Ash vs Evil Dead: Second Coming
December 11, 2016 5:47 PM - Season 2, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Season 2 finale - Ash strikes a bargain to save humanity.
posted by oh yeah! (15 comments total)
Kind of a lackluster ending - I was expecting they would cliffhanger it with Ash & Kelly off to Hell to rescue Pablo, not what amounts to a repeat of going to Jacksonville. Reading in the AV Club recap that the ending changed because there's a new show runner hired for S3 is troubling.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:01 PM on December 11, 2016

Well, after reading the originally planned ending and stewing on it for the night, I'm revising my opinion of the finale from lackluster to awful. Kelly becoming Ash's daughter could have been awesome, and fuck Rob Tapert for calling it off at the last minute.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:32 AM on December 12, 2016

I thought the finale was okay, not great or fantastic in any way. I think I would have liked the original plan better, and I'm also curious for the other producer's take on all of this. He's kind of setup as a not very creative guy who see's Evil Dead as more serious than not...which, to be frank, Evil Dead at its best has always been pushing the envelop on ridiculousness.

I'd picked up on the daughter themes earlier, but had been convinced it was going to be Ash's daughter with Linda, Lacey. When they killed her off in "Ashey Flashey" I figured I was simply wrong, so it's kind of reassuring to know that I'm not that crazy.

I kept waiting for something connected to 1980s Ash to happen and was genuinely surprised when they didn't go that route, especially when they did the homage to Back to the Future.

I thought the final iteration of Henrietta with the elongated neck didn't feel quite right for the show. I loved 1980s Ruby's haircut, by the way.

Regarding the plans to make Kelly Ash's daughter, I'm mixed. She doesn't need that paternal connection to make her awesome, she's just fine being a figurative daughter. She can still pop up in the Necronomicon as the heir apparent. It would have been a great laugh, but I ultimately, it could have undermined the character. Maybe I'm okay with them not going that route. Not to mention, they'd have to work hard to make her not be a damsel in distress needing to be rescued by Ash and Pablo.

Favorite moment of the episode, maybe Ruby's almost death scene.
posted by Atreides at 9:49 AM on December 12, 2016

I really don't dig the idea of Kelly as Ash's daughter. Maybe part of it is that, in this scenario, both her father and her grandfather have commented on her hotness. It's a little weird. I do like the idea of Lacey as Ash's daughter! It's too bad that didn't happen. Oh, well.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:04 PM on December 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Brutal (in a good way) then falls apart when everyone returns to the present day (with 1982 Ruby?*). Or even when Pablo crawls out of the earth. Or maybe even during the finale of Ash/Baal fight; just seemed a little too easy, but that was totally an Ash move distracting Baal by asking about Ruby's prowess in bed.

The side-arc with Ash's dad was interesting. What was going on when his drowned body turned into a the chainsaw? Where did that figment come from, anyway? Was Baal using Ash's modified chainsaw, or was there a deus ex chainsaw somewhere?

The second season, overall, really solidified what made this show fun and wonderful in season one. I'm not terribly optimistic about the next season, though.

At least Lucy Lawless/Ruby is available, and evil again.

I did really enjoy Baal revealing that he was wearing Pablo, in the car. Breaking out of character, "I don't feel like it" and opening up his body-hoodie was admittedly really dope.

Not sold on the original idea that Kelly is Ash's child. Ash did meet her parents in the first (or maybe second?) episode, didn't they; were there any hints dropped? I don't think I recall any.

As for dad/grandad commenting on Kelly's hotness, I'm ok with that they're both creepers and not out of line with their characters.

I'm assuming that Kelly is not related to Ash, as of this version of the finale.

Speaking of hotness, Ray Santiago was never scrawny, but he's really improved his build since the pilot.

One last thought is, if they had gone with the original season finale, who would they have gotten to play young Ash (or would they have done it "body double" style, with no hero shots and just long shots or shots of the back of his head)?

*ok, one last; if 1982 Ruby came through to the present day, there'd be no not-completely-evil Ruby for Season 2, and no evil-Ruby for Season 1.
posted by porpoise at 4:20 PM on December 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sorry, but this is bugging me more than it should.

Ash's hand came back meaning that young Ash never found the book (and presumably, not the cabin either); none of his friends would have been killed, he never became Ashy Slashy, and the town wouldn't have been mad at him nor been plagued by evil.

