived situations. The guy on the phone who ignored TJ's call for backup especially sounded so nuts I thought that the crazy professor had gotten onto the line. This show loves its over the top villains, but they work as serial killers and such, not cops who are supposed to represent real life inequality. I think this would have worked better with some scenes of Dani and TJ just talking about being cops who are also people of color, I think that would have felt much more organic. 

Dani and the other cops wearing full body armor when Malcom was having a dream was hilarious, and not unjustified. 

As much as I have complained, I cant be too upset, I am still just so happy to have this show back again.  

 

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This show has a tendency to mix reality (What is going on with JT) and fantasy (The case of the week and Martin getting away with what he does) in very interesting ways.  But that is why I enjoy the show so much.  It doesn’t get bogged down too much with one or the other.    Yes the Exorcism was a little out there but it was fun to watch.

4 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

 

I can't fathom why anybody would want to get romantically mixed up with any of the Whitlys. Seriously, and especially not someone who has seen them spiral from one crisis to another for years.

 You can say the same thing about anyone who has a serial killer or a rapist for a parent or relative.   But in the Whitly’s case Gil has known them since Martin got arrested.  He was the one who arrested him .  He knows what kind of person Jessica really is.  Maybe she is high strung and a social climber but she is also ultimately a good person who cares for her kids above all else and who secretly donates her money to soup kitchens because she knows what kind of connotations the Whitley name brings.   I can see him having a soft spot for that kind of woman.   

Edited by Chaos Theory
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The buildup was fun, but they lost me at the fake exorcism. I think I would have been okay with it had it been Malcolm’s crazy idea, but Martin was too much for me there. I feel like Martin is much better in smaller doses. Giving him a friend and more privileges makes me nervous. I like Christian Borle but I am not sure the show needs Martin to have that much room. His escape idea is crazy. Martin does understand that if he escapes, he will have to run and hide, right? He can’t actually just go hang out with Malcolm whenever he wants.

I am disappointed with the amnesia storyline too. What happened to Martin being all that’s my girl? Now we’re back to it being like he has one child again. And Ainsley is boring. Hopefully she starts remembering soon. What happened to her while Martin was cutting up the body? Did she not help?

i was on board with JT’s storyline last week but not anymore. Last week was a group of racist cops who saw a black man and lost all sense. It was racial profiling. This week other cops are knowingly out to get him. Those are two very different storylines and motivations that they are trying to conflate into one. I don’t begrudge this show’s efforts to be topical. I just wish that they would pick something and run with it, preferably last week’s. 

If Gil actually wants Jessica and has any sense, he should recognize what she said for the bullshit it is and not let it deter him. This is just another version of what she already told him about not feeling good enough. So convince her otherwise. Don’t just walk away. Hopefully he left to come up with a plan because I am not on board with dragging this out. I really only care about Jessica and Gil because she does though. It’s not like there’s a lot of heat there. I would be just as open to her dating around.

I liked seeing more Jessica and Ainsley’s relationship. I know Malcolm is where all the drama is, but their relationship is sweet. I really like the scenes of all three of them together.

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Martin's American accent was slipping at some points and it simultaneously distracted and delighted me.  I'd already noticed it at least once or twice earlier in the episode (but didn't keep track of where) and definitely noticed it at the end, when Martin's in the stairwell and talking about how his son "needs him more than ever."  They didn't notice it or didn't (or couldn't?) fix it in ADR, either.  Or Martin doesn't actually do his own ADR and they have a voice sound-alike actor (like has been done for Bruce Willis) who didn't know he was supposed to do Martin's lines with an American accent, not his British one.

Malcolm, why oh why would you turn your back on a murderer suffering from psychosis?

I, too, don't know why they've gone this nearly clean-slate route with Ainsley.  Maybe it's for narrative purposes, because they want to mostly focus at first on Malcolm's difficulty dealing with what happened without splitting plot time with Ainsley wrestling with the same thing and/or Malcolm having to focus even more on her than his internal whirlwind.  Or maybe they have some big mid-season idea of Ainsley remembering everything in some grand moment.

I haven't read many of the s1 episode threads here, but early on, I had thought it would have been interesting if it was revealed that Malcolm wasn't really Martin's biological son and Ainsley was actually the only blood-related child of Martin's.  Not that Martin would no longer see Malcolm as his son once he found out, but it would have been interesting to see Malcolm, the one with the dark inclinations, as a product of nurture, while Ainsley, who really only dabbled in this dark stuff in relation to her career, is the product of nature.  This could have shifted the narrative and character motivations to pull Ainsley more into the plot fold.  It's totally fine that that's not what happened, but given what did happen at the end of s1, it's kind of remarkable to me that the writers still purposely keep Ainsley on the outside.

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1 hour ago, sweetandsour said:

I, too, don't know why they've gone this nearly clean-slate route with Ainsley.  Maybe it's for narrative purposes, because they want to mostly focus at first on Malcolm's difficulty dealing with what happened without splitting plot time with Ainsley wrestling with the same thing and/or Malcolm having to focus even more on her than his internal whirlwind.  Or maybe they have some big mid-season idea of Ainsley remembering everything in some grand moment.

I kind of wonder if the dream Malcom had was foreshadowing that at some point "slasher Ainsley" will come back and threaten a member of the team?  Either way, probably safe to guess that they are building to a revelation during the season where Ainsley remembers what really happened (at least I hope so). 

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This episode really made me want to re-watch The Exorcist, the 2016 show that aired on Fox for a few years. It was so good, I highly recommend it to anyone who liked the creepy demon stuff this week, but wanted more actual creepy demons. 

I think they might be going for a twist where Ainsley's slasher self comes back at some critical junction and she hurts someone she perceives as a threat to her family, even if they aren't. Or at least, I really hope they are going somewhere cool with this plot.

Edited by tennisgurl
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I agree with practically all of the previous comments. 

I don’t have a problem with incorporating the very real existence of racism and racism within the police department into its stories, I just don’t want JT’s sole pin the show to be the poster boy for racism.

As for Dani, while the actress is perfectly fine, let’s not pretend that hiring her is an example of faux Hollywood diversity where they find mixed women who looks almost white at worse and racially ambiguous at best. So for me, as a Black woman hearing Dani now waxing poetic about the trauma of racism in her life, I find myself rolling my eyes. While I have no doubt the character as a black person has seen and experienced racism, her words would carry more weight if the realities of her aesthetic did not serve to blunt the points she is trying to make. Now, if they address the role the benefits of colorism plays in her existence, something I doubt they want, or have the skill to do, my feelings might change. As for now, I’m not buying what the show is selling with Dani and her racial pain.

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On 1/22/2021 at 1:52 PM, tennisgurl said:

This episode really made me want to re-watch The Exorcist, the 2016 show that aired on Fox for a few years. It was so good, I highly recommend it to anyone who liked the creepy demon stuff this week, but wanted more actual creepy demons. 

I think they might be going for a twist where Ainsley's slasher self comes back at some critical junction and she hurts someone she perceives as a threat to her family, even if they aren't. Or at least, I really hope they are going somewhere cool with this plot.

She isn't actually a slasher, though, is she?  Wasn't it self-defense?

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