Twisted Metal – Season1 Episode 8 “EV3L1N” Recap & Review


Episode 8 of Twisted Metal takes a look at how John met Evelyn, his beloved car. In the present day, the episode confronts him with a choice. Remember what Mary said to Quiet in the previous episode? “He will never choose you over the car.” That is exactly what things will come to in this episode.

Owing to his amnesia, John has no idea who his parents were. His memory starts from the day he woke up in his parents’ car all alone during a Watkyn Storm. A lady steals the car and he is left to fend off for himself.

While picking a fruit from a tree, he fell down into Evelyn, which didn’t have that name at the time. It was covered under a thick canopy and even had a rotten corpse inside. John got rid of it and took shelter inside it. The car contained some money that John used to create a fire. It also contained some food and even some adult magazines. But the car won’t start, probably because the battery has been sleeping for so long.

One fine day, John found himself surrounded by two cannibals in the jungle. He quickly got inside and tried to start the car. Thankfully, it worked! Evelyn saved his life and that is why the car is so precious to him. John found the nameplate in a junkyard, using other stuff to shore up the working parts.

In the present day, John and Quiet deal with a new problem. The latter, while driving, finds John’s photo in the visor. It inadvertently slips out of her hand and into a field. Although they are able to find it, some Holy Men steal the car. John is extremely upset, to the extent that he doesn’t speak to Quiet for an entire hour. She asks him to give her a chance to help him get the car back. John agrees. 

They fetch masks from the dead bodies and infiltrate the Holy Men’s “congregation.” It is like a hedonistic cult where drugs, alcohol, and preaching are imbibed by the members with full flavour. Their drug-crazed leader is The Preacher (played by Jason Mantzoukas), who reveals that when the apocalypse started, he stopped believing in God. Instead, he saw a God and a Goddess in every man and woman, respectively. The Preacher asks for gifts from his pupils and they all give him regular stuff that doesn’t catch his attention. Except, for the one thug who brings him Evelyn!

John’s envy gets the better of him and he confronts The Preacher with a duel. The unanimous consensus is that John will die since the other man is a beast. Quiet slips out the back and steals a car while the duel goes on. 

John loses the duel and is imprisoned in a cage as the festivities of the night crescendo into their feverish temptations. Quiet breaks out John from the cage and asks him to accompany her in the car she stole. Mary’s previous prophecy appears to come true as John chooses to save Evelyn rather than go with Quiet. She gets emotional and watches from afar as there is a huge explosion.

Quiet presumes John is dead but he is alive as the Holy Men pack up camp and leave with The Preacher. Quiet feels betrayed and heartbroken at having lost another “partner.” She drives off as John longingly looks at the different parts of Evelyn scattered around the compound. It was the one thing that saved him when he was all alone in the world. His attachment to Evelyn is an unsolvable paradox that has its own mystique and beauty. 

The Episode Review

Jason Mantzoukas is an expert in playing characters that look unredeemable on paper but come out wickedly fun on the screen. Add The Preacher to Twisted Metal’s growing list of quirky characters born out of the apocalypse.

This episode really struck at the roots of John’s loneliness and his feeling like an outsider in his own life. Although we would have wanted to see more of his family background and how he got there, perhaps the show’s fallbacks are limited to not what the characters actually experienced but what they remember. 

The foreshadowing of Mary’s comments from the previous episode manifested in an anticlimactic way. There was no passion in how John walked away from Quiet. Granted they haven’t known each other for so long but the intense adventure they were on promised something more.

The Holy Men did not seem as impressive as The Convoy and their run-of-the-mill characterization was chiefly at fault. This has become a dangerous pattern that threatens to derail the show’s hard-core ride. 

To date, Twisted Metal has this annoying habit of giving the perception of reaching for the stars but too often, it fails to reach its potential. 

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You can read our full season 1 review of Twisted Metal here
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