TV Review: Ash vs Evil Dead 3.10 “The Mettle of Men” (Series Finale)
By Dr. Zaius
Sunday, April 29th, 2018 at 8:00 pm
Ash vs Evil Dead Episode 3.10 “The Mettle of Men”
Directed by Rick Jacobson
Written by Rick Jacobson
Created by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Tom Spezialy
Starring Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Lucy Lawless, Joel Tobeck, Katrina Hobbs, Lindsay Farris, Arielle Carver-O’Neill Starz
Air date: Sunday, April 29, 2018 9:00pm ET
“Oh great. I’ve doomed humanity.”
Warning: spoilers below…
This is it. The bittersweet conclusion to my all time favorite show to grace the small screen, Ash vs Evil Dead. Word came out a few weeks back of the decision by STARZ to cancel the show after its third season due to lackluster ratings. It certainly was not due to the quality of the show as season 3 has peaked the series in terms of gore, effects, emotion, and character development. Even Bruce Campbell who has portrayed hero Ash Williams for nearly 40 years, announced on social media his retirement from the character once word came out. I’ve lived and died with this show, the actors, and its fans since day one. I had the honor and privilege of interviewing the cast members several times over the past 3+ years, and it was my favorite part of NYCC each year. Bruce and the rest of cast assured everyone, that the finale was epic. So with that in mind, and a wide range of emotions in my heart, I cover the finale of Ash vs Evil Dead.
As we watched in the conclusion of last week’s episode, the Dark Ones had the Necronomicon, and a gigantic demon arose from the streets of Elk’s Grove. Candar the Destroyer looked like something out of HP Lovecraft’s nightmares and Ash, Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill) and Pablo (Ray Santiago) regrouped with Kelly’s corpse at Ash’s place. This was a great scene for Campbell as the gravity of the situation falls on him hard. He is “the Savior” and he is failing. Campbell’s ability to bounce effortlessly from wisecracking dialogue to genuine emotion reminds you that Bruce is a legitimately great actor. Having just saw Avengers: Infinity War, I think Chris Pratt must’ve learned from Campbell because he does the same type of thing throughout that film – laugh one minute, cry the next.
Every character gets their moments to shine in the finale. Brandy arises as a true Williams, and fights alongside her father each getting full blood cannons to the face after killing deadites simultaneously in a great moment. Pablo has a fantastic scene where he wheels Kelly’s body on a hand truck through the carnage, and then runs into the Rift to rescue her. Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) wakes up with all the fire and fury we’ve come to expect from Kelly Maxwell, and no one is better with a machine gun than her!
There are so many moments that got to me. Ash giving Brandy the necklace from the original film had me totally tear up. Pablo and Kelly finally having a tender moment together. Of course, then there are the goodbyes which are done as perfectly and as true to character as I hoped. The show ended the way it needed to, living up to its title. It was Ashley J. Williams vs The Evil Dead. What else could you have wanted? And as far as the very end… All I can do is dream of the untapped potential a season 4 would’ve had!
In the end, I bid farewell Ash vs Evil Dead, but I refuse to say goodbye to this world and these characters. This was the perfect ending to the series, but we don’t know what the future holds. Ash is retired and as fans we need to respect that. In the era of women’s empowerment, why not an Ash-less spin-off where Kelly and Brandy are the leaders in the next battles against the Evil Dead? Just saying. It was so great getting to watch Bruce be Bruce again, but it was so impressive watching two actors break out like Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago. I can’t wait to see where Dana and Ray go from here, but they’ve earned lifelong fans here. Horror fans never forget. There’s a reason Bruce Campbell was still playing Ash in 2018. Whatever is next on the horizon, Kelly Maxwell and Pablo Simon Bolivar will live forever.
If this is truly the end of the Evil Dead‘s remarkable run in pop culture, I must stop and again say simply, Thank You. I’m days away from 36 and Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell’s twisted world has provided a literal lifetime of enjoyment. I remember laughing at the Evil Dead 2 VHS box back at Flo’s Video when I was probably 6 years old. I was the super groovy guy who had all three Evil Dead movie posters in his college bedroom. I sat third row center for the Evil Dead musical off Broadway, and I’ve done midnight shows for at least two of the three original films. When I heard Ash vs Evil Dead was coming to STARZ I told Geeks of Doom I wanted to cover it, and I’ve been here for over three years every step of the way. Thank you to the cast and crew of Ash vs Evil Dead. Thank you to the real fans who bought STARZ and supported the show week in and week out. Thanks to the amazing community of fans on social media. It’s been one hell of a groovy ride!
Ash vs Evil Dead concludes tonight on STARZ at 9:00pm ET. We live tweet the show using hashtags #BringBackBoomstick and #AshvsEvilDead, and check out my reactions on the free Stardust app @DrZaiusGoD and tag me in yours.