Written by Shannon McGrew
Following “Ash vs. Evil Dead”‘s hugely successful debut on the Starz Channel last year, audiences have received the gift that keeps on giving in the form of Bruce Campbell’s portrayal of the much older, but just as amazing, Ash Williams. This past week, in preparation for the Blu-ray/DVD release, I had the chance to binge watch the second season in its entirety, and though I didn’t like it as much as the first season, it still lived up to the high standards of what I expected.
“Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 2” kicks off with Ash (Bruce Campbell), Pablo (Ray Santiago), and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) living their lives in Jacksonville, FL. However, since evil is never far from Ash, it once again rears its ugly head forcing Ash and the gang to leave FL and return to his hometown, Elk Grove. Once there, they are confronted by Ruby (Lucy Lawless), who informs them that the evil is also stalking her and she needs their help. Against their better judgment, the gang forms an unlikely alliance with Ruby in hopes of destroying the evil that has befallen them before it destroys Elk Grove.
The show wouldn’t be what it is without the incredible chemistry between all the actors. Bruce Campbell once again shows no signs of slowing down in terms of his witty one-liners and undeniable charm. This season there was more of a focus on Ray Santiago’s character which I really enjoyed. Though Pablo will always be Ash’s sidekick, the fact that they gave him an intriguing storyline that included the Necronomicon was quite entertaining. As for Dana DeLorenzo, that woman can do no wrong in my book. She is a force to be reckoned with who has located her true calling in kicking ass and taking names. Lucy Lawless one again proved her worth as Ruby, though I felt her storyline wasn’t as strong.
One of the aspects that I loved so much about the first season was the designs of the deadites as well as the creatures released from the Necronomicon. This season there wasn’t as much creature design which I really missed. The main focus was on the deadites, which were just as amazing as they have always been, as well as Ruby’s “children”. I did enjoy how these monstrosities were designed and how they interacted with those they confronted, but I really felt like something was missing in the overall design of the creatures. We were also introduced to the incredibly powerful demon Baal, played by Joel Tobeck, who made it his personal goal to do whatever he could to try and destroy Ash and retrieve the Necronomicon. In regards to the gore level in this show, gore-hounds will be pleased as punch to learn that there are some spectacular death scenes. One thing this show is not in need of is more carnage and destruction, it has that in spades, and quite honestly, it’s one of the best parts of this series.
I did enjoy that we got to go to Elk Grove and see what Ash’s hometown was like 30 years later. This was made especially intriguing by the introduction of Ash’s father, played by veteran actor Lee Majors. Their interaction was a combination of humor, hatred, and comeuppances, that made for some quality television viewing. It became quite apparent very quickly as to why Ash has the personality that he does due to the type of person his father is. Having to go back to Elk Grove forced Ash to confront his past and those who believe that he was the true killer – and many, many people believe Ash (or as they call him, Ashy Slashy), is the one responsible for all the murders years ago in that fateful cabin. With Ash going home, the viewer gets to see some fantastic cameos, most notably by Ted Raimi and Ellen Sandweiss who played the original Cheryl in The Evil Dead film.
Overall, “Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 2” still comes out on top and is easily one of the best television shows I’ve seen in years. Though I may not have been as blown away as I was with the first season, I still think this one has some incredibly amazing moments and reveals. Going back and learning about Ash’s life and seeing his hometown really gave viewers a better understanding of why Ash is who he is. The writers also did an impressive job of bringing the show’s story full circle with the return of the infamous cabin in the woods. As for those wondering if there will be a season 3, have no fear, as the third season has been filmed! With that said, there will be so much more to come and many more deadites to be killed.
“Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 2” is now available to own on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Lionsgate.