The first two episodes of Ash vs Evil Dead kicked so much ass, it was inevitable that we’d eventually get one that fell short of face-meltingly amazing. With a storyline that depends on some pretty lame CG, the third episode “Books from Beyond” filled that role. But fear not—this show still kills.
After that rather gruesome dinner party last week, Ash, Pablo, and Kelly are off to see Lionel Hawkins, owner of creepy occult shop Books from Beyond, and maybe the only person on Earth who’ll be able to translate the Book of the Dead. Ash is under the impression that it’ll be a quick fix, and Hawkins will just “crack open the undo spell” and reverse whatever damage his drunken recitations have caused.
Ash is, of course, completely incorrect. But though Hawkins is able to glean that the book says something about how the “undo button” resides within Ash, not the book, he’s so thrilled to get his hands on the literary “gateway to hell” that he’s willing to go along with Ash’s plan. The plan, of course, is ridiculous: summon a lesser demon and demand that it reveal how to end Deadite Fest 2015.
This plan is iffy even before a gun-toting Amanda Fisher—who’s determined to find out what Ash has to do with all this weirdness—blunders into the summoning ceremony. The demon “preys on the spiritually and emotionally weak,” and when it runs amok, its party trick is to zap Ash and Pablo amid flashes of light that make them look like they’re cartoon characters being electrocuted. (Viewers who complained about the CG-enhanced bloodbaths of episodes past were, no doubt, screeching with the wrong kind of horror at this display.)
Fortunately, this particular reign of terror is short-lived; despite the best efforts of whoever’s able to get off a shot at the thing, it’s finally undone by Kelly, who simply clobbers it with the book. Amanda, who claims “we’re all on the same side” before slapping handcuffs on Ash (fortunately, she doesn’t notice his wooden hand, and he turns the tables immediately), is left facing down the Deadite version of Hawkins. Cliff-hanger!
Important takeaways from this episode:
- Ash, Kelly, and Pablo are going to stick together. Ash has decided he’s better off with a posse instead of being “an alone wolf;” Kelly’s after revenge; Pablo is after Kelly despite the fact that she’s parked him firmly in the friend zone. The group—which will likely not end up going by Pablo’s suggested moniker of “Ghost Beaters”—zooms away from the bookstore in search of Pablo’s “witch-doctor” uncle. This is the uncle who knew about the prophecy of “El Jefe,” the one person who can save humanity from the Deadites, who is obviously Ash.
- Despite her behavior this episode, Fisher still hasn’t revealed if she’ll eventually be an adversary or ally to Ash and company. If she survives Hawkins, it’s likely she’ll chase after them, intent on making one or more arrests. But she also knows what they’re up against. Can she be convinced of Ash’s one-true-hero status?
- We finally got a better look at Lucy Lawless’ mysterious character, Ruby, who guns her red sports car toward Kelly’s farmhouse in the aftermath of last week’s carnage. Ruby knows an awful lot about Deadites (she even has a special dagger that they know and fear), and she’s also an adherent of the Ash school of “ask a demon what you want to know, then kill it.” Her quarry is Ash... more specifically, that damn book.
- She’s so in-tune with the book, in fact, it’s suggested that she can even sense when it’s opened. Since she’s already encountered Fisher in an earlier episode, it seems likely that these two characters will meet again. Perhaps she’ll burst in and rescue Fisher from Hawkins, then they’ll head to find Ash together?