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Ash vs Evil Dead
Review of Episode 4: Bruja
Directed By David Frazee

Air date: 11/22/15

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.

Episode four of Ash vs Evil Dead has aired and things are not getting any easier for Ash and his crew. When we last left the show, Officer Fisher was cuffed to a wall with the corpse of the book expert coming after her. He has been taken over by a Deadite spirit and you don't want one of those things coming at you. Bruja starts off right where Books From Beyond closed. Fisher finds herself saved from certain doom by Lucy Lawless' mysterious character Ruby. The two had interacted in a small way previously by way of a quickly back and forth at a diner. This was after Fisher first experienced the Deadites and Ruby offered a small glimpse into the possibility that she knew what Fisher was going through. Here, there's no question as Ruby and Fisher officially join forces.

Whether they realize it at the moment or not, this means more trouble for Ash and company. Both Ruby and Fisher are misguided in their quest. Technically they want to put an end to the Deadite terror as much as Ash and his friends, but they are under the false impression that Ash is behind it all. Did he set the demons free? Yes, but by pure accident and he is as committed to ending their existence as much as anyone. Because of this, Fisher and Ruby may not stay foes of Ash's forever. Once things really get hairy they may find themselves having to work together. This may take a while, however. Fisher saw Ash struggling with a demon (granted, one he brought into the equation), clearly trying to defeat it and still saw him as the enemy. The fact that Ruby blames Ash for the death of her family by the hands of the Deadites doesn't exactly make the idea of everyone becoming friends look like something that's going to be happening anytime too soon.

Bruja primarily involves Ash and his friends visiting Pablo's uncle. The two relatives don't get along, with Pablo being seen by his uncle as someone who ignores and betrays his culture. He agrees to help, however, and Ash finds himself on a herbal trip to find answers. The scenes with Ash within his own mind, discovering the power of his own inner worlds is a whole lot of fun.

In Bruja it is revealed that Ruby is in possession of Ash's famous lost hand. She explains that it's stayed lifeless for thirty years but now is beginning to move, possibly looking for its owner. I like this addition as it goes further into the mythos of Ash's hand, solidifying him more as a full-fledged legend. It'll be interesting to see how the hand will play a role and continue to work its way into the story as a full element or, dare I say, character.


This episode also shows Deadites taking over a living human being, specifically Kelly. We've seen copses re-animate with demons on the inside but until now Ash's group were not influenced. Kelly seems to be overtaken by the nasty they brought up to question previously. It may just be a similar being but I'd feel safe betting that the specific baddie Ash brought into the world in the quest of stopping the others is a bigger, badder fellow than anyone realizes.

This story drifted a bit from the group dynamic and allowed Ash to brave some stuff alone. While I love the group's chemistry, every once in a while this is a good thing to do as Ash having to fend off evil on his own is the cornerstone of the initial concept. Introducing Pablo's idea to build Ash a new hand is something else I am interested in, as there are many directions one can go with this. It's possible that this is just a one-time plot device, but I doubt it. I truly don't know how this aspect will work into the story but I'm pumped to find out.

The situation is pretty crazy by the end of The Bruja with Ash knocked cold by Pablo mid-mind battle. Unfortunately, Pablo doesn't know that Kelly is, at least at the moment, not her real self and being controlled by the enemy. How long Kelly's compromised state will be in affect is unsure, but it will no doubt be a major factor in at least the next episode.

All in all the show is still headed down a clear and skilled path. As always I am anxious to see what awaits Ash and his pals as they get further into the hell that has been unleashed. I would say that cast and crew have really got their groove down but, in all honesty, that has been the case from the very beginning. The next episode entitled “The Host” shows the program venturing even deeper into the ‘in and outs’ of the evil spirit world. Check out the promo below.

P.J. Griffin, HMS

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