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Ash vs Evil Dead
Review of Episode 10:
The Dark One
Directed by: Rick Jacobson

Air date: 01/03/16

Editor’s Note: P.J.'s Ash vs Evil Dead reviews are done on a weekly basis and are for watchers of the show. Therefore, it's worth mentioning that there will be spoilers and heavy speculation in all of the reviews. For those of you, who wish to not be spoiled, please stop reading.

Well folks, that's it. What was once an episode is now a completed season. The final season one episode of Ash vs Evil Dead, entitled The Dark One has aired and the season is officially 100% pure greatness. It's been a blast up to this point in the series and lots of blood, scares and laughs later, it all came down to the cabin.

In this episode it is confirmed what the last started to reveal: Ruby is more bad news than we even thought. What was once a personal foe to Ash is now an all-out threat to the world in general. The episode shows us this with action right off the bat and plenty of chainsaw boonstick goodness to go around. Ruby tries to bargain with Ash. She claims to have no ill intent towards him specifically, but wants her horrid “children” to dominate the world. The big point of this is Ash both choosing between keeping he and his friends safe while letting the world experience intense danger or letting himself and loved ones perish stopping it. All the while he doesn't know what to take as truth making the situation even more dire.

The Dark One keeps brilliant touches of humor intact, keeping with the established tone, while still acknowledging that things are getting serious. Pablo still has the book's face over his own and finds himself in a half-in half out battle with evil. He hasn't been completely taken over, a mere shell containing a demon, like those who have been killed and possessed. He's still alive and aware of what's happening, desperately trying to control. This sets Pablo's current situation apart from earlier material with Kelly being overtaken and multiple corpses being reanimated. Ash not wanting to kill his friend while battling the evil inhabiting makes things especially complicated. A lot is at stake here and all our characters know it.

With the camper girl dispatched we are back to the core group and all in all they still stand intact. The way the episode ends up going probably wasn't expected by most and think that's what makes the show in general. We end on a lighter note, but with danger still in the air. This is all also known as exactly how the first season should have ended. We're not so much left with a big cliff-hanger and our characters about to get torn into a million pieces so that we wonder “How they get out of this one.” A lot of shows make that work, but I loved that this one focused on the fun tone of everything and it made me plenty eager to see more adventures with the demon-fighting threesome.


The season finale of Ash vs Evil Dead has certainly left me wanting to see more with credit laying just as much in the rest of the episodes proceeding. It's a solid show that could go just about anywhere at this point and I know that where it ends up will be exactly where it should be. A lot of shows tend to pull out all the stops and grab audiences with as much enthusiasm as possible whether it matches the overall tone and style or not. Ash vs Evil Dead, however, feels so thought out and authentic in how it plays out. While the show does one hell of a job tipping it's hat to fans, it also does its own thing and reminds us that the powers that be know exactly what it's doing. This isn't a fan project or a start-over reboot. Those things can be fine, but this is a far rarer beast: this is made by the people who know it best.

The Dark One contains all the classic elements we've come to love from the series up until this point. Blending humor with action and real heart, the final episode doesn't confuse us with flash, it reminds us of what makes the show so great in the first place. The scenes involving Pablo with the Necronomicon on his face deliver on some dark, intense moments and Kelly's scenes are just as entertaining to watch. Kelly trying to save her friends while dealing with the innocent camper who got caught up in the madness added excitement while continuing my fondness for her character in general.

Most of the characters are doing their own thing in this episode, adding to the sense of helplessness and fear. Emotionally the characters are growing and evolving, all the while keeping a tight handle on which they were as people before all this craziness flared up. The usage of Ruby in The Dark One is great, as I still am unsure about her. Even with her involvement in what's been going on revealed, there's still a lot to know about her. Can she be trusted to some degree? How successful will she be in her plan? And how will is all end up?

I keep my attention aimed at what's next for Ash vs Evil Dead. Thankfully, the series was renewed for a second reason almost immediately so it's helped viewing each episode knowing that there's plenty more to come. This isn't all there is to see and it'll be so much fun to watch what happens next season!

P.J. Griffin, HMS

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