Boy what a season.
It was a fairly inconsistent season of Ash vs Evil Dead. Trying to think back on the season’s ten episodes (just barely five hours) absolutely exhausts me. Remember the possessed car? The Pink Fuck? The asylum/dream bit? Oh and that awful Sheriff Emery? For such a relatively short show, the crew behind this show really packs everything it can into the suitcase, then tries to sit on it and hope it closes.
To say seasons two was big is understating things quite a bit.
But “Second Coming” was a fairly solid ending to a rather hectic season. The episode tirelessly tries to keep its viewer on its feet, and pretty much achieves just that. Though it did feel like there was a whole lot that was needed to fit into the small thirty-minute time slot (this was a longer episode than previous weeks), and I sort of wish the show took a breath while filling us in.
Last week left Ash alone in the cellar at the cabin with a student and a rather enlarged Mrs Knowby. Right before Ash attempts to shoot her, she tells him “No one escapes their destiny.” Then she, er, eats the student and finishes off her husband.
When Ash escapes from the pits of history, he comes face-to-face with a blonde Ruby. This is 80’s Ruby. 80’s Ruby is a total, immortal bitch who still has ideas of ruling with the Necronomicon in one hand and patting the heads of her babies with the other. Unfortunately, Ruby (the regular one) shows up with Kelly.
And it’s Ruby vs. Ruby while Ash gets sent off to deal with the Deadite in the cellar. The effects are a notably entertaining mix of CGI and practical. Mrs Knowby’s head gets all stretched and long like one fat deadite worm…neck beast. Oh and breast milk. Eeeergh.
Being mortal, Ruby tries to talk 80’s Ruby out of her Master Plan. After it slips that Ruby killed off her babies, 80’s Ruby is pretty unwilling to like her future self. Since she’s the sort of all-knowing scholar of the show, Ruby keeps insisting that 80’s Ruby can take a different path (sound familiar?), then she’s killed.
Yep. Present day Ruby bites the dust. So that makes the Ghost Beaters, what, 40% off?
As Kelly and Ash take their opportunity to run for the hills, Ash’s hand grows back – proving that the team have successfully changed the present. They open up the trunk and find Pablo whole again. The reunited team hop into the Delta, seemingly heading back home to sunnier days in Jacksonville.
Though – twist again – Pablo is Baal, which is one of the cruelest thing you can do to a fan base that has been mourning the loss of their favourite Honduran demon fighter. Kelly and Ash are attacked and dragged back to the cabin yet again – it’s always that damn cabin.
When Ash wakes up from being knocked out, he witness the book “giving birth” to Baal and Ruby’s children. If you’re a clever view, you’d have sensed that something wasn’t right in the previous episode when Pablo told Ash to go back in time. And well, that’s because Baal had attached himself to Pablo’s body during the original attempt to get rid of him. Going back in time allowed Baal to posses a body that would eventually become alive again… or something.
Then there’s a fairly lengthy bit of Ash asking Baal to a one-on-one fight using no demon powers. Of course Baal agrees to it, but bends the rules to his own will. Ash fends off Chet (and loses a hand), runs from Cheryl, then drowns Brock – who yet again attempts to tell Ash something important – in a bathtub.
Thanks to 80’s Ruby being a total self-serving demon, she changes the rules of the “battles of egos” herself. This works to Ash’s advantage, and he finally finished off Baal with his own weird overgrown nail.
The cabin begins to split in half, seemingly to open up to the pits of hell and eat up Baal and the cabin with it. Ash and Kelly get the fuck out and watch the final destruction of the cabin as it burns (incidentally, the original cabin in the first film burned down as well). From the ashes emerges a rather phoenix-like Pablo.
In the present day (I think, since the show skips over any scene of travelling), Ash is hailed as a hero of Elk Grove. Pablo and Kelly share a long hug. Linda beams on lovingly in a white outfit. It all feels too good to be true. And it most likely is. As 80’s Ruby turns on her heel and marches away out of the crowd, it’s pretty certain that season 3 isn’t going to be easy going for the Ghost Beaters. 80’s Ruby seems a whole lot angry than the present day option.
So that’s it for the Necronomicon, right? In a rare post-credits scene, an unseen girl grabs the book from the ashes. “Look what I found!” Oh big trouble is on the horizon for the team. Then again, with Ash in tow, when is it not?
The finale left me with notes filled with words in all caps, and plenty of ???? every other line. It moved so fast, and constantly changed direction at every opportunity. So where does Ash vs Evil Dead go from here?
Hopefully, it regroups and slides things back to a smaller scale. The best part of this show for me is the three core characters. I can do without Ruby (even though Lucy Lawless is a true queen). There’s magic that happens between Pablo, Kelly and Ash. Seeing them together and group-hugging-it-out just felt really right.
Ash vs Evil Dead spent ten episodes showing off what it can do: genre hopping, slapstick comedy, great acting and even better effects. But maybe, just maybe the show can tackle something a bit more manageable. It certainly wouldn’t bore me. At this point, there’s too much good stuff built into this franchise for it to be anything but entertaining.