In Review: Ash vs Evil Dead, Episode 21 “Family”

An enjoyable return to form with the worst man possible to save the world back in action.

Ash vs Evil Dead, Episode 21 “Family” Broadcast on February 25, 2018

Written by Mark Verheiden

Directed by Mark Beesley 


A quick recap of the first two seasons leads to Ash’s commercial promoting his “well stocked slash sex toy emporium” that he’s set up in his hometown of Elk Grove, Michigan. Pablo is there helping his jefe for the grand opening. There’s a crowd outside to check out the store run by their local hero, after all, he took Evil down and saved the town. Unbeknownst to the boys, there’s a filming of an Antiques Roadshow type program where innocent Amy brings appraiser Stanley Gibson a book she’s discovered in the mud — the Necronomicon! At a nearby bar, where she’s telling a customer how to snack, Kelly sees the show on one of the televisions. Seeing the familiar tome, she picks up her phone and calls someone. “You were right. Evil’s coming back.” At this point, Gibson begins to read from the book. Lights begin to flicker and a breeze appears. Back at his store, Ash is too busy talking to a potential customer to notice what’s going on with the broadcast on the small television behind him. An invisible force travels across the land, the wind howls its displeasure, and the force blasts into the barn, sending people flying. Meanwhile at Pablo’s Fish & Chips stand outside the hardware store, the faithful follower stops serving food to momentarily move to an alley: he’s feeling intense pain from his stomach. Raising his shirt he finds bloody runes have been carved into his chest. Ruby arrives in the barn and takes the Necronomicon graphically from the sole survivor. The opening title card appears on the screen.

Welcome back Ash vs Evil Dead! Your humor and over the top the violence have been missed! Three new characters debut in this episode: Candace Barr, Brandy Barr, and Dalton. Candace has a surprising revelation for Ash, who gives him one line that has him thinking that what she says is true. The flashbacks that show her time with Ash are hilarious and disgusting. Dalton is slightly teased when Candace and the boys take off, ending the episode being formally introduced to Mr. Williams and joining the team to stop Evil. Brandy is the most important new character. She’s got a wise mouth, one heck of an attitude, but that all changes when she and her friend Rachel see high school mascot Cougie do something horrific in the hall. I’m excited about the dynamic that Brandy could bring to this show and I’m hoping she becomes a fighter equally strong as Pablo and Kelly.

There’s some solid laughs and scares in this episode. The majority of the action takes place in the band room and the halls of the high school. Some instruments get the better of Ash and Pablo before they can take on the Deadite in the room. The make up on the Deadite is good and the way in which it’s dispatched is going to be replayed across the nation several times for all its sick details. The battle with Cougie is also good, with the practical effects being awesome; the point of view from inside the monster’s mouth was funny and creepy. Lucy Lawless, who’s always a pleasure to see on screen, has a white outfit and matching hair that is the complete opposite of her character’s soul and amazingly remains spotless given the bizarre actions that Ruby takes in a motel. Sadly, one character bites the dust in this episode, but what a way to go!

The good: Seeing the gang back together, Ash’s commercial (love the boom mike appearing) and its innuendos, the flashback with that mustache, Bow Wow Wow’s iconic 80’s song, the mascot from Hell, band instruments as weapons of destruction, Ash’s one liners, two graphic kills, the reveal of whom Dalton works for, and the final line.

Fun lines: “Kill me now,” “My what?”, “This monkey farm hasn’t changed in thirty years,” “My emergency stash,” “Your little peach could be a bowel sucking hellbeast,” “Cougie?”, “…and seriously rocking the leather,” and “Sandy?”

The bad: Not nearly enough Kelly or Ruby and one character’s too soon exit.

The final line: An enjoyable return to form with the worst man possible to save the world back in action. Definitely not for children, but a sure crowd pleaser for those who like scares, gore, and the most quotable one-liners on television. Misses a plus for being more funny than scary. Overall grade: A-

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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