Ash Vs. Evil Dead – Season 1, Episode 6: The Killer Of Killers

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After the previous episode picked up some plot slack at the expense of some of the relentless energy that the Evil Dead franchise is renowned for, Episode 6 finds itself with some much needed breathing room to shift into fifth gear and indulge in some of that sweet, sweet craziness we’re all thirsting for. Essentially an excuse to get all the still living pieces on the board in one place to have yet another violent blowout, The Killer Of Killers may not be what you’d call “refined television”, but it enthusiastically gets it’s hands dirty getting back to doing what the show does best: Shoot first, think never.

Arriving at the compound owned by Pablo’s recently dead, Witch Doctor uncle, Ruby and Fisher find that they’ve missed Ash once again as he heads off up the road in his trailer home. However, thanks to a passing Deadite, the flaming bones of the deceased Brujo rise from its funeral pyre to take some viscous issue with Ruby’s involvement with this entire mess and Fisher (once again a slack jawed spectator) can only watch as her ally gets Kentucky fried in the flames. Meanwhile, blissfully unaware as ever, Ash and his faithful companions pound down some pancakes at a local diner after their most recent bout of bonding over almost getting killed. Ash reveals that as a result of his hallucinatory drug trip, he now knows what to do with that dastardly book of the dead known as the Necronomicon, but the bad news is he’ll have to return to the cabin where everything kicked off over thirty years ago to put a halt to the evil plaguing them once and for all. While Pablo and Kelly head off to chill in Ash’s trailer and the man himself tries to clumsily seduce a waitress in order to get out of paying a check for a measly $22.98, detective Fisher finally catches up with the man she blames for the possesion/death of her partner. While the subsequent arrest alarmingly flirts on the side of sexual harassment on the part of the endlessly horny Ash, Kelly and Pablo take a minute to discuss her recent possession by a demon which led her to attempt to seduce and kill the besotted young man, their quiet moment is interrupted by the Necronomicon itself which has come to life and is not happy being in close proximity with the special necklace Pablo’s Brujo gave him before he died. As the duo race to alert Ash only to find him in cuffs, the reunion is predictably crashed by a rash of Deadite possessions which rapidly turn the quaint diner into a fucking abattoir. But after losing her parents and almost her soul, isn’t this just what Kelly needs?

After the necessary speed bump of The Host, The Killer Of Killers is a return to form that sees the bulk of the chatty stuff confined to the beginning leaving the climax free to be crazier than a shit house rat.
But first things first and the episode gets off to an odd start by having Lucy Lawless’ Ruby get seemingly despatched by one of the most godawful looking CGI skeletons I’ve ever seen and while her death is obviously going to be as temporary as feeling joy while working retail, her removal clears the board for a clean, straightforward episode where everyone is moving in the same direction. Taking the opportunity to give us some prime Ghost Beater back and forth – plus cluing us in that Ash isn’t above ducking a bill (“They say waitresses don’t get big tips? That’s about to change.”) – Kelly and Pablo’s relationship is taking a slow and welcome detour away from a will-they-won’t-they cul-de-sac and into the open fields of a platonic friendship that’s far more valuable when you think about the effect the Evil Dead movies usually have on relationships (hasn’t Ash gone through, like three different Linda actresses?). Aside from laying legitimately sweet ground rules with the puppy-eyed Pablo, Kelly’s character also takes another welcome shift with the realisation that after all that’s happened to her so far, the young woman wants there to be more Deadite attacks so she can work out her issues and get her pound of flesh (literally when she shoves a Deadite waitress face first into a meat slicer). Ash may be gung ho at the best of times but even he doesn’t try to seek this shit out on purpose so it’ll remain to be seen if this is ultimately portrayed as positive or negative thing.
However, possibly the most surprising thing about The Killer Of Killers is that we finally have something worthwhile for Amanda Fisher to do after 5 episodes of complaining and self denial; and while being subjected to questionable flirting by Ash is hardly progressive, she does get to dump him face first into an overflowing urinal so I guess that evens things out.
As great as everything is, the cherry on the top is a good, old fashioned Evil Dead-style massacre that decimates the patrons of a quiet diner and sees ice skates buried in skulls and a small boy hurled into a whirling ceiling fan with spectacular results.

Probably the most balanced episode since the second, the series seems to be picking up speed by setting up a return the infamous cabin from the original movie but as to how long it’ll take to get there? That’s something that’ll remain to be seen – you know how sidetracked Ash can get…

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