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Ash vs. Evil Dead 3.8 Review – “Rifting Apart”

April 15, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Ash vs Evil Dead - 'Rifting Apart'
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Ash vs. Evil Dead 3.8 Review – “Rifting Apart”  

Ash vs. Evil Dead Review: 3.8: “Rifting Apart”

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the review of the eighth episode of season 3 of the hit Starz series Ash vs. Evil Dead. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.

Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 2017

In the run-up to this week’s episode there has been some internets speculation about whether or not Ash vs. Evil Dead could exist without Ash. If the Ash character died or if Bruce Campbell decided that he didn’t want to play the character anymore, could the show continue on without him in any way, shape, or form? The simple answer to that question?

No, of course not.

Now, Evil Dead, or The Evil Dead could exist without Ash, as we saw with the Evil Dead remake by Fede Alvarez. Whether or not you liked that movie (I thought it was pretty good), someone else besides Campbell’s Ash could confront and fight deadites and be successful at it. But the TV show, Ash vs. Evil Dead could not exist without Ash. First, Ash’s name is in the goddamn title, so if Ash were to die or go away the show would have to be called something else. And second, there’s no show, at the moment, without Ash. Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago are great actors and performers and kick ass on the show as Kelly and Pablo, Ash’s sidekicks, and while I wouldn’t mind seeing a few episodes of the show where they are the leads, Ash is what makes the show work. Kelly and Pablo would need to have their own show, with their own specific mythology and set up. They could go fight monsters on a spin-off. I’d watch that. But I don’t think they could replace Ash.

So there you have it. Ash vs. Evil Dead cannot exist with Ash. It just wouldn’t be the same. And, heck, instead of speculating about what AvED would look like without Ash, fans need to watch the show with Ash, the show we have, if we want to see anything more in the future. It’s up to us.

What the heck would a Kelly and Pablo spin-off be called? Kelly and Pablo? Pablo and Kelly? El Brujo Especiale and Babe? What the heck would it be called?

And now, the eighth episode of season three of Ash vs. Evil Dead.


Episode 8: Rifting Apart

Directed by: Mark Beesley
Written by: Bryan Edward Hill

(All images courtesy of Starz)

Warning: This review contains spoilers.

Rifting Apart begins with the local Elk Grove authorities removing dead bodies from the school and the police putting out on APB for our hero Ash (Bruce Campbell). Ash is going to have to pay for what he did, or, at least, what the authorities think he did. We, the audience, know better. It wasn’t Ash who killed those kids at the school, it was the evil Ash. And Ruby (Lucy Lawless). Meanwhile, Ash is still in the school, hiding with Pablo (Ray Santiago), trying to come up with a plan on what to do next. Ash is damn near despondent. His daughter, Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill), is dead, and Ash isn’t sure how to deal with that fact. After some back and forth with Pablo about what the heck is going on, Ash has an idea about the rift, the thing he has a doorway to in the basement of the hardware store. Ash remembers back to the story of Professor Knowby and how he was trapped in the rift. If the rift he has in the basement is the same rift, and if Pablo actually communicated with the dead Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), there’s a chance that everyone who recently died, including Brandy, is still alive in the rift. If Ash can somehow get to the rift he might be able to bring everyone back.

Maybe. There are some details that need to be worked out first.

While all of that is going on, we see Brandy “alive” in the rift, trying to find refuge from the evil demon shadow things that are running around everywhere and, every so often, dragging people into the ground to take them to hell. As you would expect someone to do, Brandy is freaking the fuck out because what the hell is she supposed to do here? Where is she supposed to go? And can she even fight back against those demon shadow things? Before she can come up with anything on her own, Dalton (Lindsay Farris) appears and offers his assistance. Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) is there, too. Brandy takes the help immediately. What the hell else is she going to do?

Back to the real world, Ash and Pablo put their big plan into action. First, they steal the coroner’s van, and then second they check to see if Brandy’s body is actually in the van. Once they establish that, they head for the hardware store and the basement, bringing along Brandy’s body so they can keep an eye on it. All they have to do is find a way to open the rift and get to the other side. How does one do that safely and not get turned into a demon monster deadite thing like that poor, bald Knight of Sumeria? Pablo surmises that the way to get through the rift, safely (well, relatively safely), is to get killed by evil. Ash isn’t too keen on that idea at first, dying and all, but he eventually comes around because he really wants to save Brandy and how the hell else is he going to do it? But then how does one get killed by evil and not, you know, get torn to pieces and shit? Pablo figures the best way to do that is with the Kandarian Dagger. He still has the Dagger. The Dagger is evil. Pablo doesn’t want to kill his best friend, though, even if it’s for something worthwhile like saving Brandy. Ash insists. So Pablo sort of helps Ash kill himself with the Dagger, stabbing him in the heart.

And Ash dies. Holy shit, Ash dies. Who the hell thought that would ever happen in the Ash vs. Evil Dead universe? He’s not really dead, though, obviously. He’s about to wake up in the rift. And when Ash wakes up in the rift, he’s not exactly the same person he was before he “died.” He’s got his hand back (Ash remarks later that he’s surprised at how often that seems to happen to him).

