Ash vs. Evil Dead “The Dark One” Review S1E10

Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 1 Finale Review 

Well, my fellow primitive screwheads, the first season of Ash vs. Evil Dead is over and man was it good. With it being one of the top rated shows of the past year, it more than succeeded in giving fans what they wanted, and in bringing in a new fanbase to Evil Dead. The finale was fantastic, gory, funny, a bit shocking, and left us wanting more. At least we can take solace in knowing more will come later in the year, most likely in October. Now, to the episode; there will obviously be huge spoilers and if you are not caught up on the show, avoid this review like the necronomicon itself.

Recap:

This episode doesn’t skip a beat from the last one and starts off right after the last line of “Bound in Flesh.” Ash figures out Ruby wrote the necronomicon, the cover of the book has attached itself to Pablo’s face, and Ash’s Chainsaw is on the other side of the room!

Just as Ash calls Ruby a tricky bitch, deadite Amanda flies in to distract Ash by grabbing his chainsaw and coming right at him, giving Ruby time to knock back Kelly, grab Pablo, and head into the cellar. The fight between Ash and deadite Fisher continues until Ash finally grabs his chainsaw. Implants it on his wrist and saws Fisher in half as she falls from the ceiling.

As Ash realizes Pablo is gone, he readies himself to go into the cellar to save the world and save his Pablo. Kelly quickly follows explaining her Pablo is down there as well and they decide to go together. Oh wait, yeah, there is the other girl (Heather) and Ash just tells her to stay close to Kelly. As Ash is heading down the stairs, the famous POV deadite camera comes swooping in and hits the house knocking Ash down the stairs sending him into what seems another drug trip while the cellar door shuts leaving Kelly and Heather upstairs.

Ash dreams himself back to when he first read the book from Episode 1, but decides not to only to have the girl he was with disappear and find out it is some state Ruby has put him into where she basically took him aside to offer him a truce by giving him peace and a home in Jacksonville. Even though Ash thinks about it, he pops open his secret compartment with his boomstick and fires! Well… tries to at least, but is knocked back by Ruby’s demonic scream instead, knocking him back into consciousness.

As Ash continues to search the cellar, a creepy demon child appears for a quick second before we go back to Kelly and Heather, who having quite a time of their own. Kelly tries shooting and axing the cellar door open but the house decides it has had enough, shoots the cellar door open knocking Kelly against the ceiling and then knocking her outside with the front door leaving Heather inside alone. We all know where this is going… Kelly tries to smash windows and tells Heather to stay calm but the house is torturing Heather inside by knocking a couch over on her broken leg, shooing nails at her and making her step on nails before it basically consumes her in a red light and spits her out the front door all over Kelly, who now becomes super pissed.

Ash finds Ruby writing a new page in the Necronomicon while Pablo is basically throwing up those creepy demon babies (good luck sleeping after you see that mess!). Ash is getting ready to barge in when one of those kids shows up behind him. Ash warns the kid to leave or his boomstick will do he talking, but the kid decides to attack him ending up in a crazy fight, but one that has the kids head implanted on Ash’s shotgun with no body to speak of. So yeah the boomstick did the talking, alright. Ash goes in and takes Ruby down in a couple shots and tries to figure out how to help Pablo.

Kelly heads to the back of the cabin and finds some gas, decides to pour it all over the cabin. She then lights he flair and starts burning the cabin down, laughing manically the whole time, when all of a sudden the door and windows open to her and she runs in, at the exact right time. As Kelly enters, she find Pablo begging Ash to kill him before his chainsaw dies because of no gas and the books starts making Pablo kill Ash. Kelly runs in and knocks Pablo back and Ash heads straight to Ruby who has now healed from her wounds. Pablo turns the tables on Kelly and is choking her to death against his will. Ruby knocks the boomstick down leaving Ash helpless. Ruby gabs Ash and starts using the Kandarian dagger to cut his face off, but Ash is his clever self and appeals to Ruby’s feminine nature by asking if she lost weight, knock her back, takes he dagger, and releases the power the dagger has over her.

This all leads to the big ending between these two and as Ash holds Ruby’s fate in his hands, he realizes killing Ruby means the Necronomicon will kill Kelly, then kill Pablo after he is forced to kill her. For once in his life, Ash thinks of tying to do something noble to save his friends and not just himself, and reconsiders the deal Ruby offered him earlier. After a little bartering, they come to a deal where all three are set free if a truce is called. We then see Ash, Pablo and Kelly driving away while Pablo and Kelly can not believe what Ash has done in making a deal with Ruby and letting her go. Ash is super happy about the whole thing, but as they drive away from the cabin, a massive sink hole opens showing us that, as we expected, Ash fucked up once again. 

