Ash vs. Evil Dead exists for only one reason: fans wanted a new chapter of the Evil Dead franchise starring Bruce Campbell. It is something that exists entirely because of nostalgia.
Bringing the slapstick-horror franchise to television made some people wonder if that meant they would tone the horror down — but that was an unfounded fear. I would easily say that much of Ash Vs. Evil Dead is gorier than anything the films have done, and Ash is probably more vulgar than he’s ever been before.
I’ve always thought of the series premiere — which was directed by Sam Raimi — as Evil Dead 4, and the rest of the first season as Evil Dead 5. It was set up as a way to get a lot of the nostalgia out of the way, while also catching the audience up on what’s happened in the past 30 years. The introduction of Pablo and Kelly in Ash Vs. Evil Dead were meant to bring in a freshness to the series in a mix of new and old.
This episode of Ash Vs. Evil Dead, “Trapped Inside”, brings all of that to the fore. The series has brought back Ash’s sister from the dead while also wrapping it around new elements. The reunion between Ash and his sister was perfect and the best way to get the town on his side to see her risen from the dead and possessed by a demon and also a treat for longtime fans to see her return. The scene is also reminiscent of the “primitive screwheads” speech from Army of Darkness.
The second season as a whole has also given us a wonderful arc for both Kelly and Pablo, where the former is really becoming Ash’s protege, while the latter is becoming more closely associated with the mysticism of the Evil Dead franchise. In a lot of ways Kelly and Pablo are gender reversed versions of Ash and Ruby, which is a fun dynamic. I wouldn’t mind seeing the younger pair handle deadites on their own for a few episodes in the future.
I’m still not sold on the actor they have for Baal but fortunately due to his ability to jump bodies it becomes fun seeing other actors play the character. There’s still four episodes left in the season so I wonder what he wants with Ash and where the series will go from here.
We also say goodbye to Chet in this episode which is something I didn’t expect. I assumed Ted Raimi would stick around for a while but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all which makes me worried for the entire cast.
Ash vs. Evil Dead continues to be gory and hilarious but has also been able to make the audience care for the main cast other than Ash which is something none of the other Evil Dead films have accomplished before.