The cast and crew of Ash vs Evil Dead did a great job talking up season two at the show’s Comic-Con panel and press room. But the ultimate proof that the show’s return is cause for celebration came with a preview screening of the first episode, which won’t air on Starz until Halloween. It’s fantastic.
No spoilers here, so you can read on without fear. We already knew that season two would feature Ash’s return to Elk Grove, Michigan—the place he left after the events of the Evil Dead movies, where his long-estranged father (Lee Majors, perfectly cast) still dwells. And it doesn’t take long—within the first five minutes, Ash’s happy-go-lucky Jacksonville life gets a rude interruption of the Deadite kind.
It’s gory, it’s hilarious, and it sets the plot of season two in motion immediately, putting Kelly, Pablo, and Ash on the road to Elk Grove in search of Ruby, current owner of the Necronomicon. Kelly is gunning for war, Pablo is still feeling the aftereffects of being tortured and possessed, and Ash is rather conflicted—especially when he rolls into his hometown and realizes he’s reached legendary status in the past 30-some years, and not in a good way. He’s the town boogeyman, but also the town joke. It’s all bad.
Of course, jerks you went to high school with are one thing. Deadites are another thing entirely, and the episode’s second big fight sequence is outstandingly gruesome and creepy. The episode ends with a clear objective for the season to come—which will no doubt encounter many an oozing, shrieking roadblock along the way—and an equally clear reminder of why Ash vs Evil Dead is so much fun to watch.