“Stan Against Evil” is coming back this fall. I got the chance to return to Willard’s Mill early and watch the first 4 episodes of Season 3 and let me tell you, the show comes out swinging! For those of you who don’t remember the finale of season 2, Stan and Evie have been left with the door between the land of the living and the land of the dead being ripped open for all sorts of havoc to run amok. Season 3 picks up immediately where we left off and right when you think we have a new status quo with an end of the world setting, the show takes a hard-left turn into a story with smaller but more personal stakes. This makes sense since SAE has shown in its previous season that not only is it is not afraid to zig when you are expecting it to zag but that the show is at its best when keeping the focus on the relationship between the lovably crotchety Stan and the level headed and constantly flustered Evie.
For any fans that were expecting a shift in tone or a major shakeup of the storytelling structure, that is not quite the case here. There is a long running plot including a new villain that further complicates things and the building of a rift between Stan and Evie that builds off of last season. But, like last season, this is manly kept to the background while the dynamic duo deal with new threats in the foreground in a more episodic nature. This is where “Stan Against Evil” lives and in hindsight makes it the obvious choice for how to continue the show. This may disappoint some who were looking for a bit more permanent change of course but trust me when I tell you that the dividends this yields in the following episodes pay off and then some. Keeping to the familiar structure allows SAE to maintain the tone and pacing that worked so well in season 2 while getting even more ambitious with the jokes and references. For real guys, this season feels like someone let Dana Gould’s imagination off of the leash and it is running rampant on some glorious, insane, pull out all the stops rampage. I feel like a green lantern ring is going to show up at some point because this show has lost any fear it may have once had of being too weird and the show is all the funnier for it. The episode featuring David Koechner as a moth monster in particular is an amazing Kaiju send up and rises to the level of “Curse of the Werepony” in regard to my personal favorite episodes. I was dying with laughter during the “final battle” sequence of the episode and I think it will easily be a fan favorite of the series.
With what I have seen, this season is well on it’s way to being the best season this show has produced. “Stan Against Evil” still has the goods so load up on your “Stump” beer and make sure you mark your calendars for the Halloween Premiere!
Until next time Stan Fans,
May the Owls Abide!
Stan Against Evil Airs October 31st on @IFC Wednesday at 10pm.
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