This Ash vs Evil Dead review contains spoilers.
Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 Episode 5
Looks like Ash vs Evil Dead continues to surprise and reinvent itself while sticking to its boomsticks.
“Baby Proof” is full of great moments that remind us of why Evil Dead is such a beloved horror franchise and a wholly unique one, yet it feels exactly like a middle-season episode.
This is not damning by any means, but it does play out like one in which important plot points are dropped and somehow you can still follow along while scrolling through Reddit on your phone (which is not what I recommend doing, by the way).
That tends to be the case with vision quest themed episodes on any television series, and “Baby Proof” is definitely one of these in disguise. Because the A-Story (Ash’s confrontation with Ruby’s demon baby clone of him) is technically the one on the back burner here. Pablo’s spiritual journey It’s a satisfying one, though, especially when compared to the death/rebirth cycle he underwent the previous year.
Brujo’s cameo in the ephemeral realm helps get Pablo back to the roots of his character and help him realize his authentic self. Indeed, after he awakens from his Kandarian dagger induced coma, he has found a new sense of confidence that is instantly felt. Kelly notices this too, and they share a kiss which is a romantic victory for both characters and a giant payoff for the audience who have been watching since day one.
The Pablo/Kelly relationship has felt like an unrealistic pairing before, but now it makes sense and feels right to have them hooking up, for lack of a better term. I suspected that Dalton and/or Brandy were going to be utilized to draw out the romantic tension between Pablo and Kelly this season. While that was somewhat the case with Dalton, it is obvious now that Pablo’s attraction to her isn’t as one-sided as we had once thought.
Of course, it helps that this reveal crystallizes during this third year, which is a figurative barrel of mischievous demon monkeys full of silly and oftentimes nasty surprises.
Meanwhile, Ash’s hi-jinx in Ruby’s house of doom fighting his little baby self is on point as far as Evil Dead’s perverse sense of humor goes. It’s also played as good clean fun, which is something I’d thought I’d never say about watching a little child entering a dead woman’s body and sticking his head out of both ends to fight a grown man. And yet…
I must say here’s some issue I have with Ash’s treatment of the Norwegian woman that Ruby had tied up in her attic. As showrunner Mark Verheiden and I discussed in our interview around the time of the season premiere, Ash is a unique character in horror history because he’s a hero.
Obviously, he can’t save everyone and doesn’t try to – except when he does and its convenient for the story. His treatment of the woman was a bit harsh and is further proof that Ash is becoming more and more of a flesh and blood Homer Simpson type character as each year passes by. But this was further proof that she was clearly a vessel used for the demon baby fighting gag and nothing more.
As I said back up there somewhere, there is much to appreciate about “Baby Proof”, but some of the line deliveries, minor pacing issues, and that indescribable yet instantly recognizable mid-season feeling permeates throughout it make it feel like just another day at the office. But it’s still better and more exciting than the Baal plot-line that was taking off this time during season two, that’s for sure.
Read ’em and weep, folks. Here are the Top 5 Highlights of “Baby Proof”.
1. Kelly’s reactions. Dana DeLorenzo brought the goods when it came to acting out the emotional stuff this time.
2. Pablo’s courage. Pablo is shaping up to be the character with the strongest arc in this series, and Ray Santiago is showing his best parts – literally and figuratively. He’s the one on the hero’s quest here.
3. Brandy’s decision. I like that she had seen enough of the evil that lurks in the town of Elk Grove to believe her father over Ruby in the end. I also like the use of Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger” as they take off together in the Delta. Nice touch.
4. Pablo and Kelly’s tug of war. Watching Deadite Pablo and Regular Kelly pull Brandy back and forth through the skylight of Ash’s trailer was a good laugh.
5. Ash vs Evil Baby. Adorable and disgusting, Ashy Slashy’s showdown with this deadly infant will be an image that will be conjured up whenever the third season comes to mind from now on.