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TV Waffle - ASH VS EVIL DEAD Season 1, Episode 10: The Dark One

ASH VS EVIL DEAD Season 1, Episode 10: The Dark One
Ash faces a final standoff in the season finale.



Review by Eric Hillis (@hilliseric)


For its debut season finale, Ash Vs Evil Dead delivered an entire episode of deadite carnage that resembled a mini Evil Dead movie. Essentially one long set-piece, the episode may have played better paired with last week's installment; as a standalone, the lack of character beats felt a little unsatisfying. Given we have to wait a year now, it would have been nice to spend some time with Ash (Bruce Campbell) and buddies that didn't involve splattering themselves in deadite entrails.
ASH VS EVIL DEAD Season 1, Episode 10: The Dark One
Last time out, Ruby (Lucy Lawless) revealed herself as the author of the Necromicon, and this time we learned of her ill-advised, but in her own way, well meaning plan to unleash the deadites under her control. The Dark One divides its action, Return of the Jedi style, between Ash facing off against Ruby in the basement and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) and Heather (Samara Weaving) battling the 'evil' upstairs. The latter pair's bickering provided the highlights of this finale, and I was shocked to see Heather killed off, as she made a great addition to the crew and this episode hinted at her transforming from whiny bimbo to resilient survivor, not to mention the friction caused between herself and Kelly by her interest in Pablo. Again this feels like a lack of communication between the show's writers; why build up Heather so much in the past few episodes only to kill her off like this?
ASH VS EVIL DEAD Season 1, Episode 10: The Dark One
The episode ends with Ash making a deal with Ruby - he gives her back the book and control of its power in exchange for freeing Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly and providing enough gas money for a trip to his idea of heaven on earth, Jacksonville, Florida. This is another development that felt out of character for Ash. It might make sense nine episodes ago, but after all Ash has been through (and let's not forget the events of Army of Darkness, which this show can't refer to for legal reasons) at this point, it's a little hard to swallow and feels like a cheap way of setting up a second season with Ash back to his default irresponsible man-child setting.
All that said, I'm certainly looking forward to seeing where this show goes in its sophomore season, but I would like to see more consistency between episodes than we've had so far. I appreciate the 'anyone can die at any time' aspect (though of course the three central figures will always be secure, unless a cast member decides they want out), but it's deflating when the show does such a good job of building up characters like Amanda (Jill Marie Jones) and Heather only to splatter them in the next episode. Whether Sam Raimi or show-runner Craig DeGregorio (who penned this episode) is ultimately in charge, it's a cruel God at play here. More of Ruby would be nice too, and hopefully we'll see Raimi return to direct an episode or two.
ASH VS EVIL DEAD Season 1, Episode 10: The Dark One
For all its minor flaws, Ash Vs Evil Dead's debut season was for the most part a satisfying and worthy continuation of this franchise, one that struck a nice balance between keeping the fans happy and finding its own feet. Best of all, we got a five hour long new Evil Dead movie!

Welcome home Ash!
ASH VS EVIL DEAD bruce campbell

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