Ash vs Evil Dead: The end of an era and the King of Jacksonville


Last night was the series finale of Ash vs Evil Dead. Hard to believe but the almost 40-year-old saga of Ash Williams is over and it feels weird.

“I’m doing this for you. I’m doing it for all of you.” – Ash Williams


The Non-Review

This isn’t going to be a typical recap or even review. By now, everyone knows what has happened. If not, I will give brief spoilers.

Our stalwart hero, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) has a breakdown and lapse in confidence.  Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill) snaps him out of it and he regains the courage necessary to face down the baddest mofo demon of all time, Kandar.

Pablo (Ray Santiago) saves Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) by going into the rift. They have the moment we have all waited for a beautiful spectacular kiss that leaves Brandy and Ash giving each other high fives. The time comes to test the Mettle of Man and guess what? Ash doesn’t run.

He sends Brandy and the Ghostbeaters off to safety while he takes on Kandar in a tank. Evil is conquered but our savior has fallen.

Rescued by renegade Knights of Sumeria he ends up in cryostasis and wakes up in a future of hot androids. The Classic is preserved and tricked out into a Mad Max style tank car.

In the end, Ash sallies forth into the dystopian unknown to face the Dark Ones and find his family to the strains of Space Truckin’ by Deep Purple. Thus, the Evil Dead saga ends.

A perfect bookend to the original Army of Darkness ending that both Sam Raimi and Campbell preferred. Then coming around full circle to the start of Ash vs Evil Dead Season 1 Episode 1, ‘El Jefe’ when Ash was tooling around in the Delta to the same 70s tune.

The Meaning of It All

I will admit this is strange territory for me. For a year now, I have written about Ash vs Evil Dead in some form or fashion. Now, I find myself not knowing how to articulate what I want to say.

In life, there are learning experiences. This was one for me on so many different levels. I had the distinct pleasure of interacting with the cast which is something that doesn’t happen every day.

Each of these individuals were engaging, gracious and I can’t say enough good things about them. What wisdom can I impart about an end of an era that hasn’t been imparted before? The finale was closure for me so I can’t speak for anyone else.

Do I have opinions on certain things?  You bet I do but this isn’t the time nor the place to discuss them if ever. I can tell you that it is difficult to truly say goodbye to something that inspired you personally to pursue your goals in life.

The Sense of Permanence

Maybe that is why people prefer to say “So Long.” It doesn’t have that sense of permanence that goodbye has. This isn’t final. There will always be the legacy of Evil Dead.

It is not like these things will disappear in time. They are preserved. Just like the characters in Ash vs Evil Dead. If you want to check in with their world, you can find them on DVDs, Blu-rays, apps and different viewing platforms whenever you desire.

There are also so many memories to take away. This type of show is not likely to be seen again until the next revival comes around. Everything in Hollywood is cyclical. You just have to look at your local theater complex and your TV Guide to see the types of movies and television programs that are making revenue.

For Now

Like the ending of Ash vs Evil Dead, maybe these characters that we have grown to love are lying dormant waiting to be reawakened at a future date. Perhaps, there will be another rift that opens and Pablo will have to spring into action to yet again straddle both the Deadlands and the current world.

More from Bruce Campbell

If the Dark Ones are on the move, Kelly may have to rally the troops like Leia Organa in Star Wars. She is the General now. Who better to protect the future of mankind then her? After all, she was the Ghostbeater who always had a plan.

Then there is Brandy. The living scion of the Prophesied One. She is Kelly’s right-hand woman. Although they are not blood, they are sisters forged in bloodshed. Sometimes that is a deeper bond.

Since Ash vanquished Kandar maybe somehow Dalton is living again as well. Pablo’s Brujo Especial powers could have rescued him. It could be plausible that he is one of the members of the Cyborg army of the Knights of Sumeria.

The King of Jacksonville

What of Ash Williams, the hero from the sky? Remember he told his daughter he couldn’t keep doing this s*** forever. Well, for what it is worth, here is what I think.

He is living in his own private Jacksonville where the sun is always shining, the Shemp’s is always flowing with a beautiful, tan blond by his side. It is his time to rest now.

We will hear of him from time to time because the Knights will always keep their eyes open. He isn’t gone. No, in fact, he is very much alive. He resides in our hearts and in our imaginations. That my friends is in a place known as Forever.


Thank you, Rob Tapert, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and STARZ for giving us Ash vs Evil Dead. To Dana DeLorenzo, Ray Santiago, Arielle Carver-O’Neill, Lucy Lawless and Lindsay Farris may your horizons continue to burn bright.

A huge shout out to Mark Verheiden, his staff of immensely talented writers, Rick Jacobson, Mark Beesley and all of the directors for taking these characters and making them living and breathing human beings. They are people just like us with faults and virtues and everything in between.

This season was laden with special FX galore. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention PROFX NZ and Shay Lawrence. Their respective crews are the reason why Kandar was so believable, the Deadites were so terrifying, and that crazy fight in a sperm bank was highly entertaining.

Part of what made the mood of AVED epic in scope was the score. Music was an integral part of every show and Joseph LoDuca helped make some indelible memories this year with his creative choices.

The Other Side

Now, comes the hard part realizing that this is the last article I will write on this series. However, with every end there is a start. Who knows what the future will bring? This isn’t goodbye. It is a see you on the other side.

What did you think of the finale? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below. We want to hear from you.

Next: Ash vs Evil Dead editorial: A possible future without El Jefe

Susan Leighton can be found on Twitter and Facebook @SusanontheLedge. She can also be heard talking up Ash vs Evil Dead for the last time today on the Nerdrotics Podcast at 11:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT as well as their Pop Culture Wrap Ups every Friday night at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. You can catch her coverage on IFC’s Brockmire at TV Series Hub.