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Pros: 

Kelly proved she is more Jefe than Ash: Kelly was more open to being a hero this episode than Ash in almost every way possible. She fought demons, the whole cabin, and even a possessed Pablo, while Ash kept getting distracted by that damn Jacksonville postcard of his. But Kelly put up much more of a fight than anyone and to me ended up being the real hero in the end.

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This episode took it to a level of the remake but kept it as classy as the original: The gore and pure horror his episode had took the franchise to a level many said the remake did – and maybe even took it too far. I think in taking it to the horrific levels of the new film, while not loosing its nostalgia was the perfect way to go in order to keep it where fans wanted it while attracting a new horror fan base. 

Ruby proved to be one messed up demon and I wanted nothing less: Although we never go to see much of or know anything about Ruby up until the last episode, she still proved to be a great villain and one who knows how to manipulate people and the demons she controls. With Lucy Lawless saying she will be in he show for as long as it goes, we can surely expect to see much more of her and her evil doings in season two. 3

Creepy demon child: This child was in many ways playing off the fact horror films in recent years and leaned from fewer past ones that kids are insanely creepy. A child horror icon is much scarier than an adult because we all see kids as innocent and when they are not, it is ten times creepier. It is the same type of principle that makes so many people deathly afraid of clowns.

Freddy Krueger’s glove made an appearance: Nothing more than a quick nod, but any horror fanatic is sure to not miss this Easter Egg when Ash is looking around the cellar.

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Pablo and Kelly survived: As Evil Dead fans, deep down we only needed Ash to survive, but the fact Pablo and Kelly did as well has me overjoyed. They’ve become one of my favorite parts of the series because they are such opposite characters to Ash that they played off of him well and brought a lot to the game in order to change Ash and make him become a better person. One could argue the ending meant he felt love in his heart for these two or that he was being dumb and selfish again because he knew he needed them to survive. I know either way Ash was dumb, but am still glad he chose to save these two.

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Cons:

That ending was so Ash and yet so not Ash: Any dedicated fan saw this coming the second Ruby offered him a truce at the beginning of the episode, but we got a lot in between and the whole build up to the cabin all kind of seemed useless once Ash took the deal. I don’t expect any more or less from Ash, but it definitely left me disappointed in him as a character, despite it being so much like him. 

The ending obviously set up season two, but could have done so much better: So many thought I had imagined happening this whole episode would have worked well and made you not feel so damned ashamed in Ash, but then again I don’t have a job in TV, so not much I can do but cry in my corner and await next season

Heather was just as expendable as I thought she was: These three characters of Heather and her camping buddies was the weakest part of the series to me. Samara Weaving as Heather was great and made me want to see more of her, but any hope of that was squashed to me once Ash said, “Kelly and other girl, stay here.”

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Ash thinks he took the high road saving his friends = False: I like to think Ash was thinking he was being a good person in saving Pablo and Kelly, but both were fine to die in order to stop the evil and yet Ash tried to be a good person to them in saving them. Ultimately, though, I think it was more of him being done with the deadites that got him than saving Pablo and Kelly as it even seemed like an afterthought to him while making the deal. At the end of the day, Pablo and Kelly were not very happy with what Ash had done, and seems they both would have rather died than live in the world Ash let happen by making the deal. 

Predictions: 

Pablo and Kelly may not have as strong of a belief in Ash: The last scene of the show proved this more than a prediction as both characters decided to sit in the back seat of the Oldsmobile, giving each looks of fear and disbelief at what Ash had done. The whole build-up of Ash being Jefe seemed null and void at that point, and Pablo seemed to have lot all faith in Ash as they drove away listening to “Back in Black” by AC/DC.

Jacksonville is not going to be what Ash thinks it will be: Again, this is more obvious than a prediction, but things are no going to end up well, and in fact a hundred times worse than what Ash had imagined he would get. Ruby is not the type of person to make clean deals with others as even some of the demons has problems with her. Who knows, though, maybe this hell coming to earth type of scenario will open up things like Freddy Krueger actually appearing since his glove was in the cabin. If it all led to the Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash fight that almost happened on film but was made a comic instead, I am pretty sure all fans could rest easy in saying Ash totally made the right decision.
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Hush Comics gives “The Dark One” as high of an A as possible without making it an A+. The show ended well, but if you couldn’t tell, I am a bit conflicted with the ending. I can’t tell if it was the ending itself or just the fact I am so mad a Ash for being stupider than he ever has been before as he always came through before and never just gave up on fighting as he did here. The series still ended on a very high note and is likely my second favorite show in TV history, but until the second season begins I will be all sorts of mopey wishing one of my heroes was more of a hero.

All Images belong to Starz

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