Do you believe in the existence of evil? Thirty years ago our old buddy Ash Williams found the Book of the Dead, read from it . . . then read from it again, and now EVIL has found us one last time.
With Kelly’s stiff, gray body in tow the gang begins season 3, episode 10 “Mettle of Men,” with a run for home to give Ash time to have a short and slightly predictable moment of denial that he is, in fact, the prophesied one. Brandy brings him back to reality and we remember what a Williams can do as Ash rips a bong and they make their way to the hardware store to reunite smelly Kelly with her wayward spirit. After a struggle and some tense moments Brandy proves herself to be all Williams with a little bloodbath action and then Kelly and Pablo share what can only be called the worst morning-breath kiss ever.
The episode turns quickly to warfare and chaos in the streets as Ash gets ready for his last (?) battle by packing the gang into the safety of an armored car. Things get pretty dusty as Ash describes Kelly as a leader of the new world against the Dark Ones and passes the mantel of El Jefe to Pablo. He gives Brandy Linda’s ring from all those years ago on that first night in the cabin and we feel it as that car rolls away and Ash is left to defend humanity on his own.
Spoilers or no, I’m not going to give away the big ending. I’ll say that I like how it fits with the end of Army of Darkness and I’d like to image it as the world that Kelly and Pablo made. With a little piece of beautiful synchronicity, the series ends with the same song that began this overdue revisit to Elk Grove – Space Truckin’ by Deep Purple – as if to let us know that the fight against the Dark Ones continues and Ash will always be there to lead the fight.
How does one say goodbye to the likes of Ash Williams? Maybe we shouldn’t try. Like we did before STARZ gave us three seasons of glory, its time to rewatch Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, and now Ash so we can morn privately and often for the rest of time.