Ash vs Evil Dead
Episode 3.6 “Tales from the Rift”
Directed by Regan Hall
Written by Aaron Lam
Created by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Tom Spezialy
Starring Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Lucy Lawless, Joel Tobeck, Katrina Hobbs, Lindsay Farris, Arielle Carver-O’Neill
Air date: Saturday, March 31, 2018
“F*ck with my Pablo, and you f*ck with me”¦ and I’m done being f*cked with Ruby.”
Warning: spoilers ahead…
While Ash (Bruce Campbell) is and always will be the center of the Evil Dead universe, what’s made STARZ’s Ash vs Evil Dead such a fun show for two and half seasons is watching him interact with characters and actors that hold their own amongst the lunacy. In particular I’m talking about the Ghost Beaters, Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo). Santiago went through physical hell in season 2, being possessed by the Necronomicon, sliced in half, and later resurrected through the book. DeLorenzo somehow matched Campbell in the kickass one-liner department and went through emotional traumas like losing her parents in season 1 and Pablo in season 2. Last week, when she thought she lost Pablo again DeLorenzo demonstrated raw emotion we have rarely seen from Kelly, and some legit acting chops that drew tears from many the AvED faithful. This week, Kelly takes center stage, and is willing to put it all on the line to challenge Ruby (Lucy Lawless) once and for all…
Ruby’s demon spawn has graduated from cute blood-soaked toddler to a large slimy writhing sac about to pop. She’s interrupted by Kelly doing her best Sarah Connor impression, pumping a shotgun like she’s battling the T-1000. DeLorenzo’s face conveys seasons with of hatred and anger with each shot. This isn’t fun, wisecracking Kelly”¦ this is something darker. Their epic showdown continues for much of the episode from pre-title scene to near the end. Lawless is no stranger to kick ass fight sequences as Xena fans will attest to, and she holds her own nicely.
While the war rages between those two awesome ladies, Ash is trying to bond with daughter Brandy (Rrielle Carver-O’Neill), but he gets sidetracked by more of the Knights of Sumeria. Ash’s response is similar to my own, “Oh come on there’s more of you guys!” These new Knights, led by Zoe (Emilia Burns) and Marcus (Colin Moy) go with Ash to the hardware store cellar to examine the writings on the wall to see if they can close the rift.
This episode is split for me down the middle. The scenes with DeLorenzo and Lawless absolutely destroying each other are amazing. They break bones, punch, stab, shoot, and blow each other up. There is genuine emotion and a rawness to the fight. There’s also a suitable amount of AvED gore including callbacks to classic scenes from the original trilogy. But when we deal with Ash and the clown car of Knights it drags. While I like the idea of an ancient organization devoted to Ash and killing evil, they’re so generally incompetent that it’s hard to care about them. There is a really cool deadite battle at the end with an effect that reminded me of John Carpenter’s The Thing, but anything leading up to that in the basement felt like filler. Dalton (Lindsay Farris) was cool and added something to the show, but he was killed off before we could sink our teeth into his character (no pun intended). These other Knights are just there it feels to add to the body count.
Overall this episode is hard to rate because the Kelly vs. Ruby fight dominates the screen-time is a genuinely my favorite part of the entire season so far. Everything else though felt like filler. But man, do DeLorenzo and Lawless kick all sorts of ass! While Lawless has been there for years, Dana DeLorenzo firmly establishes herself in the pantheon of classic killer TV ladies! And for the second straight episode, I nearly cried thanks to her.
Ash vs Evil Dead has three more episodes in season 3 building to an epic finale that the cast could not stop raving about back at NYCC in October. Seasons 1 & 2 are available to stream on Netflix, so order STARZ and download the STARZ app now, catch up and join the fun. The show airs live at 9:00 pm EST on STARZ and you can live tweet the episode with fans using the hashtags #AshvsEvilDead and #Bringbackboomstick. Also check out my reaction on the Stardust App and tag me with yours @DrZaiusGoD.
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