Michael Emerson Isn't Sure If His 'Evil' Character Is A Human Or Demon

CBS’ ‘Evil’ is one of the biggest freshman hits of this fall season, with its intriguing mix of procedural investigations and the supernatural.  (Or possible supernatural, at least.)  Of course, one of the standouts is the performance of fan favorite Michael Emerson (‘Lost’, ‘Person of Interest’) as Leland Townsend.  Like the show’s heroic lead, Dr. Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers), Townsend is a forensic psychologist, but unlike her, he uses his knowledge and skills to incite havoc and to complicate her mission to determine whether the various incidents that they investigate are truly heavenly or hellish, or just the work of man.


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Because of his diabolical string-pulling, some fans have hypothesized that Townsend is actually a demon.  CinemaBlend‘s Nick Venable went right to the source and asked Emerson about the nature of Leland Townsend, and this is what the actor said:

“I would say I’m more a part of like an ongoing battle between the forces of our investigators, who represent the church, and the forces of some ill-defined but tangible army of evil on the planet. So we’ll see where that goes. I mean, you know, I don’t know in advance what developments will be made. I’m operating currently on the assumption that I’m a human being, but who knows where those things go? And, it’s all right with me if I don’t know, ’cause I like there to be mystery and wonder in the playing and in the reception of the show. So it’s fun. We’ll just see what develops.”

Five episodes of ‘Evil’ have aired so far, and CBS has already renewed it for a second season.  With that knowledge, don’t expect the show’s creators Robert and Michelle King to rush to give any hard answers.  Now that they have room to stretch out, expect some mysteries to linger.  But the show is likely going on winter hiatus in a few weeks– most likely after the eighth episode of the season, “2 Fathers,” airs on November 21st.  It’s quite likely that some major revelations will come in that episode, but it wouldn’t be nuts to speculate that it will also end on a juicy cliffhanger to ensure viewers come back when the show returns in 2020.  And with a second season confirmed, the last episode of the season will also likely involve a cliffhanger or more.

Are you a fan of ‘Evil’?  Where do you hope this series goes storywise?

‘Evil’ airs on Thursday nights at 10pm EST on CBS.  All previous episodes are available to stream on CBS All Access.