Episode eight of this season of Ash vs. Evil Dead played like a rescue mission; one that took a great deal of courage and an expected amount of sheer luck to pull off. Rifting Apart aired April 15, 2018. Ash vs. Evil Dead stars Bruce Campbell, Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago, Arielle Carver-O’Neill and Lucy Lawless.
In Rifting Apart, following the school dance massacre in “Twist and Shout”, Brandy found herself in the netherworld. Ash is devastated after the “death” of his daughter, but when Pablo explains to him that the real Kelly has communicated to him from that world, Ash realizes there must be a way to bring them both back. This is Ash vs. Evil Dead, after all.
Ash seems to be just as confused as we were during the last episode, not being sure who is truly dead and who can be saved. This knowledge of Kelly’s communication, however, brings back instant heroism in Ash, and he and “El Brujo Speciale” Pablo steal the van in which Brandy’s body has been placed and head for the cellar under the hardware store.
Brandy, having woken up in the netherworld, begins to tentatively wander around the deathly version of Elk Grove. We realise quickly that there is something very dark and sinister happening there as a dark entity, a black cloud with hands, is seemingly terrorising the place, causing the lost souls there to fight for their survival even after their supposed deaths. In this world, doors open into rooms that they shouldn’t and doors don’t open into rooms that they should; just to add to the confusion of the place.
A slightly surprising discovery in the netherworld, only because he had seemingly been forgotten about, was Dalton. He is recognised by Brandy and tries to explain what he thinks is going on there. Kelly also shows up and we are led to believe she and Dalton have been working together there. This was proof that you should never doubt Ash vs. Evil Dead to deliver on certain characters or storylines brought up in the past. Nothing is ever forgotten about and it was wonderful to see Dalton back in the picture to go out appropriately.
Back with Ash and Pablo and they reach the cellar yet Ash only has “an idea of a plan” (as though that hasn’t worked countless times before). After questioning where Zoe, the surviving Knight of Sumeria, could have gone as this was where Pablo saw her last, they come to the realisation that someone can only reach the netherworld if evil kills them, leading Ash to suggest he sacrifice himself in order to save Brandy and Kelly. We are then treated to the “Ash quote of the week” and a bit of confusion between the two of them before Pablo eventually stabs Ash through the heart with the Kandarian Dagger. Needless to say, Pablo has no idea if he has just actually killed Ash or not.
Rifting Apart showcased the best acting from Bruce Campbell we have seen all season. From the opening where he is greiving over the loss of Brandy to his explaining why he has to sacrifice himself for his “little girl” and all the stuff once he is in the netherworld, he is excellent in this episode.
The addition of Brandy has not only been welcome to Ash vs. Evil Dead as a whole, but also to Ash’s character who, while we love him, tends to always be the same. She has offered a deeper layer to Ash this season and has certainly added to making this the most dramatic of the three.
Once Ash wakes up in the netherworld, raring to go and with both hands, Pablo is left alone and is worried to see Brandy’s bodybag empty on the other side of the room. For the rest of the episode, Pablo has the usual fight with the deadite, who isn’t Brandy at all. Ash picked up the wrong bodybag out of the stolen van.
It doesn’t take Ash long to find the group in the netherworld and Brandy’s delighted reaction shows exactly how strong their relationship has grown over the season. Kelly is less happy to see him as she immediately believes this to mean Ash is dead too, but all is fine once he explains that Pablo is going to open the rift so they can get back. However, this would be a lot easier, as Dalton (or Dylan, Darius or whatever else Ash wants to call him) explains, if it wasn’t for the demonic entity making it unsafe to go outside.
As you might expect, the rest of Rifting Apart is dedicated to this group making it to the netherworld’s version of the cellar so they can travel through the rift and with a bit of help from the ever trusty Delta and a diverting sacrifice from Dalton, they manage to make it past the entity and to the rift. Pablo is still fighting a deadite at this point however so they are forced to wait for him to finish. Brandy makes it back through but there seems to be a force stopping Kelly from doing so. She nor Ash have any idea what this could be, but we realize that Kelly’s body is currently being used by Kaya, so Kelly has no physical body to go back to. Ash is then pulled back through, leaving Kelly now alone.
Ash wakes up back in the real cellar, scaring Pablo half to death and immediately goes to get Brandy out of the other bodybag that is still in the stolen van. Pablo is visibly worried when Ash tells him that Kelly couldn’t make it back, but all this means is that we are in for Kelly’s big return in the finale, once Kaya in Kelly’s body is destroyed in episode nine. Right!?
Rifting Apart ends with Kaya Kelly dragging Zoe to Ruby, explaining that she is a Knight of Sumeria. We are left with Ruby vowing that Zoe will help them fight Ash and before any ritual on Zoe can be performed, and the credits begin.
Rifting Apart was an excellent episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead to set us up for what I’m sure will be a final battle worth waiting for!
Ash quote of the week: “To save those two, I’d subject myself to a prostate exam”