‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ 1.05 Recap: “Exorcisms Are the Worst”

For the second episode in a row, ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ skews much more toward horror with only minimal comedy. I’m not sure that I care for this direction the series is taking.

Before we get to the new entry, something about last week’s episode has been bothering me. When Ash’s car crossed the threshold into the brujo’s property, the evil cloud following it was blocked by the brujo’s spells and talismans. If that’s the case, how did the demon inside Kelly get through? Unfortunately, that little plot hole won’t be addressed this week. Something tells me the show’s writers haven’t noticed it.

So here we are: Ash has been bound and gagged by Pablo and his uncle, who assume that he’s possessed by the demon called Eligos. Kelly, the one who’s actually possessed, plays innocent. The brujo announces that he will exorcise the demon out of Ash. If that doesn’t work… well, he’ll have to kill him. Ash tries to plead his case that he’s not possessed, but the gag in his mouth prevents him from speaking.

Pablo turns sulky about the prospect of losing his friend. He returns to Ash’s trailer and finds Kelly waiting for him. From out of the blue, she acts flirty toward Pablo and invites him to get high with her using the barrels of Ash’s shotgun as a makeshift bong. If he were a smarter man, he ought to find this immediately suspicious, but sadly he’s not. Nor does he notice when Kelly slips a real shell into one of the gun’s barrels. However, the more aggressively she tries to put the moves on him, the more nervous and awkward Pablo gets, until the demon finally gets so frustrated and annoyed with him that it reveals itself.

Soon enough, the tables are turned. Ash is freed and the brujo begins the process of exorcising Kelly. This involves forcing her to eat leeches which she pukes right up. After a few minutes, the real Kelly appears to come around, but makes the mistake of not knowing that she’s Jewish. (Ah! A gag from a previous episode pays off!)

Desperate to save his friend, Pablo offers himself up as a new willing host for the demon if it’ll just leave Kelly alone. This does not seem like a good plan. The demon crawls its entire body out through Kelly’s mouth and attacks. It kills the brujo and teleports wildly around the room. Eventually, Ash tricks it by feigning an attack with the chainsaw and then splattering its head with the shotgun.

As Ash burns the brujo’s body (presumably to ensure he won’t come back as a Deadite), Pablo picks up a magical locket his uncle left behind which appear to be able to start fires. Pablo also gives Ash the new hand he made out of a Nintendo Power Glove, with which he’s able to form a fist.

Amanda and Ruby only appear briefly in this episode. On the trail of Ash, they use his original severed hand to point the way.

Episode Verdict

The show’s blend of over-the-top comedy with horror was the strongest aspect of its first three episodes. I’m disappointed to see that minimized in the last couple. Yes, this episode still has some funny moments, but Demon Kelly’s seduction of Pablo isn’t as clever or original as the writers may have felt about it.

On the other hand, the horror parts are actually very well done. The demon Eligos is pretty damn scary.

I think the show’s episodes are a victim of the limitations of their short length. If only the series had a full hour to flesh out its ideas each week, that would give it more room to strike a better balance.

1 comment

  1. Blu-Bliss

    “I think the show’s episodes are a victim of the limitations of their short length. If only the series had a full hour to flesh out its ideas each week, that would give it more room to strike a better balance.”

    Hopefully Starz realize this and give the show a full hour next season.

    I think the balance of comedy and horror is finely tuned for now. I find that too much comedy may turn this into a corn fest. IMO, some seriousness gives Ash plenty of room to strike at the right time with his humor without it getting too cheesy.

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