‘Ash Vs. Evil Dead’ Boss Details the Season 2 Finale Producers Nixed
If anything seemed amiss about the Ash Vs. Evil Dead Season 2 finale, it might have something to do with the original pitch being completely vetoed by producer Bob Tapert. Now, departing showrunner Craig DiGregorio gets brutally candid about the original plan for Ash and Kelly, as well as a Back to the Future II-style return to the original Evil Dead.
You’re warned of full Ash Vs. Evil Dead Season 2 spoilers from here on out, but AV Club conducted a fascinatingly honest exit interview with DiGregorio, who explained that (mostly) amicable differences of opinion between himself and franchise producer Bob Tapert ended up completely rewriting the finale, in addition to spurring his exit. Apart from contrasting visions of the show taking itself too seriously, DiGregorio detailed a much more time-travel heavy version of the finale that saw Kelly being rewritten as Ash’s daughter:
Basically, Ash kills Henrietta, gets the book, and runs outside with it. I wanted to get the episode outside of the cabin as quickly as possible because I thought I only wanted to see the cabin for episode nine. I didn’t want it to be there in 10 because I thought it was a repeat of last year with the last two episodes in the cabin. 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. […]
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.
DiGregorio also noted that while the logistics of Kelly becoming Ash’s daughter were “nonsense,” it would have made for an emotional start to Season 3, as Ash ends up having to rescue his daughter from Ruby and Baal. Season 2 even layered in several references to Kelly being Ash’s daughter, both in dialogue and her anchor necklace, which would have been revealed as a gift from Ash to her mother.
Other versions of the finale saw Ash having a bit more interaction with his younger self and the events of the original Evil Dead, similar to how Back to the Future II had Marty darting around the events in 1955, but was Tapert right to reign back on the finale’s weirdness? Is Season 3 starting off at a disadvantage without DiGregorio?
Read the full interview at the link above, and stay tuned for more.