Previously on Ash Vs. Evil Dead: The kids who stole Ash’s Delta took their girlfriends and a friend for a drive in it. One of the girls, Amber (Olivia Mahood), found the Necronomicon and read from it. Both she and the Delta became possessed. The Delta killed the three boys, trapping Lacey Emery (Pepi Sonuga) inside. Meanwhile, Ash (Bruce Campbell) decided to draw out the thieves by hosting a party at the bar where his childhood friend, Chet (Ted Raimi), works. Brock (Lee Majors) showed up and there was tension between father and son. Ruby (Lucy Lawless) and Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) wound up forming an alliance to hunt and kill Ruby’s children. Deadite Amber went after Brock; Pablo (Ray Santiago) gave Ash a pep talk, spurring him to save Brock’s life. Brock finally accepted that Ash wasn’t a monster, then said he had life-changing news to share. The Deadite Delta chose that moment to roar into Brock, killing him in front of Ash, who was grief-stricken.
“DUI” picks up right where last week’s heartbreaker ended. Clocking in at a brisk 26 minutes, the episode doesn’t take a lot of time dealing with what’s going on in Ash’s head. Director Michael J. Barrett, working from a script by Ivan Raimi, keeps everything moving quickly, going from pathos to comedy to gore with breakneck speed, yet “DUI” never feels rushed. Credit goes to the actors; their characters are so well-developed at this point that prolonged scenes of grief aren’t necessary.
The episode opens with Ash lamenting his dad’s death; he’s also worried about Pablo and Kelly (and Eli) being killed because, as he tells Pablo, everyone he loves has been taken from him. It’s great to get confirmation, even just implied, that Ash loves Pablo and Kelly (and Eli); it gives more context to his actions from this season and last.
Of course, Ash is giving this speech while trying to stuff Brock’s brain back in his head. It’s actually touching that he tries to put his dad back together. Ash notes that one of Brock’s eyes is missing, and ask Pablo to help him find it. Turns out the eye is lodged firmly in the Delta’s grill, as Ash and Pablo find out when it comes back down the street.
Pablo, trying to live up to his new mantra of grabbing the bull by the horns, goes up to the Delta, which drags him inside as Slade’s famous anthem, “Cum On Feel the Noize,” blares from the radio. Ash is beyond upset that his precious Delta is possessed. As the Delta roars off, it crushes Brock again, heaping more indignity upon Ash.
Ash ropes Chet into their adventures as he asks to borrow Chet’s beater. Chet, beyond wasted on Pink Fucks and whatever else he’s been imbibing, wants to go to “Memory Lane,” but Ash says there’s no time to reminisce. Oops, Chet meant Mammary Lane, the local strip club. The two men head off in the beater as “Take Off” by Rush starts playing (yet again, the music choices in Ash Vs. Evil Dead are on point).
The episode then becomes a series of quick intercuts between parallel scenes, which adds to the feeling that everything is flying by. Lacey tells Pablo the car is going to kill them, so he takes the opportunity to introduce himself to her. Chet notes that there’s a chainsaw in the back seat, and Ash lies that it’s for it ice sculpture, while his boomstick is in case people don’t pay for the ice sculpture. Ash also lies that Mammary Lane is closed down. Chet is disappointed.
Meanwhile, Kelly and Ruby go to Ash’s trailer to stock up on guns. Ruby tells Kelly that Baal gains power over others by using paranoia. He also has power over Rudy; she’s worried she won’t be able to resist him because he’s very seductive. Kelly promises to help kill the hell spawn to prevent Baal’s return. Kudos to Lawless for making Ruby seem vulnerable in the conversation—perhaps Ruby really does fear Baal? It’s still hard to tell, given how mysterious Ruby’s background remains.
In the Delta, the Book, flames in it eyes, is laughing, upsetting Pablo. The Book tries get Pablo to “embrace the truth” about himself; Pablo looks in the rearview mirror and sees his face covered with the Necronomicon. Pablo has a vision that the Delta crashes; he is impaled and Lacey is dead. Ash shows up to help Pablo and tries to get him to rest in the trunk of the Delta, foreshadowing the end of the episode. The Book has flames in its eyes.
Pablo comes to and Lacey screams that they’re being followed. It’s Ash and Chet, who have caught up to the Delta. Chet turns out to be a useful sort of idiot; after Ash comes clean about the Necronomicon, Chet is excited to help Ash kill demons. Ash, worried now about Chet’s safety, says no.
