Ash vs. Evil Dead ‘Bait’ Recap: Episode 01.02

Ash vs. Evil Dead
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One interesting thing about watching Ash vs. Evil Dead on Starz is that it means that we get the entire episode without commercials, which is just awesome. However, with this show, it almost flies by too fast. That made me check the time and I realized that, while most television shows are about 42 minutes without commercials, the second episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead was 30 minutes total. That was disappointing to me because, when it ended, I desperately wanted to see more.

After two episodes, Ash vs. Evil Dead is must watch TV and the second episode was even better than the amazing first.

When the episode starts, we pick up at the exact moment last week’s ended, with Ash slapping on the chainsaw and killing the Deaditte that possessed his neighbor. Ash then speaks to Pablo and Kelly about trying to get to the rare bookstore to get the Necronomicon translated so that they can send the demons back to where they came from. Of course, the Deadites (which Ash namedrops in this episode) won’t make that easy.

Kelly wants to head back to save her dad from her suddenly resurrected mother, but Ash says it isn’t important. He is still in full asshole mode, telling her that he needs to save all the mothers, fathers, and children of the world and can’t just focus on one person. That causes Kelly to steak Pablo’s motorcycle and take off for her dad’s house. Of course, Pablo is desperately in love with Kelly, so he lies to Ash and says that Kelly took the Necronomicon with her, so they have to go and help her.

I like how they are keeping Ash as a self-centered asshole, but forcing him to help other people. It makes him a hero, but never lets him change. It also allowed us to see one of the most awesome fight scenes ever filmed.

As Ash and Pablo are driving his car which is pulling his trailer, to Kelly’s home, the Deadite possessed body of Ash’s former boss Mr. Roper attacks them. The Deadite is trying to manically kill Ash, who was driving, while Pablo tries to steer the cart to avoid a head-on collision. This is the exact same type of crazed fight that took place in the Evil Dead trilogy and was just awesome to watch. It was non-stop, frenetic, and gory as hell. Pablo finally grabs a broken bottle and starts to try to help, but can’t do anything. He takes a blow to the head. He remembers Ash’s line that once you are hit in the head, everything comes clear in what to do and lets Ash know that didn’t happen in his case.

Finally, after numerous hacks, Ash is able to drive the bottle into the Deadites neck and then delivers a classic one-liner. The Deadite says that Ash is pathetic and will never defeat Evil, so Ash says “thanks for the heads up” and then pushes the head out the window, where a passing car knocks it off. The line was good enough that Pablo had to congratulate Ash on the quick thinking.

Awesome.

Ash and Pablo finally make it to Kelly’s house, and when they bust in with the chainsaw roaring, Kelly is there, sitting happily with her mother (MIMI ROGERS!!!!) and father. Ash knows something is wrong, but Kelly’s mom claims that she never really died and just woke up with no memory. They invite Ash and Pablo for dinner and serve very bloody, rare roast beef. As Ash watches Kelly’s mom eating the bloody roast beef, with blood pouring down her chin, he asks her some rapid fire questions to try to prove that she isn’t who she claims to be.

Ash finally does what Ash needs to do and he punches Kelly’s mom right in the face. Kelly, Pablo, and dad all rush Ash and start to yell at him when Kelly’s mom stands up, her eyes go all white, and she reveals herself as a Deadite. Ash makes a funny one-liner again, this time saying he is glad she is because he was starting to feel like a dick. The Deadite attacks and kills Kelly’s dad with a fork in his eyes and then the fight is on.

This lasts much longer than the fight with the trailer park trash. Kelly’s mom even plays mind games by reverting to normal and asking her daughter to save her. However, she then delivers the lowest blow of all when she tells her daughter that she committed suicide because she hated living as her mother. That was all it took and Ash finally launches into action, and after some stalling thanks to a chainsaw stuck in the wall and refusing to start, makes a last minute save and saws off the Deadite’s head.

The show then added two more fun one-liners after Ash helps Kelly bury her parents. Fist, Ash tells Kelly that she reminds him of himself. He tells her that she was young, like he was, when the Deadites ruined his life, and like him, she is hot as hell. Then, just to follow it up, as they stood and looked at the makeshift crosses, Kelly tells Ash they were Jewish. He then said that it would have been nice if she had told him before he made those stupid crosses.

Also, during the episode, there were cutaways to Special Agent Amanda Fisher, who has been on leave from the Michigan State Police since she had to shoot her Deadite infested partner in the premiere episode. She investigates the trailer park before the police show up and finds a card to the Books from Beyond store. She is then told to leave by other cops, who still thinks she killed one of their own. This leads her to the bookstore at the end, just as Ash and company are headed that way.

After two episodes, Ash vs. Evil Dead is everything a fans of the original Sam Raimi-Bruce Campbell trilogy could have hoped. It has one-liners, Bruce Campbell at the top of his game, gore, humor, splatstick, and more. The only problem is that the scenes with Fisher slows down the action, but that should change once Lucy Lawless’ Ruby shows back up on the show. Despite any flaws, this show is still exactly what I want from my favorite horror franchise of all time.

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
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