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Strained Relationships in Ash vs the Evil Dead

While a common trope among characters like Ash Williams—that being vulgar, reckless, and above all completely irresponsible—in the Season 3 Episode 2 of Ash vs. the Evil Dead, we see Ash become the one thing harder than fighting demons. Becoming a Father. This is not to say that it is common among slapstick demon slayers to suddenly be a long lost parent from seemingly out of nowhere. Being high publicized in the previews and the center of attention in the first episode, it is clear that the relationship between Ash and his new daughter, Brandy, will take center stage in this season. Though I doubt they’ll be the only plot of significance.

Throughout the second episode, we see a little more of everyone and what they’re up to as opposed to just throwing us our favorite characters for screen time’s sake. We get a much more nuanced strain in new relationships—well…as much as we can in thirty minute episode—and some truly hilarious moments. So far this season is shaping up to be as good as the previous two, but it’s something better too…not saying it was bad. Clearly I’m horrible at selling points. Just watch it! Or read my recap.

Recap

The episode opens with Ruby in the aftermath of her new pregnancy; she’s already going into labor driving in the rain and crashes while her abdomen literally bursts from the inside out. An unlucky pair of hitchhikers happen upon her mangled corpse and demon fetus attached to her. The baby quickly attacks the male while Ruby bites off her own umbilical cord and tells the child that it may be born from the image of Ash but will be nothing like him.

They should just show this in health class

Back in Elk Grove, Brandy is coping with everything that happened in the last few hours, including the death of her mother and basically getting nightmares from everything in the room she’s sleeping in. Ash tries his best to help her by understanding this was her first demon attack and that he knows what it feels like. At the same time he is still being the same old Ash. He also lets her know that her guidance counselor from school, Ms. Prevett, had texted her, making Brandy immediately want to go to school.

Pablo shows off his jealousy of Dalton by sort of jokingly attacking Kelly about her actions and choice of companions. The two still share their closeness, but it is clear that Pablo still feels something much more for her. He’s still not buying the secret society story of the Knights of Sumeria, which to be honest is fair considering they’ve never showed up before. Kelly assures him that their appearance now is proof that things are about to get “fucked up, more so than usual”. According to Dalton, he and his ancestors have been fighting the Evil for centuries. He gives a lecture on the Dark Ones, the demon hierarchy who were apparently betrayed by their strongest and ruthless of them all. He calls her Mulier Daemonium Degnai; this is obviously Ruby considering she referred to herself as this in the season premier. The Knights stole the Necronomicon but one of their sorceresses named Kaya was seduced by its power and bound within the book while trying to use it. The Knights single objective is to find and protect the chosen one who will destroy the Dark Ones.

Ash returns in the middle of the conversation to talk about being a father and Kelly jabs at him saying she hopes there aren’t more little Brandy’s running around leading to a hilarious cut. After, he gives a speech about multitasking, as in fighting evil and running his store at the same time, and goes off to give Brandy a ride to school. The ride there is supremely awkward as Ash thinks its a good idea to about their sexual escapades to his daughter. Smooth, Ash, smooth. Brandy is afraid of going to into school after seeing the crying families, but does so anyway to see her counselor who apparently is like a best friend.

The wolf in sheep skin

Lo and behold this Prevett woman is none other than Ruby, or a very convincing doppelganger. Brandy goes over what happened the previous night and reveals to Ruby that Ash is her father. Back at the trailer, Pablo experiences a weird vision from a naked woman in a mask, who speaks about his heritage. She tells him that he is in danger and that only his uncle’s magic can save him from the evil on his skin. It is very vague, but Kelly and Dalton walk in after his vision. Dalton assesses the Sumerian marks on his body and Kelly fiercely defends him after he leaves. Dalton tells her that soon they may have to make a choice on how to deal with Pablo, who he believes is going to go demon on them.

Back with Brandy, Ruby is obviously trying to turn her against Ash by telling him all the horrible things he’s been accused for and for all the people he has killed. In the meantime, Ash makes a trip to the Cyrobank to make sure that the copious amounts of sperm he has donated were not used by anyone to make another baby. He seduces the nurse with a 30% off of certain items in his store, and suddenly gets the urge to donate some more…uhh yeah you get the picture.

Ruby obviously does not want anymore unknown babies from Ash, so she summons a demon to destroy all his samples. Mrs Lam begins to attacks Marci as the woman in Ash’s sultry magazine comes alive. Well her hand anyway, all to “take on me”. The ensuing fight between demon Lam and porno magazine hand as Ash dodges sperm vials being tossed at him, hilariously some do make a hit. The fight ends when Ash cyrogenically freezes Lam’s face and smashes it.

Back to Kelly and Pablo, there’s some strain between them as she tells him about Dalton’s fears of his tattoos. Ash returns with some gross stains on his pants in the crotch area, but he deduces that the demons are after his daughter. The episode ends with Ruby and her new baby. She reveals that because her child is born of Ash when it kills him, it will become the next chosen one and it will inherit all his powers.

Review

This episode answered a lot of mysteries from the first episode, such as what weird ritual Ruby was doing and what the Knights of Sumeria were. What really highlighted this episode for me though, was the strain we saw between Kelly and Pablo. No anyone who watches this series knows it is painfully obvious that Pablo is pretty much in love with her. Since their first episode together, to both their possessions, to even Pablo’s death, they’ve been through a lot together. For Pablo this has only made his love stronger, but for Kelly this has only turned him into more of a brother figure.

Much more than that however, the episode showcases the gap left behind when Kelly did. Apparently after season 2 she went to go find herself, leaving Pablo with Ash. Pablo finally bringing it up after her reappearance with Dalton sort of shows his jealousy towards the new man in her life. Though the two so far haven’t hinted at any sort of romantic feelings towards another, we can see where Pablo was coming from, more than just jealous of another man he felt she had abandoned them.

Ruby’s objectives are made pretty clear in this episode as well. She is making a spawn of Ash in order for it to kill him so it can take his power. Of course this also means having to kill Brandy as well just in case the chosen power goes to her after Ash’s death. It’s a little but underwhelming to see Brandy as no more than just a plot mover, yet the fact that she puts so much faith in Ruby’s guise as a guidance counselor could lead the way to some more in depth characterization, something we saw little of for Brandy in this episode.

We also learned more about Ruby through Dalton’s tale of the Dark Ones. This makes a world of sense if you look back at season one when a demon called Ruby a traitor while she was tracking Ash. Yay for continuity! Hopefully we’ll see this more elaborated on soon as well.

Watch the show!


All images courtesy of Starz

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    Hey, everyone! Just your friendly neighborhood nerd. From NYC/NJ, 28 years old. Ask me about a Fandom and I can go on for hours. Firefly, Penny Dreadful, and A Song of Ice and Fire are my favorites, let's get nerdy.

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