This Ash vs Evil Dead review contains spoilers.
Ash vs Evil Dead Season 2 Episode 6
Remember this time last week when I said I thought “Confinement” needed Sam Raimi’s touch? I changed my mind. This is the episode that needs his touch the most. It’s a big event episode that you’d think the crew would want to bring him back to direct. In fact, this has enough material to stretch out into a two-parter – even if it is a bit thin as just one self-contained installment. But keeping things short and silly is what Ash vs Evil Dead does best because its attention span is the size of a chickpea. A really evil chickpea. That has ADD.
“Trapped Inside” has a lot going on for it. It brings half a season’s worth of built-up tension between the townsfolk of Elk Grove and Ashy Slashy to a head and then an abrupt close – for the moment, at least. It puts Pablo’s murky connection with the Necronomicon in the foreground whilst simultaneously leaving it on the backburner (if that makes any sense). It gives Kelly a damn good reason to fire rapid shots into a crowd of people while screaming at the top of her lungs. And, perhaps most importantly, it pays us all a massive amount of fan service by bringing back Ash’s sister Cheryl in a cameo that, even after seeing it with my own two eyes, still feels too good to be true.
But even with all that, this episode still doesn’t feel quite as cohesive or as – some of you will have to forgive me for using this word – epic as it should.
I really want to give it five stars. I really, really, really do…if only for Cheryl’s scenes alone. Having her back is a big freakin’ deal for the franchise one a large scale. If you told me a decade ago that there I’d be watching Cheryl duke it out with Ash in an ongoing Evil Dead TV series … yeah. I don’t think I would have wanted any of what you were smoking. It would probably be a bath salt of some sort. But here we are, in the year 2016, watching these two go at it (not like that) while Romeo Void’s “Never Say Never” plays on her cassette stereo. This song is a fitting choice, even if it was technically released a year or so after she died (unless you count Evil Dead 2 as the official starting point for all this).
So yes, last time I’ll say it before this dead horse is beaten beyond recognition: it was great to see Cheryl come back for another round of, uh, disgusting abuse … but it still feels like it’s not authentic enough. Chalk it up to the Raimi-lessness of it all, I guess.
Now, let’s talk about this raid on Ash’s house. What the hell? For an angry mob that was being manipulated by a nefarious force summoned up from the bowels of hell, it wasn’t proactive. Where are the molotov cocktails? Why didn’t the townspeople shoot Ash as soon as he walked out and put a bullet in his undead sister if they were that upset at him? As with anything in this show, it boils down to convenience. As the show rehashed a story beat that it has begun to rely on this season, Ash proved to the citizens of Elk Grove that he’s a hero that kills people that look like people but aren’t … y’know … actual people. They accept this fairly easily after they watch him decapitate Cheryl, applaud him, and then conversate amongst themselves. I know this show is unrealistic, but come on.
Now that Baal and Sheriff Emery are in cahoots, I wonder if this puts (the new) Linda at risk more than before. I notice she’s becoming a regular lately. I’m not sure this will last, seeing as the great and terrible evil keeps fucking with his life on such a personal level. We lost Chet in this episode, so that’s one big see-you-later to Ted. After making all that fanfare at the beginning of the season about these new additions to the cast only to kill them off so quickly? It blows my mind a little.