I now have a habit of checking my watch during Ash vs. Evil Dead, not because I’m eager for it to end but rather because I never want it to wrap up. You know that feeling when you wake up in the morning and realize you still have more time left to sleep? That’s what it feels like when I check the clock and see there’s more time left in the episode than I thought.
“The Host” continues the possession storyline with Kelly claiming that it’s Ash, not her, who’s possessed by Eligos. Pablo and Brujo believe her and really, who can blame them? From their perspective, Kelly had a concussion and it was Ash who was attacking her when they walked back into the barn. Brujo explains that possessions can be physical as well as spiritual. Apparently there’s a lump in the brain where demons can be festering. Brujo now plans to exorcise Eligos from Ash by removing that lump. The only down side is that Ash will lose his sense of smell and any feeling of pleasure from the waist down.
Brujo gets started on that, and Pablo and Kelly go off to spend some quality time in the trailer. Pablo is stressing about the exorcism, as any normal person might, while Kelly/Eligos attempts to seduce him by offering Pablo what he’s always wanted, a romantic relationship with Kelly. It’s an exceptional sequence that benefits from the stellar character development in previous episodes. Pablo’s crush is sweet and boyish, but it’s also genuine enough to make you feel for him while his emotions are being toyed with. Plus, it keeps you guessing. Pablo is the goofy sidekick, but he’s certainly not stupid so, on the one hand, it makes sense that Kelly could win him over, but on the other, he’s not going to completely abandon his judgement and instincts. When he says he’s not sure if he’s ready, you buy it. But, of course, that sends Eligos over the edge.
Back in the barn, Ash finally manages to get the gag off and tell Brujo that Eligos is in Kelly, not him. They rush into the trailer, manage to subdue her and get her ready for the exorcism. Brujo attempts to draw the demon out by slicing up a chicken, but when that, some leeches and sanctified water don’t do the trick, Pablo steps in and attempts to reason with Kelly himself, begging her to fight it and take control. But that doesn’t work either and thanks to a spot-on music cue, when Kelly/Eligos yells, “There is no Kelly anymore,” it’s downright chilling.
Eligos attempts to trick Ash into killing Kelly. Trouble is, he asks for a cross on her grave and, as we learned in “Bait,” Kelly’s Jewish so Ash doesn’t fall for it. Meanwhile, just outside, Brujo gives Pablo a little pep talk and tries to convince him that maybe he was meant to leave and commends him for finding the light of the Jefe inside Ash. However, he still doesn’t think there’s a positive outcome to this situation. They’re either going to have to kill Kelly quickly or watch Eligos tear her apart right in front of them. Pablo suggests that maybe he can take Kelly’s place as the host. The offer does lure Eligos out, but instead of just nestling inside Pablo, the demon puts up a fight, impaling and killing Brujo in the process. Then, using the “shoot first, think never” mentality, Ash manages to get the jump on Eligos and blast his head off with his shotgun. With Eligos blown to bits, Kelly is finally herself again.
Before they hit the road, Pablo, Ash and Kelly share one of the sweetest scenes of the entire season. It’s a very genuine, down-to-earth reaction to what just happened – including the very first time we’ve seen Ash take responsibility for what’s going on – but it still has the requisite humor that makes it feel appropriate to the tone of the show.
As for Amanda and Ruby, they’ve still yet to claim the spotlight, but the minimal amount of screen time they do get is memorable. While waiting for Ash’s hand to point them in the right direction, we’re reminded that Amanda is pretty sassy and most certainly has a mind of her own. She’s along for the ride, but she’s not going to completely give into Ruby’s claims – not yet at least. Ruby’s speech in the car also opens the door to endless possibility for the show. Even though I’m someone who enjoys rules and mythology, the fact that we’re working with a situation where things don’t always make sense excites me, especially because the show’s been so successfully running with that idea, but within reason.
First it was Sam Raimi, then it was Michael J. Bassett and now David Frazee joins the list of directors who absolutely nail their episodes and continue to make Ash vs. Evil Dead one of the best new shows of the year. Next up is Michael Hurst who’s directed Lucy Lawless in Spartacus and Xena, so perhaps his episodes will be the ones to make the shift from Pablo, Kelly and Ash to a more Ruby/Amanda-centric story.
Episode Rating: ★★★★
Extras and Ashisms:
- Basically everything Ash says when he’s restrained.
- “I feel like I’m the sous chef of his exorcism kitchen.” – Pablo
- “It’s not loaded … but I am.” – Kelly/Eligos
- “Okay, full disclosure, weed makes me really paranoid, so why don’t I just grab a Mountain Dew? I’ll pound that and it’ll just give me a really nice buzz.” – Pablo
- “You wanna be with me, right? Like boyfriend, girlfriend, same milkshake, different straws, maybe share a pussy … cat?” – Pablo
- “Now take a hit, and then, after you do, you can kiss me … anywhere you want.” – Kelly/Eligos “How about right there? [Points to her forehead.] Boop!” – Pablo
- How about that shot that begins as a wide on the house and then moves into the barn?
- “Aw, can’t blame a demon for trying!” – Kelly/Eligos
- “You spit out a couple of teeth. I think they were wisdom teeth so they were coming out anyway.” – Ash
- “I like you better when you were possessed.” – Ash
- I cannot wait to see Ash put that mechanical hand to use!