Last Sunday, Ash vs Evil Dead wrapped up its second season. To make a long story short: In it, Ash (still in 1982) fought and defeated Baal. Shortly afterwards, the cabin imploded and Baal, evil-Ruby, and their demonic children were banished to Hell. Also, the real-Pablo came back to life, pulling himself from the ashes of the cabin. Ash, Pablo, and Kelly traveled back to the present-day, and then we see Ash being honored as a hero by the residents of Elk Grove. From afar, behind the cheering crowd, we see an alternate Ruby is watching the ceremony.
To be honest, even for this zany franchise, that ending didn't make much sense. Just as one example: Based on what took place, the people of Elk Groove shouldn't have even been aware of Ash's heroics.
In a recent interview, showrunner Craig DiGregorio — who has stepped down after butting heads with producer Robert Tapert over the direction of the show — revealed that the season finale was changed at "the very last minute" despite his objections. Additionally, he provided a lengthy breakdown of how the original season finale would have played out. Spoiler: Kelly would've turned out to be Ash's daughter.
"Basically, Ash kills Henrietta, gets the book, and runs outside with it," DiGregorio told The AV Club. "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," he continued. "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."
Ash, Ruby, and Kelly battle the past to get to a future where Pablo is alive and the world is safe from evil, but the family from hell has other plans. Baal and Ash engage in an old fashioned brawl to save humanity and banish them back to hell.
The show stars Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, Burn Notice) in the role of Ash Williams; Lucy Lawless (Salem, Spartacus) as Ruby, who now possesses the powerful Necronomicon; Ray Santiago (Touch, Meet the Fockers) as Pablo Simon Bolivar, Ash’s loyal sidekick dealing with the trauma he suffered in the cabin; and Dana DeLorenzo (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas) as Kelly Maxwell, who, grief-stricken after the death of her parents, plots revenge against The Evil Dead.
Sam Raimi serves as executive producer with Rob Tapert (Evil Dead, Spartacus, Xena: Warrior Princess), Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, Burn Notice) and Ivan Raimi (Drag Me To Hell, Spider-Man 3) along with Craig DiGregorio (Workaholics, Chuck) who serves as executive producer/showrunner. Aaron Lam (Spartacus) and Moira Grant (Spartacus) serve as producers.
In October, at New York Comic Con, Starz announced that it had renewed Ash vs Evil Dead for a third season, and like the previous two seasons, it will consist of 10 half-hour episodes and debut in the fall.