RECAPITATION! Ash Vs Evil Dead Season 3 Episode 5
“Shits about to get loco up in this bitch.” Truer words were never spoken Pablito. This latest episode balances the most badass and the crude aspects of the EVIL DEAD universe giving us an intense and squirm-inducing episode. There’s so much payoff from previous moments throughout the series and little nuances from previous episodes that come to light here which just relishes in continuity. These moments excited the hell out of me because it feels like this season is breaking off from previous seasons fan pandering in the sense that every moment in the last two seasons kept trying to reference the films so much. It’s fun and got me giddy, but this season is finally referencing events in the show through imagery and character moments. It feels more like its own thing and a new continuation rather than, “Hey, here’s an EVIL DEAD show so we’re gonna show off the cabin for the tenth time.”
The first time we see Ruby’s demon spawn, the prosthetic puppet had a little chainsaw birthmark on its arm if you looked very closely. In this episode, it’s a full chainsaw arm now as Ash has to battle this miniaturized version of himself! The sequences with Ash’s spawn go very Sam Raimi in shooting style as the camera rams doors and flies at the characters. Quick guided shots build the tension on the faces of Ash and Ruby’s female Scandinavian captive. Finally, that magic moment as we hear a mini chainsaw rev up and cut through a door into the woman’s shoulder as she screams in pain. The tension in this sequence is very palpable too as the spawn uses a creepy wooden toy duck to freak Ash and the captive out in a sick game of hide and seek. Shadows of the duck go by under the door as a really creepy quacking is heard. Got to love the use of everyday children’s toys to build terror.
Terror built. Scares in check. Blood spilled. What’s next? Well if we’ve learned anything, in this season especially, it’s time for a gross-out moment. Let’s decapitate the woman and have the kid crawl up between her legs into the body like the little Jason worm from JASON GOES TO HELL. Too much? I definitely let out a gasp of, “Oh Jesus.” but it did give way to a particularly fun sequence. The concept did bother me at first but unlike say the aforementioned JASON GOES TO HELL scene, this was done as a lead to a fun gag as opposed to a serious plot device that carries very sick undertones. What made me giggle uncontrollably was a three-year-old’s head popping up out of a headless corpse as the corpse beat the shit out of Ash like a drunken master fighting. The body flails and jumps around as the kids head pops out of different orifices smiling at Ash who even exclaims, “Oh that is so wrong in so many ways.” Kids gymnastics class at its finest!
What we learn from this though is while his love is at times misguided, Ash really does love his daughter and will risk his life and others to capture this kid, whom he should obviously kill, just to prove to Brandy that he is not crazy and that Ruby is indeed a demon. A demon whose also been spying on Ash for years! All the evidence of her watchful eye on Ash leads me to believe that Brandy’s conception was a set up by Ruby all along that I think will be shown later down the road. With Ash’s demon spawn still alive I think we’ll get a character that will grow up to be very much like “Bad Ash” from ARMY OF DARKNESS and I hope that we eventually get a very moronically witless yet brilliant repartee between Ash and his demon son. This also sets up something for Brandy to face to become a stellar character in possibly having to defeat her evil “brother”.
We got our grotesque and goofs but our side story is so intense and amazing that it had me cheering. This is where so much waiting and anticipation has paid off for fans of the show itself and the newer characters. Kelly and Brandy are still trying to fend off demon Pablo as they are held up in Ash’s trailer. Pablo finally gets in and tries to take Brandy. In a callback to the very first episode, Kelly looks to the ground to see the button that Ash pressed for his broomstick to catapult out of the floor. She hits it hoping for a weapon but is instead granted a very impressive bong which she uses to bash over Pablo’s head and grabs Brandy back.
While trying to get Pablo’s mouth growing on her leg to shut up she starts gagging it which in turn gags demon Pablo. When she realizes the two are connected she lights the mouths throat on fire which launches Demon Pablo across the trailer in an epic shot of fire. In desperation to save Kelly, Brandy launches at Pablo with the Kandarian dagger stabbing him and throwing his spirit into another realm guided by his Brujo uncle.
This sequence might be one of my all time favorites and this is the callback to season one I loved the most. It takes the design of the Brujo’s home and sticks it into a dark clearing surrounding an altar. The totems we’ve seen before are all there crying out against the darkness with the same mystical and almost drug-induced shooting style we were treated to before. The aesthetic is so amazing and is enhanced this time around by the darkness and winds that help permeate the scene’s otherworldly feel. Pablo becomes a bonified badass as he has to endure the ritual to become “El Brujo Especial." He must mix his blood with the blood of his people, choosing from three urns. One will save him and the others will bind his soul to the darkness. It’s such a cool and intense scene and it’s my favorite Pablo moment since he bonded with the book in season 2, floating toward Baal screaming incantations at him to banish him. It just amplified his character so well and makes him stand tall with the others. What got me super into it was when the Brujo explained to him the ritual and as he finished he began chanting his words from season one. “Buena, Buena medicina.” Buena, Buena los divina.” Which has since become my go-to random chant right next to, “Ade Due Damballa.” Pablo’s body writhes in agony on the earthly plane with Kelly and Brandy screaming for his life. Pablo completes the ritual triumphantly as the camera zooms and morphs the scenery around him and he exclaims in a wide shot, “Yo soy Brujo Especial!” He is saved and has stepped into his destiny.
The end of both stories for this episode are both so satisfying. Pablo awakens after being thought dead with Kelly crying over him. She is so relieved she begins kissing all over his face as the two then share a passionate kiss that we’ve been waiting for since Kelly stopped Samara Weaving from flirting with Pablo in season one. Pablo reveals he knows the end is coming and runs off ready for it as Kelly now in love and enraged swears her vengeance upon Ruby. Ash finally brings the demon kid to Brandy to prove Ruby is evil. As he opens the trunk the dead corpse he captured the kid in is gone and there’s just a scared little boy covered in blood. Ruby grabs the kid in front of the Sheriff acting like Ash is a sadistic kidnapper once again showing that he’s insane. Ash pleads with Brandy to believe him, that he can’t lie to her and how could he make up stories as insane as they are. At that moment Brandy jumps in the car and yells, “Dad get in!” The first time she calls Ash dad and they drive off away from the cops and Ruby. That moment made me so damn happy. As arrogant and pompous as he is, we love him for it. We’ve watched the poor guy get shit on for years. We’ve watched him try so hard to extend his hand to Brandy all season and it finally paid off.
This honestly might be my favorite episode because so much is packed in here perfectly balanced and pays off so much to the show as it’s own entity. It feels like the start of a new chapter in the saga and I’m super excited where everything leads as it’s such a cliffhanger for things to come but such a happy ending of an episode with a lot of hope for our heroes.