This review contains spoilers.
1.6 Killer Of Killers
After several episodes of welcome world building and character development, Ash Vs Evil Dead let loose this week with an instalment that was pretty much just wall to wall carnage and chaos, yet somehow managed to fit a couple of major developments in there as well. The Killer of Killers was an insane twenty five minutes of television that didn’t feel especially consequential in the grand scheme of things (one or two moments aside), but it’s hard to care at all when you’re having this much fun.
Let’s get the major business out of the way first. So Amanda has officially joined up, which on the one hand feels welcome considering her hanging around to swear and be vaguely suspicious was getting pretty tiresome, but on the other hand seemed to happen almost too rapidly, considering how much the show has been leaning into her evangelical belief that Ash is a murderer. She’s seen him in action before, so I don’t quite see why any of what happened this week absolves him of the responsibility Ruby claims is his. But anyway, it’s a change of pace so I’m happy to run with it, and it should make for some interesting new dynamics in our core cast. Ash, Kelly and Pablo have proven to be a great team with great chemistry, so I’m looking forward to seeing how Amanda affects their little crew. A relatively adult voice of reason is bound to cause either some friction or some fun banter, and I’m happy with either.
And speaking of Ruby, what happened to her exactly? Did that demon drag her to hell or something? Can we expect her to be possessed the next time she turns up? I doubt anyone thinks this is the end of her; she’s a good character and Lucy Lawless has been appropriately badass in her relatively limited screen time, so at this point this feels more like a way to keep her out of action for a little while as we figure out what the new alliance between Ash and Amanda looks like. I hope she’s not gone too long, especially as we’re yet to see her and Ash share any screen time, and that pairing promises some serious fireworks.
But all that aside, how great was the stuff in the diner? So far the structure of the show has pretty much been taking the characters to a new location in each episode before destroying the place in a display of gleeful violence, but this was the first time where there was zero weight to the action, as it didn’t involve anyone’s family members or any potential of ending the evil. This was simply a massive fight for the sake of it, and while I guess it served the purpose of bringing Amanda into the fold, I actually quite like how openly gratuitous it was. On a certain level the only thing this show owes its audience is bucket loads of fun, and this week delivered and then some. There were inventive deaths, copious amounts of blood, another badass hero moment for Ash and even some cool stuff for Kelly and Pablo to do; Kelly in particular got to unleash her inner psychopath with a truly brutal dispatch of the Deadite waitress who Ash had unsuccessfully been hitting on just moments before.
Also, can we talk for a second about how fantastic Bruce Campbell is? I mean for anyone watching this show that’s a moot point, but he’s really excelling at balancing moments of legitimate pathos and development with Ash’s unchanging lack of self-awareness and charming boorishness. Somehow he manages to be cool and hapless all at once; I equally believe him being concerned for the safety of his new friends and thinking that he can get out of paying a tab by seducing a patently disinterested waitress with his terrible pick-up lines. Because he’s Ash and because he’s Bruce Campbell moments like this never seem sleazy, just endearing, and it’s a credit to the show that it knows exactly how to make that equilibrium work.
We’re over the halfway point now, and with Ruby’s presumed return impending and the ultimate aim of the cabin now in place, the season is rocketing along toward what promises to be a spectacular denouement. Bring it on.
Read Gabriel’s review of the previous episode, The Host, here.