In the new episode of ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’, our goofball hero finally returns to the cabin where his story began. Expect plenty of references to ‘The Evil Dead’ and ‘Evil Dead II’, along with at least one callback to ‘Army of Darkness’ too.
Daddy’s home! Having ditched his friends (for their own protection), Ash makes his way to the cabin and arms himself in preparation before entering. Amanda trails right behind him, however. She explains that she, Pablo and Kelly split up to search in different directions. When Ash warns her against entering the cabin, Amanda insists on helping him see this thing through. Bad idea, honey.
Just the act of being inside the cabin triggers all sorts of bad memories for both Ash and Amanda. When she asks what his plan is, Ash says that he wants to bury the ‘Necronomicon’ book in the basement – which is currently locked closed with chains. He then heads out to the shed to get some tools and asks Amanda to stay behind in the house. Separating like this does not strike me as a wise decision.
Meanwhile, Ash’s evil severed hand crawls around behind the cabin’s walls. Disturbingly, it sprouts an eyeball. Ick.
Out in the woods, Pablo and Kelly get hopelessly lost and walk in circles back to their car. They then encounter a trio of hikers who are scared by their guns. Pablo stammers out an excuse that the guns are for evil… umm, bears… yeah, evil bears. What a menace those evil bears are, right? The hikers say that they walked past the cabin and offer to lead Kelly and Pablo to it.
Ash gets locked in the shed with the decapitated head of his old girlfriend Linda, who taunts him about not being able to save anyone he cares about. Ash struggles to pry open the shed door with a crowbar.
In the cabin, Amanda discovers Professor Knowby’s collection of books about evil and the underworld when she’s interrupted by Ash. He says that he’s given up fighting evil and just wants to run away with her. Amanda is confused for a moment, but swoons when Ash kisses her, until she notices that he has both of his hands, and one is really gross.
Yes, this isn’t Ash. It’s Evil Ash… well, if not necessarily the same Evil Ash from ‘Army of Darkness’, at least it’s an equally good opportunity for Bruce Campbell to play his own evil clone. The hand, it seems, has grown a whole new Ash body. Amanda freaks out and fights back against it. She chops the hand off the body with a cleaver, then chops the hand itself into pieces. The body remains fully animated even without the hand, unfortunately. Evil Ash takes the cleaver and chops Amanda in the neck, then he pushes her to be impaled by the antlers of a mounted deer head that had fallen on the floor.
The real Ash is attacked by possessed tools in the shed, one of which rips off his robo-hand. Eventually, he gets out and returns to the cabin, where he finds Amanda in really bad shape. She dies pretty horribly in front of him.
Pablo and Kelly finally arrive to witness the two identical Ashes fighting each other. They’re evenly matched, because each knows all of the other’s weaknesses. The episode ends on a cliffhanger as the two Ashes strangle each other.
I’ve complained in the past that I don’t care for the episodes of this show that go for straight horror without an even mix of comedy. Although this episode indeed leans more in that direction, the scary stuff is really creepy and effective this time, and the script sprinkles in enough laughs to take the edge off.
I really liked this episode a lot, with the exception of what happens to Amanda. The last two episodes of the show turned her into a total dumbass, and her death here is very pointless and unfitting. I have a feeling that she’ll be back at some point, probably as a Deadite, but the character deserves better.