Director Michael Hurst just nailed another episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead making it even more difficult to accept the fact that there’s only three episodes of the season left.
“Fire in the Hole” begins with Ash, Kelly, Pablo and Amanda making their way to Lem’s camp to pick up some “big boy toys” for the epic battle that’s bound to go down at the cabin. Trouble is, they quickly discover that the deadites got to the camp first. They head inside for a chat with Crosby (Mark Mitchinson), the man in charge who thinks Big Brother put a virus in the air supply and turned Lem into a mummy. While trying to get their weapons back and get out, one of the soldiers IDs Amanda as a cop. Crosby freaks out and insists that they’re from the government, checking to see if the experiment worked, but that’s when Lem interrupts.
After nabbing an unsuspecting solider, the rest open fire on Lem giving Ash, Kelly, Pablo and Amanda the opportunity to make a run for it. Pablo and Kelly slip away, but Crosby and his men catch Amanda and Ash, handcuff them together and lock them in the bunker with deadite Lem. While trying to find a way out, Ash hits on Amanda – again – and she tells him about Ruby. (Just a normal person who got tangled up in something bigger? Pssh.)
While Lem chases them around the bunker, Pablo and Kelly attempt to outsmart the militia. They manage to snag a gun from one soldier, but his buddy steps in and foils their plan in flash. Captured and seemingly helpless, things actually take a turn for the better when a deadite shows up. The deadite takes out the soldiers for them, so all Pablo has to do is start up the truck and ram the deadite into a tree with it. Next, Kelly comes up with their next move; take the mask off the deadite and use it to trick the remaining soldiers and ambush the militia. Not bad, right? Maybe, but the problem is, that deadite is still kicking. In a bloody brilliant comedy of errors, Pablo wrestles with the deadite while Kelly shoots it with a machine gun she can barely control.
Back in the bunker, Amanda is busy concocting a plan of her own. She lures Lem in and when he arrives, they’re ready for him. Lem attempts to light them up with a flare and some alcohol, but Ash slices off part of his brain with a shovel. Lem manages to light another, but before the flame can touch the spilled diesel, Amanda and Ash use a wonderfully choreographed fight/dance to put a pickaxe through Lem’s head and put out the remaining flares. Just before Ash’s flirting can turn into the real deal, Pablo and Kelly unlock the bunker and set them free.
Back on ground level, Pablo and Kelly have the remaining militia handcuffed to a fence and a massive pile of weaponry picked out. Before taking off, Kelly, Pablo and Amanda blow one last deadite’s brains out and then pose for an epic hero shot. Even though all three have proved that they’re capable of fighting this war, they’ve also crawled their way into Ash’s heart. Ash has said he doesn’t want them coming to the cabin many times before, but now he means it. When Kelly, Pablo and Amanda turn around, Ash is gone.
Yet again, Ash vs. Evil Dead delivers 30 minutes of brilliance by keeping the focus on one big showdown. Most of the season it’s been Ash and co. versus the deadites, so it’s interesting to see how they react to folks who have absolutely no clue what they’re up against, especially because they put such a big wrench in their plan. Another very effective element of the episode is how just about every single thing that happens is insanely entertaining, but also brings the characters closer together. I certainly didn’t think Amanda and Ash would ever spark a mutual romantic relationship at the start of the show, but the writers have very successfully convinced me that Amanda might have real feelings for him in just two episodes. As for the group as a whole, Ash vs. Evil Dead has been teasing Ash’s apprehension about letting them come along since day one, but having him finally ditch them after Pablo, Kelly and Amanda’s perfectly timed hero shot made the moment far more powerful than I could have hoped.
As for Ruby, it was pretty obvious she was coming back, but boy did Lucy Lawless look like a total badass emerging from the rocks and ashes like that. We’ve seen her strut around with the utmost confidence and vanquish deadites without breaking a sweat, but there’s no doubt this season is building towards something big for the character and I cannot wait to see what she’s capable of.
Episode Rating: ★★★★
Extras and Ashisms:
- “What was that?” – Amanda “You know what that was.” – Ash
- “Life is hard and dangerous, and sometimes you just gotta chop off somebody’s head to survive.” – Ash
- “I wish I had my rusty chain, yo.” – Pablo
- “It’s the gun’s fault! These things are dangerous!” – Kelly
- “My brain!” – Lem
- “Safety last!” – Ash
- “I think I found my own boomstick!” – Pablo