Even for a half-hour show, the latest episode of ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ feels short. Either that’s because it moves so quickly or because, frankly, there’s not much to it.
When a female police deputy discovers the scene of the bar massacre from a couple episodes ago (I assume this all takes place on the same night), she’s approached by a naked man with a sharp claw on one hand. Just by looking at her, he hypnotizes her into undressing – not just her clothes; he uses that claw to flay off her skin. From the description Ruby gave earlier, it stands to reason that this is Baal, the evil father of her demon spawn children.
A little later, on his way back from the demolition derby and feeling victorious, Ash is arrested by Sheriff Tommy on the charge of murdering Amber, the Deadite he decapitated in the bar bathroom. Needless to say, Tommy isn’t interested in hearing Ash’s explanation for that. He tosses him in a jail cell next to Chet, who’s been arrested on Drunk & Disorderly charges. The police deputy from earlier lets Ash out of his cell for a phone call, then leaves him unsupervised. (Obviously, this must be Baal in disguise.) On the other end of the line, a voice taunts Ash threateningly.
Tommy’s wife Linda (Ash’s ex) brings their daughter Lacey to the police station. The girl is still traumatized about her ride in the possessed car, but Tommy thinks she’s babbling nonsense when she tries to defend Ash.
Ruby arrives with Pablo and Kelly, and suddenly the power to the station goes out. Tommy pulls his gun when he realizes that Ash is out of his cell, but Ruby quickly wrests it from him and holds everyone at gunpoint. She says that someone in the station is possessed by a demon, and nobody’s leaving until she kills it. She orders everyone (including Chet and a hooker in custody) to gather in the main lobby until she can figure out which one is really Baal. She also warns that Baal can jump from person to person.
Ruby doesn’t trust anyone except Kelly, who was with her all night. She’s even dubious of Ash. When the sheriff tries to make a move to get his gun back, she shoots him in the leg. She then leaves the gun with Kelly as she goes to the evidence locker to retrieve the Kandarian dagger. There, she finds another deputy cowering on the floor, and makes the woman open the locker for her. After they go inside, the door slams closed and locks them both in.
Pablo reveals to Ash and Kelly that his chest is covered in horrible festering sores. He’s worried that he might be possessed by Baal.
In fact, Baal is inside the deputy in the evidence room. She hypnotizes Ruby, who falls right under the spell. Then the woman slices off her own face to reveal Baal underneath. The lights flicker, and in a blink he’s suddenly out of the woman’s skin and fully dressed. He takes the dagger and knocks Ruby out.
Sheriff Tommy, who’s been acting pretty aggressively the whole episode, tricks Kelly and gets his gun back. He wants to kill Pablo, who he believes is possessed. Before he can do that, the skinless demon deputy bursts into the room and tears the hooker apart. Ruby wakes up, grabs a shotgun, and shoots the demon, which Ash then chainsaws in half.
Tommy continues to behave like an obnoxious prick and insists on killing Pablo. Linda tells him that she’s had enough and is leaving him, which Ash considers an invitation to move in on her.
Pablo gets violently sick, and his body is suddenly covered in writing and symbols. Ruby says that this means he’s the only hope of stopping Baal.
And that’s it. The episode just stops there.
Technically, this episode does offer a significant plot point in the introduction of Baal. It also has plenty of goofy violence and gore (though the rubbery skin husks are a little too silly looking). There are good things in it, but the fact that the episode just stops on a dime without really accomplishing anything makes it feel insubstantial. I certainly didn’t need Baal to be defeated already this week, but I feel like the episode could have at least used a good battle with him before bringing up the credits.