The first season finale for Ash vs. Evil Dead became a moment of truth for Ash (Bruce Campbell).
Ruby (Lucy Lawless) was planning on summon everything within the necronomicon using Pablo (Ray Santiago) after his face became enveloped with the cover of the necronomicon. Ash was tricked into cutting the face cover off the book using her Kandarian dagger to start the ritual.
With Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) frantically trying to help Pablo remove the unwanted mask, Ruby pushes her off and drags Pablo away. Meanwhile Ash has to fight deadite Amanda.
The episode recaptures much of what made the first two Evil Dead films special. With the television format, you actually see the roles Ash had in the films divided up between Ash and Kelly during this episode. In this case, you see Ash dealing with Amanda, a demonic child and ultimately Ruby. You see Kelly deal with demonic cabin trying to get at Pablo with the helpless Heather (Samantha Weaving), the final survivor of her hiking group, by her side.
You really see Kelly’s ingenuity come through as she sets fire to the cabin, but in the following sequence the cabin traps Heather inside and in a gruesome display pool of blood gushes out the front door knocking Kelly back with Heather’s parts. Heather’s severed head, now possessed, taunts Kelly. It’s a shame since I imagine Heather would have made a fun as a fully functional deadite.
Meanwhile as Ash makes his way to Ruby, she offers him a deal: let Ruby get control over all the dark forces so she can keep it in check in exchange of allowing Ash to send his way to Jacksonville, FL.
Initially Ash refuses, but in the interest of continuing the show and his soft spot for Pablo and Kelly, he finally relents adding that they get to join him to Jacksonville as part of the deal.
As they get back to Ash’s car, there are reports of sinkholes in the news and an ominous feeling of things left uncertain with his “deal with the devil.”
The episode was directed by TV director Rick Jacobson, who’s had a history with Lucy Lawless and Sam Raimi (Spartacus, Xena, Hercules). He also directed the 2009 film, Bitch Slap,which includes the principle cast members in both Hercules and Xena with Kevin Sorbo, Michael Hurst, Lawless and Renee O’Connor. Jacobson did a masterful job bringing this season to a close when it came to transitioning between characters and recreating some of the magic that made the Evil Dead franchise so special. Credit also goes to the writing of Craig DiGregorio, whose recent credits includes Workaholics, Chuck, and The League.
While the opening left a lot open given how supposedly in control Ruby is of hell. Quite simply, we can rationalize Ash chose to save his friends rather than got duped again into accepting a deal that was too good to be true. Regardless, Ash reminds Pablo and Kelly that he’s got a handle on this.
Now that the cabin is out of the way. What awaits team Ash in Jacksonville? Knowing the universe of Evil Dead, probably not the paradise Ash envisioned. How many more diverse threats will they see now with Ruby in control? Will we see Mia from Fede Alvarez’s adaptation? Will we know what good Brujo’s pendant supposed to do for Pablo since it’s brought him nothing but trouble since he claimed it from his late uncle’s body? Will Pablo grow as a character the way Kelly has in the second season?