Ash vs. Evil Dead, Season 1, Episode 3 -That Wasn't Such a Bad Idea Was it?
Our third helping of Ash vs. Evil Dead is funnier than the last, and more frightening too. The structure of the show has been set in place by now, and we can now comfortably assume the kind of adventure we're sitting down to each week.
And it's a structure that I think is going to work. Each episode is fast paced and full on, with little time to slow down but just enough for the characters to now start to completely matter.
The pace and length of each episode has also made it clear that each episode can probably be expected to take place in a sole setting (Kelly's house last week, the bookstore this week), though I'm sure we'll get the occasional two-parter and other such helpings.
This structure aids the surrealist, disbelief-suspending and good-time vibes the show's going for. In many ways it feels like a comic book, something to come back to each week, and something you confidently know you'll enjoy.
There are some brilliant moments of humour here. Pablo (Ray Santiago) continues to provide great comic relief, while also managing to be the heart of the trio. Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) comes with the baggage of her recent trauma and maybe because of this she shows a little too much trust in this episode.
But the actions that each character takes as the season wears on continues to shape them into the characters they're clearly going to have to be. On the episode in question, it finally brings the three of them into contact with suspended officer Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones), who essentially screws everything up (even though Ash (Bruce Campbell) did instigate it).
The tension in the episode builds over a sequence in which the group summons a demon, with the hopes that it will help them reverse the spell (or curse) that Ash accidentally unleashed. Yeah, it's a pretty flimsy, and reckless, plan.
The payoff of that demon's arrival is brilliant. It is a genuinely horrifying creature, very unlike what we've come across so far in the series. Whether it is gone for good (hopefully not) and whether its abilities had any influence over Ash and Pablo is a question for the next episode. Hopefully, despite the self-contained nature of each episode so far, there is a cause-and-effect nature to actions, and that consequences are long-standing.
We're briefly reintroduced to Ruby (Lucy Lawless), who is still just as mysterious as she was in the pilot. Though, now it's made clear that she is hunting Ash, and also that she is a badass. She clearly has some deadite-slaying history, so it will be great to finally see her catch up to the group.
The episode ends with a direct route to where we can see the next episode going (Pablo's shaman-uncle's home), but it also leaves us on a pretty creepy cliffhanger regarding Officer Fisher. We'll have to wait and see how she gets out of that one.
Ash opens the episode in the front seat of his car, declaring that he is a lone wolf. That declaration is on the assumption that this is all about to end. By the end of the episode, Ash actually shows some signs of development, accepting that his life was saved thanks to Kelly and Pablo. Episode 3 went a long way to really entrenching the three as a group.
Ash vs Evil Dead continues to be a great time, offering humour and horror at just the right levels. And it's certainly a show that leaves you wanting more. Next episode could just offer some Pablo-centric drama, and I'm ready for the ride to continue.