TV Review: Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 1 - Episode 8

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Season 1, Episode 8: Ashes to Ashes

SUMMARY:  Ash (Bruce Campbell), with Pablo (Ray Santiago), Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), and Amanda (Jill Marie Jones) not far behind, returns to the cabin where he battle with the Deadites began.

REVIEW: Ash vs Evil Dead is like a yo-yo. We get the odd episode that's not absolutely amazing, like last week's filler (although it was still perfectly entertaining in its own right), but then it bounces back with a stunner, like the diner episode a few weeks ago and now this week's. One thing that's interesting here is that the show's continuity is starting to come into focus. From what I can tell, this is a sequel to EVIL DEAD 2 if the ending where Ash got transported to the middle ages never happened – thus no ARMY OF DARKNESS.

Giving credence to that theory is the fact that EVIL DEAD 2's Linda, Denise Bixler, recreates her role, with her head still in a vice in the old cabin's workshop waiting for Ash's return. Bixler's – well her head anyways – looks remarkably like she did thirty years ago in EVIL DEAD 2 and having her back as Linda is a super fun treat for fans. Otherwise, this episode is chockablock full of great scenes, from Ash's ongoing chemistry with Amanda to a ton of great action beats, especially once we learn Ash's former hand has grown an evil version of himself (shades of ARMY OF DARKNESS) that's ready to do battle with his more heroic doppelganger.

This is probably the most Ash-centric episode in awhile, with Pablo and Kelly off-screen for the most part, save for a run-in with some gorgeous Aussie hikers. Dana does something awful to poor Pablo, cock-blocking him from hooking up with one of them, revealing that maybe his feelings towards her aren't as reciprocated as she pretends. I hope it works out for those crazy kids.

One couple things sadly won't work out for are Ash and Amanda, with the lovely cop meeting her shocking demise this week at the hands of Evil Ash – surprising because from the beginning it seemed like they were building her up to be a co-protagonist for Ash. While her death is a bit of a drag because of how likable Scott was in the part, it does give Ash a nicely poignant moment towards the end, leading to his big battle royale with his evil double – leaving us on an awesome cliffhanger.

While I'm not 100% Amanda is definitively dead (this is the kind of show where someone's death doesn't mean they're out of the cast) overall this was a stunning episode and a wickedly fun twenty-five minute romp. With only two more to go, I hope the momentum keeps up propelling this towards a great finish for season one.




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