02nd May2018

‘Ash vs Evil Dead 3×10: The Mettle of Man’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

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Judgement Day is here, not only in story terms but also for Ash vs Evil Dead as a show. Fans of Evil Dead may be sad, but in truth it was inevitable, because shows as good as this rarely last long before burning out. The Mettle of Man finally (maybe) ends the Ash’s (Bruce Campbell) story, but is it a fitting one for such a pop culture icon?

With a sixty-foot Kandarian Demon destroying Elk Grove Ash, Pablo (Ray Santiago), and Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill) fight to pull Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) back through the rift. After that, Ash must then face the demon to show if he truly is the hero that humanity needs to save it from destruction.

Ash is a horror character that has been with many fans all their lives. He is as iconic as Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees and any of the other horror characters that people worship. The difference is though that he is the imperfect hero that always saves the day.

The way Bruce Campbell plays the character is as the slapstick buffoon who never really wants to save the world, but in the end comes good. We see him always fighting against the odds and many times paying the price. The best part is though, in the end he always comes good. That is why the Evil Dead films worked so well, and why Ash vs Evil Dead is so beloved.

What Ash vs Evil Dead did though was to bring a team of heroes to fight alongside Ash. Again, they weren’t perfect, but they managed to give Ash the support that he needed and became a part of his family. You could argue that even if Ruby (Lucy Lawless) was Ash’s nemesis trying to get in his way, she was still part of that family.

In season three we’ve also seen the inclusion of Brandy, and in this episode, we see her truly become the female version of Ash. I’d also argue that this was what Kelly was as well (and would still be) but it was a heart warming moment to see Ash and Brandy fight side by side and get covered in blood and kick some ass. In many ways, this is what made The Mettle of Man one of the best episodes of Ash vs Evil Dead, it just all came together perfectly.

In the final battle, we also got to see the Ash that the fans deserved. Fighting to save the world from a huge demon seems to be a fitting end for the show. While, I won’t spoil how it ends it is also interesting that fans of Army of Darkness will have a déjà vu moment. Weirdly the show ends how the movies did, and it seems to be the perfect way to go.

If there was another movie, but without Ash there are ways that this could be done. If Bruce Campbell stuck to his guns (or boom stick) and kept Ash retired, I would argue that Kelly, Brandy, and Pablo could continue the story. It would miss Ash of course, but the show has done a good job at creating three new characters that made Ash a better version than he already was.

Ash vs Evil Dead is going to be missed, and I’d not be surprised at the show finding new life (Netflix maybe?). For now, horror fans should be happy that we got the perfect show to follow the much-loved Evil Dead films. We were given more deadite action, and the level of gore was never toned down for television. In the end, what more could we have asked for? I for one am grateful that Ash vs Evil Dead managed to be so good and lived up to what we hoped it would be.

***** 5/5

Ash vs Evil Dead is available on Virgin Media Video on Demand in the UK.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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