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TV Review: Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 1 - Episode 10

01.02.2016by: Chris Bumbray
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Season 1, Episode 10: The Dark One

SUMMARY: Ash (Bruce Campbell) must face his greatest fear in order to rescue the possessed Pablo (Ray Santiago).

REVIEW: And so this first season of Ash vs Evil Dead draws to a close. In many ways this felt like a kind of EVIL DEAD 3, as opposed to what might more properly be called EVIL DEAD 4 as ARMY OF DARKNESS doesn't seem to be canon here (or is it?). Taken as a whole, it's a roughly five hour ride and while some episodes did indeed feel like filler (specifically the survivalist detour) overall it has been a rock solid season that paves the way for an even more epic second run – which has already been ordered by Starz.

In my book, this is a good season finale although by necessity there are things about it that don't quite gel. Lucy Lawless as the titular “Evil One” didn't quite get enough screen-time to really give us a memorably big bad, but obviously her part will be expanded in season two. One thing that might rile fans is Ash taking her word about keeping the Necronomicon Deadites at bay in their final deal, but if they do than they don't really get the character. Ash has always been looking for the easy way out, and in the end that's exactly the road he's more than willing to take, with his conscience cleared by the fact that he gets to head to his beloved Jacksonville with Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) and Pablo in-store, with him having saved the latter from his fate.

The last image sets up the next season, which presumably will take place in an even more apocalyptically deadite-possessed world, thanks in no small part to the well-meaning but lazy Ash. That he hasn't learned a thing all season-long is frustrating but right in-line with the character created by Campbell and Sam Raimi.

As far as carnage goes, this is a harsher episode than usual – which says something given how violent a run it's been. Amanda (Jill Marie Jones) is officially out of the show having been dispatched gruesomely by Ash's chainsaw. This drives-home the fact that this is strictly a showcase for Ash and his two sidekicks – with everyone else (literally) chainsaw fodder. This includes the cute Aussie backpacker Heather (the gorgeous Samara Weaving – niece of Hugo) – who's extended death scene was maybe a touch too mean-spirited, veering a little too close to torture porn for my tastes. Then again, this is a harsh show we're talking about, where no one is safe so it works.

Overall, this has been a really fun season for Ash vs Evil Dead, and I think I can safely say the show has been better than anyone really thought it would have been despite fanticipation. Ash Williams really does work on the small-screen in this 21st Century Cable world (where they can be more violent than the original films ever were). I look forward to season two!

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