After the events of last episode, it was easy to guess that the next chapter of Ash vs Evil Dead was coming, and this week we finally got to see the Big Bad. We’ve had hints of Baal many times, but in this episode, we finally got to see him.
After the more action packed last episode which took place in a more grander scale, we come back to a more claustrophobic setting of the police station. Closing in the action like this tends to bring out the strength of Ash vs Evil Dead, and in this episode, that is no exception.
With the introduction of Joel Tobeck as Baal we are given a surprisingly low-key coming for what appears to be such a dangerous demon. We soon find just how dangerous he is with some impressive skin shredding gore. We often see homages to other horror movies in Ash vs Evil Dead and the death scenes we see here harken straight back to Hellraiser. The extra kick these killings also provide is another nice touch for the gore fans.
In this fifth episode, there is more of a focus on characters, as we see the sheriff (Stephen Lovatt) make a return to once again be annoying. Added to this Michelle Hurd returns as Linda B. Emery, as well as Ted Raimi who appears to be still paying for his “DUI” actions of the last episode. With so many characters making an appearance, the episode has a lot to cover, which in a way is its main weakness.
The short run time that Ash vs Evil Dead is given means that it can feel like a short burst of action then it is over. This is nice for binging the show, but when it is an important episode there just isn’t enough time to fit everything in. This is one reason that the end feels slightly abrupt, and will no doubt start with a bang next week.
Even though the episode is weakened by lack of time, it is still a strong one. Baal himself needs a little more breathing room to show his full potential, but we can already see the danger he is going to provide. The fact that Pablo (Ray Santiago) may be the key to stopping him is also a nice payoff to his connection to the Necronomicon. Now the book appears to be gone for now though, it will be interesting just how they can use Pablo as a weapon.
While not the best episode (the events in the morgue still stand out for that) its nice to see that Ash vs Evil Dead is back focused on the story and we’ve finally got to see Baal in action. Hopefully though he can add a little more chaos to his coming, so the show doesn’t run out of steam before we hit the big conclusion to this year’s story.
It will be interesting to see where Ash vs Evil Dead goes as we are now half way through this season. It is nice to see that the characters like Pablo are playing more of a role, and yes, Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) still manages to kick ass. Yes, Ash will always be the main focus of the series but for it to truly shine he has to share some of the spotlight. Thankfully this is something Ash vs Evil Dead truly succeeds in doing.
Ash vs Evil Dead is available in the UK through VOD on Virgin Media.