Reviews: Ash vs. Evil Dead - "Trapped Inside", "Delusion", "Ashy Slashy" & "Home Again"

By: Heather Seebach

**Warning: The following contains spoilers**

Review: "Trapped Inside"

As you may have noticed, I fell a bit behind in my Ash vs. Evil Dead reviews, thanks to a very busy November, and boy did I pick a shitty time to take a hiatus! These last four episodes have been freaking great! After my last review ("Confinement") came "Trapped Inside" wherein Ash & co are under siege by an angry mob and Cheryl (played by Ellen Sandweiss herself) makes an epic return! Right down to the wardrobe and forehead bandage, she was perfect! The final sequence of Ash showing the townsfolk how demon-killing is done with her was pretty great, too. Sadly, we lost Chet this episode, but fortunately it wouldn't be the last time we see Ted...more on that later!

Best Lines of "Trapped Inside"

1) "You died after you got branch-banged by a demon tree about 30 years ago." - Ash
2)  "Back off now or I will fuck your faces with bullets!" - Kelly
3) "I'm gonna make like a tree and fuck you!"- Cheryl


Review: "Delusion"
Next up came "Delusion" wherein Ash wakes up in a mental institution. This episode quickly jumped up to my favorite of the season, possibly even the whole series to-date. Firstly, Baal is way more interesting as the doctor than that greasy-haired, fingernail dude. Secondly, it's a mind-bendy episode with just enough wackiness (i.e., the puppet) to fit comfortably in Evil Dead canon. There are definitely some moments in the asylum that recall Ash losing his mind in Evil Dead 2.

 Sure, we know full-well that Ash's experiences couldn't have all been a delusion (or at least we know what a cop-out that twist would be) but it's still a pretty interesting concept, and it would be typical of a murderer to create such a delusion to cope with the guilt and grief. Plus, the mental torment makes Baal that much more interesting of a nemesis. Finally, how freaking awesome is that puppet?!

Best Lines of "Delusion"

1) "You can suck my saggy bills, Baal." - Ash
2) "Ruby said this would be hard. Buddy, I've had harder turds. You are a joke of a demon!" - Ash
3) "Wait, there was that one time sunlight DID work..." - Ash (on deadites vs. vampires)


Review: "Ashy Slashy"

"Ashy Slashy" was the next episode. It is the weakest of the most recent episodes but not by much. It's basically part two of "Delusion", as Kelly, Pablo, and Ruby try to rescue Ash, who may or may not be brainwashed now. The MVP for me this episode is deadite Lacy. This season does not have as many classic deadites as season 1, so I love when they come along, especially ones enjoying themselves as much as the sheriff's dead daughter. Also, Kelly vs. the puppet is a classic Evil Dead 2-esque slapstick battle. It is also nice to see Ash as the enemy once again, even if it's just an act. Bonus: cosplayers now have a new version of Ash to dress up as! 

If I could change one small detail about this episode, it would be to have Linda be the one who shoots Baal in the final scene (after her rousing speech about avenging her family) - it's just more poetic. Speaking of the final scene...Pablo. *sniff sniff* I hope it's not really the end for him. I love Pablo!

Best Lines of "Ashy Slashy"

1) "Look daddy, a unicorn! Magic IS real!' - Lacy
2) "I have seen some seriously disturbing stuff lately but you...are ADORABLE." - Kelly
3) "Girl, you're the one with your hand all up in my puppet pooper!" - Ashy Slashy

Also, Ash chainsawing through a corpse's chest and saying "Having a heart to heart"? followed by Ruby swiftly punching him in the face through his chainsaw hole...makes me snort-laugh.


Review: "Home Again"

Finally, the most recent episode saw Ash dealing with the grief of losing his "little Mexican buddy." He realizes he can possibly save his friend by going back in time again, thus giving us our most solid reference to Army of Darkness on this series yet. Sure, it could still technically be an Evil Dead 2 reference, but all the same, the medieval times portion of Ash's life has not been alluded to yet on this show for legal reasons which are no longer an issue according to producer Rob Tapert. 

So Ash & co. go back through that familiar blue portal and end up in 1982. Right away we are reminded that time is a loop when Ash causes the business man to drink - the same man who we already know is a homeless drunk in present-day. Also, Ruby outright reminds us that there are always multiple timelines, thus introducing a clever and intriguing way of explaining (or at least poking fun at) all the loose continuity of the first two Evil Dead films. 

 This season has been dropping little throw-backs to Evil Dead 2 since episode 1 but this is the one that really brings it home. The particular timeline/universe in which Ash has arrived is seemingly the one we saw in Evil Dead 2. The cabin looks just as we remember, from the Home Sweet Home sign to the soon-to-be-possessed deer and rocking chair. The framed photo of Annie on the table basically confirms which film we are in.
What comes next is sheer delight for fans of ED slapstick: Ash steps on a nail, his foot gets possessed, and we assumed what comes next until it goes all Army of Darkness on us with a demon in Ash's belly. The sound effects in this scene are perfect and just as we remember. By the time Ash was back in the kitchen, punching himself and swallow scalding water, this fangirl was in heaven! This whole episode is just oozing ED2 goodness. The director clearly paid close attention because there are subtle shots that totally nail the style of the second film, from the quick-zoom montage to the slow pan toward the cellar door - perfection!

This episode has some fun Easter eggs for fans of the original films, like this little cameo by a The Hills Have Eyes poster. That same poster appeared in The Evil Dead

You may also have noticed the familiar Camp Tamakwa shirt hanging there by the closest...

There have been many references to Shemps beer so this one is not new, but since we got such a good shot of it this episode....

As you probably know, Freddy's glove made two appearances in Evil Dead 2, in the workshed and the cellar. This shot from the cellar in "Home Again" shows a glove and what almost looks like blades there, but I'm skeptical. It does look like the same location...perhaps it's still an intended reference but copyright is an issue now?

Compare those to this shot from season 1...

What comes next is when yours truly very nearly exploded. I am a massive fan not only of Evil Dead 2 but of Henrietta in particular, so this episode blew my goddamn mind. Not only does Henrietta make a grand re-appearance, blue dress and all, but then she transforms into her first gnarly deadite form and who else has returned to reprise the role but TED FUCKING RAIMI!  Ted was just 20 years old when he first suffered in that Henrietta suit, and here he is doing it again at 50! Never in a million years did I think I'd get to see that again. Dreams do come true folks! The make-up looks GREAT and Ted brings everything to it again! I'm still reeling! Needless to say, this episode quickly overtook "Delusion" as my favorite.

Best Lines of "Home Again"

1) "I thought it was here...or did I find it in cellar with Scotty?" - Ash, looking for the book
2) "Fuck you, Ash! Fuck you!" - Ash's tummy monster
3) "That chin of yours is an easy target!" - Henrietta

So, next week is the big finale! I'm curious if Professor Knowby's student Tanya is going to have any sort of yet-unseen relevance in the next episode (especially with that random story about her roommates' cat). Probably not but I'm curious all the same. I also figure Baal will be back, as this episode has a blink-and-miss-it moment of a man-in-black running toward the cabin. I love that this episode subtly addresses the confusing timelines and I expect we will get more of that next week. Here are the little things I most want to see...
My Wish List for the Finale:

- Henrietta in her third form (I already know we are getting this based on the preview, yay!)
- Return of the laughing deer, and maybe some possessed household items too!
- Return of Evil Ash (perfect timing what with all the Ashy slashy stuff)

What are you hoping for in the season 2 finale?! 

Watch Ash vs Evil Dead this Sunday at 8PM ET/PT on Starz! 

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