The subject of the demolition derby comes up (Ash has a poster for one of its events in his bedroom). Ash reminisces that it’s where he “first boned Lillian Pendergrass,” and it’s where Brock got the Delta to begin with. Chet, in a rare moment of clarity, comes up with a “circle of life” explanation for how the car came back to kill Brock as a “cry for help.” Chet is a “drunk-driving angel,” Ash says.
Ruby and Kelly arrive at the crematorium where the children are holed up; Kelly says, “Smells like Ash’s trailer.” Ew. At the same time, Chet takes Bruce to the demolition derby because he thinks that’s where the Delta will be. Ash enters the building as we see Ruby looking for her kids. The quick cuts between the two scenes are slightly disorienting, but also ratchet up the tension. It’s a great way to create anxiety in the audience.
Ash can tell what kind of oil is on the ground by sniffing and tasting it. Turns out he’s quite the gearhead, along with being a Deadite Slayin’ Demon Hunter. Ash is in a big arena with a bunch of smashed derby cars and trash; it looks like a car graveyard. The children viciously attack Kelly and Ruby at the same time the Delta attacks Ash. Ash slashes the side of the Delta with his chainsaw and hits it again, causing it to leak oil. He does it with unexpected ease, too, given how much Ash’s loves the Delta.
The Delta unlocks itself, allowing Lacey to escape. However, the Necronomicon attacks Pablo on Pablo’s way out of the car as the Delta goes after Ash. Pablo stabs the Book repeatedly, causing the Book to beg him to cast it back into the dimension from which it came.
Ash is stuck atop the bucking Delta; the situation has him recall what Brock said about clenching his butt-cheeks so he wouldn’t fall off the bull ride in the last episode. “I’m doing it! I’m hard, dad! I’m hard!” Ash cries out (as I died laughing).
At the crematorium, Ruby kills one of her children with the Kandarian dagger. Two of the remaining children attack Ruby while Kelly stabs a third. Kelly throws Ruby the dagger, and she kills her two tormentors. The Book, meanwhile, begs Pablo to say the word it just spit out, insisting it’s the only way for Pablo to be free.
Ash is still on a wild ride on the Delta as it bears down on a kneeling Pablo. Ash stabs the Delta in its “heart” (i.e., the engine) as Pablo speaks the word. The Delta throws Ash and “dies” in front of him. Back at the crematorium, Ruby sadly slits the throat of her last child, a look of remorse in her eyes.
The trunk of the Delta opens, revealing a flaming dimensional portal. Pablo tells Ash it’s the only way to be rid of the Necronomicon. “Well, at this point, I mean, could things get any worse?” Ash says. We all know it can and will as Pablo throws the Book inside. Ruby reels at that very moment, announcing to Kelly that the Book is gone. Ash and Pablo think it worked, and walk away as Ash insists he can restore the Delta in a delightful conversation that includes Ash saying it’s “nothing a lube job wouldn’t fix” and “I can buff that out!” Incidentally, they seem to have forgotten Lacey, who hasn’t been seen since she escaped the Delta.
Naturally, after they leave, the trunk blasts open and a fiery demon emerges. As anyone who watches the show regularly probably suspected earlier in the episode, the Necronomicon has indeed tricked Pablo into speaking the word that summons Baal. Slade plays over the end credits as “Cum On Feel The Noize” takes us out of the episode.
What does Baal have in store for our Ghostbeaters (and especially for his baby mama, Ruby)? Will Ash and Pablo remember that Lacey was at the derby and fetch her, or will Baal find her first? What will Sheriff Emery and Linda B. think when they find out their daughter’s been traumatized because of Ash being back in town, for that matter? Stay tuned!
This week in Ash (and other) one-liners (plus other stuff I liked):
Ash: “Won’t make a pube hair of difference, Pablo. My advice: Think of your life as a good time, not a long time.”
Pablo: “No thank you.”
Ash: “You’re welcome.”
Ash (lying to Chet about Mammary Lane being closed): “Asbestos in the poles. Chicks were getting rashes on their hootchiemacooters.”
Ash: “There’s some things a man has to do alone.”
Chet: “Like what?”
Ash: “Like drinking in the morning. Like putting anti-fungal ointment on your—”
Ash has been covered in blood and feces this season; add oil to the substances covering our hero. I don’t want to know what fluid comes next.