Ash Vs. Evil Dead recap: Fire in the Hole
Hmmm... A gang of heroes battling an enclave of gun crazed military men ready for the apocalypse? Did Ash somehow wander into an episode of The Walking Dead? It would be easy to assume so, except for all the flippant one-liners and Ash’s tortured attempts to hit on Amanda — only that guy could turn being trapped in a darkened bunker with a firebug Deadite into an opportunity for a romantic encounter with a woman who is way out of his league.
This week, Ash, Pablo, Kelly and new recruit Amanda pay a visit to the compound where Lem has been spending his time, hoping to acquire some serious firepower (or as Ash says, “big boy toys”) to prepare for the looming battle with the forces of evil. Ash still isn’t sure he wants his friends to accompany him on the trek, admitting just that as the group heads through the woods toward the militia stronghold. “I guess if you’re dead set on it…” he says, to which Pablo responds with a more optimistic take, “How about live set?” Kelly chimes in with an equally sunny perspective on their recent adventures in demon carnage, “We’re not leaving a trail of blood and guts behind us — we’re keeping Michigan moist!” (That’s the spirit!) Kelly also announces that she’s excited to pick up a flame thrower: “I lost my parents, got possessed — a flame thrower seems fair.” The girl’s got a point.
Ash cautions that the militia types are a “little twitchy,” just as they hear a voice calling from help. And in a scene straight out of the hit AMC zombie show, an array of bodies, entrails visible, are splayed across a clearing. Ash and Amanda comfort one survivor, who tells them that the man who caused all the destruction is still close by (it’s gotta be Lem, right?). He pleads for death and gets his wish when a team of militiamen armed to the teeth shoot him in the head. After that, it’s not such a warm welcome for Ash and co., who are grilled about their reasons for turning up at the compound. Ash apologizes, saying that they clearly have arrived at an “inconvenient time,” just as a demonic sound sparks a panic.
The militia leader tells them that — yep! — Lem turned up only an hour earlier, looking as though he’d be drinking again, but then began to tear people apart. Some of the would-be soldiers are ready to run, but Ash suggests they remain right where they are: “What’s out there knows you’re alive, and it wants you to be un-alive. You guys are survivalists? Here’s how you survive. Give us our weapons back and get the f— out of our way.” Kelly tries to antagonize demon Lem into making an appearance, and he does—but only after he’s lured one of the soldiers outside to his death. The gang flees the militia, but only Pablo and Kelly get away. Ash and Amanda are handcuffed together and thrown inside a bunker, where Deadite Lem is making himself at home.
Ash uses the flashlight attachment on his hand to get a glimpse of their surroundings, then decides to chat up Amanda, telling her that they actually are lucky to know the truth about the nature of evil in the world: “Life is hard and dangerous and sometimes you’ve just got to chop off somebody’s head to survive.” Amanda apologizes to Ash for misreading him, telling him that the woman she was with convinced her that Ash was making “these things.” Who was this woman, he asks? “She was a lot like you actually,” Amanda responds, as the camera flashes over to the Brujo’s property, where Ruby emerges, nude but seemingly untouched by fire, from the ashes of the pyre. (That return didn’t take long!) Moments later, she’s dressed and back in the driver’s seat of her car, which Amanda had left in the Western Moose parking lot. She finds Ash’s hand gone, but she’s still got that ceremonial dagger in the glove compartment. (Obviously, because where else would you keep your ceremonial dagger?)
With a strangled groan, the lights go out, and moments later, Deadite Lem has discovered Ash and Amanda. Lamenting that Ash never wanted to drink with him, he throws kerosene on the pair, followed by a match, which fortunately, is extinguished mid-air and fails to ignite a fire. The duo cleverly uses the labyrinth set-up to give Lem the slip. Meanwhile, as Pablo and Kelly are still on the run, he tells her that he admires how well she knows herself, that she could declare with such certainty that the flame thrower was her weapon of choice. Pablo simply doesn’t know if he’s an axe guy, or if a crossbow might be right for him (better leave the crossbow to Daryl, Pablo). Kelly deadpans that she’s glad being hunted in the woods by an insane militia has prompted him to really ask “the big life questions.” While he’s been pondering, Kelly’s been planning — she “accidentally” runs into one of the militiamen and then begins to flee, falling to the ground as he closes in. She kicks him in the privates as Pablo emerges from the trees and takes his weapon. They’re feeling very clever, until his pal emerges and points his gun at Pablo.
The gunmen believe the pair are government agents and take them back to their pickup truck to determine what to do, just as a third solider in a gas mask comes staggering up the path toward them. It’s Deadite time! Soon, the captors are dead, and Kelly’s in grave danger—until Pablo finds the keys, slams on the gas and drives like a madman, pinning the assailant between the flatbed and a tree trunk. Looks like he’s found his signature weapon! Kelly’s got another plan to save Ash, one that involves Pablo wearing the gas mask to infiltrate the camp, but of course, it’s covered with blood and brains, and not exactly something Pablo is overjoyed to wear. As he approaches the body to take it off the dead man, turns out, the guy’s not entirely dead yet, though his mobility is pretty compromised. Finding an assault weapon from the truck, Kelly uses him for target practice, dousing Pablo in blood and gore. In the next scene, Pablo pulls up in the vehicle wearing the mask — when the survivalists ask what happened, Kelly stands up, gun drawn, and orders them to stay right where they are.
Still fleeing from Lem, Amanda and Ash find a stairway that leads out of the bunker, but it’s behind a padlocked gate — next to a cache of propane tanks. “We’ll just blow the a–hole up,” Ash says, but Amanda has a better idea. She calls for help to purposefully give away their position, and Lem shows up right on schedule, dousing himself in kerosene and lighting a flare—voila, the world’s first fire-breathing Deadite! Ash manages to knock the flare out of his hands, and the top of his skull from his head. Lem’s right back in the fight, though, until Amanda lands a pick axe through his skull and Ash extinguishes the flare with the back of a shovel. Danger seemingly gone they very nearly kiss(!), but are interrupted when Kelly calls down to them to ask if they’re still alive. Raincheck?
Once they’re back above ground, they see Lem’s pals chained to a fence, and a giant stockpile of ammunition that Pablo and Kelly have assembled. (One last Deadite finds them, but Pablo, Kelly and Amanda make pretty quick work of him.) Amanda instructs the survivalists to cut themselves free and get far away from the site. As they head out, Ash confesses that each of them has a special place in his heart. When the three friends turn to deliver a (most likely) sarcastic response, he’s gone. Guess he’s gonna go it alone back at the cabin after all. Which is surely where he’s headed next, though at least one part of him is there already.
In the last scene, Ash’s severed hand is crawling toward the beckoning door.