While many shows go on hiatus around the holidays, Ash vs Evil Dead proved there’s no rest for the wicked with “Bound in the Flesh,” its penultimate episode. Between all the freaky moments, delicious zingers (from two Ashes), and a huge reveal we’ve been waiting for all season—this one was a doozy.
When last we saw them, Good Ash and Evil Ash were locked in a battle to the death, and Kelly and Pablo had just discovered poor Amanda’s impaled body. Naturally, there’s a brief moment where the kids have to decide which Ash is their Ash, but that confusion is cleared up quickly thanks to ... uh, racism. (Ash: racist, but not against Asians, as the faux Ash would have them believe.) Anyway, with that pest blasted into oblivion, they’ll need to mutilate his body before he reanimates—and do away with Amanda’s corpse for the same reason. “We can’t have hot and sexy coming back to ruin our day,” Ash declares; he does seem kinda bummed about Amanda’s death, but mostly because they never got to bump ugliest first. Oh, Ash.
But nothing is ever simple for Ash, especially when he’s at the cabin, and before the trio can start carving—not to mention bury that damn Necronomicon—here come those three ridiculously photogenic backpackers that Kelly and Pablo encountered last week. Ash instructs his crew to take them far, far away from the cabin while he faces the task at hand: “Chopping up my evil clone ... maybe someday that’ll feel weird,” he muses as Bill Withers’ “Just the Two of Us” plays in the background.
Again, since nothing is ever simple for Ash, immediate complications: blood from his villainous twin drizzles onto the Book, and it begins taunting him: “To bury me is a mistake. You should use me! I’m what makes you special!” While Ash is tossing it in the fridge to shut it up (“Play’s over, Shakespeare!”), Amanda reanimates and lurches into the woods. It doesn’t take long for Deadite Amanda—who might be the most frightening creature we’ve encountered all season, and that includes the creepy doll and the demon Eligos—to kill two of the hikers (the married couple, not the blonde who has the hots for Pablo) and almost do away with Kelly and Pablo, too.
But, just like we knew she would, Ruby appears—in a spectacularly theatrical, swooping entrance befitting her apparently supernatural status. After she saves Kelly and Pablo (Amanda creeps back into the woods ... but YOU KNOW she will be back before this is all over), Ruby tells them she’s trying to prevent Ash from creating any more Deadites. “But Ash fights monsters,” the kids argue. As she calmly saws the dead hikers’ bodies apart, Ruby stoically insists it’s all Ash’s fault: “As long as he’s got that book, a trail of dead bodies is gonna follow.”
Then, finally, finally, Ruby and Ash meet face-to-face. She’s a Knowby, the kids tell him, and she wants the book. She wants to end all this insanity! And she knows how! But Ash doesn’t trust her one bit, and a battle of words ensues (best line: “Hey evil, why don’t you eat my butt?”) Finally, though, Ash gives in to his desire to just have this entire mess over with; instead of following his own instincts, revealed during his vision quest, he does what Ruby asks and carves the face off the book (so gory and awesome), then hands it to her.
Big mistake. As Ruby excitedly takes the book, she begins to chant from its pages. The Necronomicon’s cover comes to life and—attracted by, or otherwise reacting to, the brujo’s amulet—attaches itself to Pablo’s face like a grotesque mask. Concerned, Ash tries to intervene, but this is one instance where even a chainsaw arm has no power. “Of course I know what I’m doing,” Ruby smirks. “I wrote this book!”
Finally the truth is revealed! Next week’s season finale is entitled “The Dark One,” and I think we all know who that’s referring to. You bet your bippy we’ll be counting the nanoseconds until next Saturday night!