Well, that was quick.
The third episode of Ash vs Evil Dead was really over quickly. Just a brief 30 minutes is clearly not enough time to spend with Ash and the gang. Sure it’s one thing to fulfill all the fun and action viewers want, but it’s clearly a bit restraining for this show to be squeezed into a time slot so small.
From a show that absolutely nailed it straight off the bat, “Books From Beyond” was clearly a weaker episode. It was all too brief and it was obvious that this was a baby in the hands of new a new writer and director. This is how I feel about Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s fourth season: strange choices and never really quite hitting the mark with characters. We only see Kelly’s parents sporadically, but there was enough to care about them and what happened to them. Most of that was probably due to some fantastic acting, but I also don’t think the writing was as strong for character building.
Speaking of characters, viewers finally got to see some of Lucy Lawless’s character Ruby. She’s still pretty shrouded in mystery, but when she arrives at Kelly’s parent’s house, it’s clear that she knows what’s going on and she’s a lot more frightening than I thought she would be. If she can make Deadites scream, it’s probably best to hide under your bed when she comes around. One thing I know is that I cannot wait to see her and Ash together in a scene. Bruce Campbell and Lawless go bad to their Hercules/Xena days so it will be great to see some of that chemistry.
Back in the world of Ash, he and his two side-kicks arrive at the book store where Ash believes he can get some answers about the Necronomicon. Pablo is clearly psyched to be a part of a team and suggests that the trio go by the name “The Ghost Beaters” which Kelly and Ash both find unpalatable and rightly so… but I do hope this name sticks. This is inevitably going to go wrong as soon as he steps through the door and Amanda sees him.
The cop decides to take Ash down by herself, but not before Pablo and all his goodness decides to knock her out with a bone. With Amanda handcuffed and out of the way, the boys, along with a forgettable book shop owner, decide it’s time to get business settled with the evil. The owner has some information to share with them (and the audience) about how the book works. The book itself is not inherently evil, but instead works as a portal to evil. Ash’s brilliant idea is to summon one of the weaker demons to try and get some answers out of it.
The demo that is summoned doesn’t look anything like an Evil Dead creature. It sort of looks like if Guillermo del Toro made a movie in 3D, forgot to give people 3D glasses, then had it mate with a Predator. It was a really cool design, but just not very with the feel of the franchise. Plus I’m really not interested in the introduction of more demons when it’s clear that the Ghost Beaters already have enough on their plates.
While the boys are getting down to business, Kelly and Amanda have a chat. It’s really cool to see Kelly’s full belief in Ash even after everything she’s been through. This undying faith might not last long, but seeing genuine comradery in a show is really great. Kelly really is the star of this episode as she’s also the one to save the idiots from the demo they’ve raised. She hits the demo with the book after shouting “Go back to hell.” That seems to do the trick. And if that’s all it really takes, hopefully this evil business will be wrapped up pretty quickly and we can watch our characters go for a couple of beers instead.
Everything said, I still loved this weeks show. I crave this series week after week. And while “Books From Beyond” didn’t reach the magic of the first two episodes for me, I thought it was still intriguing and engaging. By giving viewers different relationships to study with some unusual settings, I think Ash vs Evil Dead is moving on at a fantastic pace. I really, really can’t wait for more.