Previously on Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Ruby (Lucy Lawless) spawned a toothsome baby demon that has a fleshy chainsaw for one hand, while a couple of hapless hitchhikers became baby’s first meals. Dalton (Lindsay Farris) reveals more about Ruby’s and the Knights of Sumeria’s origins. He mentions a sorceress named Kaya who was a Knight who turned evil, which means she’ll probably appear this season, given how she’s now bound inside the Necronomicon. Ash (Bruce Campbell) tries to bond with Brandy (Arielle Carver-O’Neill), which kinda sorta goes okay, maybe, except she’s really close to her guidance counselor, Ms. Prevett, who is really Ruby. Ash has an epically nasty battle at the local sperm bank because the Deadites are determined to destroy his seed. Meanwhile, Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) have a heart-to-heart.
“Apparently Dead” opens at the church where Candy’s (Katrina Hobbs) funeral is about to take place. Brandy tells Ash he doesn’t have to do the dad thing, and that her counselor, Ms. Prevett, will take her in. Ash makes an actual effort to be a good father, so Brandy agrees to stay with him. The funeral director (Richard Felix) comes in to tell them they can view Candy’s body, saying he’s restored her head. Ash knows that’s bad news; he grabs a fork and heads to the casket, where he pokes Candy to see if she Deadites out. She doesn’t move. He says a few words about their relationship, turns to leave, then turns back to say one more thing, but Candy is gone. He slowly approaches the empty casket and leans in. Candy suddenly reaches out and drags him inside. She attacks and tries to initiate sex, but Ash says, “No Means NO!” as she crunches his balls. Candy bites Ash’s metal hand, shorting it out a little. Their fight is gruesome, culminating in Ash cutting her head off and quipping, “How was that for you?” The casket seals shut with Ash in it. Beginning credits!
The funeral director wants to start the funeral, but Brandy wants to wait for Ash. Ruby is there in a black veil, sympathizing with Brandy. Brandy gets up to say a few words about her mom while the organist plays a creepy sad song. The casket begins moving and the funeralgoers gasp. The movement stops and Brandy continues her eulogy, but it ends because Ash finally manages to open the casket. “Fucking hell,” he exclaims, and when he climbs out, Candy’s head falls off his crotch. He puts it back in the casket as everyone is grossing out. Ash is covered in blood and pus because this show can’t go one day without covering him in indignity.
The funeralgoers file out; Ruby then reveals herself to Ash. Brandy tell him that’s her counselor who she’s known for two years, but Ash says it’s Ruby, the evil hellbeast who turned Brandy’s friend and mom into demons. Brandy runs out; Ruby tells Ash to back off and threatens Brandy to top it off. She leaves, and the casket rolls open, spilling out Candy’s defiled body pieces.
Kelly, Pablo and Dalton arrive. Ash says Ruby is back, disguised as Brandy’s counselor. Pablo hears the Masked Woman (Hannah Tasker-Poland) calling him. She appears and tells him to listen to his Brujo, and to go find the Kandarian dagger. No one else can see her or the others who appear with her. Pablo, smitten, asks the Masked Woman her name and if she’d like to go on a date. What the hell, Pablo, you’ve got evil to fight! She tells him to set his destiny.
In the background, Dalton is telling Ash and Kelly they have to kill Ruby with the Kandarian dagger Pablo, fresh off his vision, says he knows where the dagger is. Ash tells them they have to go solo because he has to talk to his daughter.
The Ghostbeaters and Dalton arrive at the old cabin site at night, which is always a good time to visit the place where an ancient evil resides. As they dig around, whispers are heard. Kelly remarks that it’s creepy being back and that she last saw two Rubys there. Dalton remarks that they should “dig fast.” Pablo hits something hard—it’s the deer head! It doesn’t laugh, though. Pablo says the dagger is definitely there.
Ruby-as-Prevett drops Brandy off at Casa de Ash to get her things. In Cheryl’s room, Brandy plops on the bed and thinks. She sees a sketch Cheryl made of a young Brock (Lee Majors). At the cemetery, Ruby lays the Necromonicon down on a grave and pulls out a box with a moth. She impales the moth on a knife and places it on the grave. The book opens to the spell Ruby needs; she drips her blood on the moth and recites the incantation. The moth flies away and a hand bursts through the ground.
Back at the house, Brandy plays some of Cheryl’s music on an old cassette player. It’s “Crimson and Clover” as covered by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Brandy tries on Ash’s hardware store uniform as a dead thing comes up the stairs and…takes a shower! Brandy keeps looking through Cheryl’s things while the corpse showers, pulling off layers of dirt and skin. The song choice makes the scene extra-yucky. Brandy finally hears the shower being used and heads towards the bathroom, calling out “Ash?” The moth is on a light in the hallway. Brandy sees steam and the muddy footprints going toward the door. The door opens and…??
