Ash vs. Evil Dead returns this week with “Father’s Day,” the most wildly entertaining episode of the season so far and one of the best episodes of the series to date. “Father’s Day” sees the show bringing back a few familiar faces and putting Ash (Bruce Campbell) is some rather unfortunate situations. As usual, if you’re not fully caught up with the mayhem of Ash vs. Evil Dead turn away now because we’re about to dive into some spoiler territory for this week’s episode.
Last week, the nefarious plan of the immortal demon Ruby (Lucy Lawless) started to come into shape as she targeted Ash’s progeny, hoping to rid the world of his seed. She also posed as the high school guidance counselor of Ash’s long lost daughter Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill), who is grief stricken following the death of her mother and friend in the first episode of the season. “Father’s Day” opens with the funeral for Brandy’s mother and Ash trying his best to be a fatherly figure for his grieving daughter.
This is Ash vs. Evil Dead and there’s really no such thing as resting in peace, and before her earthly remains can be committed to the ground, Brandy’s mother Candy (Katrina Hobbs) resurrects as a Deadite and battle Ash in her coffin. The makeup effects on the revived Candy are some of the best of the season, ghastly to the eye. Despite being victorious, Ash finds himself knocked out in Candy’s coffin and only comes to during Brandy’s heartfelt speech about her dead mother, the teenager forced to watch her deadbeat dad emerge from his mother’s coffin with her severed head in his crotch. It’s a ghastly comical scene and a great reminder of why fans of Evil Dead keep coming back to this demented world. At the funeral, Ruby as Brandy’s guidance counselor makes an appearance and Ash’s attempts to confront Ruby backfire in front of his daughter. Emerging from the coffin of a girl’s dead mother does do serious damage to any sense of trust.
Meanwhile, Pablo (Ray Santiago) is still being haunted by visions from the Necronomicon. The newcomer Dalton (Lindsay Farris) from the Knights of Sumeria tries to convince Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) that her friend is possessed by the evil within the Book of the Dead, but Kelly remains loyal to her friend. Pablo’s visions tell him that he must secure once again the Kandarian Dagger, which takes the trio back to the cabin where this whole ordeal began years ago. They obtain the dagger but not everyone makes it out alive. RIP Dalton, we hardly knew thee – no, seriously, we barely got to know this character before he’s impaled.
While “the Ghost Beaters” are securing the dagger, Ruby is using her mystical power to resurrect someone from the show’s past. Ash returns to his home to find his daughter sitting on the couch laughing with Brock Williams (Lee Majors), Ash’s father who was brutally killed last season. Young Brandy isn’t hip to the tricks the Deadites play, but Ash knows. Eventually, Ash battles the Deadite version of his father and it’s a blast watching Ash with his mechanical hand fighting the former Six Million Dollar Man before violently gutting him with a chainsaw. This leads to Brandy’s baptism into the world of Evil Dead, a bath in blood.
“Father’s Day” was written by Ivan Raimi (co-writer of Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell), and his madcap fingerprints are all over the episode directed by the duo of Diego Meza-Valdes and Andres Meza-Valdes. The episode features three stellar action sequences of varying degrees of absurdity but with that trademark Raimi insanity, especially in the first fight within the coffin of Brandy’s mother. “Father’s Day” presents Ash vs. Evil Dead at its best because it balances the horror and comedy elements with ease.
Moving forward, Ash vs. Evil Dead has plenty of room to go into some crazy directions. Ruby has sown the seeds of distrust between Brandy and Ash, and don’t forget that she has that demon baby not too far away. Pablo is still struggling with the vision from the Necronomicon. Kelly, on the other hand, is such a hardened warrior at this point that there’s little doubt that she’d struggle in battle whatever evil rears its ugly head in her presence. If the show continues to move with this kind of pace, blending its disparate elements with such ease, this might shape up to be the best season of Ash vs. Evil Dead yet.