With another episode we get yet another example of why season 3 of Ash Vs Evil Dead is steadily moving the show into more confident waters. The return of Lee Majors’ curmudgeonly Brock Williams continues in full force as his entertaining villain turn from the previous episode gets even better as he now returns again, but this time in the form of a (somewhat) helpful ghost who finally opens up a plot thread left hanging from season two.
Meanwhile we also get some much needed time with Brandy and Kelly sharing some scenes together and even a villain turn from the normally sweet Pablo as he goes full Deadite.
We rejoin Ash as he uses his trusty saw to dismember the remains of his father, Brock, who had been resurrected by Ruby to drive a wedge between our hero and his daughter, Brandy. However, mid-carve, Brock makes yet another return in the form Brock’s ghost who not only has a far more kindly demeanor (for Brock, anyways) but he finally makes good on telling his son the dark secret he hinted at before Ash’s car spread his grey material over the tarmac.
While Brock takes Ash on an It’s A Wonderful Life style journey back to 2012 to reveal his terrible revelation, Kelly has to deal with the fallout from her trip to the cabin which left Dalton dead and Pablo stuffed full of malevolent evil as her former Powerful Vagina launches an all out attack on her and Brandy. While she and Brandy take refuge in Ash’s fortified trailer and Ash realises that Brock’s news has connections with the Knights Of Sumaria, Ruby gets an update that the forces of good and evil are amassing against her, so she tracks down Dalton’s body to get some vital information from the possessed Knight.
As a wound from Pablo on Kelly’s leg gets something a hell of a lot worse than an infection, Ash finally tracks down where Ruby has been hiding, but instead of finding his scheming nemesis, he finds her offsping who has been bred to annihilate him.
Unfinished Business is an apt title for this episode as it tackles many things that Ash Vs Evild Dead have left hanging with the most noticable being the continued and triumphant comeback of Lee Majors. While his appearance in the last episode had him portrayed as an undead, vengeful tool of Ruby’s master plan, here he goes full force ghost and joins his son on short vision quest to point out that his shocking secret is that he accidently killed a member of the Knights Of Sumaria by booting him in the balls as he begs for help “Now you can do it in high C!” and then nailing him up in the basement when he assumed he was dead. This news, greeted with nothing more than mild confusion by his son and seeing the two finally on an adventure together is something I’ve desperate to see ever since I first heard that the former Fall Guy was cast in the show. It’s been a long wait and I have to say it was worth it as they both bang out a vibe that feels very much like a working class version of Indy and Henry Jones but with a far lower IQ. It’s quite a canny move as it not only let’s Campbell and Majors do their thing (Brock is disgruntled that Ash spent more on fixing up the Delta than he did on Brock’s funeral), but it also gives us a suspiciously convenient segway to Ash discovering the path to the next plot point – but with such a short episode run time you’ve gotta forgive the occasional shortcut in order to have Bruce Campbell being forced into doing the splits thanks to some malevolent vines (“My hammy!”).
Another massively successful aspect of the episode is the long overdue pairing of Kelly and Brandy as Ash’s daughter gets some hard truths from Ash’s sort of surrogate daughter and this point is driven home by the fact that once again, the insanely game Dana Delorenzo gets to indulge in some Campbell-esque abuse for the first time since she squared off with killer hand puppet Ashy Slashy in season 2. Here, she manages to fend off a kamikaze Pablo as he hurls himself through her windscreen and sinks his demonic gnashers into her leg only for her wound to later mutate into grotesque version of Pablo’s nose and mouth (and even his moustache) that can allow him to communicate to his horrified would-be victims. Deranged body-horror aside, it’s nice that Brandy is finally getting some counter views about her monumentally flawed old man – even though Kelly starts her argument by admitting he’s a perverted drunk with racist tendencies – and it puts the spotlight back on Kelly coming into her own as a ferocious Deadite slayer of some repute. Seeing her stride around in her torn jeans/leather jacket/machine gun combo is always a good thing, but it’s vital we see her get down in the muck and go through some real Evil Dead-style suffering to earn her stripes. On a similar note Ray Santiago gives great Deadite and the fact that her best friend is trying to kill her and the moral conundrum maybe her greatest test to date.
In fact, the episode is so enamoured of its pair of ass-kicking double acts, the fact that the climax of the episode ends with Ash coming face to face with Ruby’s offspring is kind of shoved to the side which is weird considering it’s supposed be the focal point of the entire season.
Still, I feel that Ash Vs Evil Dead has finally realised the potential of some of its pairings, which leaves to free to hurl itself into whatever lunacy comes next and if nothing else, we found out that the “J” in Ashley J Williams stands for Joanna.