Entering its third episode, Ash vs Evil Dead just keeps getting stronger and stronger. This episode entitled “Books from Beyond” is the second one without franchise creator Sam Raimi at the helm either with writing or directing, and while the episode feels different from the usual Evil Dead fare, it’s a great change of pace and a fresh take on Ash’s adventures.
The episode opens with the appearance of the as-yet-mysterious Ruby (Lucy Lawless) who seems to be following the trail of Deadites and destruction Ash left behind, ending up at Kelly’s house.
After digging up Kelly’s father and an impromptu interrogation session involving some kind of cool magic dagger, it seems like Ruby’s still hot on Ash’s trail.
Meanwhile, the gang arrive at Books from Beyond and met Ash’s old friend and proprietor, Lionel. Predictably, the gang wants to undo the trouble caused by the Necronomicon. More predictably, the gang messes it up by clubbing Amanda on the back of her head.
And after a quick exposition on the history of the Necronomicon and its purposes, they summoned a demon. That Ash called a ‘rat demon’.
A scuffle, as always, ensues, and the gang managed to banish the demon. After taking care of the demon, in the process getting Lionel killed, Ash losing his wooden hand and cuffing Amanda after the fight, the gang decide to head off to Pablo’s uncle’s, supposedly a shaman for help. While Amanda is still cuffed and now faced with a reanimated Lionel, of course.
The different, more horror-oriented direction this episode goes in is refreshing if you’re dreading to see the same formula from the past two episodes. Fighting a demon instead of more Deadites and a little backstory on the Necronomicon is also a great bonus, what with lending the feeling that it’s a way bigger threat this time, not just the Deadites. The bit of a character development in Ash is also a really welcome addition, and might help those who think that he’s just a selfish blowhard who bungled his way into saving the world once. Still not nearly enough on Ruby, but I’m willing to wait a bit more.
All in all, a great ride that only goes to show that in the right hands and handled properly, Ash can still be awesome without Raimi at the helm. As always, excited for the next episode.