Why are they holding a celebration?

If you're going to do time travel, do it right or do it completely ridiculous; there is very little middle ground that doesn't end up being a dumpster fire.
posted by porpoise at 4:31 PM on December 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Not sold on the original idea that Kelly is Ash's child. Ash did meet her parents in the first (or maybe second?) episode, didn't they; were there any hints dropped? I don't think I recall any.

Yes, we met Kelly's parents in season 1 - DiGregorio wasn't planning on a reveal that Ash was her father all along, there were time travel shenanigans involved. From the interview linked above, his plan was that they would get the Necronomicon out of the cabin at the beginning of the episode, later Ash would go looking for his dad and end up at the town bar where: "Ash doesn’t see his dad, but does see a nice young lady, who seems very sad because she just got passed over for a teacher position. She’s distraught, and Ash, having learned a lot about how you can fail and come back from it, starts talking to her very genuinely in the charming Bruce way. They end up drinking together and go in a bathroom stall to have some early-’80s unprotected sex. What you don’t realize is that the woman Ash is having sex with is Kelly’s future mother [a young Suzy Maxwell]. So, what happens is that Kelly, while running in the woods, all of a sudden feels her entire being change and drops the book. That’s when 1982 Ruby catches up and realizes what just happened. She looks through the Necronomicon and sees Ash’s picture, and then next to it, a picture of Kelly starts to appear. Because of the unprotected bathroom stall incident, Kelly has become Ash’s daughter."

I mean, I can just imagine how much comedy Campbell and DeLorenzo could have gotten out of that over season 3. It's nonsensically paradoxical, but, it could have been so funny.

If you're going to do time travel, do it right or do it completely ridiculous; there is very little middle ground that doesn't end up being a dumpster fire.

And that's why I've got such a hate-on for Rob Tapert now -- if he disagreed with the planned finale so much, he should have put his foot down at the start of the season so they could all figure out a different arc and ending. But to throw it out the window in some kind of last-minute power play and make such a sloppy replacement?
posted by oh yeah! at 4:43 PM on December 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

It's nonsensically paradoxical, but, it could have been so funny.

Ok, I'm sold.

Anything to make Ash/Bruce Campbell uncomfortable. All of the times. It'd clearly switch the power differentials, and set up Kelly to be Bruce's replacement. Maybe even some social commentary and Ash character development.

Would a strong enough hero and decent writing overcome being restricted to the Evil Dead universe? I feel that most of the nostalgia has been mined (successfully! and entertainingly!) and new ground probably needs to be broken for the show to remain viable.

So maybe Rob Tapert might be something painful but necessary, like setting a bone. Kelly as protagonist, Pablo as (unrightly) low-self esteemed sidekick, and maybe introduce another support character, could have bones.

If not for "art," I could see that as pretty successful children's tv programing, like how Supernatural ended up being. Horror Xena:Warrior Princess with a cis het Main/Sidekick relationship.
posted by porpoise at 6:52 PM on December 12, 2016

If you're going to do time travel, do it right or do it completely ridiculous; there is very little middle ground that doesn't end up being a dumpster fire.

Gah, my brain didn't take the effort of actually comprehending what a time travel mess it was. The only real explanation would be timelines...or wormholes, yeah, wormholes. I bet Ash was inside a four dimensional space inside the Necronomicon the entire time, trying to tell everyone the secret to winning....or growing something other than corn or something.
posted by Atreides at 7:14 AM on December 13, 2016

Great season up until this episode and the last five minutes or so just took a big dump on all of the great TV that came before. So. Horrible. Not feeling optimistic about the next season at all.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 10:37 AM on December 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

I would watch 100 seasons of this just for the blood splatter music intro that gets me Every. Damn. Time.
posted by ian1977 at 4:59 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

ian1977 absolutely! The strings scare-arpeggio is a Pavlovian stimuli.

They get kinda creative about where the blood-gush comes out from, in each episode opener in S3.
posted by porpoise at 7:28 PM on March 19, 2018

My very own Ashy Slashy Handpuppet.
posted by porpoise at 6:31 PM on January 31, 2019

The gratuitous use of the MSU fight song during the ending ceremony glossed over any concerns I may have had about the ending.
posted by miguelcervantes at 8:54 PM on March 24, 2019

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