Warning: There are full spoilers ahead for the third episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead season two. You’ve been warned!
The Evil Dead movies were never designed to deal with the longterm emotional fallout from the events at the cabin, and we didn’t expect that from Ash vs. Evil Dead either. But this episode’s confrontation between Ash and his father Brock (Lee Majors) really landed. As far as Brock knew, his son was just the guy who murdered his sister, his girlfriend, and their other friends.
Now, given that Starz went through the trouble of sending Majors on tour at San Diego Comic-Con, the easy assumption was that he’d be around for at least the rest of the season. As it turns out, that’s not the case. But Ash vs. Evil Dead had perhaps its most genuine emotional moment to date in the moments before Brock’s death, so we can’t really argue with such an effective gut punch. Ash vs. Evil Dead has always been a comedy, but now it’s got real stakes for its leading character.
We are really gonna miss having Lee Majors on this show, but that’s also a sign of how entertaining he’s been in just three episodes. After witnessing Ash in action against a Deadite, Brock reconciled with his son and teased a family secret right before he was brutally run down by the possessed Delta. That hurt, but it was supposed to. Can you remember the last time this show killed someone off with the same gravitas? And yet it was still darkly funny, because we should have known that Brock was a goner as soon as he settled his differences with Ash.
The tragic ending of “Last Call” actually made the episode’s opening sequence even funnier in retrospect. The opening focused on the love that Ash had for his Delta, complete with a montage of footage from the Evil Dead movies. That love for his car is just part of Ash being Ash—we know this guy by now, and that familiarity helps to make even his cheap fart gags funny.
There wasn’t really much of a plot in this episode beyond Ash throwing a party and hoping that the local teens who stole his Delta would randomly show up. Not a great plan by any measure, but Team Ash and Ruby (Lucy Lawless) rolled with it for a while. Largely, it was just an excuse to introduce Ted Raimi as Ash’s old buddy Chet, and to give Ash and Brock a very funny showdown involving a mechanical bull and a Deadite-possessed girl. Pablo didn’t really get a lot to do this week, but his speech to Ash was well played by actor Ray Santiago.
Remember in the season premiere when Ruby’s children taunted Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) with the idea that she should be the leader of Team Ash? We may have just seen the follow up on that idea, as Ruby suggested that it was Kelly that she was meant to team up with. That’s intriguing, and this episode was one of the first in a while to even hint at Kelly’s lingering grief for her family. Again, this isn’t a show that normally deals with the ramifications of what it does to its characters. That’s why this was such a refreshing change of pace.
The rest of the episode dealt with Ash’s Delta going full Christine on the hapless teens who stole it, including Lacey (Pepi Sonuga), the daughter of Ash’s old flame Linda (Michelle Hurd), whom we haven’t seen since the season premiere. That’s probably gonna change soon. But will Team Ash be able to save Lacey and the car? We’d bet against it, but Ash would probably mourn the car before anyone else except his dad.
This was a great episode, with strong writing and performances. We’ve loved this show since the beginning, and it’s exciting to see it getting better week by week.
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Images: Starz/Renaissance Pictures