Ash vs Evil Dead episode 102 “Bait”*

*now with two times the gore

Last week’s premier of Ash vs Evil Dead established an excellent premise, and last night’s episode “Bait” put those characters into action.

Ash and his co-workers Pablo and Kelly are still in Ash’s trailer in the aftermath of some series Deadite killing. After being subjected to some seriously terrifying scenes, Kelly insists on going to see if her father is alright. In “El Jefe,” Kelly’s dad was supposedly seen his wife, who had been dead for six-months. Their daughter heads out to their home to find them, leaving Ash and Pablo behind.

Ash, who would rather get the Necronomicon translated than chase after more Deadites, reluctantly agrees to follow Kelly when Pablo tells him that she’s run off with the book. Ash and Pablo (who are officially the two with the best chemistry in the entire show) hitch up the trailer to the Delta and head off to get Kelly. Along the way, the two are attacked by their former Value Stop boss who is now a Deadite. The two friends attempt to fend of their boss in what is in an incredibly hilarious scenes.

After arriving at Kelly’s parent’s house in a rather bloody state, they find that Kelly and her parents are perfectly fine. Her mother, who is totally (seemingly) fine for someone who was dead for six months, claims that she had amnesia and was in a homeless shelter for the past number of weeks. Kelly seems utterly sold on the story and so does her father. Ash, who is now the weary hero, is less easily convinced. But he and Pablo accept a dinner invitation extended by the family, and Pablo utters those words to guarantee that everything will go wrong:

“Everything is okay and we get a free dinner.”

The show begins to play with your mind as you watch the family sit down to eat. Just how much can you trust Ash’s judgement on all things evil and dead? Everyone else in the room seems convinced, but Ash isn’t fooled. He punches her in the face to reveal her Deadite form. Now Mimi Rogers (who plays Kelly’s mom) gives a really great performance. She managed to be normal, just a bit weird and then threw her performance into being something to be seriously afraid of.

One thing that “Bait” manages to do is establish Pablo, Ash and Kelly as one united group. The two kids have no other choice but to follow this man into the unknown. Awaiting them at the bookstore will be former State policewoman, Amanda. She’s following up on Ash’s trail rightly thinking that he is the man to blame for all the deaths going on in the area. Her strong sense of calm and determination will prove to be an interesting wrench to throw into the trio group’s mix.

Next week’s episode will show a bit more of Lucy Lawless’s character, who was only on screen briefly in a scene during the premiere. Episode three looks to bring a lot more of these story lines together. Unfortunately for Amanda, things don’t look to be getting any easier for her if the preview was anything to go by. But hopefully there’s plenty of what was in these two episodes (just lots of blood, please).

For two episodes in a row, the mood of the show has been set with some music that has been utterly spot on. While the music often used references Ash’s heyday in many forms, the best of these has to be each time the show embraces its Michigan roots. Any excuse to hear Detroit’s finest in anything will be alright by me.

I’m already finding that Ash vs Evil Dead is just as quotable as the trilogy that preceded it. The one-liners come thick and fast because above all, these first two episodes are entirely about embracing the ludicrous world Ash lives in. If there wasn’t the comedy aspect, some of the gore would most likely be a bit too much for casual audiences, but thankfully Ash vs Evil Dead keeps killing it in all the right places.

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