Michael J. Bassett
Jill Marie Jones
When we last left Ash (Bruce Campbell), he had just finished his first Deadite battle in over 2 decades, which just happened to take place in his trailer home, in front of his Value Stop co-workers Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo). While the first episode of Ash Vs. Evil Dead was expected to garner a good response due to the fact that it was our first taste of Ash on screen since Army Of Darkness and was written and directed by original Evil Dead helmer Sam Raimi, the true test would come with the second episode, entitled “Bait”. Taking over the directorial duties for the second episode is Michael J. Bassett, known for 2009’s Solomon Kane as well as 2012’s Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, while the writing side of things comes from Dominic Dierkes, who has made his name working on numerous comedy shows, most notably Workaholics. So at the very least, the episode would look good, and likely have some great comedic spots.
Picking up literally moments after the battle inside the trailer, “Bait” starts with Ash shooting down the idea of helping Kelly go to her family home to investigate if her mother, who was long thought dead, is in fact a Deadite. While Ash prepares his trailer to hit the road hoping to find a translated spell from the Necronomicon that can shut everything down once again, Kelly is seen taking off on Pablo’s motorcycle. Pablo informs Ash that she also took the Necronomicon with her, leaving him no choice but to take off after Kelly towards her family’s home. Along the way, Ash’s newly possessed boss from Value Stop, Mr. Roper (Damien Garvey) attacks from the backseat, leaving Pablo to steer and keep the car and trailer on the road long enough for Ash to take care of business. Meanwhile Fisher (Jill Marie Jones) is following up on her run-in with the Deadites, discovering that Ash may be behind whatever it was that killed her partner in the first episode.
After an uproarious entrance to the home of Kelly’s family, Ash and Pablo are shocked to discover that Kelly’s mother (guest star Mimi Rogers, likely best known to horror fans as the mother in Ginger Snaps) is apparently not a Deadite, and was never dead to begin with, but rather suffering from amnesia. Ash doesn’t buy it for a second, despite pleas from both Pablo and Kelly that everything is fine. This all leads to another gorefest throughout the home, before Kelly and Pablo decide to accompany Ash on his quest to put away the Deadites once and for all.
With this second episode, Ash Vs. Evil Dead continues strongly from where the first episode left off, once again combining the gore, horror and humor expected from all fans of the franchise. If anything, the only downside I could find in this episode is that it feels like it is over almost as soon as it began. Bassett does a wonderful job balancing the direction and keeping the script by Dierkes moving at a brisk pace. The standout of this episode is absolutely how great Mimi Rogers is as Kelly’s mother Suzy. She plays the role with a level of glee rarely seen in television guest stars, and you can simply tell that Rogers, as well as the rest of the cast, were having a blast during filming. Two episodes in and everything about the show still feels fresh while also being familiar. It’s really the highest compliment that I can pay the show at this point, and if it continues at this rate, there is no doubt in my mind that Ash Vs. Evil Dead will go down as one of the greatest shows in horror history.
Next up, Ash and the gang head to Books From Beyond seeking help translating the Necronomicon!