In Review: Ash vs Evil Dead, Episode 3 “Books From Beyond”

Splatter free scares with sensational dialogue make this must see TV.

Ash vs Evil Dead, Episode 3 “Books From Beyond” Broadcast November 14, 2015

Written by Sean Clements

Directed by Michael J. Bassett

Ruby arrives at the Maxwell home, where all the action went down in the previous episode. She comes upon two freshly made graves and sees an arm protruding from one. She reaches down to touch it and recoils when the arm springs to life, accompanied by its partner. She rips the possessed corpse, which is Kelly’s dad, out of the ground and asks if Ash was just there. Getting nothing but attitude, she flips the evil dead onto the grave marker, impaling it. She asks the entity if Ash had the book with him. “Questions. Questions. Can’t we just have some quiet time?” says the creature. She flicks the fork, still in the creature’s eye socket, to annoy it, but gets nowhere. She says, “I’ve learned you can always make things more painful,” and produces a wicked looking blade. Spying the knife, the creature begins to beg, but she slices an outline on the creature’s face, causing it to scream as its face begins to melt. Cue opening title card.

This was another fun episode. It was scary and funny. Ash, Pablo, and Kelly make it to Books from Beyond where Ash hopes to get the Book of the Dead translated so he can send all the evil dead back to Hell. Naturally things don’t go correctly. This was the funniest episode yet, thanks to Sean Clements, with some incredibly quotable lines, especially before the trio go into the store — and don’t worry, I didn’t spoil them by including them in this review. Someone is in the store before Ash and this is going to complicate his situation. This person and Kelly are in one room, while Ash, Pablo, and the store owner are in another. What Ash convinces the store owner to do has got to be one of the stupidest things he’s done. There’s some new background given on the Book of the Dead, accompanied by some slick animation. The monster that appears in this episode is not a deadite, but an actual demon. The effects for the creature are very different, with its mouth being out of sync with its body. This won’t make sense until you see it; it reminded me of the demons from the first season of Sleepy Hollow. Deadites are laughable monsters that fans can expect to get blown away quickly. Tonight’s monster is not in that category at all, and when it goes after the heroes it will cause some serious chills. Bruce Campbell and Ray Santiago continue to make Ash and Pablo the greatest, stupidest duo ever. Dana DeLorenzo gets some screen time with Jill Marie Jones, and Amanda and Kelly were fun to see together. The cliffhanger was good, but its solution was spoiled by the coming attraction for next week: C’mon, Starz, don’t ruin it for us! Even with the spoiler, this was great.

The good: Sean Clements’ script, Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, Jill Marie Jones, Lucy Lawless, whoever designed tonight’s monster, and the direction of Michael J. Bassett that had me screaming at the television when the monster was loose.

Fun lines: “‘The Ghostbeaters’,” “That’s the spirit,” “Yeesh,” “I’d rather get help from her,” “Oh, yeah,” “Is there any world where this doesn’t have something to do with Ash?”, “That is incorrect,” and “Kinda, yeah.”

The bad: If you’re looking for more gore flying about, you’ll be disappointed in this episode because there’s no splatter to be had. Lucy Lawless is only in the opening before the title sequence, so if you’re looking for Lawless there’s not a lot.

The final line: I’m still quoting several bits of dialogue with my daughter, and we’re still laughing. Splatter free scares with sensational dialogue make this must see TV. 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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