Ash vs Evil Dead Grants Fan Service in “Trapped Inside”

In episode six of “Ash vs Evil Dead”, Ash and the rest of the gang head to Ash’s childhood home in order to try to help Pablo. The Necroomicon is currently becoming one with Pablo. Although this means they now have a chance against Baal, it also could hold dire consequences for Pablo. Throughout the second season of “Ash vs Evil Dead” Pablo experienced visions. Whether the visions spoke complete truth is unclear, but one thing was certainly clear: the events of the first season left Pablo with a spiritual connection with the Necronomicon. After Pablo had a vision of throwing the book into a portal to Hell that also doubled as the trunk of the Delta, it was decided that doing so could be the very thing that will end all of their problems.

Unfortunately, doing so did not help them. Sending the book through the portal is the very thing that brought Baal to this plane. What’s more, it did not free Pablo from the book’s clutches and they are left without the spell Ruby needs to get rid of Baal for good. Pablo isn’t very lucky but despite this, he manages to keep a brave face. While having seizures, experiencing unimaginable pain, and puking up black goo, he still manages to tell everyone that he will be okay.

While Ash and his friends try to figure out what they need to do in order to save Baal and get the spell they need, Baal is performing more of his dirty work on the rest of the town. The townspeople have come into the police station to riot with the help of Baal. They want to see Ash suffer since most believe that he is the reason behind the murders. Joel Tobeck’s performance as Baal in this episode is brilliant.

Joel Tobeck as Baal really is the best choice for the role. Credit: STARZ

Joel Tobeck as Baal really is the best choice for the role.
Credit: STARZ

He reminds me of Brad Dourif in the way that he smirks and delivers his speeches that are meant to break down his victims. This is a huge difference from his performance as Strife in Hercules and Xena. It is nice to see him as a true villain in another TV show made by Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell. It is clear that Baal is trying to use the town’s hatred of Ash as a way to get rid of him. The sheriff never needed much of an excuse to try to get rid of Ash, so this was easy work for Baal.

Back at the house, Ruby tells Ash that once Pablo becomes one with the book, Pablo will die. Ash’s reaction to this news is heartbreaking. Throughout the first and second season, we learn that Ash has refused to get close to people because everyone he loves dies.

We know that in the original films, he lost all of his friends, his sister, and his girlfriend Linda. In the last season, he lost another love interest, and in this season, he lost his father moments after being able to reconnect with him. Although “Ash vs Evil Dead” is funny, it is easy to get emotional after thinking about how much our beloved character has lost. Pablo and Kelly are all he has left. These are the two people he has trusted to keep around and has trusted not to die on him. 

Ash has a plan. He has a pet tracker that he wants to shove down Baal’s throat so that they will not lose track of where he is even when he hides in another person’s skin. However, Ash’s normal tactics to defeat demons won’t work on Baal. The chainsaw and boomstick simply won’t be able to do the talking this time. Because of this, Ruby and Ash come to a compromise. Ash will stick to his original pet tracker plan, while Ruby tries to locate the spell she needs before the book destroys Pablo. After doing so, they will work on a plan to reverse this process in order to keep Pablo alive.

Hang in there, Pablo.  Credit: STARZ

Hang in there, Pablo.
Credit: STARZ

After coming up with this plan, the entire town shows up at the Williams house. It looks like the sheriff is leading this mob of angry civilians, with Baal disguised as one of the civilians as well. Baal clearly has the ball in his court right now. It is during these scenes that we see Linda and Kelly fight the town together in order to try to buy time for Ash and Ruby. While Lacey waits in Ash’s room with Ruby and Pablo, Ash heads to his sister’s room to find out if anyone has tried to break in upstairs. Kelly and Linda hold the first floor down. Linda’s pleas to her husband to stop this go unheard. They have no choice but to fight.

Kelly is clearly the strongest person in the show. While Ash is the toughest character we know, he’s not as level headed as we would like him to be. Kelly has become the backbone for the entire team. Kelly has been there for Ruby, for Pablo, and even for Ash. The woman has a knack for keeping everything under control. She has no problems with firing weapons into a crowd of civilians in order to stop them from coming inside. Eventually, Linda decides to do the same. There are a few great one liners in this scene that makes Kelly one of our favorite characters.

