'Ash vs Evil Dead' Recap: S2E2: "Morgue"

Oh wow.

Season two is not holding back!

Sunday night’s episode, appropriately titled “Morgue,” continued (and in many ways upped) the no-holds-barred splatterfest that has been the latest season of Starz’s horror-comedy series Ash vs Evil Dead. Continuing the story from where we last left off, the episode picks up with Ash bringing Pablo, Kelly, and Ruby back to his childhood bedroom to plan out how they’ll retrieve the hidden Necronomicon. Still not convinced of her turn from the dark side, Pablo insists on interrogating Ruby about her true intentions with the group. Almost immediately, she confides in them where she hid the elusive book of the dead: inside a corpse.

This series never lets me down.

Ash and Kelly head to the titular mortuary to retrieve the book before Ruby’s demon children return, leaving Pablo behind to continue his interrogation of Ruby at evil-demon-magic-knifepoint.
It’s then that the episode hits its high point, as Ash chainsaws through every single corpse he finds in the morgue before finally finding it lodged in the stomach of the last body left. Of course, the inside of this random man’s dead body has now made direct contact with the Necronomicon, and is therefore a host to its evil. In what is unequivocally the most gross, graphic, and brilliant piece of slapstick I think I’ve ever seen, Ash then battles the dead man’s reanimated, demon intestines, eventually being… sucked… all the way through…

Where is Bruce Campbell’s EMMY?

Legit though, Mr. Campbell goes so hard for this gag, giving it everything he has and it pays off brilliantly. Evil Dead II is personally my favorite film in the series in large part due to the film’s blend of horror gore and campy slapstick – dubbed “splatstick” by Campbell and company. I appreciated “Morgue” not only going back to those roots, but trying to top them. It’s exactly what you would want to be the centerpiece of an episode of the Evil Dead show.

During our hero’s prolonged fight against the undead colon, (which is probably my favorite sentence I’ve ever written, by the way) Kelly stands guard outside the hospital door, drawing attention away from Ash’s battle for the book. She goes so far as to cold knock out the police officer who’s been hot on the group’s trail since they arrived in Elk Grove. Proud of Kelly’s fighting skills, and with the evil book in hand, Ash thinks the mission is accomplished.

Unfortunately, all is not as well as it seems, they discover, as they find the marked body of Lillian Pendergrass, Ash’s former teacher and his father’s current girlfriend, has been replaced by the Deadite-slaughtered corpse of the morgue’s coroner. Piecing together that the Deadite spirit is now inside Ms. Pendergrass and headed for his house, Ash rushes Kelly back home to save Pablo and Ruby from attack.

Meanwhile, Pablo has been having struggles of his own. His interrogation of Ruby has not gone as planned. While he wanted information about the horrible visions he’s been having, she wants details about what they say.

Their fight climaxes with Ruby stringing Pablo up from the ceiling and slashing his throat with a razor sharp finger…

Or so it would seem.

This was just another of Pablo’s waking nightmares, or premonitions as Ruby calls them. She assures him that she doesn’t want to hurt him, and can decipher what her demons are planning to do based on what he’s seen. He finally confides in her, describing his own graphic murder by her hand. True to her word, Ruby realizes what it all must mean – the book has bonded itself to Pablo as a messenger for evil forces, and the demons she once created want the Necronomicon to conjure to life her demonic counterpart, their father.

The episode then reaches its climax as Ash and Kelly show up just in time for the Deadite Ms. Pendergrass to attack. We’re then treated to the bloody demon battle we expect from Evil Dead, this time with Ruby joining in on the fight- a real treat for us Lucy Lawless fans, happy to see her return to epic action scenes.

In the end, the Deadite is killed, the book retrieved and “safely stowed away” in Ash’s iconic car, and it seems as if finally our heroes are all on the right track to set things right… until the car is stolen with the Necronomicon inside.

Overall, I once again loved this episode. Ash vs Evil Dead consistently delivers on its promise of laughs and blood, this episode in particular. “Morgue” is their most over-the-top episode yet, and I love it.