James E. Eagan
Jill Marie Jones
We are almost to the halfway point of the inaugural season of Ash Vs. Evil Dead and at this point the show has undeniably found its groove. It has managed to keep viewers interested and entertained. The blend between gory horror and humor that was first established for the series in Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn has become the shows trademark. In the last episode, Books From Beyond (review here) the group summoned the demon Eligos in an attempt to find a way to undo all of the evil unleashed by the Necronomicon. The episode lost a bit of the shows luster but it was needed in an attempt to further the relationships between not only Ash (Bruce Campbell), Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), but also gave us the first interaction between the group and Detective Fisher (Jill Marie Jones). We were also introduced to Ruby Knowby (Lucy Lawless) who is tracking both Ash and the Necronomicon.
Brujo picks up right where Books From Beyond left off, with Fisher handcuffed to a shelving unit while the newly Deadite-possessed body of the bookstore owner, Lionel Hawkins (Kelson Henderson) about to attack. Just as things begin to look too dire, Ruby shows up at the bookstore and impales Hawkins. She frees Fisher and goes into a little of her backstory (which I might add I predicted in my review for the last episode) revealing that she is in fact the daughter of Professor Knowby and sister of Annie from Evil Dead 2. After some taunting by Deadite-Hawkins, she decapitates then squishes his head, just as it appears he is about to reveal a little more information about her.
Meanwhile, Ash and the gang arrive at the home of Pablo’s uncle Brujo (Hemky Madera) who takes Ash inside to help him find his inner self. Kelly appears to be suffering from concussion like symptoms from the battle at the bookstore. While Ash goes off with Brujo, Kelly and Pablo retreat to the trailer, where Pablo decides to attempt to build Ash a new hand that will actually be useful as compared to the wooden hand he has been using. While the bulk of the episode is spent on Ash’s “trip” to help him find out how exactly he can take care of the evil (which involves some hilarious segments with his iguana, Eli speaking to him) we do get a brief segment back at Books From Beyond where Ruby reveals to Detective Fisher that she has something that belongs to Ash…..his possessed severed hand from Evil Dead 2.
The other big revelation of Brujo is that Kelly is now possessed in some way by Eligos, the demon the group summoned during their adventure at the bookstore. The episode concludes with the possessed Kelly attempting to kill Ash, and him nearly choking her to death before Brujo and Pablo show up and Pablo knocks Ash out.
Much like the previous episode, director David Frazee (a seasoned television director who has directed episodes of everything from Continuum to the award-winning Orphan Black) and writer James E. Eagan (who has worked on everything from the vastly underrated and underwatched Reaper to Saturday Night Live) focus on continuing to lay the groundwork for what I am hoping will be an insane second half of the season. All of the characters have really come into their own at this point. Ash has become even more relegated to his destiny as the only one who can truly end the evil. Pablo has settled into the humorous sidekick who will follow Ash into the depths of hell without question, but still has a hard time admitting the huge crush he has on Kelly. Kelly’s character is in a weird place, as she seemed to have finally become a part of the group but is now off onto a different tangent with being possessed by the demon Eligos. And of course we now have Ruby and Fisher on the same page in trying to hunt down Ash, still incorrectly believing that he is on the wrong side of this battle.
Ash Vs. Evil Dead continues to hit all the right notes, and while the two more recent episodes may not be as insane and off the walls as the first episode El Jefe (review here) it is still far more entertaining and engrossing than any other show currently on television.
Up next appears to be some sort of exorcism and of course, more Deadites and insane violence and humor.