With “The Host,” we’re halfway through Ash vs Evil Dead’s 10-episode first season. This week, Pablo, Kelly, and Ash go through hell, but it brings them even closer together—a good thing, because it’ll take strength in numbers to defeat what they’re ultimately going to face at the end of their journey.

Spoilers!

Of course, they’re eventually going to have to battle an army of Deadites ... but also Ruby and Amanda, who’re zooming down country roads (playing PJ Harvey!) in pursuit of Ash. Their pace is somewhat uneven, though, because they have to screech to a halt every time they come to a crossroads and wait for Ash’s disembodied hand to point the way. Despite all the crazy shit she’s seen thus far, Amanda’s not fully convinced of Ruby’s methods. What choice does she have? But we’re kept in suspense for their inevitable confrontation with Ash for yet another week, because all we get is one scene with these two.

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Anyway. The main action takes place at the brujo’s farm, where everyone assumes Eligos has possessed Ash after he nearly strangled Kelly last week. I was pretty worried when I saw that Ash was gagged—because Bruce Campbell’s dialogue is my favorite thing about this show—but fortunately that doesn’t last long. While the brujo is puttering around, prepping to exorcise the wrong guy, Kelly/Eligos (Keligos?) puts the moves on Pablo, seductively smoking weed out of a shotgun and making worrisome remarks like, “What’s inside of me cannot wait to tear you up!”

Pablo is so thrilled to be hit on by his dream girl, he doesn’t quite realize she’s really not herself at the moment until it’s almost too late. Fortunately, he’s able to save himself just as Ash, who’s managed to convey the truth to the brujo, bursts in with a cry of “Sweet mother of Manson!”

The exorcism efforts then switch over to Kelly. The brujo’s efforts are valiant (at one point, Kelly pees herself, and Ash remarks, “Well ... we’ve all been there”), and Pablo bravely offers himself as a host instead of Kelly. But Eligos proves a tough customer, and only El Jefe can defeat him—thanks to a flashback to a lesson Ash learned during his vision quest last week: “Shoot first, think never!”

Sadly, victory comes at a price. The brujo is fatally impaled during the melee. Though Pablo is devastated, the brujo sends him a message from beyond, giving him an amulet that seems to have powers that will help Pablo awaken his own spiritual talents—and help him to appreciate his family legacy. No doubt this will make him an even more valuable asset when the big Deadite battle comes.

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The most important thing that happens all episode, though—well, it’s not when Pablo gives Ash his mechanical hand (which he immediately uses to give the finger)—

But that was indeed rather awesome, and will enable Ash to expand his fighting techniques, especially important since he’ll inevitably have a showdown with the real hand he hasn’t seen in 30 years. (And/or, “I’m gonna shove this right up some Deadite’s ass!”)

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The most important moment in the episode happens in the same scene, though, when Ash apologizes to both Pablo and Kelly, and took responsibility for all that’s happened. He took responsibility! For his actions! For probably the first time EVER! Yay team!

Promos for next week show Ash vs Amanda, so that’s coming ASAP—plus, it looks like they’ll soon be returning to that infamous cabin in the woods. Can. Not. Wait.