This episode marks the first time Evil Dead has been filmed by someone other than Sam Raimi. I have to admit, I was afraid the show would deviate from the tone that Raimi has established over the course of the films and the first episode. Fortunately, Director Michael J. Bassett was able to keep the spirit of the show intact.
In “Bait,” Ash takes off with Pablo in tow to retrieve the Necronomicon from Kelly, who has apparently taken the book with her and run off to see if her Father is ok, after the sudden reappearance of her Mother who was previously thought dead. Ash and Pablo are then attacked by a Deadite version of their old boss Mr. Roper in Ash’s car, and we are treated to a gruesomely bloody display as Ash battles the Deadite with a broken beer bottle.
Meanwhile, Detective Fisher is hot on Ash’s trail. She visits his trailer park and interviews Ash’s neighbors. She then stumbles upon a business card for Books From Beyond, where Ash intends to go to in order to dispel the Deadite threat.
Ash and Pablo then break into Kelly’s house expecting Kelly’s mom Suzy to be a Deadite, but she appears normal (and is awesomely played by Mimi Rogers!). It turns out that Suzy had driven off of a bridge and lost her memory. Ash doesn’t buy this story, but plays along. During a tense dinner sequence, Ash interrogates Suzy and finally sucker punches her in the face. Sure enough, Suzy is a Deadite. She kills her husband and the remaining episode becomes a standoff between the Deadite and Ash, Kelly and Pablo.
All the talk prior to the series airing has been about how Ash vs. Evil Dead would utilize nonstop practical effects. I can definitely say that the show does not skimp out on the bloodshed after watching the first two episodes; this show is very wet. I am disappointed to say, however, that while there are some really good practical effects, there is also an equal amount of very bad CGI. My guess is that the shortened production schedule necessitated by television caused the effects team to resort to the use of CGI. The second episode does not suffer from as many bad CGI effects as the first episode, so hopefully there will be less reliance on this crutch as the series progresses.
I’ve also noticed that the 30 minute timeframe allotted to the show has caused there to be very little resolution per episode. The episodes are packed tightly with action that keeps the momentum moving, but each episode feels like one scene of a larger movie that has been cut into 10 segments. This leaves me wanting more at the end of each episode, which can be a good thing. I feel that this show would be much more suited to the Netflix platform of releasing all episodes at once. Ash vs. Evil Dead screams for binge viewing. While I’ve nitpicked many items of the show, I would like to clarify that I’m enjoying the series.