Review of 'Evil' 1.3

by Paul Levinson about a month ago in tv review

Possessed Alexa

Review of 'Evil' 1.3

A good Evil 1.3 last night, which pits hacking vs. possession as the reason a victim's Alexa-like device is plaguing him.

Digital technology vs. demon is a logical and appealing variation on the general science vs. religion central tension of this series, and it provides a good spotlight for Ben (well played by Aasif Mandvi), the techie third leg of the powerful David-Kristen-Ben triad. Demons have a great history of being in machines, and even in the popular parlance, as the phrase "ghost in the machine" amply demonstrates.

The digital addition to this ancient tradition is crucial, and brings these devices into the robotic/android realm, which, coincidentally, began to be explored in another new network series this week, Emergence. If we assume we human beings have souls, the displacement or occlusion of our soul by a demon is a bigger deal than the demonic infestation of a digital assistant, since such an assistant presumably had no soul in the first place. So such possessions presumably would be easier to achieve?

But the possibilities of digital possession are nonetheless intriguing and dizzying. Imagine a self-driving vehicle that gets possessed by a demon. Such a vehicle could do a lot of damage. (Check out David Walton's Three Laws Lethal for a mostly non-demonic, riveting novel about self-driving vehicles.)

Back to Evil, I'd say this excellent new series is now at a crossroads. So far, it has told mostly new stories, with a continuing thread of deeper stories, mostly separate, involving David and Kristen. I'm enjoying this kind of narrative, but I'd like to see a little more development of those deeper stories that go beyond the quick glimpses we've been seeing.

See you here next week.

tv review
Paul Levinson
Paul Levinson
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Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson's novels include The Silk Code (winner Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel of 1999) & The Plot To Save Socrates. His nonfiction including Fake News in Real Context has been translated into 15 languages. 

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