Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 Episode 9 Review: Judgement Day

The poop hits the fan and gets all over every one in "Judgement Day", Ash vs Evil Dead's second to last episode - ever.

This Ash vs Evil Dead review contains spoilers.

Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 Episode 9

I found out yesterday that Ash vs Evil Dead has been canceled by Starz. Needless to say, I am not a happy camper. I don’t even own any camping equipment. But that’s neither here nor there. What I’m saying is this: I’m writing a review of the next-to-last episode of a television series which felt too good to be true, one that I’ve been covering since it first premiered around Halloween in 2015. It wasn’t perfect all the time, but it was addictive, entertaining, and consistently hilarious. Oh yeah, there may have been some gore thrown in there too. What more can you ask for in a TV show? (Pipe down. That was rhetorical.)

I’ll save the eulogizing for next week’s review of the finale, but it feels wrong not to review this week’s entry within such context. As the penultimate episode of the ultimate Evil Dead TV series, “Judgement Day” hits a lot of sweet spots. The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, a major apocalypse looms, and the classic cabin is nowhere in sight. That’s probably the most refreshing part for me, seeing as that was where the other two finales were set. AvED has a tendency to rely on the cabin as a go-to device when it runs out of ideas or gets stuck. Thankfully, the action isn’t centered around it this time and is instead focused on the cavalcade of crazy, off the wall storylines that are colliding with each other at a speed that’s breaking our necks in the funnest way possible.

The same can be said about season three in general, so much so that I wish we had five more episodes to help wrap things up. But no, the extra screen time would have slowed everything down and taken away the manic charm this gloriously overstuffed year of television has.

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“Judgement Day” finds our heroes tackling the problem of Kelly’s entrapment within the Rift head-on, as well as Ruby’s convoluted plans for doing something naughty with the Necronomicon. I can’t say that her plans have made much sense over the course of this year, because she’s been juggling so many different balls – er, elements that have been fun to watch fly around in the air, but didn’t seem to amount to more than episodic attempts at f*cking with Ash and his kids. Which I didn’t mind at all, I’m just eager to sit down at some point in the near future and binge through this year again as one complete experience and pay closer attention to what’s being said. Perhaps even take notes. Hey, it’s complicated.

As Ash makes another visit to the house Ruby’s squatting in order to face off with her and attempt to remove Kaya from Kelly’s body so she can return to the world of the living, his daughter Brandy is entrusted with his boomstick to fend off the forces of evil from invading their home. (Yes, I just said “entrusted with his boomstick”. You’re welcome.) Yet the boomstick doesn’t help her our much when she gets locked in the garage with an itty bitty little CGI Necronomicon demon birthed from her iPhone. She winds up killing it with a plow instead, but only after she loses her thumb – which is better than losing her entire hand, which they tease in a hallucinated fakeout.

Brandy’s character development has been a slow-burn all season, and she has mostly been motivated by figuring out whether she should trust her new father or not, although he continues to embarrass and traumatize her in each episode. This sequence where she fights the little gremlin is a terrific callback to Evil Dead II, if not a way to mark that she is now officially Ashy Slashy’s daughter, and she is now officially a part of his world. This is her baptism in blood.  

Pablo continues his evolution into Brujo Especiale and helps speed up the plot along the way, connecting with the Necronomicon to spy on what’s going on in Ruby’s lair and, later, to help Brandy and himself catch up with Ash. Pablo’s maturation into a spiritual warrior is a fitting way to see off his character, so if we have to say goodbye to him now, it should be in this way. Otherwise, nobody would have a truly clear and distinct character arc on this show.

Ruby died in this episode, for what appears to be good this time, at the hands of the Dark Ones. Yes, we actually get to see them in action and it’s better than I imagined. They pull Kaya’s spirit out of Kelly’s body and give birth to a naked vessel to put her into while chanting evilly. Come to think of it, there was a lot of vivid imagery this week…

When our heroes reunite in the end in the center of downtown Elk Grove, the town has been forced into a state of martial law because of how violent everything has gotten. It’s too bad we didn’t have time to see any of this happen in the episode, and it feels like the twist came out of nowhere at the 11th hour. But I don’t care much, because the set pieces in the finale must be incredible, if the giant hand that flew up out of the earth is any indication. Bring on the big apocalypse, boys!

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The Top 5 Highlights of “Judgement Day” are…

1. The stakes. Did I mention they were high?

2. Ruby’s demise. She was a real biotch this season. But a necessary one.

3. Brandy’s Deadite (?) kill. Can we call it “Deadite Mite”?

4. The ending. “Make my monster…grow!

5. Ash Williams. We’re going to miss you.

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See you next week for the series finale.


5 out of 5