Sunday, June 16, 2024

Great Acting and Awesome Revelations on Ash vs the Evil Dead

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While writing these, one thing I’ve always noticed is that I really never get into how well the actors do portraying their roles. I mean to change that because this episode really showcased the cast’s ability to perform, Ray Santiago especially, and also its ability to give us the fruits of long time characterization build up. Throughout the season we’ve seen some good set ups that we’d hope wouldn’t lead to nowhere. In this episode, the writers and actors saw to it that all our expectations were met, and that is a sign of the good quality of this series. Ray Santiago isn’t alone in this feat. Both Dana Delorenzo and Bruce Campbell equally prove their skill at show bringing life to the roles they play.

While I wouldn’t call this best episode of the series, I still consider it one of the more enjoyable. Not a total lot happens in terms of moving the story forward. We get the climax to two major fights, but the main thing that sets this episode apart from the rest is Pablo’s story line and Ray Santiago’s brilliant portrayal of weighing choices and finding personal strength. Also, the fights were pretty hilarious in a shameless way, but I would have liked more from this episode. Still, that just leads us once again to the argument that the episodes should be longer than half an hour.


This episode picks up exactly where it left off with Ash’s discovery of the demon child clone of him. His German companion tries to sway him into believing the child is dangerous, which should be evident from the eaten body parts in his crib. Also that he has an organic chainsaw for a hand pretty much gives Ash the answer he’s looking for. Ash tries to capture the child alive but Natalie has different motives. The two are unfortunately attached via a broken sink, so their differing agendas make life pretty tough for them. Natalie ends taking a shot at the child behind the door as the two lock themselves in a closet.

Back in the trailer, Kelly and Brandy are still holding back deadite Pablo, whose face has invaded the wound in Kelly’s leg and continues to taunt with sexual innuendos. We also get a little revelation about El Brujo. According to the deadite, he’s been trying to save Pablo from beyond the grave. This might explain the naked Hispanic woman who has been revealing herself to Pablo this season.

Eventually, deadite Pablo makes it into the trailer via a window on the roof and tries to take Brandy. With a glass bong to the head, he loses her for a moment but quickly pursues again as both he and his leg face scream. Kelly soon realizes that anything she does to the leg face, affects the real one so she gets creative. Some gasoline into the mouth, that gets spit on to poor Brandy, and a match turns Pablo into a fire breather and he quickly regroups and goes for Kelly. Without thinking Brandy rushes him with the Kandarian dagger, somewhat freeing Pablo but sending him into another plane of spiritual existence.

As Kelly tries to wake him, he finds himself in a dark forest with the naked lady, named Maritsa. Back in the real world, Pablo’s body begins to turn black around the wound from the dagger.

At Ruby’s house, Ash frees himself from the sink. As he looks around the room at the various demonic paraphernalia, he realizes that Ruby has been spying on him for decades, but to what end? The child begins his pursuit again and Natalie uses his distraction to knock him out, taking the gun and trying to escape herself. She makes it to the locked front door, but before she can escape, the room itself begins to taunt her. The child takes action and she loses her head.

Back in the other realm, El Brujo tells Pablo that he created this realm to hide form the Dark Ones. He explains that Pablo’s body is dying and being consumed and that only with the power of the Brujo can he fight and use it to help Ash destroy evil. First though, he must prove himself. He has to pass a trial in which he is faced with three basins of blood, two of them hold the blood of darkness and one the blood of his ancestors. He must mix his blood with the correct bowl. If he chooses correctly, he will become stronger even than his uncle, a Brujo especial. He begins the ritual as his body in the real world becomes more dark and the wounds Maritsa inflicts begin to show.

When Ash finds her, he tries again to take the demon child but he quickly runs away into Natalie’s…vagina, and his head comes out of her neck. The two, or three I should say begin to fight as the child uses shameless depravity and comedy to make the fight funny. At the end of the fight, Ash sticks a bowling ball into Natalies neck and stuffs her body in his trunk, driving off.

Back at the ritual, Pablo works hard to use his inner sight to choose the right basin. In the end, Kelly’s words guide him to the right basin, he becomes El Brujo Especial, and he wakes up to a grieving Kelly who immediately kisses him. This was the moment we’ve all been waiting for, but of course he ruins it by asking where Ash is. He tells her Ash cannot win this fight without him and leaves the trailer. Kelly stays behind to dress her wound, and Brandy goes off to find Ash at the hardware store. Kelly gives a nice monologue that implies she’s going to go after Ruby herself.

I made some inhuman noises.

The episode ends with the meeting of Ash, Brandy, and Ruby. He opens the trunk to show the child to Brandy and the Sheriff. Obviously, a bloodied child does not look good in the eyes of a Sheriff, but Brandy seems to believe him as she starts the car herself and the two drive off.


Like I mentioned at the start, the biggest significance in this episode was Ray Santiago as Pablo. His performance was so stellar and well done that it carried the weight of nearly the entire season. Until now, we haven’t really seen Pablo as an overly serious character. Sure, we felt the pain of his unrequited love for Kelly, when the Necronomicon took over him, and when he died. But we always saw him put the Pablito mask back on. The lovable nerd became a complete badass this episode with a self revelation of inner power that I believe is going to change him for the better. Again, bravo to Ray Santiago for showing such great acting talent.

On the flip side, while there was a lot of story driven moments when it came to Pablo, Ash’s side felt a little slim. Not that the fight wasn’t fun or funny, it totally was, but it moved the story nowhere other than to the fact the maybe the police are after Ash again. While the ending showcased more of what I hoped to see between Ash and Brandy, it still felt really off.

I want to know more about Ruby’s plans and why the child is so important. It can’t just exist it kills Ash, can it? I really want to see more of what it means to be El Brujo Especial and where exactly Kelly will go after her monologue. I also hope that she and Pablo find some footing for a romantic relationship, but that may be just wishful thinking.

Images Courtesy of STARZ

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