In addition to fighting off the usual Evil Dead, Ash Williams gets a real blast from the past this week when he’s reunited with someone he hasn’t seen since 1981.
After their misadventures in the police station, Ash and the gang return to Ash’s dad’s house to regroup. Pablo not only continues to get sick, his body flails uncontrollably and he breathes fire. Ruby explains that he’s being possessed by the ‘Necronomicon’ book itself. She considers this a good thing, because she needs a spell from the book to defeat Baal. The only downside is that, as soon as the book has fully manifested, Pablo will be annihilated. Bummer. Ash and Kelly (not to mention Pablo) find this unacceptable.
Soon after they arrive, the house is surrounded by an angry mob of townspeople demanding Ashy Slashy’s head for the murders of Amber and her friends. Sheriff Tommy, who at this point knows that demons are actually responsible, is under Baal’s spell and leads the crowd. Baal stands at his side, disguised in a woman’s skin. As they threaten to storm the house, Kelly holds them off by firing a machine gun above their heads, screaming “I will fuck your faces with bullets!” That gets their attention.
Ruby brings Pablo to Ash’s room and circles his body in salt. In order to get the passage of the book she needs, she casts a spell that will actually accelerate its possession of Pablo’s body. As a result, more writing covers his skin, he levitates off the ground, and he speaks in tongues.
When Ash goes upstairs to check on Pablo, he hears noises coming from the room belonging to his long-dead sister, Cheryl. He opens the door, expecting to find a Deadite inside, but instead catches his buddy Chet whacking off to a photo of his sister. As he pulls Chet out of the room, an invisible evil force slams into the house, smashing all the windows. Blood pours from the eyes and mouth of Cheryl’s photo.
In the hallway, Ash hears a familiar voice from the room he just left. The door opens again and he sees Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss, the same actress who played the role in the original ‘The Evil Dead’). She acts confused and asks why Ash and Chet look so old. When Ash tells her that she died, she claims to have no memory of that. Nevertheless, Ash is suspicious, as well he should be. A moment later, she turns into a Deadite and attacks. She grabs Chet and pulls him back into her room, locking the door behind her. Ash pounds on the door to get in. Deadite Cheryl then gets the episode’s best line when she says, “I’m gonna make like a tree and fuck you!”
Outside, a group of armed rednecks join the mob and shoot up the house. This is unfortunate timing just as Kelly has run out of bullets in her machine gun. She tosses Linda a pistol with a few shots left and asks her to hold things down while she goes upstairs to get Ash.
Ruby completes her spell, which brings out the writing she needs onto Pablo’s skin. Kelly enters the room to see Pablo writhing in pain. When Ruby uses the magic necklace (that came from Pablo’s brujo) to slow down the book’s possession any further, Pablo lashes out and injures her. Kelly assumes that Ruby can just brush it off, but Ruby reveals that she can’t heal quickly anymore and is no longer immortal.
Ash chainsaws through the door to Cheryl’s room. Cheryl uses Chet as a shield, and then, just to toy with Ash, shoves her arm through Chet’s chest, ripping out his heart. His only true friend dead, a furious Ash blasts his sister with the shotgun, knocking her through the window, where she lands in the middle of the crowd below.
The mob assumes that Ashy Slashy has just taken another victim. Feeling cocksure, Ash walks out the front door and explains that Cheryl was possessed by a demon. People look at Ash like he’s insane, but he tells them to just wait a minute. Sure enough, Deadite Cheryl revives and snarls at him. The crowd gasps. Ash hits her with the shotgun again, blowing her back into an open car trunk. Declaring “Let’s show ’em what a hero does,” Ash revs up his chainsaw, hops on top of the trunk to hold her down, and bloodily decapitates his sister.
That victory is short-lived, unfortunately. The episode ends with Tommy grabbing Ash. Baal then hypnotizes him and knocks him unconscious.
Bringing back the actress from ‘The Evil Dead’ is an inspired bit of fan-service. Of course, an argument can be made that ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’ only exists at all to be fan-service, but I think the show has done enough to justify itself as a legitimate extension of the franchise.
I was a little underwhelmed with last week’s episode, but this one is back in good form. On top of the outrageous blood and guts and general hilarity, it also has some pretty creepy moments, especially a bit with blood flowing down the walls of the house during the height of Pablo’s possession.
I thought this was the best episode of the season; which seems to be the case for any episode when it directly relates to one of the movies. It’s also impressive how faithful the show is to recreating the look a character or thing had in the movies. The only exception I noticed is with the Kandarian dagger, which looks like neither dagger from any of the movies.