TV Review: Ash vs Evil Dead Season 1, Episode 8 “Ashes to Ashes” (USA, 2015)

The time has finally come. El Jefe has arrived at the destination where it all began. The cabin. Which means, shit is well and truly about to go down.

After absconding from the group last week, Ash finds his way back to the ill-fated cabin in a last ditch effort to end the evil plague once and for all. It isn’t long before Fisher catches up with him though and the two enter the cabin together. Meanwhile, Pablo and Kelly run into a group of backpackers in the woods.

“Ashes to Ashes” is the episode that finally and fervently embraces its roots and in doing so lets Ash vs Evil Dead feel more at home with the films that came before it.

The highlight of the episode is when Ash gets locked in the very same shed where he cut off his hand and threw his decapitated girlfriend’s head. Trapped in a vice, her disembodied dome starts preying on Ash and when it doesn’t work, she turns evil and begins spouting some foul words. It’s a great scene because it not only pays homage to the original trilogy but it genuinely feels like it could have been ripped from it. Ash vs Evil Dead has some truly terrific moments where the 80s’ films are emulated so faithfully that they reinforce any trepidation a viewer could have about the series.

Moreover “Ashes to Ashes” marks the first time the evil forces have got one over on our heroes and things start to get really grim. Ash’s lone hand grows a new Ash and his doppelganger proceeds to brutally maim Fisher, burying a meat clever into her neck and impaling her on the same pair of antlers that her partner died on.

It is honestly a death I didn’t see coming. I thought the foursome would walk into the finale and just kick ass but I suppose in a way it needed to happen. Ash finally suffers his first real loss since his initial visit to the cabin and bolsters his hesitance toward caring about people. While I lamented their relationship last episode, the fact is Ash still cared about Fisher and if nothing else, it pissed him off and showed that these demons aren’t taking things easy.

The episode ends with a hilarious fight between Ash and his twin where the two exclaim their medical issues before taking advantage of them. “Ah my trick knee!”. It’s another scene that feels harmonious within the context of the franchise.

Pablo and Kelly were relegated to background players this week. They managed to reveal how Kelly really feels about Pablo though as she tells one of the hikers that Pablo has a girlfriend so she she doesn’t pursue anything. They didn’t have a great showing but at least they gave us a tease.

“Ashes to Ashes” was a 30 minute depiction of crunch time. There are no breaks, people are dying and Ash needs to get his head out of his ass if they have anyway of surviving this. It feels so good to be back at the cabin with nostalgia absolutely running wild and the final 2 episodes should be a blast.

Highlights:

      • Amandas death changes things
      • Fight between Ash’s
      • Shed scene was another moment of brilliance
      • Nostalgia!

Lowlights:

        • Pablo and Kelly were given nothing
        • These hikers might prove to be super annoying

Review Score: FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Ash vs Evil Dead is streaming now on Stan.

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