Ash Vs. Evil Dead recap: Ashes to Ashes
Talk about confronting your demons.
Ash faced his own troubled past tonight, going back to the cabin where it all began. And while he found himself there — or, at least, a version of himself — that didn’t exactly turn out to be such a good thing. At least he made it out alive, which is more than we can say for…
Amanda. The brave detective and recently converted Ash ally is officially a goner, after Evil Ash bashed her in the neck with a cleaver and she tumbled backward onto the antlers of the famous deer trophy, impaled just as her partner was in the first episode. It’s an especially sad turn of events considering that she shouldn’t have even been there in the first place.
At the outset of tonight’s episode, Ash was prepared to go it alone, stopping along his solitary path to pick up the body of a tiny bird. “Sorry, Tweety, nothing survives around here,” he says, just as the creature suddenly reanimates. As a matter of reflex, he throws it, smashing its body against a tree. Strapping on the chainsaw, grabbing his shotgun, he announces, “Honey, I’m home.” But before he can go inside, he hears a sound from behind him and spins, shotgun drawn, to find Amanda.
“A little on edge are we?” she asks. You bet. She tells him that she split up with Pablo and Kelly to search for him and wants to know why he chose to vanish without a proper goodbye. Well, he’s not good at them, for starters, plus everyone dies at the cabin. “It’s just a rule — death, taxes, more death, and I don’t pay taxes, so all I know is death.” “F— the rules,” Amanda replies. “I’m going to help you end this.” (Really, Amanda? Could you possibly reconsider?)
Once inside, Ash reminisces: “Wow, the last time I was here with a girl, I was hoping to get laid. I did cut my own hand off with a chainsaw, though. Fun weekend.” Just then, the deer trophy falls from the wall, and Amanda flashes back to her partner’s possession and death (foreshadowing!). Ash tells her that during his psychotropic trip at the Brujo’s property, he discovered that he needed to bury the book in the fruit cellar, which is still padlocked from 30 years prior, when a certain “witch” down there was antagonizing Ash and his friends.
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To pry loose the cellar door to bury the Necronomicon, Amanda says they need a crowbar, so Ash heads over to the WORK SHED to get one. He, again, goes it alone, pointing out that there’s something out there Amanda likely wouldn’t want to see. What’s that exactly? The severed skull of his ex-girlfriend, obviously. “She got possessed, I cut her head off with a shovel, then she did this crazy dance in the moonlight,” Ash recalls. “I put her head in a vise, and I cut it with a chainsaw. She did have a rockin’ bod though.”
Amanda decides to stay in the cabin and keep an eye on the book — which appears to have a mind of its own. The tomb inexplicably falls to the ground from its perch on a desk, and the camera pulls back to behind a wall where Ash’s severed limb has made itself at home (and also sprouted an eye!). Meanwhile, Pablo and Kelly are wandering lost through the woods, walking in circles. They run into three other wanderers, who are a bit taken aback by the fact that the duo is carrying some pretty high-powered weaponry. They try to explain away their guns — evil bears in the woods, you see — with Kelly insisting that they are “so friendly.” The group mentions that they saw a cabin a couple of miles back, and Kelly asks them to lead her and Pablo back there.
NEXT: Ash wants a fresh start … or does he?
Pablo and Kelly start walking, with one of the hikers asking Kelly if she and Pablo are a couple. She denies it, but when the woman suggests she might be interested in him, Kelly says he’s got a girlfriend. They find the path to the cabin, and Pablo warns them against trekking through the woods alone at night. They insist that they are fine — they have pepper spray! — and as they walk away, Pablo says, “Man, I really hope that they don’t end up dead.” Or worse. (Anyone want to bet we’ll be seeing those travelers again?)
Back in the work shed, Ash braces for the encounter with his former lady love. “Long time no see, Linda,” he announces. “Don’t get up, just looking for a crowbar.” Which he finds, as the door slams closed. (He calls for Amanda, but she’s got troubles of her own.) Linda, now looking like her much younger self, implores Ash to speak to her, to look at her, asking why he left her alone all this time. She persists as he attempts to wrench open the door, saying, “You promised to take me to Jacksonville after this!” She also insists that “the cop” is going to die. Cut to Amanda discovering the notes made by Ruby’s father about the Kandarian dagger, which evidently is made of human bone. The blade seems to have otherworldly powers like searing the binding’s flesh — hmmm.
Suddenly, Ash turns up, almost from nowhere, oddly suggesting that he and Amanda run away and start over, leave all this behind, delivering quite a speech: “I’m not anybody’s idea of a catch. I work in a trailer trash discount store. I’ve got a book that summons evil spirits, but before all that happened, I had a future and it didn’t involve chainsaws and shotguns and demons, and I want to see if I could find that guy again. You think you could help me?” Amanda actually considers his proposal seriously, and they kiss. And that’s when she notices that his evil hand has re-attached itself! “Maybe I grew another hand, or maybe the hand grew another me,” Ash — who’s obviously not Real Ash — observes. Turns out, Real Ash is still locked in the shed with Linda’s head, fending off the circular saw blades flying through the air directly toward him… and also one pretty serious-looking steel trap.
Evil Ash chases Amanda and they struggle, but she gains the upper hand and, with a conveniently located cleaver, severs the bad hand and dices it into pieces. Evil Ash holds his bleeding stump, shocked, but, turns out, his other hand can “finish the job.” He plants the knife in the side of her neck. Amanda stumbles into the next room and collapses, impaling herself on the deer’s antlers. Real Ash is still trapped in the shed, with Linda continuing to taunt him and the trap taking off his mechanical hand. Finally, he smashes her head with the crowbar and kicks his way out of the shed, but it’s too late. He bursts in to the cabin and finds Amanda bleeding and gasping for air. He kneels beside her and tries to offer some vague reassurance, telling her it’s better where she’s going. And then, she’s gone.
Pablo and Kelly arrive to find the gruesome scene. Real Ash explains that his sinister doppelgänger is to blame, and he goes looking for him. The search doesn’t take long. Evil Ash knocks Real Ash to the ground, saying that he didn’t deserve Amanda — “I know, I’m just like you.” Real Ash then rightfully deduces that if they are just alike, they have the same weaknesses, so he smashes Evil Ash’s trick knee with the crowbar. Evil Ash counters with a blow to the kidneys; Real Ash goes after his foe’s fake teeth. The grappling continues until each has the other by the throat with a pretty solid hold… Guess we’ll see who wins out next week. Maybe Pablo and Kelly can help save the day?