‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ 2.04 Recap: “Nothing a Lube Job Couldn’t Fix”

‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ may be just as gory as a certain zombie horror show that returned to the air this week, but at least it’s still fun about it. Watching the two back-to-back on Sunday, I almost can’t believe I was sickened at seeing a character’s brains bashed out of his skull in one show and laughed at the same thing in another.

Ash’s father Brock is decidedly dead. The possessed Delta ran him over and crushed his skull under its wheels. Ash laments to Pablo, “Fate is a cruel mistress.” He makes a token attempt at putting his dad’s head back together but can’t find an eye. At first, he doesn’t realize that the killer car was his. However, when the Delta returns a moment later, Pablo runs up to it, expecting to confront the teens who stole it. Instead, he sees the car covered in blood with a trapped girl (the teen named Lacey) screaming inside it. The car door suddenly opens and the seatbelts whip out, grab Pablo, and drag him inside too. Ash is devastated as he watches it speed away – not for the loss of Pablo, but for what has happened to his beautiful car.

Ash finds his buddy Chet and asks to borrow his junker car. Chet is extremely drunk, and the only way Ash can convince him is to promise to drive him to a titty bar. Chet is down with that plan.

Meanwhile, Kelly and Ruby return to Ash’s trailer to collect some guns for their side-mission. Ruby says that her demon children are trying to raise their father, Baal, whom she describes as seductive and manipulative. She warns Kelly that Baal has a power over her and she won’t be able to defeat him on her own.

Inside the Delta, Pablo makes awkward introductions with Lacey. He’s completely unable to control the car. From the backseat, he hears the ‘Neconomicon’ book talking to him. This triggers him to have a delusion about the car crashing and throwing him through the windshield, where he’s impaled on a steel girder. Ash arrives and pulls the beam out, then turns evil and forces Pablo into the Delta’s trunk. Pablo snaps out of this dream a moment later to find himself still in the car with Lacey.

Ash chases after the Delta, but when Chet realizes they’re not going to the promised titty bar, he wrestles the wheel away stops the car. Ash comes clean to his buddy, explaining that his own car was possessed by an evil book and he’s trying to save the world. Chet finds this story entirely reasonable and offers to help. Ash tells him that this is something he needs to handle on his own. He leaves his friend and follows the Delta’s trail to the town’s demolition derby stadium – because of course a place like Elk Grove would have a demolition derby stadium.

Ruby and Kelly follow their own trail of clues to an abandoned factory, where they’re attacked by Ruby’s evil spawn. The episode then rapidly cuts back and forth between these two fighting demons with Ash fighting his possessed car. The Delta’s doors open to let its captives out, but the ‘Necronomicon’ flies out too and attaches itself to Pablo’s face again. The book tells Pablo that it wants him to cast it back to Hell.

At the factory, the girls have to work together to kill the demons until, finally, all of Ruby’s children are dead.

Ash’s car behaves like a bull, bucking and snorting as it tries to run him down. Ash hops on its roof and rides it, remembering the advice his father gave about the mechanical bull in the barn. He cuts into its hood with his chainsaw but that doesn’t stop it. The car stalls only after Pablo reads aloud a magic word from the ‘Necronomicon’. A portal to Hell opens its trunk. Ash and Pablo confer about whether this could be a trick. Reasoning that things could hardly be any worse than they already are, Pablo tosses the book into the portal. The portal appears to close behind it. Pablo and Ash congratulate themselves on a job well done.

Ruby immediately senses that the book is gone, though she implies that this is a bad thing. The episode ends with a new demon (presumably Baal) erupting from the trunk of the Delta.

Episode Verdict

In addition to the comical gore, this episode has some legitimately spooky scenes, especially when Ash arrives at the derby stadium and the lights slowly turn on by themselves. Kelly and Ruby wandering through the factory is also pretty creepy until all hell breaks loose.

It’s a fun episode, and the slapstick antics are reasonably well modulated. However, a scene where the camera rapidly pans from one character to another with a silly swooshing noise is overdone and a little annoying.

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