Now, while all of that is going on, Brandy is hiding out with both Dalton and Kelly in the rift, trying to stay alive and come up with a plan of their own. The shadow monsters are out there, alongside other monsters. What the hell are they going to do? Before they come up with something, Ash shows up, to the chagrin of Kelly once she finds out what Ash did in order to get into the rift (who the hell kills himself in order to go to hell?). Kelly is happy, though, that Ash may have a plan.

Back in the real Elk Grove, Pablo is getting ready to open the rift to allow Ash and everyone to come back. While checking on Brandy’s body, though, Pablo finds out that the body bag that has Brandy in it doesn’t have Brandy in it. It’s a different dead body, it’s out of the bag, and it’s not exactly dead anymore. Another goddamn deadite.

As Pablo fights a nasty female deadite in the hardware store, Ash tells everyone what is big plan is; they need to get to the basement of the hardware store, stand in front of the wall where the rift entrance is, and wait for Pablo to open it. The problem is the rift doesn’t act like life on Earth. Moving from one area of the rift to another is often a confusing experiencing. Just because the hardware store is across the street doesn’t mean that you can just open the door and show up there. There’s a real chance that you will end up somewhere else, somewhere you don’t want to be. Even knowing that, Ash figures their only chance is to get to the basement no matter what. And so that’s what they do, they try to find a way to the basement.

As soon as Ash and company find a way to the street, the demon shadows appear in full force and, suddenly, getting to the rift entrance seems impossible. Ash spots a version of his car, the Delta, and figures that he could use the vehicle to distract the shadows and allow Brandy and Kelly to get to the rift entrance. Doing that would prevent Ash from getting to the entrance, so Dalton volunteers to be a distraction for the demon shadows. He doesn’t have a body to go back to on Earth, and he’d love to have the chance to take on Ruby in hell if and when she ends up there. Kelly doesn’t want Dalton to do it, but Dalton insists. It’s the group’s only chance.

So Dalton creates a distraction (and gets pulled down into hell), Ash and company use the Delta as a weapon against the demon shadows (an awesome special effects sequence), and suddenly this “getting to the rift entrance” plan seems like it might work. Ash, Brandy, and Kelly make it to the basement and to the rift entrance.

The rift entrance is closed. Shit. Where the hell is Pablo?

Back on Earth, Pablo is trying to take care of the deadite woman. She’s crafty and nasty and tough to beat, but Pablo eventually figures out how to take care of her (an excellent decapitation sequence involving a paint can shaker). Pablo quickly regroups and heads to the basement and the rift entrance and opens it. Brandy gets through it. Ash gets through it. Kelly can’t. What the hell?

While all of that is going on, the evil Kelly is meeting with Ruby and freaking out. Ruby’s big plan to use the evil Ash to hold off the Dark Ones has failed miserably and the evil Kelly believes they’re doomed. Ruby, however, thinks she has a suitable backup plan. And what is that backup plan? We’ll have to wait for episode nine because this is where episode eight ends. The only thing we do know is that the big scheme will involve Knights of Sumeria leader Zoe (Emilia Burns), who the evil Kelly has captured.

Rifting Apart is one of the best episodes of the season so far, a major improvement over episode seven (not that that episode was bad, mind you). The sequences in the rift are amazing. It looks like the normal Elk Grove but it’s dingy and dark and there are shadows everywhere. The demon shadows are some of the best looking TV CGI creations I’ve ever seen, and, as I said, the bit where Ash uses the Delta as a weapon against them is excellent. The way the story moves back and forth between Earth and the rift is terrific stuff, too. There’s a great balance between both realms.

The big “Ash kills himself” scene is something I thought I would never see. Killing himself, even to save his daughter, just didn’t seem like something Ash would do. But then Campbell makes you believe that Ash is hurt and confused by everything that’s recently happened to him. He just found out that he has a daughter, she basically died in his arms, and now he has a burning need for revenge. His “prostate exam” remark is total Ash. Campbell’s back and forth with Santiago’s Pablo over how to go about killing him is a sequence that should have a nice life on YouTube.

And when Ash gets into the rift? Awesome, especially the whole hand thing (a joke that isn’t old yet, as far as I’m concerned).

It was cool to see Dalton back doing something, although, once again, he doesn’t get to hang around all that long. Will he get a chance to fight Ruby in hell in the event that Ruby loses to Ash and the other Ghostbeaters? I can’t wait to find out.

Poor Kelly, stuck in the rift with no way to get back to Earth because of the evil entity that’s already inside Kelly’s body. How the hell is she going to get back to Earth? Is she going to be able to get back to Earth? I will say, though, that I love hearing Dana DeLorenzo’s British accent.

And what the hell is Ruby’s big plan now? How is she going to use Zoe to fulfill it?

Only two episodes left to go. Bring on episode nine!

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Rifting Apart is another great Ash vs. Evil Dead episode, both the series and the season. It’s a tight episode that manages to move back and forth between Earth and the rift with ease and features some of the best special effects of the season. That Delta scene is awesome. And the scene where Ash kills himself is a thing of beauty. Did anyone ever think that would happen, that Ash would ever do anything like that to himself? A great set up for whatever the hell episode nine has in store for us.