Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Hidden Puzzle In Evil That Has Fans Talking

Fans of CBS series Evil are piecing together the show's biggest mystery with a little help from its showrunners. 

In a post-Lost and Pretty Littles Liars TV era, a series of "clues" hidden within each episode might not seem all that... fun. Especially when you aren't sure if the writers even know the ending to the puzzle you put all that extra effort into deciphering. But past TV traumas aren't stopping fans of the Mike Colter-led supernatural drama from getting in on decoding the mystery that's literally hidden inside each of the show's episodes. 

Throughout Evil's initial (and highly-binged) 13-episode run, fans noticed literal puzzle pieces slipped into scenes of the show. By the time the finale rolled around, it had become clear that each episode actually features several clues. One Reddit user first noticed it in episode 6, when the image of a puzzle piece flashed over a portion of the screen where a baby was being held in a man's hands. 

But it had already happened multiple times by that point in the season. In fact, clues had been dropped in every episode outside of the pilot. While the puzzle pieces all feature markings that appear to part of a map, what it's a map of is still unclear. Evil showrunners told Entertainment Weekly that they had created a puzzle that could presumably be solved only at the season's end. 

"There is a puzzle approach with the whole season. It's a combination of the numbers and other things you can find within the episode," Robert King said. "It's a fairly complicated puzzle. There is a pattern, and it won't come together until the last episode. It's not something you can figure out along the way, even though you should be keeping track." 

Clues to Evil's interactive puzzle are hidden in the episodes and their titles

As fans began to realize the Kings' game, they turned to each other on Facebook, Reddit, and Evil's Wiki to lay out the pieces and uncover the hidden message. So far, attentive viewers have discovered 67 puzzle pieces in 12 season 1 episodes, all of which have been added to the site puzzle-tool.com and laid overtop a map of Manhattan (via Inverse). 

Shared on Reddit, the map features a series of red and black lines that seemingly point to various buildings, routes (including streets, bridges, and tunnels), and notable landmarks. To assist with unpacking the map's meaning, fans can turn to the show's episode titles. In an interview with TVLine and during an appearance at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Robert and Michelle King confirmed the episode names were also part of their Evil game. 

"There is something in the finale that is going to bring together all of the puzzle pieces and the titles in some way that is to be solved," the Kings said. "There is a puzzle buried in each of the episodes, except the pilot. The numbers have to do with solving this puzzle."

If you haven't watched Evil, you might think that the numbers the Kings are referring to have to do with the actual episode numbers. But it's actually referencing the numbers in the episode names, which starting from episode 2 are titled as follows: Genesis 1, 177 Minutes, 3 Stars, Rose390, October 31, Let x=9, Vatican III, 2 Fathers, Exorcism Part 2, 7 Swans a Singin', Room 320, Justice x2, Book 27.

"It's tied to the puzzle [you see] throughout the series," Robert King told Paste magazine. "You need to combine [the numbers] with the puzzle. And it does make sense. It's not something that you need to be the genius of the century [to solve]."

Evil's showrunners say that solving the puzzle isn't imperative to enjoying the show

While the Kings clearly think their puzzle is easy to decipher, fans have struggled to put the pieces together — even with a little help from one season 1 episode. While no answer to the map has appeared just yet, the episode "Justice × 2" revealed that a demon with goat and human features was hiding amongst the show's main characters. That's lead some to speculate that the map could lead to some kind of demonic location. 

Meanwhile, other fans still have reservations about whether the Kings actually have revealed all the clues and are instead looking to season 2, which will feature an entirely silent episode, for more answers to the map. But if you can't figure it out, the Evil showrunners say you shouldn't stress about it. Getting the puzzle isn't vital to enjoying the series. 

"Look, if you don't want to be involved with that, you're not going to be bothered by it," Robert King told TVLine. "But if you want to be involved with that, there will be something — and hopefully people will be happy that there's something."