Ash vs Evil Dead treated viewers twice during the penultimate episode of the season. The first was another throwback to the movies — this time the more comedic aspects of Army of Darkness — but the second had more to do with the identity of Ruby Knowby (Lucy Lawless) — a character with supposed ties to Evil Dead II. Spoilers abound, so if you haven’t watched “Bound in Flesh” yet, then read at your own risk.
We begin where “Ashes to Ashes” left off — with another reminder of just how great the films are. Instead of revisiting the more horrifying moments of the first two movies, however, “Bound in Flesh” recreates one of the most central fights in Army of Darkness. That is, Ash’s (Bruce Campbell) battle with himself.
In Evil Dead II, Ash saws off his right hand after the evil possesses it. The time-traveling, medieval-set sequel upped the ante with an evil double whom Ash initially defeats, then chops into bits and buries. However, the evil eventually reanimates the double so that he could raise an army against Ash and the locals.
“Ashes to Ashes” ends with yet another Ash double, this time sourced from his sawed-off hand. He kills Michigan state trooper Amanda Fisher (Jill Marie Jones), then dukes it out with the real Ash until the episode’s final moments. When Kelly (Dana DeLorenzo) and Pablo (Ray Santiago) make it to the cabin during this week’s cold open, the two Ashes are still beating the sh*t out of each other.
What follows is the kind of blood-soaked comedy fans of Campbell and creator Sam Raimi’s work were first introduced to in Evil Dead II. Army of Darkness expanded this aspect of the series to great effect, and Ash vs Evil Dead successfully reproduces it for television. Two Ashes — one is a socially regressive, cowardly anti-hero, and the other is the literal embodiment of evil. Hence why Kelly and Pablo have no problem determining which is which.