Having narrowly escaped demonic adversaries, including one conjured just for the occasion, back at Books from Beyond, Ash and company hit the road for Casa Brujo—only to find their escape wasn’t as clean as they thought. Plus, Lucy Lawless’ character, Ruby, finally reveals her intentions. Sorta.
The cliffhanger last week—in which a handcuffed Amanda Fisher was being menaced by the newly Deadite-ed owner of Books from Beyond—played out like most of us expected. Ruby, of course, appeared in the nick of time to run some much-needed interference, with bonus sass. “Hello ... I’m your new best friend,” she tells Fisher, before stomping the ghoul into oblivion and extending a black-gloved hand in solidarity.
Since both women are keen to find a certain Ash Williams, it makes sense that they’d team up. Fisher would dearly like to know his connection to her partner’s death, as well as other casualties and weird goings-on of late, while Ruby has straight-up vengeance on her mind. Seems she’s the daughter of Professor Knowby, of Evil Dead fame. She lost her father, mother, and sister Annie in that cabin in the woods, and she’s been hunting Ash ever since.
Of course, as showrunner Craig DiGregorio hinted in our interview with him last week, there’s still more to Ruby that we haven’t learned yet. One clue: “We know who you are,” the Deadite bookseller shrieks at her, but she thwacks it good before it can reveal any more.
So, there are a couple of angry woman on Ash’s trail, and they’re going to use his missing hand—which Ruby somehow has in her possession—to find him; limp for the last 30 years, it recently began twitching and could serve as a homing beacon of sorts.
But before Fisher and Ruby can get ahold of him, Ash will need to outrun a more familiar enemy, with Pablo and Kelly in tow: a screaming force so powerful even the nitrous Ash has installed in his Delta 88 can barely keep ahead of it. (Granted, the car wheezes in protest before the nitrous really has time to take effect.) “What the hell is it?” Kelly asks. “It is hell,” Ash says. “It’s pure evil.”
Fortunately, the battered travelers make it safely onto the property owned by Pablo’s uncle—the brujo who taught him about the legend of “el jefe.” His yard is loaded down with skulls and charms and other things dangling from the trees, all powerful enough to repel the demonic storm. But the brujo’s spiritual home-defense system is not enough to protect Kelly from Eligos—the shaky, spiky-toothed demon Ash decided to conjure last week. Kelly’s been feeling crummy since the bookstore, and Eligos—which apparently attached itself to her when she smacked it with the Book to make it disappear—is why.
While the sight of Kelly in black-eyed demon mode is unsettling, the center of this show’s universe is—duh—Ash, who tells the brujo “I know I’ve done something very bad, and I’m looking to undo whatever I done did.” The brujo looks him over and deems Ash old and fat, with a “dim” flame and a complete lack of self-awareness. But there’s still something there, so the brujo feeds him ayahuasca and sends him on a spectacularly weird journey to the center of his mind.
What’s lurking beneath that carefully dyed head of hair? Old Playboy magazine covers and Whitesnake jams, and the terrifying sensation of awakening blind at the bottom of a grave, surrounded by creepy creatures. “Stop being a bitch and act like a jefe,” the brujo encourages, and Ash begins to take charge of his trip, deploying his trademark “Shoot First, Think Never” strategy.
Suddenly, “sweet shithouse mouse,” he’s in Jacksonville, Florida, the place he was planning to visit until a certain overnight in a haunted cabin threw his life on a different course. Even better, “I got two hands, brujo! I need two beers!” But Ash’s short-lived distraction is cut into by the voice of reason: his pet lizard, Eli, who has human-like teeth and the ability to articulate deep thoughts in Ash’s fantasy realm. The Book is the answer Ash seeks, Eli says, before telling him that he must “bury it deep below where your journey began.”
Oh boy. Does this mean the crew is going to roll to the site of the cabin next? First, though, they’ll have to deal with the fallout when Ash’s vision quest turns scary and dark again, and the sinister Eligos creeps into his mind. Fighting for his life, Ash begins to strangle the demon—not knowing he’s putting the squeeze on Kelly’s throat in the real world.
We end with Ash passed out cold, thanks to Pablo’s valiant efforts to save Kelly’s life—and Kelly showing just the camera that she’s still got a demon inside of her. Uh-oh.