The penultimate episode left us wondering if anything could get worse.  Ruby is the author of the Necronomicon and intends to unleash all of the evil within.  The book’s face has literally attached itself to Pablo’s face, with no intent of leaving.  Deadite Fisher is still on the loose, and the poor remaining backpacker is in rough shape.  If ever there was a time for Ash to step up as “El Jefe” it would be now.

Ash’s first move is to break up with Fisher for good, in typical Ash style that results in decapitation.  Perhaps she shouldn’t have told him that she’d swallow his soul; that’s usually a deal breaker.  In the melee, Ruby has taken Pablo into the depths below the cabin.  Ash again proves just how deeply he cares for his fellow Ghostbeaters when he vows to retrieve HIS Pablo.  Though, his circle of caring extends only so far, as he can’t even be bothered to learn the backpacker’s name.

Also demonstrative of Ash’s growth this season is his tolerance level for resisting temptation.  Ruby separates him from Kelly and the backpacker to tempt him with a truce.  She’ll send him to his most coveted place, Jacksonville, if he’ll stay out of her way while she rules over all of the dark forces that she’s unleashing.  He rejects the offer, and Ruby’s anger hints at a profound evil within.  Ash is trapped alone in the basement, searching for Pablo and Ruby, while Kelly desperately tries to find a way in from above.  Nods to the previous films are abound as Ash looks for Pablo, complete with clips from Evil Dead II and Freddy’s glove still posted to the door frame as it was decades ago as a Wes Craven Easter egg.

When Ash does find Pablo, the poor guy is birthing demons from his mouth thanks to Ruby’s control over the book.  One floor above, the cabin has banished Kelly while it eviscerates the backpacker.  It’s one of the most torturous, violent deaths in the series set to audio from the original film. While the series has never shied away from over the top blood and gore, the finale marks an all-time high in body fluids, guts, insane bloodbaths, and demon ooze. It’s impressive.

After contending with creepy, eyeless demonic children and an evil cabin with a mind of its own, the final confrontation between Kelly and Ash versus Necronomicon possessed Pablo and Ruby goes about as well as expected.  That is, the Ghostbeaters are the clear underdogs and no one takes a beating better than Ash.  When Ash gets ahold of the Candarian dagger, though, the tide turns and Ash has the power to finish it once and for all.  While Ash has experienced personal growth and built genuine relationships, he’s still who is he at his core.  Meaning, he’s always been one for taking shortcuts or the easy way out.  Which is precisely what he does when Ruby offers the truce a second time.

So, the season ends with Ruby getting what she wants.  Ash has his team healthy and free, and they’re off to Jacksonville, Florida.  Of the three Ghostbeaters, Ash is the only one thrilled with this outcome.  Pablo and Kelly sit in the backseat disappointed and terrified of the future.  With the Earth opening up and emergency alerts on the radio warning everyone to stay indoors, Ruby is well on her way to unleashing who knows what into the world.  It’s a very Ash fitting end, and one that sets up quite well for another season.

Season one has been a bit tonally all over the map, and never quite knew how to handle the characters of Fisher and Ruby.  Despite the flaws, the show has been an absolute blast so far.  Secondary characters aside, it’s the core trio that makes you want to tune in week after week.  While Bruce Campbell’s Ash already has a die-hard following, Dana DeLorenzo’s Kelly and Ray Santiago’s Pablo have seamlessly entered into the Evil Dead universe.  They’ve been able to stand out on their own as well as give Ash new depth.  In short, the Ghostbeaters are the comedic and emotional heart amidst the gloriously excessive bloodbath. The showrunners, writers, and subsequent directors have all taken great care in maintaining the Evil Dead universe while expanding it, including loving nods and Easter eggs at every turn, and it’s clear everyone involved is having fun. I can’t wait to see where the story is headed next!

What did you think about this season?