This article contains Evil spoilers through season 3 episode 4.
Michelle and Robert King’s supernatural series Evil sped through a bumpy bypass for the most thrilling ride of season 3 in “The Demon of the Road.” The episode sideswiped the “ghost highway” urban myth, cloud-chasing, drone-stalking, car-hacking, and both demonic and divine intervention. The experience adds street cred to the investigative team, Father David Acosta (Mike Colter), Ben Shakir (Aasif Mandvi), and Dr. Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers), the forensic psychologist who usually sees her therapist after periods of road rage.
During the rushed proceedings, Dr. Boggs (Kurt Fuller) is counseling a familiar, but very different kind of subject. He is assessing Sister Andrea (Andrea Martin), who was recently witnessed talking to unseen entities, which the church believes may be a sign of dementia. The expert psychiatric evaluator reads other signs in the righteously rebellious patient assigned to him. Sister Andrea may be a true mystic. She became a nun after she had her first vision while playing the heavenly chords on the piano.
Say what you will about modern psychology, but Dr. Boggs is the kind of doctor who plays along, and takes his work home with him. When he inverts the major chords F and C on his grand piano late at night, he is up for anything.
So is Kurt Fuller, a veteran character actor at ease in comedy, drama, horror, and suspense. He brought memorable performances to movie classics like Wayne’s World, Anger Management, Scary Movie, and Brian DePalma’s The Bonfire of Vanities. On TV, he starred as the coroner Woody in Psych, as well as being in regular casts of shows like Parenthood, Desperate Housewives, and Boston Legal. For the Kings alone, his roles recurred in BrainDead, The Good Wife, and The Good Fight.
Fuller had a session with Den of Geek, opening up about Dr. Boggs’ therapeutic recommendations, divine expectations, and comic interventions.
Den of Geek: I think “The Demon of the Road” is the most thrilling of the season so far.
Kurt Fuller: I am with you on that.
Before I get into the episode, you documented the church investigators on a case last season. Having tried to put away the team in Ghostbusters II, how do you rank Kristen, David, and Ben as paranormal investigators?
That’s so prescient of you, because I said in another interview: In that case, I was like the Rick Moranis of the Ghostbusters. I wanted to be a Ghostbuster. I wanted to put on the uniform and I wanted to hang out. I was so proud to be with them.
[Evil’s investigators] are not as funny as the Ghostbusters, but they’re every bit as interesting, and their relationships are every bit as interesting. I would say, well Ghostbusters I, nothing gives that a run for its money. [Evil’s team] are on the same playing field as the original Ghostbusters, but in a whole different section. They’re in the dramatic section. But it’s great. It was great to be part of it. I was fantasizing. It was fun. Like a kid in a candy shop.
When you’re playing the heavenly chords. What is going through yours and the characters’ minds?
It’s weird, but 100% of my character is hoping I see nothing, and 100% of my character is hoping I see something. Okay, I know that adds up to 200%. But saying 50/50 is not enough. I want with all my heart to see nothing, and I want with all my heart to see something. I’m much more afraid if I see something, but I’m ready, at that point, to be afraid. I’m ready to have my world rocked. As time goes on this season, you’ll see my world gets supremely rocked.
How does Dr. Boggs see Sister Andrea?
It’s really, very simple when you look at it this way: Dr. Boggs now, all of a sudden, has become uncertain about what is real and what is not real. What the building blocks of life are. What the building blocks of reality are. Whether there is a metaphysical component to existence. And Sister Andrea is not confused or uncertain at all. She knows that everything she sees is real. She knows that the metaphysical world is stronger than the physical world.
Dr. Boggs’ tentative uncertainty meeting her rock-solid knowledge is a catalyst. When she describes her first encounter with an otherworldly being, there’s something about that explanation, though it’s not exactly like Dr. Boggs, which is great about the writing, but the resonance of her explanation meets up with what he experienced when he encountered a demon in season 2. The seeds of doubt and the seeds of certainty start to grow. The rest of that episode and the rest of the season is those seeds growing and growing and growing.
During your run-in, do you feel Boggs was caught up in the drama of that particularly crazy investigation, or trying to pass off what he sees?
Dr. Boggs is definitely trying to pass off what he sees. He’s trying, as we often do, to interpret whatever happens to him, so it gibes with his worldview. His worldview is there are no demons. His worldview is: there’s only what you can see, what you can use a scientific method to see, and what empirically happens. He has decided that he didn’t really see something, that it was a shadow or that thing where he hid his nose somewhere earlier on the wall. He’s done, like many people and many countries and many societies, too, he’s figured it out. So, oh my God, everything’s fine. I don’t have to worry about this.
Then he has this talk with Sister Andrea, and he can’t deny it on a level that he can’t understand because he’s limited. But it’s going to force its way into his whole life, that there is something if you can feel it. He can feel it. He knows. He knows there’s something, now, after listening to her. He knows it. And he can’t deny it. He can’t even stop thinking about it. And he’s tempted. Those forces start to tempt him because there’s an opening. And they go through that opening
When the demon and Sister Andrea boop you on the nose, do you happen to know if the Kings got that from the movie Dogma?
I don’t know about Dogma, but I know the Kings are highly referential in their work of great other movies. When they talk about things, and in the script, sometimes when they describe scenes, they say “like this movie,” “like that movie.” It would not surprise me if they got it from Dogma, and they would have no problem telling you if they did, and they probably did. I don’t know. But they build upon the show, they stand upon the shoulders of other great artists. So, it could very easily be true.
You also worked on BrainDead.
Yes, and on The Good Wife and on The Good Fight. Yeah, I’m a Robert and Michelle King player.
Are their sets different from other sets? Is there more collaboration?
Number one, on most sets, the writer of the script of the episode is there. A producer is there. On the King sets, the writer’s not there, the writer is writing. They trust the actor. There’s no one there judging you. The words are so good, you don’t ever want to change them. But if something feels better, you can change it. They want to do what works.
They look at dailies all the time. But they’re all just working, and we’re working, and the sets are extremely relaxed, extremely collaborative, very drama-free, completely drama-free. It’s just a bunch of people trying to do the best they can and figure these things out from their own self and not relying on somebody else to tell them what’s going on. You often get better results that way. You certainly get more intuitive results that way. You know when you can come up with it on your own, it’s usually better than somebody telling you what something is.
You’re no stranger to angels and demons. Would Dr. Boggs like to get Zachariah from Supernatural on his couch and what would he ask?
Oh my god, he would say: “Why, do you think, Zachariah, you’re so funny? You say everything is a joke. Why do you do that? Why do you have to be more clever than everybody else? Why do you feel that you’ve got the answer, and that you can take control of Heaven and Hell? Who made you God? That’s what I think he would ask.
Evil airs Sundays on Paramount+.