‘Bait’: Solid Second Episode Hopefully Sign of Series’ Future


Ash Has Spent The Last 30 Years Avoiding Deadites… And Responsibility


Michael J. Bassett directs Bait with frenzied fun and furious focus. While the second episode is extremely less stylized than last week’s El Jefe, the Sam Raimi helmed opener of Ash Vs. Evil Dead, it still has a lot going for it in terms of direction. Nice composition really gives Bait some weight, though there’s isn’t too much on display.

‘I Killed My Boss. That’s Never Happened Before.’ -Ash

Bait’s main assets aren’t direction however, but amazingly comedic acting and solid scripting. Actually, it’s good that the direction in Ash Vs. Evil Dead’s second outing is tame and quintessentially film school in nature. A highly stylized production has the possibility of getting in the way of the script and its overall execution on (not in Bassett’s watch) if the director is ironically inexperienced. Bait has no such problems.

Episode 102’s script, written by Dominic Dierkes, is a sharp second outing. Whereas El Jefe felt more Evil Dead, with great direction from creator Raimi at the reigns, Bait gives Ash Vs. Evil Dead a feel all its own. I never thought I’d type this, but it’s actually a great thing. Bait is far more comedic than I expected, and slightly feels like Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn without the epic slap-stick vibe. Bait is a fast paced thrill ride. One that is over before you know it and will have you grabbing the remote control to hit replay (I watched the episode twice in a row).

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Not only is it one of the funniest half hours of television I’ve ever seen, making its audience laugh more than moments of necessary breathing, but it ironically (I did say it’s very much it’s own thing) employs one of my favorite aspects of the Evil Dead series. Unlike zombies, Deadites have the ability to look like their once alive hosts. It always been a sadistically genius part of the series when the Deadites play with the emotions of the still living by reminding them of their loved ones. Bait is hinged on this Evil Dead concept. It’s also the first time Ash says Deadite in the Starz series, and the first time Ash has been called ‘Ashley’ since the original, and I geeked at both occasions.

Bait also showcases some of the best comedic acting I’ve ever seen. I laughed so hard that the $13.99 I’m paying for Starz this month has already justified its price.

Bruce Campbell has never been better as the chainsaw-wielding antihero Ash in Bait. He’s gotten so good at comedic timing that it’s impossible not to think he’s not raking in Ash Vs. Evil Dead’s entire acting budget. He delivers one-liner after one-liner with ease, knocking down words like goals in Wayne Gretzkey’s prime, and it’s a freaking blast to see the veteran preform while carry most of the weight of Bait.

Ray Santiago also shockingly carries his own weight against Campbell in Ash Vs. Evil Dead ‘s newest entry. Playing Ash’s Robin-esque sidekick Pablo, Santiago puts up a good fight in an attempt to scene steal in Bait. The production no doubt was tasked to find an actor that could hold his own against the horror-vet, and while El Jefe didn’t have me completely convinced, Santiago’s performance in Bait is comically stellar and I loved it.


Bait sets a pretty high bar for Ash Vs. Evil Dead. It’s an amazing episode of television that I want to watch over and over again. Bait’s fast paced and extremely hilarious. It’s hard for me to think of a better half-hour of entertainment and I encourage everyone to catch it as soon as possible. It’s some of the best comedy I’ve ever seen. Do it, or I’ll swallow your soul.


Join me next week as 1428 Elm takes a look at Ash Vs. Evil Dead’s third episode, Books from Beyond, directed by Michael J. Bassett.

Next: R.I.P. Gunnar Hansen: Genre Loses Another Legend