"I will F**** your face with bullets!" Woah there, Kelly.  Credit: STARZ

“I will F**** your face with bullets!” Woah there, Kelly.
Credit: STARZ

Inside Ash’s bedroom, Ruby uses her magic to try to accelerate the process of the convergence. It becomes clear that the necklace Pablo is wearing is impeding some of the passages from appearing on Pablo’s body. When Ruby tries to remove it, there is an explosion that forces Ruby and Lacey away from him. Pablo begins to levitate and speak in Sumerian. Of course, speaking in Sumerian never bodes well for anyone. The words brings the Deadites back to the land of the living. Fortunately, Pablo manages to snatch the necklace off his neck and Ruby is able to continue the process.

At the same time, Ash finds Chet in his his sister’s room. Chet claims he was there to warn Ash about the incoming attack. However, that doesn’t explain why he was standing over Cheryl’s things. The Deadite forces make their way into Cheryl’s room as Chet and Ash make their way out. Cheryl’s photo starts to leak blood and Baal realizes they have the book. Fortunately, he does not yet know that Pablo is the key to the book.

Chet doesn’t have time to try to explain why he was in Cheryl’s room. Before he can answer Ash, they hear Cheryl’s voice call for him from inside her room. What happens next is complete fan service. I wasn’t sure if season two could get any better than it has already gotten, and I was proven wrong. The last half of this episode is perfect for any fan of Evil Dead.

We see the return of Cheryl. Not only that, but the original actress who played Cheryl in the first film returned as well. The possessed Cheryl claims not to know how she got there. She asks where their father is and wants to know what is going on. While Ash tries to explain to her that she has been dead for the past thirty years, she turns into the Deadite we all know she is. The makeup here is extraordinary and pays homage to Cheryl’s look in the first film. Ellen’s return as Cheryl will not disappoint fans. Once she reveals her true form, she throws Ash down the hallway and throws Chet into her room. Chet finds himself trapped with Cheryl. 

Credit: STARZ

Credit: STARZ

During this encounter, it becomes apparent that Chet was seeing Cheryl before she died. The Deadite version of Ash’s sister throws on music, leaps on top of him, and takes a bite out of his throat while starting to take off his pants. Fortunately, Ash breaks down the door just in time to stop her from hurting him any further.

During this battle, she manages to disappear once more. Ash takes the time to tell Chet to stay put so that he isn’t put into any more danger before going to look for his sister once more. He runs into Kelly, who has run out of bullets. She doesn’t seem to care that Ash is dealing with yet another Deadite. She tells him to figure it out while she tries to help Ruby find the right incantation before the townspeople break in.

Kelly learns that although the incantation is working, Ruby is unable to force the incantation she needs to appear. Kelly gives Pablo the pep talk that he needs to hear. After all, he’s Pablo, right? He should have no problem with finding the spell they need. Fortunately, Kelly’s pep talk works and they are able to find the spell. Kelly puts the necklace back around his neck in order to slow down the process of Pablo becoming one with the book. We also learn that Ruby is no longer immortal. Her children stole her immortality from her, which is why Baal mocked her in the previous episode. 

That's our powerful vagina.  Credit: STARZ

That’s our powerful vagina.
Credit: STARZ

During Ash’s search for Cheryl, we are provided with more homages to the original films. Blood drips from the walls and Ash sees a reflection of himself in a mirror that catches him off guard. Additionally, the music used throughout this episode has tunes that are used to remind one of the original series. In fact,  there were a few times throughout “Trapped Inside” that made me think of the music used in “Army of Darkness”. We may not get “Army of Darkness” as a part of the story, but we get enough references to satisfy fans. I believe that using Joseph LoDuca as the composer for “Ash vs Evil Dead” was one of the greatest decisions made for the show.

Cheryl attacks Ash through the wall. He manages to pull her through the wall and tosses her over his head. He aims his shotgun at her and gets ready to shoot at the precise moment that Chet walks out in between the two of them. Cheryl grabs him and tells Ash that he will have to kill Chet if he wants to kill her. Ash refuses. According to Ash, Chet is his best friend. He was the only one who never betrayed him and has always stood by him, despite the tales of Ash killing his family and friends. Before Chet can say anything to Ash, Cheryl rips out Chet’s heart. Without hesitation, Ash shoots her.

