The secret weapon of Ash vs. Evil Dead is no secret at all. It’s Bruce Campbell’s willingness to commit to Ash’s brand of arrogant stupidity with total conviction. The bulk of “The Killer of Killers” revolved around Ash’s attempt to get out of paying a $22 dining bill, and he actually thought he could get away with it by propositioning the waitress (Rachael Blampied). Ash really believed it was working, even when she brought up her husband, the cook! That was an instant classic moment.
But despite the unusual circumstances, “The Killer of Killers” turned out to be one of the most pivotal episodes to date by bringing Amanda back into the orbit of Team Ghost Beaters and raising serious questions about Lucy Lawless’ Ruby. The opening sequence took place shortly after last week’s episode, as Ruby and Amanda arrived at the Brujo’s home in time for Amanda to witness Ash and his team driving away.
However, a Deadite attacked them and accused Ruby of double-crossing them because she wants the Necronomicon for herself. The Deadite then pulled Ruby into the funeral pyre of Pablo’s uncle, and they both vanished. Obviously, Ruby will be back. Lawless still hasn’t had a chance to share any scenes with Campbell! But this seemed to set up Ruby for a villain turn, if she hasn’t been secretly evil all along. Prior to this, an eventual Ash and Ruby team up seemed like the first season’s endgame. Now, that’s far from certain.
Instead, Amanda is now firmly in place as Ash’s potential latest partner…after they beat the hell out of each other in the diner’s bathroom. That was another comedic highlight as Ash went face first into the urinal and some random kid in the restroom was terrified by the whole thing. Hilariously, Ash was kind of turned on by Amanda’s wandering hands while she was trying to arrest him.
Meanwhile, Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) had their heart-to-heart about what she did under the possession of Eligos. At first, Kelly gave Pablo hope when she theorized that the demon used her feelings for him while attempting to seduce him. But then she crushed Pablo’s romantic ambitions by telling him how sweet and pure she thinks he is.
The episode didn’t let the moment drag on before bringing more Raimi-style mayhem as the Necronomicon itself attacked Pablo. Or more accurately, it attacked the necklace that his uncle gave him. That was really amusing, and it served as another hint that Pablo may have some supernatural gifts by the end of the season.
Inside the diner, Amanda’s moment of triumph over Ash didn’t last very long, as her sympathetic colleague, Lieutenant Boyle (Andrew Grainger), and several of the diner’s patrons were turned into Deadites. The kid from the bathroom met a particularly gruesome fate when he was thrown into the ceiling fan. That was a very darkly funny moment.
With no one else to turn to, Ash and Amanda had to team up against the Deadites and he managed to save her life, with an assist from Pablo and Kelly. This episode also set up an arc for Kelly by suggesting that she doesn’t really want the Deadites to be vanquished…she just wants a chance to keep killing them, as she demonstrated by mangling the Deadite that used to be the waitress.
It was surprising that Ash’s militia buddy, Lem (Peter Feeney), didn’t play a larger part in the resolution. But the episode appeared to set Lem up as the possessed Deadite for next week, if Ash takes him up on the offer to visit his heavily armed militia…all of whom could soon be very well armed Deadites.
In the aftermath, Amanda finally had to acknowledge that Ash isn’t the bad guy that she thought he was. She also accepted his offer to go with him before the cops arrived. Welcome to the Ghost Beaters, Amanda! Hope you survive the experience, as they say in the X-Men. There are three big questions left at the end of the episode: What happened to Ruby? When will she appear next? And what is her real agenda?
Ash vs. Evil Dead continues to fire on all cylinders. I still would have preferred an hour-long format for this series, but it’s hard to argue with the effectiveness of the current format. The story is blazing along, and there’s just four episodes left before everyone goes back to where it all started: the cabin in the woods from The Evil Dead.
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Image Credits: Starz/Renaissance Pictures