Ashley J. Williams and his sidekicks are back for another season of Deadite-killing mayhem! The first season of ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ was great fun but had some growing pains. Can the second season iron out the kinks without losing the show’s rambunctious charm?
At the end of last season, Ruby (Lucy Lawless) revealed herself to be an evil mastermind who planned to rule all the demons from Hell. In their final confrontation, she offered Ash a deal. If he’d leave her alone and stop fighting her, she’d allow him (as well as friends Pablo and Kelly) to go free and have the dream life Ash always wanted in Jacksonville. Ash, being a dolt, accepted.
From the opening of the second season premiere, it’s obvious that Ruby hasn’t had as much success controlling the Deadites as she expected. A couple of the demons attack her, trying to steal the ‘Necronomicon’ book. After fighting them off, Ruby realizes that she needs Ash’s help. “Oh fuck, what a mess,” she laments.
Meanwhile, Ash is living the high life in Jacksonville. It’s exactly the non-stop Spring Break fantasy he always wanted, and all the idiot college kids love the middle-aged clown. Pablo is enjoying himself too, but Kelly is bitter. The party comes to an abrupt end when a supernatural storm appears over the city and a couple of floozies Ash was hitting on turn into Deadites. Ash protests that he had a truce with Ruby, but they tell him it’s over. Ash, Kelly and Pablo have to dispatch the monsters in another ridiculous outpouring of blood and gore.
Based on something one of the Deadites said, Ash believes that Ruby is in his hometown of Elk Grove, Michigan. The trio pack up Ash’s car for a road trip to kill the bitch like they should have done earlier.
When they arrive in Elk Grove, Pablo and Kelly learn that Ash is a pariah in town. Young children are told stories of the bogeyman “Ashy Slashy” who went crazy and hacked up his friends. They also meet Ash’s father, Brock “The Cock” Williams. He’s exactly the sort of crude, lecherous, racist role model you’d expect to have raised our hero. Ash and his dad don’t get along particularly well, but the casting of Lee Majors allows for some ‘Six Million Dollar Man’ jokes about Ash’s robo-hand.
While searching for Ruby, Ash runs into a waitress named Linda (Michelle Hurd from ‘The Glades’) he used to have a thing with. She’s about the only person in town who’s nice to him. Her current boyfriend, the sheriff, is a former rival who can’t stand Ash
The trail eventually leads to a crematorium, where Ash has to fight his own shadow and a trio of evil demon kids (now grown up a bit). Kelly gets grabbed and locked in a sewer, fights her evil doppelganger, and almost drowns in a pool of blood.
When Ash finds Ruby, she says that she sent the two Deadites to Jacksonville as a message for him. She’s lost control of her children and needs his help. Ash isn’t sure whether to believe her until the both of them are attacked by the three demon kids. Ruby kills one of her own children with Ash’s Kandarian dagger. The other two flee. To show that she means him no harm, Ruby gives the dagger back to Ash. He gathers the team and announces, “Let’s go save the world!”
The show seems to be off to a good start so far. Some of the comic bumbling with Ash repeatedly hitting his head on things is a little tiresome, but the season premiere has lots of hilarious gore and supernatural shenanigans. I’m actually grateful that the show is walking back Ruby’s heel turn a bit. I prefer to see her and Ash working together, rather than reduce Lucy Lawless to a stock villain role.