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Ash vs Evil Dead
Review of Episode 3:
Books From Beyond
Directed by: Michael J. Bassett

Air date: 11/15/15

Editor’s Note: P.J.'s Ash vs Evil Dead reviews are done on a weekly basis and are for watchers of the show. Therefore, it's worth mentioning that there will be spoilers and heavy speculation in all of the reviews. For those of you, who wish to not be spoiled, please stop reading.

Ash vs Evil Dead have released its third episode and the series is officially up and rolling. We've moved past the main introductions and setup and are heading into the meat of the story. With Books From Beyond we get to see more insight into The Book itself and continue Ash and crew's journey to sending the Deadites back to where they came from. We start off being titillated by a mysterious character that is after Ash and clearly knows a thing or two about Deadites and the current situation. This character is played by Lucy Lawless and Xena fans should appreciate seeing Campbell and Lawless reunited, even if they do not yet share screen time. There is no doubt they will wind up face-to-face and it won't be to laugh and swap stories.

Books From Beyond centers primarily around Ash meeting up with a man he knows who has claimed in the past to be able to translate and decipher the book that leads to the Deadites being released again in the first place. This is also the episode that Ash and Sheriff Fisher come head to head with Fisher insistent that Ash is intentionally bringing the horrible beings that killed her partner into our realm to wreak havoc. They still may end up being friends, but right now are still all foes. It'll be interesting to see how things go with two separate people going after Ash for their own reasons.

The dynamic of Ash, Pablo and Kelly is fantastic. Seeing as how Kelly was resistant to Ash's brand of charm early on it would have been easy for the show to turn her character into an annoying, unwitting accomplice who keeps a chip on her shoulder even after Ash saves her life. Instead they've turned her into a likable, interesting character that fits into the group perfectly. Sure she and Ash throw a few barbs back in forth, but there's a mutual respect and both are willing to admit that they are happy to be in the same boat together. Pablo, Ash's biggest fan in the series, adds a lot of innocence-based comedic moments and his obvious interest in Kelly who sees him as a brother is as humorous as it is endearing.

On the human end, Ash's antagonists at the moment appear solitary. Ruby, played by Lucy Lawless seems to certainly be on a mission of her own and Amanda Fisher is still pulling the rogue cop routine, having to rely on favors between other cops and her actions are not endorsed by the police force as a whole. At the moment, the Deadites are Ash and company's biggest problem. I have a feeling, however, Ruby is going to prove to be quite the adversary to Ash. Fisher will more than likely add an extra thorn in the group's side which may get worse before it gets better.


It's interesting to see the Deadites in an evolved light. Up until this point in the series, they were primarily shown in little snippets of the inner demon coming out before getting cut down. Now we see them interrogated, show fear, become full-fledged characters. We've seen more interaction between Deadites themselves in Army of Darkness so I have a feeling that may be the next step. The show finds many opportunities to bring action and evil goodness back into the equation. Ash summoning an entity in order to get answers is such a fun subplot in this episode, with these demonic characters getting to do their stuff for our enjoyment. And, in turn, we get to also have fun watching Ash and his friends do their thing as well.

Once again Ash vs Evil Dead proves that it knows exactly what it's doing. No matter how things play out, it feels like the right decision. I trust the creators completely and feel no urge to make mental notes of tweaks I would make in my head. I realize I'm biased being a Bruce Campbell fanatic but I truly have no complaints at this point. It's so tightly done in a way that comes from years of creative people knowing the story and characters backwards and front. This is, after all, a show that knows it's for the fans. This isn't the “re-worked for the mainstream audience” version of Ash or the Deadites. This is simply more awesomeness with these elements.

With Ash vs Evil Dead there are no breaks in the entertainment factor of the show. There are no moments where you just have to sit back and put up with a boring touch here and there. Ash vs Evil Dead manages to make every element fun and easy to enjoy while still challenging the viewer with wonderfully done horror elements. The next episode seems to feature Ash in the woods surrounded by evil beings so it's sure to take us even further into the world of what we love about the series and remind us that Ash is really and truly back.

Check out the trailer for next week's episode entitled Brujo below and get excited!

P.J. Griffin, HMS

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