I believe I have made a significant find in the Kandarian ruins, a volume of ancient Sumarian burial practices. Sound familiar? If you’re a fan of a certain cult horror film, you’d know exactly where you’ve heard that before. Flash forward 30 odd years and today, we’re going full out spoiler mode with a post I’ve been wanting [but literally couldn’t right away] to write since Episode 03: a review on all 10 episodes from the first season of Ash VS Evil Dead. Technically, I already wrote a few reviews on the show [here’s my review of episode 01, and here’s another on episode 03] I’m expecting this post is going to be a long one, so long in fact; that this is going to be a two part post. This one is already really long, and tomorrow will be the FINAL few episodes – beginning where this posts ends. Also, if you haven’t already been able to tell, this post will explain everything that happened in season 01 plot wise, so if you haven’t seen the show, and plan on watching it.. don’t read this. At all. Because there will be spoilers everywhere. Ready to read a lot of words? Let’s go!
Still here? Okay, good – let’s begin.
We start off 30 years after the original Evil Dead films, where we learn that a now constantly drunk Ash has accidentally read from the Book Of The Dead [all while getting high] and unleashed the Deadites..again. It’s pretty interesting actually, cause when we see him open the book, you can see sticky notes inside – presumably where he’s tried, and successfully begun translating the book on his own time! However, he’s working as a stock boy at another small town store, and has been living in a trailer park; constantly on the run from what happened all those years ago. When he does unleash the evil, we see the famous Evil Dead tracking shots as a result. [which is fucking awesome to see] With the help of a trusty and enthusiastic new sidekick Pablo and another store worker – the very attractive Kelly – this newly founded trio decides that it’s up to them to stop The Evil Dead. There’s also a cop, Amanda, who happens to blame Ash for all the Evil that’s happening. She’s important as well, as she shows up continuously throughout the season. [more on her later!]
This pilot was pretty damn impressive, giving hints to the original films, talking about previous characters, and even adding new ones. It shows us that Ash may have become a guy who keeps to himself and gets drunk all the time, but he’s still a fallible character; he does it because he’s been through so much that he doesn’t want to deal with it anymore; but does he really have a choice? Not really. This fantastic pilot episode ends with us seeing that Ash has a business card for a book store, which he calls the number on and mentions that they’ve spoken before about “a particular book.” This brings me to an important point in the season..
left to right: Pablo, Ash, Kelly
After seeing Lucy Lawless show up for a brief moment, with little to no explanation of who she is, we visit the episode titled Books From Beyond: where Ash and his new found gang decide to travel to a bookstore. [which shares the same name as the episode] Their game plan is to try to ‘unsummon’ the Evil through a passage inside the Book Of The Dead by the store owner, Lionel Hawkins, whom we’re left to assume Ash knows from calling a few times before. According to Hawkins, who translates the Book Of The Dead, it was written by an ancient group of evildoers called The Dark Ones. [okay, that could have been a little more creative..] These not quite human, not quite demon entities wrote some spells that supposedly have the ability to open portals into Hell, and unleash their demons into our world. As Hawkins puts it, “The book itself is harmless unless wielded by someone very evil.. or very stupid.” I’ll give you three guesses which category our supposed “hero” falls into..
Almost proving Hawkins‘ point, Ash‘s new great plan to figure out why the Deadites are coming back is to release another one from inside the book, if only to ask it questions. After looking through the book for a bit, they ultimately decide on a “minor, wimpy Deadite” [as Ash calls it] named Eligos who, as the Necronomicon claims, is a “demon of the mind.” Which is proven when he can seemingly invade his enemies’ brain! [see this ‘new’ Deadite Eligos here] We also see very little explanation of who Lucy Lawless‘ character is. Every time we see her, She seems to know a lot about Ash, the Necronomicon, and the Deadites themselves.. She’s shown to have a Kandarian Dagger from Evil Dead II as well. By the end of the episode, Pablo suggests that his Brujo could help – but they haven’t spoken in a while.. Together; Ash, Pablo, and Kelly decide that they’ll head towards Pablo‘s old place and visit his Brujo.
Ash and Brujo
After setting more Evil loose from the book; Ash, Pablo and Kelly head to Pablo‘s uncle’s house for some answers.. After all, Pablo claimed he was even a shaman! While this episode was important, it also felt like the weakest episode. The majority of it has Ash sent out on an amusing [but long] acid trip throughout the rest of the episode. Kelly is shown to be having some after-effects from the fight with Eligos in the previous episode, almost like she is possessed by the demon. and in his mind, Ash, attempts to take down Eligos. Unfortunately, he is attacking Kelly. [which was probably what Elgios wanted] Pablo and his Uncle restrain Ash by knocking him out cold, and the episode ends abruptly there, on what could be considered something of a cliff-hanger.
Continuing where the cliffhanger ended, Ash and Pablo must fight to save Kelly from being taken over by Eligos, who seems to want to take her over. With time running out, the duo must defy all odds if they want to keep trio. Fighting Deadites was hard enough, but becoming one could spell murder for everyone. While some of the interactions between the team and possessed Kelly were interesting [and actually felt like real Demon-extracting processes], this episode felt like Bruce Campbell was also required to give off a sense of helplessness as Ash, who seems to feel like he’s unable to help his friend for most of the runtime. It worked really well, and seeing a hard-ass like Ash feel helpless was heartbreaking. Unfortunately, this episode also has Brujo‘s death, but it was good to see they didn’t just treat his death as an inconvenience – as a large portion of the episode was dedicated to his death therefore further building of Pablo‘s overall character as a result. This leads us to episode 06: The Killer Of Killers.
Now knowing what to do with the Necronomicon – thanks to that acid trip – Ash realizes what we’ve all been guessing all along. Ash [along with Kelly and Pablo] must return to where it all started: The Cabin from the original films. We also see our team stop at a bar for a little piece of cake, [y’know..to celebrate] while Amanda and Ruby arrive at Brujo‘s house, with his pyre still blazing, in search of Ash. [it’s a common thing that Amanda and Ruby show up one minute too late] Unfortunately, this episode ends with us hoping for The Cabin to show up..but doesn’t..for another few episodes. It’s not a bad episode, I just kept waiting for it to show.
And for now, that’s where I’m going to leave you. Like I said at the very beginning, this post was expected to be long. If you’re enjoying this, even with the spoilers, then please – come back around tomorrow [sometime in the afternoon] when I finish talking about the fantastic series/ first season that I’m already a huge fan of: Ash VS Evil Dead. STAY GROOVY!
[and] THANKS FOR READING.