It was Ash vs. Ash in episode seven of this third season of Ash vs. Evil Dead. Episode six (Tales from the Rift) left us knowing we were going to get a showdown very soon. We certainly got that this week! Twist and Shout aired April 8, 2018. Ash vs. Evil Dead stars Bruce Campbell, Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago, Arielle Carver-O’Neill and Lucy Lawless.
Ruby’s plan throughout this third season of Ash vs. Evil Dead has been to manipulate Brandy into killing her father, and that came incredibly close to happening this week. Twist and Shout opens with Ruby’s demonic version of Ash finally awakening in adult form like an Uruk-Hai from Lord of the Rings. At Ash’s house, Brandy has gotten ready for a school dance at which she plans on finding out for herself what Ruby’s (Mrs. Prevett) true intentions are. After growing to believe what her father has been telling her about evil, this is the last fact Brandy has to make sure of before she commits entirely.
Ash also congratulates who he thinks is Kelly on retrieving the Kandarian Dagger while Pablo tries to comfort Zoe, the only surviving Knight of Sumeria after the rift between worlds was opened. While we may have expected to see a bit more of Zoe in the remainder of the season, Twist and Shout didn’t grant us any more time with her than that. That was a little disappointing after her wonderful debut episode last week.
Pablo hears a voice calling to him from the netherworld and it turns out to be Kelly, the real Kelly, who explains to a clearly saddened Pablo that she thinks she is dead. Like we say every week, dead characters on Ash vs. Evil Dead are never truly dead. We also know that it is possible to bring a spirit back from the netherworld because Kelly’s body is now acting as a vessel. Given this information, I think it’s safe to say that Kelly will be returned to her body by the season’s end.
The rest of the episode takes place at Brandy’s school dance where demon Ash has arrived and doesn’t waste time in disposing of a couple. Of course, demon Ash is thought to be the real Ash by all the students, which makes it all even more confusing when the real Ash does turn up sensing danger. After Brandy discovers gory bodies, she has another crisis of faith, assuming that her father is the only one who could have killed these people. She runs to Ruby for consolation who, along with “Kelly”, explains that she knows more than she has been letting on. She knows that evil is coming and tells Brandy that Ash is a demon.
Before this, we see that Ruby has organized an “In memoriam” for Brandy’s mother and her friend Rachel, who we saw both die in episode one. Just another play from Ruby to get Brandy on her side.
Pablo also arrives at the school and immediately realizes there is a danger. He meets both demon Ash and “Kelly” who he narrowly manages to escape from, realizing that she can’t be the true Kelly who he spoke to through the rift because this Kelly doesn’t acknowledge their kiss. He does manage to meet up with the real Ash who is on his way to the hall where the dance is taking place.
While all this has been happening with Pablo, demon Ash made his way into the hall, slicing up students left, right and center, and after Ruby stands up to protect the students, she forces him to slice her up too. This leaves Brandy distraught, assuming that her father is the demon Ruby said he was, but not knowing that this is a demon version of Ash. Brandy threatens demon Ash with the Kandarian Dagger but is unable to harm “her father” as she remembers how she has grown to love and accept him over the course of the season.
Pablo and the real Ash then burst into the hall which leaves Brandy more confused than ever. Ash doesn’t take too long before blowing the head off his demonic twin which angers Ruby enough for her to wake, disemboweled, revealing her true nature to everyone present and throwing the Kandarian Dagger directly at Ash. The dagger ends up in Brandy’s back and as Ash grieves over his daughter’s body, she wakes in the netherworld and Twist and Shout ends.
Ash and Pablo are now going to have a serious job to bring both Kelly and Brandy back from the netherworld in the remaining three episodes of the season, but at least now Ruby’s nature is known to all and Pablo also knows that “Kelly” isn’t Kelly. Finally, in a season full of secrets and manipulation, it takes a rather confusing (for characters) episode like this to bring out the truth.
Credit also to director Mark Beesley who brought a good deal more fun than we’ve seen in recent weeks; making it feel truly like something that belonged in the Evil Dead universe.
After Twist and Shout, what we have in store for the rest of this season now is a hell of a lot different to what it seemed a couple of weeks ago. But that is what Ash vs. Evil Dead does so well. It always throws another crazy plot point in!