Were you satisfied with this past Sunday night’s finale?
In the second season finale of Starz’ “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” Ash slayed Henrietta back in the ’80s, kicked Baal’s ass all over the cabin, and successfully prevented his young self from ever reading the Necronomicon in the first place. He was also able to bring departed pal Pablo back to life, and the finale ended with Ash finally being celebrated as a hero in the town of Elk Grove.
He almost even got his hand back. Almost.
From what I’m seeing on social media, many fans were left unsatisfied by the finale, some feeling that it was a bit too serious in comparison to the show’s usual tone. Others were bummed that young Ash never came face-to-face with old Ash, which seemed to be something we were going to see. Who else was disappointed by the finale? The show’s recently departed showrunner.
Speaking with A.V. Club, Craig DiGregorio just held nothing back in regards to this thoughts on the Season 2 finale and the current direction of the show. As it turns out, creative differences were the reason for him stepping down; he wanted the show to be as funny and wacky as possible, but producer Rob Tapert often disagreed. And those differences changed the finale big time.
The season finale wasn’t what I wanted at all. This is the first time where I actually thought that the creative push-and-pull adversely affected the final product and I think it really shows. We could usually hide some of the tonal push-and-pull underneath fun dialogue, or underneath fun story points, or underneath fun visuals. It’s a show that goes so fast and it’s paced so quickly that you may not notice some of the things that bug me the most, but it was always there. Again, I fault nobody for wanting to make a great show, it just became very difficult.
What was the original vision for the Season 2 finale? DiGregorio digs deep:
Here’s what I remember. Basically, Ash kills Henrietta, gets the book, and runs outside with it. So, we got out of the cabin quickly, and that’s when Ruby and Kelly return. Inside, young Ash has entered but the book is gone, so he never reads it in this timeline. At that moment, the trunk rattles, Pablo’s in there, and he’s okay.
So, now they have the book and they have Pablo. Ash decides Ruby and Kelly are going to destroy the book. Meanwhile, Ash and Pablo head into town because Ash secretly wants to see his present-day deceased father Brock one last time before they go back to the present—remember that in 203 Brock starts to reveal a big “secret,” we wanted Ash to want to get to the bottom of this. So, Ash and Pablo go to the bar, Kelly and Ruby go to the woods to destroy the book. In the woods, Ruby runs into 1982 Ruby and makes that same sort of plea to her, the “your life is going to be different, you don’t have to do this.” But 1982 Ruby thinks that her future self has gone completely soft, kills Ruby, but then Kelly holds her own against 1982 Ruby, grabs the book, and runs with it. 1982 Ruby chases her because she wants to bring her husband and kids back and she didn’t listen to her future self.
Meanwhile, at the bar, Ash doesn’t see his dad, but does see a nice young lady, who seems very sad because she just got passed over for a teacher position. She’s distraught, and Ash, having learned a lot about how you can fail and come back from it, starts talking to her very genuinely in the charming Bruce way. They end up drinking together and go in a bathroom stall to have some early-’80s unprotected sex. What you don’t realize is that the woman Ash is having sex with is Kelly’s future mother [a young Suzy Maxwell]. So, what happens is that Kelly, while running in the woods, all of a sudden feels her entire being change and drops the book. That’s when 1982 Ruby catches up and realizes what just happened. She looks through the Necronomicon and sees Ash’s picture, and then next to it, a picture of Kelly starts to appear. Because of the unprotected bathroom stall incident, Kelly has become Ash’s daughter.
At that point, Pablo rushes into the bar, says there’s something wrong because the skies are going dark now that 1982 Ruby has the book, and they’re starting to summon things back. They go get Kelly, who’s somehow pissed at Ash, even though she doesn’t really know what happened, and while they don’t have the book, they have Pablo and use him to jump back to present day. When they get back, Ruby is standing there with Baal and her kids and they take Kelly away. Apologies, I really ran through a bunch there in about two sentences. But basically, we were setting up a season three where Ash had to go rescue his daughter… Kelly.
Yes, the original plan was that Kelly would end up being Ash’s daughter, which DiGregorio notes was hinted at in little ways throughout the second season. It was the plan for the season all along, but it of course never came to fruition. Bummer, because that could’ve been a whole lot of fun.
Be sure to read the full A.V. Club interview for much more insight from DiGregorio.