This is it. The end. The true final battle against evil. The finale of Ash vs. Evil Dead had the biggest-scale stakes and action in the whole of this 37-year-old franchise, and despite the show’s cancellation, we were left with the potential for more.
The Mettle of Man acts as a part two to last week’s and keeps the non-stop action all the way through. While not as strong an episode as “Judgement Day”, it wrapped up season three’s storylines nicely, giving everyone some wonderful character moments. The beauty of the way this season ended is that if Ash vs. Evil Dead were to get picked up by another network for another season, the story would not feel forced. Likewise, if that were to never happen and these three glorious seasons are all we are ever going to get, then the ending also works pretty perfectly.
We begin this episode right where we left off with the group being faced with a demonic behemoth that rose from the ground after the “Dark Ones” claimed the Necronomicon and unleashed doom upon the world. Elk Grove is still in absolute chaos, with the military now being called in to try and deal with the demon. Pablo realizes that mortal weapons are simply making it stronger. It’s all down to Ash and the Kandarian Dagger.
Mettle of the Man is an episode very much about Ash’s character. We see all sides of him in 30 short minutes. After a television broadcast reveals that this is a global problem, Ash seems utterly worn out, questioning why he was chosen to lead this life. It takes a motivational speech from Brandy to make him see the big picture and the two of them head underground to try and reach the cellar and the rift, avoiding the mayhem on ground level. Pablo’s “El Brujo Speciale” abilities allow him to pass evil safely and he also heads for the rift.
Battling past some deadites that have found their way underground, Ash and Brandy reach the rift. Pablo joins them and is able to travel through the rift without dying thanks to his abilities. Now that they have Kelly’s body after what happened in the last episode, Kelly will be able to travel back into the real world. All the while this is happening, the Kandarian demon is simply getting stronger and stronger and no amount of fighter jets or armored tanks can do anything to stop it.
Pablo makes it back through the rift and immediately goes over to Kelly’s body to see if it is waking up. At first she doesn’t, leading to a rather heartbreaking moment as Pablo begins to break down over the body. Kelly then jump-starts and is instantly kissed by Pablo to the joyful surprise of Ash. It is a blessing that the romance between Kelly and Pablo throughout the whole of Ash vs. Evil Dead finally came to something in this final season. Sadly we won’t be able to see this romance blossom but this was a wonderful way to end their story arcs.
After Kelly exclaims that she now looks like Keith Richards and Ash and Brandy share a joke about that, all that is left to do is for Ash to destroy the demon. As military evacuations are taking place, Ash leads Brandy, Kelly, and Pablo into the back of an evacuation van and realizes he can’t join them; that he must do this alone. Ash Williams can be as inappropriate, goofy and sleazy as he likes, but it’s moments like this that show why he is a true hero. Willing to sacrifice himself to not only save his daughter and his friends, not even only to save Elk Grove, but to save the world, he explains his decision to Brandy, finds a tank and heads into action.
The battle between Ash and the Kandarian demon ends with Ash being able to shoot the dagger out of the tank and into the demon, causing the demon to fall directly on top of the tank.
The final scene of Ash vs. Evil Dead sees Ash waking up in a bunker after being dragged away from the wreckage. He is met by a woman who calls him “the savior” and she shows him what the world now looks like. “It’s all gone,” says Ash. “Not all of it,” says the woman, revealing the trusty Delta, now fully supercharged. They get into the Delta and Ash asks where Brandy is. “All will be explained,” is the response, “there’s still work to be done”.
And, appropriately, the final line of Mettle of the Man is this week’s “Ash Quote of the Week”, and it couldn’t be a better final line!
Three incredible seasons of one of the craziest, goriest and most fun shows in history. Ash Williams is the role Bruce Campbell will be remembered for and if we never see anything from Ash again, we should consider ourselves lucky we got thirty episodes of this show. As for the rest of the cast, there is no doubt they will have wonderful careers, especially Dana DeLorenzo. However, season three has been the strongest season of Ash vs. Evil Dead thanks to the addition of Arielle Carver-O’Neill to the cast. Brandy gave Ash new meaning and to see where that relationship ended from where it began was the best thing about this season.
Hail to the king, baby!
Ash Quote of the Week: “Groovy”
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