It’s a beautiful day deep in the idyllic Michigan woods in this episode of Ash vs Evil Dead. Trees, moose, more trees, sunshine, and Ash Williams (and his steadily growing team of Ghostbreakers) hiking towards the nightmarish Cabin in the Woods where all his troubles began thirty years ago.
Unfortunately—or maybe fortunately?—the team has to make a quick stop at a survivalist camp to grab some groovy high-powered weapons for their last stand against the Evil. As Ash grows fonder and more respectful of his new comrades, he’s even more nervous about getting everyone he cares about killed. (You know, as he tends to do.)
Kelly’s pretty jazzed up about the whole “borrow a bunch of (probably illegal) weapons from a bunch of Second Amendment enthusiasts” thing. She wants a flamethrower, okay? She’s lost her parents, she’s spent the last couple of days covered in blood, and she wants this one thing, real bad.
Pablo, on the other hand, is much less sure of himself. Is he an axe guy, or somebody who uses a crossbow? It’s an honest-to-goodness horror-comedy existential crisis, and it’s very funny and also kinda sweet.
The team arrives at the militia camp to find that it’s been overrun by Deadites. They discover a bunch of grisly, torn-up bodies, and a half-dozen survivalist survivors who immediately take them hostage. The rednecks handcuff Ash and Fisher together and throw them into a bunker basement that may or may not have angry monsters in it. But Kelly and Pablo get away! Good for them. “Fire in the Hole” gets a little bit of comedic mileage out of its right-wing, white trash cannon fodder, but I really think they could’ve taken the laughs a little further. It’s like this episode is weirdly nervous about poking fun at a bunch of guys who live in the woods and think that the government is turning people into zombies. What gives? (That Clinton line was pretty funny, though.)
Fortunately, Ash’s new RoboHand™ has a built-in flashlight! Very hand-y! (I know, I’m hilarious.) Ash and Fisher wander through some dark, spooky hallways together. Ash considers this the perfect time for corny flirting (because he’s “old school” like that), and Fisher talks about how grateful she is to Ruby for showing her the “truth” about the world.
Meanwhile, at the Brujo’s house, Ruby rises from the ashes after her tussle with the fire demon and shows off some tasteful sideboob.
Also meanwhile, Kelly and Pablo fight off two militia dudes and a scary, gas-mask-wearing Deadite. Pablo weaponizes a pickup truck, Kelly finally gets her Big Fucking Gun, and a great deal of skull-crushing, bullet-spraying, arterial-gushing fun ensues. This scene is hilarious, pitch-perfect physical comedy and DeLorenzo and Santiago are as hilarious and pitch-perfect as two wunderkind zombie hunters trying to master giant high-caliber rifles really ought to be.
Back at the bunker, evil, dead, fire-breathing Lem—also tastefully shirtless, because this is an equal opportunity show, apparently—is trying to burn Ash and Fisher alive. The unlikely pair does some cool synchronized fighting. Through guile, Handcuffed Fu, and general badassery, they manage to defeat their redneck adversary. They make quite a team! In fact, Fisher actually starts falling for Ash’s cheesy pickup lines at this point, which kind of stretches credulity, but whatever. Ash’s particular blend of zombie killing and horny dad jokes is her kink, maybe.
Anyway, Team Ghostbreakers earns the militia’s grudging respect after rescuing them from the Deadites. And Fisher, Kelly, and Pablo earn Ash’s grudging respect for being pretty darned badass. Maybe it’s just the kerosene fumes talking, but I think he really likes these people.
Which is why, I guess, that Ash slips away at the end of the episode, deciding once and for all not to put his beloved little team in any more danger.
Who am I kidding, though? They’re totally going to be in more danger. A lot of danger. Ruby’s back in the game, and Ash’s evil hand is Thing-ing itself through the woods towards the cabin. Ash is headed towards an epic showdown against the Evil, and he’ll need his new friends to help save the day and “Keep Michigan Moist.”
Image courtesy of Starz!
Mad Moll Green writes in Los Angeles and Vancouver. She loves horror movies, comic books, and ironic spandex.