Ash arrives; he goes into the house and hears Brandy talking to someone. It’s Brock! He looks normal. Ash asks Brock what he’s doing. He and Brandy are watching Ash’s commercial and making fun of it. Ash tells Brandy that Brock is dead, but Brandy says Brock told her how he survived being hit by the Delta ’88. He also tells Ash to stop being “such an asshole.” Ash asks if he can speak to his dead father privately.
In the woods, the Ghostbeaters and Dalton have dug up have the cabin’s contents—the clock, the projector, and other items familiar from the films. Pablo hears weird noises as Kelly finds the dagger. Evil heads toward them, knocking down trees and turning on the items from the cabin. The three run. Dalton tries to shoot the evil, but it drags him off. Kelly searches for Dalton and Pablo, and finds Dalton impaled on a tree branch. He says Pablo did it to him; Pablo set them up, Dalton insists, and they should’ve killed Pablo when they had the chance. He asks for the dagger, but Kelly hesitates. It’s good that she did because Dalton Deadites out and snarls, “Give me that fucking dagger!” Pablo shows up in a truck and runs Dalton down. Kelly runs over to find where the truck stops, but it’s empty.
Back at Ash’s, Brock is nonchalantly looking in the fridge for food. Ash asks what’s going on while Brandy is in the den, laughing at Ash’s commercial. Brock says Ruby pulled him from the grave so he could look in on Brandy. Brandy comes in just as Brock attacks Ash, knocking out Brandy in the process.
The two men try to shove each other’s faces into the electrical stovetop. Brock basically gets the upper hand (ha!); he beats the tar out of Ash, who has to put the chainsaw on his hand and gores his father in the gut. Naturally, Brandy shows up just in time to see her newly met grandfather brutally murdered—she thinks he’s really alive—and she gets covered in his blood. Brandy is completely freaked out. Ash says the good news is that he can explain, but Brandy wishes Ash was dead instead and runs out of the house. Ash calls after her, telling her Brock was already dead, but she’s gone. “Kids!” Ash says as if he was a dad for Brandy’s whole life. End credits!
“Apparently Dead” is a good place-setter for the big battle (predicted by Dalton last time) to come. The script by Ivan Raimi makes good use of both Brandy and Brock, and it’s great to see Lee Majors back on the show, even if Ash eviscerates him rather quickly. Majors has a natural rapport with Carver-O’Neill, helping to further integrate her character into Ash’s life, and his interactions with Campbell are golden. The two really up each other’s acting game.
The direction by Diego Meza-Valdes & Andres Meza-Valdes fits seamlessly with the series while emphasizing the horror a bit more. There’s a good jump scare when Candy drags Ash into the casket, and they convey the claustrophobia of being trapped inside a casket nicely before upping the horror by having Candy’s head appear seemingly out of nowhere. That it seems like the casket isn’t any larger than normal even as Candy crawls up on Ash is a neat bit of effects work, too.
Lawless makes Ruby nastier than before; her threat to Ash about Brandy has true danger behind it, bring Ash’s “papa bear” out in force. While it may seem rather sudden for Ash to care so much for Brandy, we’ve had two seasons to see him come to love Pablo and Kelly as family, so we already know he’s capable of having love for a daughter (despite his terror last episode that he may have a whole baseball team of children out there). Not so sure he’s going to love his demon child the same way, but time will tell.
Lastly, while “Crimson and Clover” took on a creepy vibe, as I mentioned in the recap, the song that plays over the end credits, “Kids” from the musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” fits just as perfectly here as it does in its original context. That it’s sung by Campbell and Lawless may also be foreshadowing Ash’s eventual meeting with his demon progeny. We’ll see. As always, stay tuned for the next episode!
This week in Ash (and other) one-liners (plus other stuff I liked):
“Oh, no, this ain’t the Kroger parking lot!” Also, Ash has a flashlight on his metal hand. Pablo thought of everything!
Kelly at the funeral: “Fuck me! It looks like a snuff film in here!”
“I love the smell of old man in the morning!”
Bruce Campbell’s and Lucy Lawless’ singing is damn good. More, please!
Linda B. Watch: Linda B. is not mentioned. I should probably give up (or Google Michelle Hurd to find out why she hasn’t been on the show), but this is more fun. No one ruin it for me!
All photos courtesy of Starz.