TV Review: Ash vs Evil Dead Season 1, Episode 7 “Fire in the Hole” (USA, 2015)

In the fallout from last weeks episode, Fire in the Hole sees Ash, Kelly, Pablo and new recruit Amanda stopping off to get some weapons, courtesy of Ash’s old militia pal Lem. But it seems Lem has gotten there first and he is all types of undead.

Fire in the Hole plays like an episode of The Walking Dead – the gang stumble across an extremely paranoid and recently attacked group of armed survivalists who capture Ash & co. When Lem gets too close, Pablo and Kelly manage to make their escape and are hunted down while Amanda and Ash are thrown in a bunker and stalked by Lem.

Fire in the Hole is a a solid episode with a small but fixable issue. First of all it does a great job of transitioning Pablo and Kelly into a lethal duo who you can actually believe will bring about the end of the undead horde. Pablo has been a considerably weak member of the team thus far. At least Kelly has deep seeded anger issues but it took until this week to slap some confidence on Pablos animated face. It comes about through an existential crisis whereby he queries Kelly as to what kind of weapon suits him. He finds that out by the end and it also serves as a nice little moment between him and Kelly, in lieu of any direct talk about their relationship.

Ash and Amanda surprisingly had the most lackluster role in the episode. Their time spent together in the bunker and their teamwork required to take down Lem didn’t really do much other than to cement their new found respect for one another. And more. Like their flirting and near kiss before being interrupted. Granted, Ash’s ridiculous and straight to the point pick up lines are gems (“I was thinking of blowing the doors off with this kerosene but I’d much rather blow your doors off”) but these two have no chemistry and the last thing anyone wants is to see them actually become a couple. I’m hoping that it continues as Ash simply being Ash and Amanda just being unable to resist his charms before getting a grip on herself.

However their time together gave us one interesting moment. Ash finally asks who Ruby is and as Amanda likens her and Ash to one another and praises her honesty, we see Ruby rise from the fire she fell in last week (Lucy Lawless loves being naked apparently) and continue her search for Ash. Coupled with the demons constant accusations of her being a traitor and you know, rising from the dead, I’m officially intrigued as to what the hell her deal is.

I commended last week’s episode for its commitment to unrelenting violence and they really are blowing the budget on the special effects and make up now. These demons do not posses the slightest bit of tact – one of the militia members gets his head pummeled into a tow bar about ten times while another gets his throat ripped out. And if it isn’t the demons, it’s clear that our “heroes” will go to any length to put down these creatures, whether it’s Amanda driving a pickaxe through Lems head or Kelly, who doesn’t know the first thing about firing a gun, saving Pablo by sporadically unloading an assault rifle into a demon. Best moment of the episode goes to Pablo who lays punches into that very same demon after it’s been killed in a fit of shock and adrenaline and proceeds to get drenched in blood.

In the end, our gang struck a Charlies Angels pose and looked as strong as they ever have but after some touching words from Ash, he abandons them out of fear of getting them killed. It’s a beautiful fusion of Ash’s character, the love he feels for those around him being won over by his inherent desire to go it alone.

Fire in the Hole did a lot right but also put into place one very boring and superfluous possibility. Pablo and Kelly is the only love interests we care about and it should stay that way. But we got a glimpse into some intriguing plot points going forward (especially Ash’s hand going all Addams Family and arriving at the cabin) and a team that looks like they can finally put on an action packed finale in the weeks to come.

Highlights:

      • Demons are getting more aggressive
      • Pablo becoming a valuable asset
      • The mystery of Ruby continues
      • Touching final moments

Lowlights:

        • Tacked on romance angle with Amanda and Ash

Review Score: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Ash vs Evil Dead is streaming now on Stan.

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