There are full spoilers ahead for the second season premiere of Ash vs. Evil Dead. You’ve been warned!
Ash vs. Evil Dead is back, and no one can say that it doesn’t move at a breakneck speed. As much as we’d love to see hour-long episodes of this series, the shorter run time seems to force the show to keep things moving. The first few minutes of “Home” zipped by really quickly and efficiently set up the new status quo for Ash (Bruce Campbell) and the Ghost Beaters.
But first, we had a 90-second check-in with Ruby (Lucy Lawless), and her demon spawn, which have apparently turned on her. One of the recently released behind-the-scenes videos gave us a new appreciation for Ruby’s “children,” who are actually actors in full-body makeup with contortion experience. CGI could have probably pulled off the children, but it’s nice to see the show embracing more practical effects. It’s also interesting that the series didn’t hint at any duplicity from Ruby. She really seemed to be desperate to fight off her spawn, and that even made her sympathetic. Of course, she reached out to Ash for help in the only way she knew how: by sending the Deadites to kill him.
Back in Jacksonville, it was amusing that Ash’s idea of the good life was being a minor celebrity at local keggers. Pablo (Ray Santiago) seemed happy enough with that, but Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) was less than impressed as they worked the bar with Ash. The brilliance of this show is that it didn’t linger in this scene. Ash’s retirement lasted all of two minutes before the glorious carnage began, and all three of our heroes were drenched in blood.
It’s impressive how quickly that Santiago and DeLorenzo have been integrated into the core of this show. Pablo and Kelly belong to this world, and the season premiere gave both of them their own subplots. For Pablo, his traumatic experience with the Necronomicon gave him some very unwelcome visions. The funny thing about Ruby’s children is that they’re actually Pablo’s spawn, since his body was used to bring them into this world–a connection which will probably be explored later this season. As for Kelly, DeLorenzo really went for it as she essentially had to beat up herself while fighting her double. What’s interesting here is that the forces of evil are trying to tempt Kelly by playing to her vanity and suggesting that she should lead and Ash should follow. Do they know something about Kelly that we don’t? Because if we haven’t seen that side of Kelly yet, then it may happen soon.
Because of the Deadite’s taunts, Ash figured out that he was being summoned to his hometown, Elk Grove, where he’s got quite a nasty reputation as “Ashy Slashy.” That name was a bit hacky, but it’s refreshing that the events of The Evil Dead had larger consequences for Ash. To the people he grew up with, Ash is just the guy who murdered his girlfriend, his sister, and his friends at a spooky old cabin. As far as they know, he’s the town’s version of Jason Voorhees. That gave us a few rare moments of vulnerability from Ash as he was practically laughed out of a bar when he responded to their taunts with his signature bluster.
Ash’s ex-girlfriend Linda (Michelle Hurd) had a brief and unmemorable first appearance in the bar scene, but among the new characters, Lee Majors’ Brock Williams was clearly the most entertaining. Majors appeared to be having a lot of fun as Ash’s father, as he played Brock like a more amplified version of Ash himself. Brock even hit on Kelly and made some very Ash-like racist comments about Pablo. Now that we’ve seen where Ash gets a lot of his personality from, it should be interesting to see Brock drawn into the supernatural world that his son deals with on a constant basis.
While Kelly and Pablo were literally fighting their demons, Ash located Ruby and eventually came to terms with her for a new alliance. Weirdly, the episode played up the fact that Ash finds Ruby to be very attractive. Neither Pablo nor Kelly called out Ash when he said that he’d bury a dagger “deep into her strangely beautiful neck,” but they’re probably just used to that from Ash. He is who he is. By the end, Ruby was tentatively on Team Ash as they set their sights on retrieving the Necronomicon and taking out Ruby’s children. That was a very strong way to start the season, and this show seems to be firmly in control of its characters and tone. It was funny, gory, and action packed. What’s not to love?
Tell us what you thought about the season premiere of Ash vs. Evil Dead in the comment section below!
Images: Starz/Renaissance Pictures