Ash vs Evil Dead: Season 2 Episode 1 (Home)
Original air date: October 2nd, 2016
I have prepared my whole life for this. I first saw The Evil Dead movies as an impressionable, small child. My dad and I watched them multiple times, I made my sister watch, I might have sat on a cousin and made her watch. I went to a cabin in the woods with my friends—made them watch. (We all lived, just in case anyone was wondering). I have stopped just short of canvassing neighborhoods and asking people to accept Ashley J. Williams as humanity’s only true savior.
Just to add to my nerd cred (in case I need to),let answer a couple questions: do I have the Army of Darkness/Xena cross-over comics? Of course, you primitive screwheads. Did I play all the Evil Dead video games? Well… Is the Necronomicon bound in human flesh? (That’s a yes, in case it wasn’t obvious.)
So here I am: I just finished re-watching season one of Ash Vs. Evil Dead, I am gazing at the Army of Darkness movie poster hanging over my desk, and I know—things are about to get groovy.
When we last saw Ash (Bruce Campbell), Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), they were headed to Jacksonville, Florida, right after accepting a truce with the Dark One (Lucy Lawless).
Homecoming opens up with things not looking well for Ruby (aka the Dark One). Her creepy, Pablo puke-children are all grown up and not looking happy with mama. Ruby’s only hope? Ash.
El Jefe (Ash), Kelly, Pablo and Eli (Ash’s bearded dragon) are living it up in Jacksonville. Everything is going great. Ash is using his mad chainsaw and shooting skills to entertain the drunken masses and impress the ladies. Things look to be getting even luckier for Ash when two deadites crash the party–total buzzkills. Even in puka shells and sandals with socks, Ash kicks ass. Ash hacks up one deadite while Pablo and Kelly disperse their share of carnage on the other. This attack effectively ends the truce, sending the pissed off Ash gang to look for Ruby. This is a bloodier call for help than say, I don’t know, sending a cute little droid, but probably more timely.
Road trip! Ash knows where Ruby is holed up–the deadite gave it away. To help the search, Pablo tries to draw a picture of Ruby, only instead, he draws the Necronomicon. Uh-oh. It seems his face-to-face with the book left behind some side effects.
Ashy Slashy, hatchet and saw, takes your head and skins you raw.
Ashy Slashy, heaven or hell, cuts out your tongue so you can’t yell.
Welcome to Elk Grove, Michigan. Ash has gained boogeyman status in his hometown. Kids dare each other to knock on the door of his old home, running off before “Ashy Slashy” can get them. The town looks downtrodden and ready to be used as the set of Silent Hill. The events from the original movies had effects yet to be fully revealed.
Ash’s father, Brock Williams (Lee Majors), still lives in the family home. There is some banter, a Six Million Dollar Man nod and wink, and some serious insight into why Ash is how he is. The reunion isn’t a warm one and the gang continue on their quest to find Ruby.
Pablo again sees the Necronomicon on a homeless man’s sign. Hmmm….this is leading to something.
Ash walks into a bar. Everyone stops to stare and the only friendly face is Linda—an old friend, maybe girlfriend (Michelle Hurd). Her husband, little Tommy Emery (Stephen Lovatt), is the Sheriff and he is not interested in helping Ash find Ruby. With the town’s help or not, Ash is going to save them. Ash doesn’t let them run him off. He owns what he did–he knew exactly what he did when he “chopped up his friends.”
Pablo sees the homeless man levitating and follows, finding himself staring at Ruby holding the Necronomicon. The cover flies off and reattaches to Pablo’s face. Kelly pulls him out of this vision. The vision did offer insight as to where Ruby is—the crematorium. Turns out Pablo has been having nightmares since the Necronomicon was bound to him, but only recently did they start while he was awake.
Armed with his chainsaw, boomstick, Kandarian Dagger and Clubman Pinaud After Shave lotion, Ash is ready to get some answers.
Into the crematorium they go, and trademark “splatter-stick” ensues. Ash fights the grown up creepy kids. Pablo finds he is protected by his Uncle’s necklace. Kelly thinks she is fighting the evil version of herself only to find she is actually strangling herself (much like Ash in ED2). Ash finds Ruby and rescues her from her creepy kids (sort of). Seems the Kandarian Dagger is the only thing that kills them. Ruby has hidden the Necronomicon and needs Ash and the gang to help retrieve it and dispose of the rest of her children. Ash agrees and plans on being back in Jacksonville by Friday.
There was ample bloodshed and dismembered limbs in the first ten minutes to do the series proud. The count for the episode: 2 dead deadites, 1 dead creepy kid, 4 ripped-(or cut-) off arms, 1 chopped-off head, and 1 person projectile-vomited upon. This episode stays true to the feel of the original movies. There is a great balance of Sam Raimi-like film sequences followed by more traditional filming. Both, I think, are needed to make the series successful. If it was shot entirely like the original ED movies, then the pace would be too frantic for the longevity of a series.
All-in-all, a great opening for season two. I think this season will explore more about Ash, his father and his home town. I doubt there will be any ground-breaking insightfulness on Ash’s part—this is Ash I’m talking about. I do think some of what happened in the 30 years between the movies and the series will be revealed. I have a feeling little Sheriff Tommy isn’t going to last long. Killing him off would open up the possibility of a new love interest for Ash (though I’m rooting for an Ash and Ruby shipping). Brock Williams will probably kick some ass alongside his son; and Pablo, I think, is going to become much more powerful. I think there is a little Brujo in him. Kelly? Well, she is going to stay her kickass self. As for me, I am going to pass my time until the next episode by re-reading Bruce Campbell’s If Chins Could Kill.