There are full spoilers ahead for the second episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead season 2. You’ve been warned!
Somehow, we suspect that “The Morgue” will always be known as that episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead. The one where the series went full Starz, becoming even wilder than anything in the Evil Dead movies. Really, what more could be said about the scene where Ash (Bruce Campbell) is shoved head first up the anus of a corpse? With most performers, that would have just been a standard gross-out moment. But Campbell kept escalating the sequence with his hilariously over-the-top reactions and quips. And it just kept going!
But before we get back to Ash’s Close Encounter of the Fecal Kind, let’s deal with the rest of the episode. Team Ash plus Ruby (Lucy Lawless) were split in two after regrouping at Ash’s old home. Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) accompanied Ash on a trip to the morgue to retrieve the Necronomicon, while Pablo (Ray Santiago) volunteered to stay behind with Ruby to get some answers from her with a little help from the Kandarian dagger. Poor Pablo had a few moments of seeming badassery, but his part of the episode was largely about emasculating him. First, Pablo couldn’t quite shake being compared to a vagina, and then Ruby quickly turned the tables on him.
Ruby proved that she has some skills as an interrogator, as she correctly guessed that Pablo had been having premonitions based on his facial reaction. More disturbingly, Pablo had a vision of Ruby murdering him, which she interpreted as as a sign that their real enemy was someone called Baal. Lawless also had a fun moment where Ruby briefly thought that she was invited to Team Ash’s family meeting, before being reminded that she’s not “family.” Her stunt with Pablo certainly isn’t going to win her many points with the Ghost Beaters.
At the morgue, Kelly proved that she can carry a scene by herself as she struggled with a stubborn vending machine and beat up the local sheriff. The really amusing thing about that last part is that DeLorenzo played it as if Kelly was going to sweet talk the sheriff before she viciously laid into him. The episode also got a lot of mileage out of Kelly and Ruby’s continuous reactions to the smell coming off of Ash later in the episode. Those are the small touches that made it even funner.
As for the man himself, Ash’s idea of searching for the Necronomicon was to cut open every corpse with a chainsaw until he found it. Unfortunately for Ash, the book reanimated the intestines of the body, which wasted little time literally biting him (!) and shoving him straight up the corpse’s butt.
We don’t know if that scene could have worked with anyone else but Campbell. Minus a few CGI effects, it was basically just Campbell flailing around in a room with his head up the ass of a fake body. And yet that was so funny that it became the standout moment from the episode, and the rest of the season is gonna have a hard time topping that.
The less effective touch was the way that the episode extended the story by having Ash and Kelly alienate some local teens, who responded by stealing Ash’s car and the Necronomicon (again). That’s the cliffhanger for next week’s episode, although we suppose that Ash’s dad, Brock (Lee Majors) still has to discover that Ruby killed his date when she turned out to be a Deadite. Majors has been enjoyable so far, but we want to see Brock fully dragged into the insane world that his son inhabits. It’s getting crazier all of the time, and we love it.
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Images: Starz/Renaissance Pictures