Lifetime’s Devious Maids’ most interesting character is definitely devious but she is not a maid. She is the farthest definition of a struggling member of the labor force because she is gloriously sophisticated and overly snooty. She is Evelyn Powell (Rebecca Wisocky), a Beverly Hills mansion owner who hires and fires the most maids as of the end of Season 3 of Devious Maids.
To borrow her husband’s words, she is “drunk and evil”. The drunk part is an exaggeration, but the evil part is spot-on. She was more concerned about the bloodstain on her expensive rug and the general disorder in one of her many sitting areas than the gruesome murder of her maid. So she might have been the devil in the hardbound book “The Peasant and The Devil” at her and her husband’s library. But it does not matter because she a deliciously divine devil.
From the moment she graced the screen in the first 30 seconds of the series premiere and delivered her 30-second line*, she was either adored or abhorred by the audience. I loved her right away because I have the tendency to root for strong villains, and Evelyn Powell is Tywin Lannister and Lady Olenna Tyrell rolled into one modern antagonist.
Here are 10 reasons why I love Evelyn Powell (spoilers for Seasons 1, 2 and 3 abound):
- Evelyn Powell is devious.
Among the series regulars, Evelyn is the main female antagonist. However, her plotting rarely involves the maids but is rather directed to foil the shenanigans of husband Adrian (Tom Irwin). The best exhibit of Evelyn’s deviousness is her torrid affair with bodyguard with great set of abs Tony Bishara (Dominic Adams) and the charades that follow to keep it a secret from Adrian. Evelyn and Adrian one-up each other to see who is the sneakier and more cunning of the two. It is twisted but wickedly fun.
- Evelyn Powell is a formidable banter partner.
Like Tywin and Lady Olenna, Evelyn is an adept wordsmith who uses double entendre, metaphors and figures of speech when she speaks. Watching her verbal tussles with Adrian is like watching fireworks displays along Manila Bay on New Year’s Eve. It is colorful, fiery and unpredictably delightful.
- Evelyn Powell is good with kids.
Despite her ice queen façade, Evelyn likes children. The fact that she was once a devoted mother to Barrett until his death by a hit and run accident 15 years ago is enough. Evelyn displays maternal instinct on Barrett’s birthdays, when she meets baby Tucker Westmore and Katy and fosters Dione. Sure, she threatens baby Tucker and snipes at Katy like churlish child, but she ends up treating them well.
- Evelyn Powell is a good friend but a vicious enemy.
Evelyn throws Marisol Suarez (Ana Ortiz) a party for her book signing and respects her as a person who will not steal her valuables. On the flip side, she is out to ruin Genevieve Delatour (Susan Lucci) by sharing Delatour’s sex video after the latter incriminates her in a murder investigation.
- Evelyn Powell has expressive face and voice.
Rebecca Wisocky is a marvelous actress for making Evelyn so animated when the scenes calls for it. Evelyn’s little quirks – widening of the eyes when surprised, pursing of lips when something is not to her liking, lifting of eyebrows when she is being lied to, mostly by her husband – make Evelyn loveable as a character. Of course, she has also perfected the look of disdain whenever she talks to the help or to the poor. And her voice inflections are hilarious, especially when she states something but makes it sound like a question. It confuses the mind sometimes.
- Evelyn Powell has sense of humor.
Evelyn does not throw a fit when Marisol immortalizes her devil ways on her book. Rather, she is a good sport about it and basks in her notoriety as the “ice-cold, ball-busting rich bitch employer Mrs. P.”** She admits that she is “positively terrible” and just laughs when Marisol tells her she is awful.
- Evelyn Powell likes books.
If I recall correctly, only the Powells have an extensive library among the employers in Devious Maids. Only they are seen reading books in some scenes. When they foster Dione, Evelyn introduces him to Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Dione looks like he is only five years old. When I was five, I read Funny Komiks.
- Evelyn Powell is an impeccable dresser.
Evelyn is glamorous yet she looks comfortable in all of her beautifully coordinated outfits. She wears designer clothes that suit her age, body type and status in society. Although she favors long and flowing skirts and pants, she can also make her maid’s uniform looks like a short evening dress. I bet she does not have anything made of cotton in her multiple walk-in closets.
- Evelyn Powell is willing to experiment sexually.
Evelyn and Adrian have not been united by love for 15 years since the death of Barrett. They remain married because of their “high tolerance for adultery and perversion”, with most of adultery and perversion committed by Adrian and most of tolerance comes from Evelyn. With her wish to keep their marriage going, she joins Adrian in what she calls as his “disgusting little hobby”. It means wearing their maid’s outfit, taking on a different persona (Gretchen with German accent is one) and visiting an S&M club just so Adrian achieves an erection. If that is not love, I do not know what is.
- Evelyn Powell is a goldmine of quotable quotes.
Evelyn uses her acerbic tongue to good use, whether in witty one-liners or paragraph-long statements, to inflict the worst burn on her banter partners’ minds and hearts, enough to disable them to think of any verbal comeback.
This is a list of Evelyn Powell’s quotes from Seasons 1 to 3 of Devious Maids:
*“I think what you people do is heroic. You wash clothes you can’t afford. You polish silver you will never dine with. You mop floors for people who don’t bother to learn your last names, and still you dare to dream of a better life. I am in awe of your determination to succeed in this great country of ours. That said, if you don’t stop screwing my husband, I’m going to have you deported. ¿Comprende?” – Evelyn to her maid Flora Hernandez (Paula Garces).
“I don’t care about photos. I don’t care about evidence. My maid was murdered! Who’s gonna clean this all up?” – Evelyn to police officers investigating the murder of her maid.
“For God’s sake, how much infantile pouting do I have to put up with?” – Evelyn to husband Adrian as they breakfast the morning after their maid’s death.
“The agency sent over this one woman. She was stone-cold death. I need someone who can react when I am screaming at them.” – Evelyn to Marisol
“Marisol, we have a saying here in Beverly Hills: to steal another woman’s husband is rude but to steal her maid is unforgivable.” – Evelyn explains to Marisol why the latter needs to ask permission from Taylor Stappord (Brianna Brown) before she can clean the Powell mansion on her day-off.
“My life sucks, but my vacuum doesn’t.” – Evelyn to Olivia Rice (Valerie Mahaffey)
“I’m not going to hold you. I’m wearing silk, and you are moist.” – Evelyn to almost one-year old Tucker Westmore.
“If you ruin it, I will personally see to it that you end up in the public school system.” – Evelyn threatens baby Tucker Westmore. “It” is a $100,000 rug.
**“Of course, your favorite character is ice-cold, ball-busting rich bitch employer Mrs. P.” – Evelyn to Marisol
“Are you talking to me? At some point I must have given you the impression that I enjoy small talk. Please accept my apologies as you leave.” – Evelyn to maid Valentina Diaz (Edy Ganem).
“You can screw me, but you cannot screw with me.” – Evelyn to hot bodyguard Tony Bishara (Dominic Adams).
“It’s been ages since we’ve had a murder at our house.” – Evelyn after finding a severed leg among her prize-winning roses.
“We haven’t actually adopted yet, we’re fostering him. It’s more of a lease-to-buy situation, like with your Lexus.” – Evelyn says of foster child Dione to Adrian.
“You cannot just replace Dione. He’s not a goldfish.” – Evelyn to Adrian.
“Oh, you hideous slug of a man.” – Evelyn remarks when Adrian refuses to sell their mansion.
For Evelyn Powell quotes from Season 4 of Devious Maids, please read Devious Maids – Season 4.