A year has passed since Bruce came back on our screens in perhaps his most iconic role. I had my doubts but as each episode passed those doubts soon went away as he consistently proved why he is the King! Finally season two is here to hack and slash its way though the next ten weeks. But will it live up the first season?…… Join Film and TV Nerd to find out!
The season two premiere, Home, swiftly reminds us of everything that is great about this show. From a hilarious and action packed opening full of killer quotes (“I’m not drunk enough to know if this is good weird or bad weird. I’ll get there though!”) to a new glimpse into Ash’s past that managed to be both very funny and a little sad to a violent and creepy finale, Home breezes along with wit and confidence, promising a real treat in the weeks to come.
The big thing to talk about is, of course, Ash’s return to his hometown. It’s a great idea because of course his former friends and family would be suspicious about just how involved he was in the deaths of his friends and sister, and while it does beg certain questions that may or may not (but probably won’t) be answered, such as whether there was ever a police investigation, it does promise some new and compelling new stories for this series going forward.
Not least the introduction of Ash’s father, played by Lee Majors in a pitch perfect piece of casting. The elder Williams is pretty much exactly what you’d imagine he would be, simultaneously explaining why Ash is Ash and making him seem positively progressive in his attitudes. And while the bulk of Brock’s first scene is played for laughs, there’s an undercurrent of bitterness here in the as yet unmentioned figure of Ash’s sister, bitterness that will no doubt be explored as Ash lingers in his less than welcoming hometown.
The return to Elk Grove allows Bruce Campbell to play a new shade to his iconic character, one we haven’t really seen before; insecurity. Ash is so used to being either the hero or so oblivious to other people’s attitudes that he doesn’t care what they think of him, but here we see him as much on the back foot as he’s ever been, surrounded by the people he grew up with who think he’s either a joke, a psychopath or an odd mix of both. And while Ash tells them he’s here to save them and undoubtedly will, none of them have any reason to believe him. So until Ash can prove himself he’s stuck in territory that’s a very different type of hostile from what he’s used to.
Luckily for Ash, Kelly and Pablo are going nowhere, although both have their own issues to deal with. Kelly’s aggression has increased and her evil self’s not unreasonable assertion that she might be a better hero than Ash suggests some potential embitterment after weeks of working while he got drunk in Jacksonville. And while Pablo seems to be looking up to El Hefe as much as ever, he remains traumatised by the events of last season, a state viscerally depicted through his waking nightmare of being claimed by the Necronomicon again. It’s hard to see those fears going away any time soon.
And then there’s Ruby. If I had one isue with this episode it’s that her turnaround seems somewhat abrupt and I’m still not quite sure what she is or what she wants. It’s conceivable that she’s playing a very different game to what we’re seeing and her motivations will be explored over the season to come, but right now I’m still not entirely sure what to make of her place in all of this. Lucy Lawless is still predictably excellent in the role, but when last we saw her she was some sort of powerful demigod and now she’s more or less a good guy who needs Ash to save her from the monsters.
But hey, that’s a small issue at best and it’s early days for a season that is looking very, very promising. This show was awesome from start to finish last year and on the evidence of Home, its quality, assurance and invention are only going to increase in weeks to come. For now, Ash Vs Evil Dead has delivered a triumphant return and I for one couldn’t be happier. Hail to the King, baby.
What did you think of the season premier?
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