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Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024
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Ash Vs. Evil Dead Recap – Ep 3, “Books From Beyond”

PosterPreviously, on Ash Vs. Evil Dead: Ash (Bruce Campbell), in high, dumbass mode, unleashed the Kandarian demons while trying to impress a pretty girl. Once he became aware the Deadites were back, he decided to head to Books From Beyond to get the Necronomicon translated in hopes of finding a spell that would send the demons back to Hell. His partners are Pablo (Ray Santiago) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo), co-workers from Ash’s job at Value Stop who have been drawn into the fight against the Deadites. Lots of Deadites have been killed, including Kelly’s mom (Mimi Rogers), who murdered Kelly’s dad (Phil Peleton). In the background are Jill Marie Jones’ Agent Fisher, who’s hot on Ash’s trail thanks to the death of her partner, and Lucy Lawless’ Ruby, whose purpose hasn’t been explained…yet. When we last left our main characters, Agent Fisher had arrived at Books From Beyond while Ash, Pablo, and Kelly were still heading there.

This week’s ep is again directed by Michael J. Bassett and continues the fun ride we’ve gotten from eps 1 and 2. The action fits with Sam Raimi’s style, the interplay between Ash, Pablo, and Kelly is a treat, and Fisher gets more of a personality. Plus we get a better look at Lucy Lawless’ Ruby.

It starts with Ruby arriving at Kelly’s dad’s farm and discovering the graves of Kelly’s mom and dad. Immediately, an ill wind begins blowing and creepiness abounds. Because Ash failed to dismember Kelly’s dad’s body, he arises as a Deadite and attacks Ruby. Ruby, however, is a badass herself and impales Deadite Dad on his broken cross, then interrogates him. He spits out, “Go to Hell, then we’ll talk!” so she pulls out that crazy knife from Evil Dead II—the one with the handle carved out of what is presumably a human bone—terrifying the Deadite, and with good reason: When Ruby draws the blade against Deadite Dad’s skin, it not only draws blood, it burns him. Groovy!

In the meantime, Ash, Pablo, and Kelly arrive at Books From Beyond. Pablo is trying to come up with a cool name for their little trio and suggests The Ghostbeaters. Ash sneers at the name and says he’s “an alone wolf,” which gets Kelly’s sarcasm going as she corrects him.

The bookstore’s décor is an ED fan’s dream: mounted deer heads on the wall (Will they laugh? Oh, please, let them laugh!), weird things floating inside jars (including animal fetuses), and lots of musty, old books. Our intrepid trio calls for the owner to come out, and the first person to appear is…Agent Fisher, who was talking to the owner, Lionel Hawkins (Kelson Henderson). She goes outside and calls a friend at the force to get a copy of the artist’s sketch of their suspect because Ash looked familiar.

“Allow me to translate–out loud!”

Inside, Ash gives Hawkins the Necronomicon to peruse and mostly demands he find them a spell to get rid of the Deadites. You’d think most people holding a book bound in human flesh would be somewhat creeped out, but Hawkins is excited and immediately puts it under a glass to enlarge it, where it looks even creepier and where I half-expected it to wink at him. Outside, Fisher recognizes Ash from the sketch, and elsewhere, both Ruby and a Kandarian spirit are heading towards the store!

Also outside are Kelly and Pablo, guarding the Delta 88 and trailer. Kelly guts Pablo when she calls him the “little brother” she never had, but he rallies and continues to hit on her (Ash’s influence is already seeping in). They see Fisher get her gun and go inside Books From Beyond. As Fisher tries to arrest Ash, Pablo knocks her out with a bone. Kelly watches over her while the others go into a different room to deal with the Necronomicon.

Every time Hawkins opens the Book of the Dead, lights flicker and things seem about to fly apart. Ash is nonchalant about it. The Necronomicon is a gateway to Hell, says Hawkins, elaborating that it is a “weapon against humanity.” His tale of the dark ones who made the book is suitably illustrated, as in the ED movies. Based on an off-hand remark from Pablo, Ash decides to summon the weakest demon in the Necronomicon so he can interrogate it about how to get rid of the Deadites. Hawkins says that the book states the answers lie inside “The Man,” whom Ash naturally assumes is himself because it’s not like he’s conceited or anything.

In the other room, Kelly tells Fisher, who has woken up, that she’s wrong about Ash as the source of the evil (um, yeah, that’s kind of right, I guess?). Back with the boys, Pablo doesn’t like the plan and tries to talk the other two out of it. Ash assures him it’ll be fine because what else could wrong with reading more from the Necronomicon (um, Ash…), and Hawkins foreshadows doom by repeatedly insisting they don’t break the circle he’s drawn on the ground, complete with pentagram and other demonic symbols, in order to summon Eligos, a “weak” demon who preys on the “spiritually and emotionally weak.” Now who do we know who fits that description, hmm?

“Did someone say ‘mouse demon’?”

During the incantation Hawkins reads, the weird things in the jars start coming to life; that they’re all done with practical effects makes it even ickier, especially when what looks like a lamb fetus turns to stare at Pablo. Sadly, the deer heads don’t do anything (perhaps next week!). Eligos appears and he looks like a naked Cenobite. He’s combative, but can’t get out of the circle, which makes Ash even cockier than usual. Of course, Eligos refuses to tell Ash anything useful, so Ash tells Hawkins to send “this asshole” back to Hell.

Fisher, who’s convinced Kelly to free her because she knows the Deadite menace is real, breaks in at that moment and startles everyone, causing Ash to—what else—break the circle. Eligos launches his attack, dragging Ash into the circle and getting into his brain, which we see via an X-ray effect. Ash cries out in pain. Fisher shoots Eligos, who knocks her out (that’s two concussions in one day! She’s tougher than an NFL-er!). Eligos kills Hawkins with telekinetically controlled glass shards and is about to break both Ash’s and Pablo’s’ brains with his X-ray powers when Kelly hits Eligos with the Necronomicon, causing the book to suck Eligos back inside. A puff of smoke—the same effect we saw before Eligos appears—dissipates from Kelly’s face. Uh-oh.

“I don’t have anything against cops–I just like it better when they’re not around.”

Kelly and Pablo go to the car while Ash collects the book. Fisher, with her bad-timing intact, wakes up again and tries again to arrest Ash, cuffing him on…his wooden hand! He takes it off and cuffs her to a table, leaving her inside the shop while he takes his leave. Pablo tells Ash and Kelly they should probably go see his uncle the brujo, or shaman, even though Pablo and the uncle have some bad blood between them. Ash, naturally sensitive, says they’re going any way. Pablo puts on the radio and “Loose” by Iggy Pop and The Stooges starts playing. Meanwhile, back inside the store, Deadite Hawkins rises and comes after the cuffed Fisher….

This week in Ash (and other) one-liners (plus other stuff I liked):

“Sounds like a lot of yappening and not a lot of happening.”

Ash calls Pablo a “smooth brown Einstein.”

Ash (about reading from the book again): “It’s kinda like spilling paint on a painting—it’s okay because there’s already paint on it.”
Pablo: “That is incorrect.”

Ash: “Look, Pablo, we’re just gonna summon a teeny-tiny demon, like a mouse demon.”

Ash after the fight with Eligos: “Well, that sucked pretty hard.”

Ash to Pablo and Kelly: “Well, you two learned a very important lesson today: Cops don’t help. We should go before more show up.”

Churros—they’re not a racist thing, but a delicious dessert!

Ash’s fake hand is named Woody.


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