Although this scene happened quickly and barely gave me time to react, I was heartbroken. I was heartbroken when Brock died simply because it was a very real moment for me. Ash never got the closure he needed from his father, and when he was finally able to get his father to see the real him, it was ripped from his hands. Ash has lost everyone in his life. Every woman he ever loved, every friend he ever had, even his own father and his car.

I would like to one day see this man get the happiness he has been searching for over the last thirty years, but it doesn’t seem possible. What’s more, I have developed a love for Ted Raimi that started when I first saw him and Bruce Campbell together in “Xena: Warrior Princess”. I hated having to see one of Ted Raimi’s characters die once more. What added to this impact was once again the music used for this scene. Although I felt as if Joxer’s death in “Xena” was underplayed, Chet’s death in “Ash vs Evil Dead” was a scene that could not have been done any better. Killing him immediately after Ash refuses to do so was a good story choice.

Credit: STARZ

Credit: STARZ

Additionally, Joseph LoDuca used this as a chance to add more nostalgia to the scene. During the confrontation between Cheryl, Chet, and Ash, Joseph LoDuca added music that sounded strangely familiar. Once I realized what song it was and where it was from, I knew that Ash was going to lose someone else. The music for Chet’s death is almost the same song as “Love Never Dies” from the original “The Evil Dead” soundtrack.

During the battle, Cheryl gets thrown outside directly into the path of the townspeople. Although everyone points their gun at Ash, he is not phased. He delivers one of the best speeches to date. Ash explains that he does not kill people, only demons who look like people. He tells them he’ll prove it and proceeds to wait for Cheryl to prove his point. She gets back up, but only looks like a person to the rest of the townspeople. Ash shoots her again. Everyone gets ready to try to kill Ash, but he tells them to wait just one more moment. This time she gets back up with guts hanging from her chest and attacks the townspeople. Despite the attempts from the townspeople to kill the demon they can now see, she continues to terrorize the crowd.

Any minute now... Credit: STARZ

Any minute now…
Credit: STARZ

Ash on the other hand knows exactly what he is doing. We get to see the king himself at his best. This is truly one of his finest moments. Ash spits out one liners while he shoots her into the trunk of a car, slams the trunk on top of her, jumps on top of the car, and uses his chainsaw to cut off her head. The people who once hated him now know Ash for the hero we always knew he was. During everyone’s celebration, the sheriff grabs Ash from behind and Baal confronts Ash once more. This scene is quite creepy, as Baal continuously puts one finger to his lips to keep Ash quiet while proposing that they work together.

He uses Ash’s shotgun to knock him out and the episode ends. The ending credits to this episode is one of the best to date and gives us a clue as to what will happen in the next episode. “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha Ha!” tells me that this is the episode that I’ve been waiting for all season. This is the episode where Baal will try to break Ash in a mental asylum. There is no doubt that the next episode will show us the character development and the insight into Ash’s mind that everyone has been waiting for.

Can it really get better than this? Credit: STARZ

Can it really get better than this?
Credit: STARZ

All in all, this episode was yet another perfect way to pay homage to the Evil Dead franchise. The camerawork, the soundtrack, and the acting gave us the excitement that we have come to expect from “Ash vs Evil Dead”. Fans of the franchise and fans of the other things that our favorite gang of people worked on in the past will not be disappointed with what this episode has to offer. Although I hate to see Ted Raimi go so soon, I would not put it past them to bring him back as a Deadite. After all, Ted Raimi was also Henrietta in Evil Dead 2.

However, I will miss seeing Ted Raimi interact with Bruce Campbell on screen as friends again. I have truly enjoyed seeing them together in “Xena” and in other classics such as “Lunatics: a Love Story” and “Man With the Screaming Brain”. When you think “Ash vs Evil Dead” can’t get any better, it surprises you with more little tidbits that give you the best kind of nostalgia. I do fear for Linda and Pablo though. Ash clearly does not have the best luck with his romantic interests. Furthermore, each Linda in Ash’s life never seems to fare very well.

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