Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 1 Episode 2 Review: “Bait”

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Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 1 Episode 2 Review: “Bait”

Ash vs. Evil Dead

Ash vs. Evil Dead had one of the best series/season premieres of the fall last week with an incredibly entertaining ride that was fun for both fans of the Evil Dead franchise and newcomers. Let’s take a look and see if things held up in this week’s episode, “Bait.”

After a brief recap of the pilot that clarifies some character motivations for anyone that may still be confused, the episode opens with Kelly trying to convince Ash that they need to go save her dad from the Deadite that she thinks is at his house. The come to a standstill when Ash decides that the best thing for the entire world will be to get the Necronomicon Ex Mortis translated in order to figure out how to stop the invasion, and Kelly runs away with the book while he is outside. Realizing that there’s no choice, Ash hooks his trailer to his car and heads out to Kelly’s dad with Pablo. The conversation in the car between the two men helps to sell the friendship that’s building between these two characters, and it’s very clear that casting did a great job with this series. All of the characters that we’ve seen throughout the first two episodes appear fully formed from the get-go, and the evolving nature of all of their relationships should prove to be one of the most fun things we’ll see during the series.

As with last week, Ash vs. Evil Dead knows exactly how to blend the franchise’s comedy with real scares. The gore factor is also as ever-present as ever, and it’s an absolute blast to watch the blood fly during a fight sequence (that would be a weird sentence to say about most shows, but it’s perfect for this one). Even though the producers can’t overtly reference the third film, Army of Darkness (due to a rights issue), Ash vs. Evil Dead is still a fantastic blend of the genre-subverting comedy of that film with the underlying horror of the first two movies in the franchise.

I mentioned character relationships being fun to explore before, but that wouldn’t matter at all if the performances weren’t so spectacular. I don’t know that anyone can find a single complaint with Bruce Campbell’s portrayal of Ash, because it is as perfect as it’s ever been. If anything, Campbell is even better as Ash than he was in the films. The PTSD-esque development that’s taken place in the character over the past 30 years works perfectly with the aging lothario’s personality, and Campbell is turning his time on this show into something that should receive some recognition during awards season. As great as he is, though, Campbell is not at all the only bright point on this cast. Every single member of the main cast is managing to shine on this show, and I can’t believe how well everyone is working together. Pablo is easy to relate to, Kelly is a great surrogate for what we would be feeling in her situation, Amanda is a fun woman-on-a-mission, and the mysterious Ruby, while not making an appearance in “Bait,” continues to tease us with a larger mythology in play.

Just a brief note, but the use of CG elements in “Bait” was much better than in the show’s pilot. In the first episode, there were moments that really stood out, but that wasn’t the case for a second this week. I’m so glad that the producers are going with practical effects whenever possible, and it’s going to help the show stand out among similar series on television.

“Bait” was absolutely spectacular, and it was the perfect follow-up to this show’s series premiere. I can’t believe how great this show already is, and I know that the best is yet to come. We’re in for a great ride with Ash vs. Evil Dead, and I hope that this one manages to live on for years to come.

What did you think of “Bait”? Are you enjoying Ash vs. Evil Dead as much as we are? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!

[Photo via Starz]

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