This Ash vs Evil Dead review contains spoilers.
Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 Episode 6
Have I mentioned how good season three of Ash vs Evil Dead is yet?
Wait. Duh. Of course I have. Numerous times, and on multiple occasions looks like. Well, certain statements bear repeating, and this one is no exception.
One of the most enticing parts of this year of television is that it doesn’t give a f*ck. I mean, it does give more f*cks than the past couple of years have (here I go again), most noticeably in the storytelling department. But it doesn’t give a f*ck in other ways, such as mixing it up by killing off its main characters, making them evil, or both. Ash vs Evil Dead has rediscovered that anything is possible in its universe, that there are no set rules, and the sky’s the limit. Cinematic experimentation has always been a part of Evil Dead‘s wheelhouse in the most sophomoric and twisted sense, and each and every episode of this tightly written yet out of control roller coaster ride lives up to that standard.
But if there is criticism to make here, it is that this show allows barely any time for us to digest the information that we’re being bombarded every few seconds. Certain plotlines and character beats are given a decent amount of screen time – specifically Pablo’s spiritual evolution into the Brujo Especial and Ash’s relationship with his new daughter. Others, such as the Knights of Sumeria mythos that’s being hurriedly established in bits and pieces, are significantly rushed and slightly underdeveloped.
This is a blessing and a curse because while these developments are intriguing to long-time fans and necessary to Mark Verheiden’s master plan for the season, they are quite literally crammed in leaving the audience almost no room to breathe. Personally, I like this more than I’m letting on because I love overly bloated TV seasons because they are fun to rewatch. On the other hand, this means that most of the important details about the Knights of Sumeria aren’t easily absorbed – or worse, they get lost in the beautiful chaos.
“Tales From The Rift” reconnects Ash to his past encounter traveling through the rift in time at the end of Evil Dead II and introduces more Knights that get unceremoniously killed off to create what looks like a chimera type being copied from an old school Resident Evil game. We learn more about the signs that are painted on the walls in the secret basement underneath Ash’s hardware store and more about Pablo’s abilities in relation to them. In this regard, the outing was successful.
That said, Ashy Slashy himself is reduced to cracking one-liners killing off the monster-of-the-day and seems to be living in his own cartoon reality here. He doesn’t have much to do besides react to things, chow down on meaty exposition, and be the loveable, gore spewing buffoon that he is.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does remind me of Bruce Campbell’s recent comments to the press about leaving the role behind if season four isn’t greenlit. (C’mon Starz!) There’s only so much you can do with Ash without completely diluting his character. Giving him a daughter livened things up a bit, but even she is taking a backseat to the onslaught of expository madness that we’re witnessing week to week.
The real centerpiece of “Tales From The Rift” is the fight between Kelly and Ruby, one that gets messy and painful for both parties fast. Ruby and Kelly have had a complicated relationship since the beginning, one that came very close to transforming into a surrogate familial bond. Kelly once looked up to her as a mentor of sorts, another strong female figure who had a sense of control in the insane, upside-down world of Ash Williams. Now she views her as a mortal enemy, especially after what she did to Pablo and Dalton (but mostly Pablo).
Sadly, Ruby wins the match against Kelly towards the end of the episode, killing her off with the Kandarian dagger. Speaking as a Kelly fan, this is very sad to see. What’s worse is, Ruby pulls a Fred/Illyria (that’s an Angel reference, by the way) and turns Kelly into a living vessel for her sorceress friend from hell, Kaya. I hope Kelly’s fate isn’t sealed, but I’m happy Dana DeLorenzo will still be with us for the time being. Will she be the Big Bad in the finale, and will Pablo be the one to stop her?
Anyway. The Top 5 Highlights of “Tales From The Rift” are:
1. Kelly shotgunning it. How badass was it to watch Kelly repeatedly blow Ruby away with several shotgun blasts right before the teaser? Answer: very.
2. The Resident Evil Deadite. Seriously, did he remind anyone else of Tyrant?
3. Ash’s Power Ranger joke. I can never, ever pass up a good Power Ranger reference. (Both shows have the same half-hour format if you think about it.)
4. The Rift itself. It’ll be interesting to see how the rift plays into the finale, and if Pablo will be the prophesize one instead of Ash. I could see it happen.
5. Dana DeLorenzo’s performance. She’s been given a lot of great material to work with this year, and her death scene was one of them. I sincerely hope she’ll come back to life somehow. This show needs a good strong female character that’s not evil. Brandy could work with a little more development, I suppose. But it wouldn’t be the same.
Tune in next week, folks. Same Ashy time, same Slashy network!