The first season of Ash vs Evil Dead is almost over. Come Saturday, Jan. 2 at 9:31 p.m. ET, the season finale (“The Dark One”) will be over — leaving fans of the popular Starz show without a proper fix until the already-ordered second season from creator Sam Raimi debuts sometime in late 2016. To prepare for the occasion, the network will marathon the other nine episodes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of end-of-the-week New Year’s Eve festivities and Saturday’s finale.
Each night, three back-to-back episodes will air beginning at 9 p.m. ET. This means the pilot, “Bait,” and “Books From Beyond” take up the largest chunk of time with two hours on Monday, Dec. 28, as the first episode clocks in at just over 40 minutes in length. Add the second and third episodes’ 27-minute run times and commercials, and BAM — two hours of groovy, deadite-killing programming.
Most narrative series like Ash vs Evil Dead invite marathon viewing, but television’s continuation of Raimi and Bruce Campbell’s cult film series necessitates it. Watching the pilot, which feels like a mini-movie unto itself, only gets better with “Bait” and “Books From Beyond” right behind it. This is especially true since the second episode features Mimi Rogers’ stellar performance as Kelly’s (Dana DeLorenzo) seemingly back-from-the-dead mother. Sure, fans love all the blood, gore and catchphrases — but when a character is faced with an uncomfortable situation involving a living parent, a previously dead one and an evil force with the ability to possess the deceased, things get interesting.
“Brujo,” “The Host” and “The Killer of Killers” will spice things up on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 9 p.m. ET. Though only an hour and a half in total, these three episodes helped to expand the first season’s story beyond the confines of Ash, Kelly and Pablo’s (Ray Santiago) central story. Michigan state trooper Amanda Fisher’s (Jill Marie Jones) investigation comes into play, as does the story of Ruby (Lucy Lawless) — a mysterious, deceptive character with supposed ties to Evil Dead II. Whether their individual (and combined) intentions are good, bad, or something in between remains to be seen by the end of the sixth episode, but there’s still three more to go for those viewers itching to know.
Hence “Fire in the Hole,” “Ashes to Ashes” and “Bound in Flesh,” which complete the marathon on Wednesday, Dec. 30 beginning at 9 p.m. ET. The first episode of this final pre-finale chunk adds Fisher to Ash, Kelly and Pablo’s entourage, which encounters a Walking Dead-esque scenario at a compound run by a state militia. While it might seem like a slight departure from the usual deadites of Evil Dead films past, the action returns to frightening norms with two big moments — a rather uncomfortable reunion for Ash and one of the films’ original characters, and a revelation about Ruby’s true identity.
In the end, this makes for a solid five hours of chainsaw-swinging, shotgun-blasting mayhem ahead of Saturday’s finale. Unlike most bouts of binge-watching, however, Starz retains some control. This means that viewers won’t find themselves sinking into the couch while five hours of Ash vs Evil Dead plays on their TV. Instead, the binging is spread across three nights. And with a break for the New Year’s Eve holiday immediately after, fans will have time to recover before “The Dark One” airs on Saturday, Jan. 2 at 9 p.m. ET.