‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ Faces Down an Angry Mob When ‘Trapped Inside’

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Ash vs. Evil Dead Trapped Inside

The pieces are in place for the slow march towards the endgame of Ash vs. Evil Dead’s second season. Last week in “Confinement,” we were introduced to the season’s big bad with the demon Baal (Joel Tobeck), who occupies the skin of his slain victims and uses division as a tactic to gain victory over his foes. At the same time, Pablo (Ray Santiago) has been dealing with the effects of last season’s gruesome finale throughout Season 2, the culminating effects leading to last week’s cliffhanger ending. This week’s episode, “Trapped Inside,” gives us more information as to Pablo’s affliction and features a surprise appearance of a character from Evil Dead’s storied past as Ash (Bruce Campbell) and company are held under siege by angry town folk convinced that Ash Williams is the mass murdering Ashy Slashy.

“Trapped Inside” opens with the surviving crew from last week’s episode making their way back to Ash’s childhood home. Pablo is weak and suffering as his body is melding with the dreaded Necronomicon. Meanwhile, back at the sheriff’s office, Sheriff Thomas Emery (Stephen Lovat) is dealing with the enraged citizens calling for Ash’s head. Baal is weaving in and out of the angry crowd, whispering evil suggestions in the ear of the jilted lawman until he leads the angry mob to Ash’s doorstep. As Ruby (Lucy Lawless) tries to use her mystical knowledge to save Pablo and dispel Baal, Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) is channeling her new badass skill set to keep the angry mob away from the home.

The big surprise of “Trapped Inside” comes in the form of Ash’s sister Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss reprising her role from the original Evil Dead), who emerges from her childhood home after Ash discovers his sleazeball friend Chet (Ted Raimi) inside. Of course, Ash should know better, but the sight of his sister for the first time in 30 years leaves him with his defenses down which leads to a prolonged battle in the narrow hallways of his childhood home. A lot of credit should be given to the makeup department in recreating the white-eyed look possessed Cheryl from the original film. The only unfortunate aspect of this reunion are a couple of lines that reference the infamous tree rape from Evil Dead, one of the most unfortunate things to ever occur in the Evil Dead canon. Aside from that, it’s really a reminder of why Ash vs. Evil Dead works so well – it blends homage to the series’ roots while crafting bizarre and violent new paths for the characters.

The dynamic between Kelly and Pablo is given further depth as each of these characters continue to grow since we first met them. Kelly is settling in as the group’s new gun-toting badass, and each successive week she seems even more confident and assured with her growing new skill set. But there’s a great moment where Kelly provides motivation for the ailing Pablo, thus giving us reason to believe that Pablo is on the verge of emerging with his own set of badass powers and skills, something that will be quite handy as a showdown with Baal looms on the horizon.

With only a half hour to tell its story and the introduction of new characters this season means that a lot of these new additions are underserved in “Trapped Inside.” Sheriff Thomas Emery is given little to do aside from guide the mob of angry anonymous hicks. Inside the house, Emery’s soon-to-be ex-wife Linda (Michelle Hurd) and her daughter Lacey (Pepi Sonuga) are given little to do except cower in fright at the violent mob outside and the demonic possessions inside the house.

Despite underserving some of the newer characters, “Trapped Inside” still moves at a blistering speed, executing its various story threads the efficiency of a well-oiled chainsaw. Director Mark Beesley and writer James E. Eagan continue the growing trend of the second season taking place in more confined spaces, leading greater tension to emerge from the claustrophobic settings. And of course there’s ample humor to be found in this latest episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead, exemplified by the inept attempt of Ash to assuage the angry mob by ineloquently explaining that he’s not really a murderer of people but demons, and sometimes those demons just happen to look like people.

Like last week’s episode, “Trapped Inside” ends on a cliffhanger, one that suggests the final battle this season might not be as obvious as initially thought. But week after week, Ash vs. Evil Dead seems more confident this season in moving the mythology of the series forward. Sure, there was plenty of that last season, but there was also a lot more that was reliant on the settings of the past movies – such as ending at the infamous cabin from the first two films. Ash vs. Evil Dead remains consistently fun with its splatstick humor blending copious amounts of gore with the Stooges-styled comedy. Seriously, what other show can make a gory decapitation with a chainsaw a comedic punchline? Only Ash vs. Evil Dead has that distinction.

Ash vs. Evil Dead airs Sundays at 8pm only on Starz.

Ash vs. Evil Dead
  • Trapped Inside
4

Summary

Another fun episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead, “Trapped Inside” features a surprise cameo from Evil Dead past while building the foundation for an epic showdown to conclude its second season.

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