Ash vs Evil Dead 208 - Ashy Slashy - SPOILER FREE Review
PREMIERES SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20th at 8:00 PM ET/PT
Official Synopsis: Ruby, Kelly, and Pablo go to look for Ash and Baal in an abandoned asylum and encounter some crazy characters. They are all players in Baal's attempt to break Ash and find the Necronomicon. But did his plan work?
Good: Just about everything.
Bad: The ending of this episode might produce an extreme reaction. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, I just felt I had to put something here!
Last night I had the pleasure of interviewing Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly Maxwell from Ash Vs Evil Dead) and we laughed as we discussed my attempts to re-cap and review each episode without revealing any spoilers. She said episode 8 would be hard and she was not wrong.
The basic plot has Ruby, Pablo and Kelly using Ash's animal tracker to follow him to the asylum where Baal has used Sheriff Emery and family to further torment Ash. After last week the big question everyone is asking is 'has Ash really turned evil'? Well I'm not going to tell you but I can say this- this is definitely an Ash we have never seen before!
The team is scattered, Ash hunts Pablo and Ruby with some amazingly cool pyrotechnics and some creepy chainsaw work. Pablo and Ruby have some nice interactions and character development and Kelly spends some time with Linda B before winding up on her own in a room with little felt puppet Ashy Slashy. What follows is a tour de force performance from the wonderful Dana DeLorenzo that definitely shows her character's trajectory to somewhat parallel that of Ash's. Kelly is definitely the daughter Ash never had and Dana holds her own with an impressive physical performance which is quite an achievement next to the king, Bruce Campbell.
Earlier on in the episode Dana also gets a chance to shine in a lovely scene opposite Ray Santiago, further heaping on to the will they/won't they dynamic of Kelly and Pablo's close and loving friendship. Their support for each other and indeed Ash's support of them has proved to be the unexpectedly warm and beating heart of the show. While Ruby is still feeling her way into the world of humanity and emotion, Pablo and Kelly have become the one thing Ash cares about apart from his classic car.
There is a nice hint in this episode that Ruby's character and personality will be examined more thoroughly and hopefully give the marvelous Lucy Lawless more to do with her and, as a fan of both Lucy and the show, that's definitely a step in the right direction.
Ray Santiago and Lucy Lawless play off each other beautifully and it's nice to see that, throughout the season, all the characters have got their moments to shine. While last week felt like the Dana and Bruce show, this week everyone gets their moment and thankfully, a cast this good, can handle it.
This is definitely an episode where everyone is firing on all cylinders. The performances are great, the stunts are awesome, the Joseph LoDuca score is perfect, the cinematography is atmospheric and the direction has that required Evil Dead flourish and flare.
I have given up knowing what to expect each week or where the story is going because this season delights in running roughshod with the characters, the story, tv conventions and even who will live and who can die. Also the season continues at such a breakneck pace that our heroes don't even have time to mourn the likes of Ash's Dad and Chet passing. This feels more realistic (or as realistic as this nightmarish, gore filled, comedy show can get) and less manipulative in a way.
In The Walking Dead, for example, everyone was safe until the season break and then that last episode before hiatus the writers would think "Well, better off a few people to make sure the audience returns in 3 months" but with Ash Vs Evil Dead it feels like nobody is safe and nothing is a sure thing. This isn't Joss Whedon killing a beloved character to indicate just what our heroes are up against, this is just anarchy, madness and damn good, tense storytelling.
It definitely looks like the bloodshed is far from over and I will look forward to fans reactions to the dramatic ending of this week's show. It feels like every episode has a WTF?! water-cooler moment and just when you think they can't top it, they manage to. Ash Vs Evil Dead remains the most unpredictable, exciting, gore splattered half an hour of TV ever. It's all the fans could ever want and more!
Let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments BELOW!