‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ Season 3 Ep 10 ‘The Mettle of Man’: Hail to the King, and the Ghostbeaters, baby!

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So the end of the world really is upon us, yes again, and it’s up to Ashy Slashy to save the day! And night, and the nowheresville town of Elk Grove, and what’s left of the people in it. Because really, between the 60-some-foot-high Kandarian demon, the Dark Ones, the rift and the Deadlands, Ruby and her machinations, and the damned Necronomicon and all the deadites that came from it, there aren’t a ton of people left in Elk Grove.

Brandy has more or less embraced the fact that she’s a Williams, and, in that fine tradition, goes about slaughtering deadites and demons left and right, getting covered in blood and gore as is family tradition, too. It’s so cute to see Brandy strike a Ghostbeater pose and drop a one-liner, with her dad looking on with such pride, that the daughter he never knew he had could and would carry on the fight regardless of what happens to him. And when Ash falters and doubts himself, it’s Brandy’s turn to tell him to suck it the fark up, and go kick some ass! Though poor Brandy is still denied the pre-Deadite-fight toke on the traditional blunt, hah.

This is somewhere many TV shows and even movies have faltered in recent years, trying to take something nostalgic we all loved from our younger lives and revamp it here in the modern-day. Keeping the same tone and ridiculous slapstick-y blood-splatter practical effects that made the original Evil Dead films is an absolute passion of the makers of Ash vs. Evil Dead, including Bruce Campbell himself, is hard to do, but these guys pulled it off.

Far too often the remade show or film suffers the Jurassic World syndrome, where the young and cocky new guy trying to stop the world from ending all but turns to the camera and says, “See what I’ve accomplished in your name, Grandpa, aren’t you proud of me? I made your original vision so much better!” That is almost inevitably hardly the case, but the upstarts with way too much money and time on their hands think remaking something they loved from when they were little is the most sincere form of flattery. In Ash’s case, instead, we see him pass the baton to Brandy gradually, by tossing her into the deep end of his world, where she swims like a damn champ.

That’s not to say that others in Ash’s world weren’t given the same loving treatment, in this final season of Ash vs. Evil Dead. Poor Pablo, that hapless lover, and eventual fighter, who embraced his own heroic heritage as a Brujo Especiale, in his own family tradition, has come a long way from when he first knelt and swore to join the Jefe’s fight. And when Pablo heroically runs down the behaunted main avenue of Elk Grove and is included in a very fine tribute to the original ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘Army of Darkness’ films, it is an excellent reminder of other characters who had grand storylines of their own, whom we came to love just as much as we love Ash.

Speaking of tributes, it has to be talked about, the necklace Ash gave Brandy, awww. He said he had it when he first encountered the Necronomicon in that cabin so damn long ago, and for all of us ‘Evil Dead’ fans, even if it’s not the real thing, that necklace sure feels like it anyways. Rather like the magnifying glass that was used to read that damn book that began all this nonsense, I thought; how appropriate.

A whole bunch of father and daughter deadite-slaying later, Pablo’s gone into the rift like that Brujo badass he is and come out with Kelly’s spirit, which he tosses into her body post-haste. She still won’t rise, why?! Because that sort of gag is yet another ‘Evil Dead’ tradition, that’s why. So Kelly’s finally back up kick some deadite demonic ass, finally, onward we go!

Boy, I bet the military are going ‘WTF y’all?!’ as they try to bombard the Kandarian demon with everything they’ve got. Ground forces are having no luck either, and though all our Ghostbeaters are finally together again, only Ash, our reluctantly aging hero, is the chosen one, the one to finally face that freaking gigantic Kandarian demon, alone. Ash bids a loving farewell to his original team, the Ghostbeaters, telling Kelly she will make a strong leader and that Pablo himself is the Jefe now, and to his heretofore-unknown daughter, the unexpected windfall of a child that straightens his spine and makes him face the deadites head-on once more, Brandy, wears the necklace as she bids him a loving goodbye. Nothing to do now but steal a tank, create a makeshift spear with the Kandarian dagger, oh yeah, and face down a humungous demon!

We all enjoyed the giant demon fight scene and can pretty much guess who won, but the whole scene after that was an interesting way to end the series. The film Army of Darkness actually has an alternate ending scene, wherein Ash once again screws up proper wording and finds himself way far off in a destroyed future rather than the present and S-Mart. This ending of another potential far-off future, somehow original Mad Max meets I Am Legend with deadites instead of vampires, where Ash once again has to gear up and go out to fight demons, seems ridiculously far-fetched.

Which, somehow, makes it work mostly for Ash’s whole Evil Dead world. All three seasons of Ash vs. Evil Dead, and hell, the movies that preceded them too, were over the top, goofy and funny and completely not plausible ever, but more than anything, fun. We’re all aging and resenting it too, just like Ash, and just like our beloved boom-stick wielding Jefe, we want to roar off into the sunset to kick ass, just one more time!

As most of us already know, the third season of Ash vs. Evil Dead was the final season, as Starz cancelled the show. Tons of fans turned hopeful petitions to places like Netflix, only to be further saddened when the man himself, Bruce Campbell, took to social media and stated he was finally done playing Ash Williams, but what an amazing ride it has been. We fans, myself included, loved all the hard work and energy and passion that was poured into every single episode of the show, and the show can be likened to ‘Stranger Things’ for nostalgia tribute value entertainment. Hail to the King, and his beloved Ghostbeaters, forever baby!

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