From Ash’s bloody battle with a naked corpse to Kelly’s transformation into a cold-blooded killer to Ruby joining the team to Pablo dying a horrific death only to come back to life after an action-packed trip back in time, Season 2 of Ash vs. Evil Dead was chock-full of crazy moments. The Starz show has seen Ash progress from reluctant anti-hero--endlessly tasked with fighting off demonic threats near and far to save the world from total destruction--to an oddball leader of sorts, guiding a rag-tag crew through the Evil Dead-infested fray, while finding a deeper familial purpose along the way.
Once Season 2 ended, word spread that showrunner Craig DiGregorio (Reaper, Workaholics) had parted ways with the Ash vs. Evil Dead team, leaving Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica, Daredevil) to take over as executive producer. DiGregorio dished some behind-the-scenes dirt to AVClub, leaving many concerned over the future of the series. And Season 2 did feel like it was leading to an epic conclusion only to fizzle out in those final moments.
Where will things go in Season 3? What should fans expect from new episodes? Will Mark Verheiden lead the show into new and exciting territory? Bruce Campbell (Ash), Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly), and Ray Santiago (Pablo) gave GameSpot a few teases regarding the show’s new direction.
Some all new family drama
"Well, Ash might be somewhat of a father in season three," Campbell explained. "He may be raising an unruly opinionated daughter."
The addition of Lee Majors to the Ash vs. Evil Dead story in Season 2 helped to give a better understanding of Ashley J. Williams’ home life. Returning to Elk Grove, Michigan was one thing, but meeting Brock Williams, the father of everyone’s favorite chainsaw-wielding demon hunter, broadened the story on a human level. And while they eventually closed the door on Brock--and re-opened, and then re-closed the door on Ash’s sister, Cheryl--it sounds like Season 3 will continue to explore Ash’s family tree.
"This family is bound by blood and bound by bloodshed," DeLorenzo added. "What I really think that season three is focusing on is the idea of family. You have these three underdogs who have become a family. And then introducing actual family into that and how that changes the dynamics of these characters fulfills their destinies, in a way."
Exploring a deeper mythology
Instead of utter chaos ensuing in those final Season 2 moments, Ash became a hometown hero. The citizens of Elk Grove, Michigan even erected a statue made in his honor. While it did feel as if the show was resetting itself, it sounds like the events of last season will be paying off in the new episodes. "Life is good now," Campbell explained. "Ash is the hero and owns his own hardware store. He's the local city commercial guy and he's going to cash in on this notoriety. Because, really, that's what Ash would do. Pablo’s part of his little business and Kelly is nowhere to be found. We don't know what she's up to."
According to Campbell, a "group of like-minded people" will be introduced this season who consider Ash to be their savior. But as we’ve seen in previous seasons, Ash never wants to fight evil until he’s nudged to do so. And it seems like that reluctance will again play a part once Season 3 begins. Does this mean Kelly will step up to take the lead? It’s possible.
"Season 3 gets even more grounded and we raised the stakes for the drama," DeLorenzo explained. "We're not just hitting the same notes, so to speak. Everyone on the show is incorporating all three films of the franchise. We’re taking all of that and moving forward."
New showrunner, who dis?
When DiGregorio left Ash vs. Evil Dead, many fans were worried about the future of the series. After all, this was the man who fought to keep Ash’s cadaver battle in the show. The hero’s head got literally shoved up the butt of a naked dead man. Where does one go from there? One look at DiGregorio’s IMDB page and it’s evident that his sensibilities are firmly based in the world of comedy.
At its core, AvED is both a horror series and a comedy series. But stories have to progress and it sounds like Mark Verheiden has steered the Starz series into new, unexpected waters. "Mark really wanted to focus on the core of the characters and the heart of who they are," Ray Santiago explained. "We're introducing this other level of family. What would it be like for Ash to lose? To really lose all of the family that he had? And, you know, what happens if you can’t turn back time? Where does that leave Ash? That’s what Mark was focusing on: He’s taking this novelty show to that next place many fans won't see coming."
"We all kind of knew him and Mark's been around forever," Campbell added. "He’s a very experienced writer and so, you know, I was keen on getting him involved to work on the [Ash vs. Evil Dead] mythology, which he very skillfully did."
Get ready for one epically insane finale
Bruce Campbell may have put it best by saying Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 3 will lead up to "an unexpected boiling moment." As vague as that may sound, it seems like the new episodes will be building to one very intense climax. "Expect the unexpected this season," warned Santiago. "We're bringing out everything that you could possibly imagine. We have one of the biggest season finales that we've ever had. It’s going to be epic. People are going to be laughing and crying. They're not going to see it coming!"
There’s no premiere date still
After all this talk of Ash vs. Evil Dead Season 3, it looks like Starz has yet to announce a premiere date for the fall. In an interview with Red Carpet Crash, Campbell addressed these concerns, saying, "When you hear the date, let me know. Starz has said a couple different things, about possibly shifting the premiere date to try and get a cleaner slot within the year. So we don’t know. It’ll either be [this] fall or first quarter 2018...is my guess."
With the fall lineup quickly approaching, it’s beginning to look like Ash vs. Evil Dead won’t be returning to the small screen until the new year. Starz can still reveal an October premiere date, but time is running out to make that happen. Thankfully, fans will have the Season 2 blu-ray--with all its glorious special features--to tide them over until Season 3 touches down.