From Dusk Til Dawn: the series Episodes 3, 4 + 5

There 3rd episode takes place nearly entirely in room 106 of the Dew Drop Inn. The 4th in room 207. And the fifth follows the Gecko brothers and hostages as they try to make it into Mexico and ultimately reach Titty Twisters.

Episode 3- Monica is still hostage. Seth goes out to Kahuna Burger and leaves Richie alone with Monica. For a while they hit it off. But the Richie starts calling her “Gordita” and she opens up about role playing with her husband. Richie tells her how he can see things and he snuggles up with her. Which is still creepy. But he starts hallucinating and Monica pulls the gun that Seth left Richie with. A bold move. But it turns out that the gun wasn’t loaded (which speaks volumes about what Seth really thinks of Richie)

While out at Kahuna Burger: Seth meets up with his ex-wife. He tells her that they’re taking off for Mexico and tried to pay her off with 4 million dollars for her to just go start a new life. She tells him plainly that she waited for him. Not for his money, for him. We also get some details, she helped him plan the bank job… and she is very suspicious of Richie. She even covertly had a psychiatrist profile Richie while Seth was in jail. Seth doesn’t take this well and he sends her away. She comes back with a vengeance and starts smashing up the camaro he’s driving. He tells her off, she leaves again and then when he goes to pay for his food he drops a pocket full of bullets on the counter and attracts the attention of a police officer.

Seth’s wife takes the officer hostage and clears out the burger joint. Seth heads back to the motel and finds Monica dead. Not just killed, but carved up with her eyes removed. He grabs Richie and yells “This is not who we are. This is not who you are.” But clearly it is who Richie is. And Richie actually saw things about Monica, so this is getting more supernatural elements.

The Fullers’ Winnebago acts up and Jacob ends up in a bar… and in a bottle. Kate finds evidence that her father was culpable in the death of her mother. Marshall Freddie also gets some tips that Richie is responsible for a string of murders.

Episode 4- We flash back to Freddies first assignment as a Texas Ranger. He and Earl bust in on two bad dudes and a young woman. Earl shoots one of the men in the neck and blood spurts out everywhere. Freddie starts screaming and ends up throwing up and questioning becoming a Ranger. He is subsequently haunted ab “bleeding neck man” for the rest of the episode,

The fallout from Monica’s death and being spotted at Kahuna Burger means the Gecko brothers have to get out of town faster. They spot the Fullers and decide that they can hide in the RV. They take the family hostage. Richie goes to get Katie from  the pool, she’s been reading up on the car accident that killed her mother. She finds that her father wasn’t drunk, but that there was no issue with the breaks as he originally stated. There are flashbacks showing him “healing” their mother. Richie envisions her bleeding out into the pool. He i kind to Katie and says that he knows that she’s hurting. He tells her that he sees things. Growing up very religious, Katie believes that he is he is touched by God. But inevitably, he creeps her out.

Freddie Gonzales arrives on scene at Kahuna Burger and shows Seth’s wife photos of murder victims. He plays up that Richie is dangerous, maybe even for Seth. So she tells him that they stopped at a local motel and that he’s driving a smashed up black Camaro. Freddie arrives at the Dew Drop in and goes looking for the Geckos, met with snarky attitudes from the employees. Once he does find Seth, the ensuing melee results in the death of two cops.

Episode 5- Jacob Fuller, is remembering his wife’s death. She grabbed the wheel and ran them off of the road. What he has healing her from is pretty mysterious, but it appears to be some sort of possession. Richie starts imagining that Jacob is a lizard man and that Scott has a lizard tail. Katie seems left out of any of these hallucinations.I’m not sure exactly why. 

They end up at Boarder Patrol and things go from bad to worse. Scott pulls a gun on Richie, the ensuing argument leads Jacob to bumping into the car in front of him and leading to him knocking out the hipster driver and taking him hostage. Richie’s hallucinations involving Santanico Pandemonium get more intense. 

Carlos and Seth have been at odds after all the commotion and attention. Carlos infiltrates the Boarder Patrol barracks and feeds on an officer, taking on his form. This was done through a series of time and perspective shifts and it was very interesting. I was wondering why he was telling Freddie to holster his weapon. After that intervention they make it to Titty Twisters. 

What did I think? The additional details are thus far making the story more confusing than clear.from Jacob exorcising his wife, Richie seeing Scott with a lizard tail, the Marshalls thinking that Richie is a hitman for the blood cult/cartel… it’s a lot.Women still seemingly have no motivations of their own. The men do all the stuff while the women dote …or die. Jacob knocking out the other driver and Seth nodding “Old Testament.” was awesome. That was probably my favorite moment. There’s a lot here that’s being done more tamely than in the movie. It’s not a complaint but I am wondering why Rodriguez decided to do that. Carlos being out in broad daylight flies in the face of “How Vampires Work 101”

From Dusk Till Dawn: the series Ep2

“Got your balls on?”

“Screwed on tight.”

The Gecko brothers are casually stopped and sitting out in the open discussing Mexican food. The interaction is poorly acted and stiff. It’s also a flashback to right before their last bank robbery. In the present, Freddie Gonzales is alerting the other Marshalls about the altercation at the Liquor store with the Gecko brothers. 

Richie has a hole through is hand and is acting increasingly irrational. Richie is also not pleased that Seth lost his knife (Earl picked it up and it got left behind). The knife had an eye drawn on it. Richie drew eyes on the two female hostages from the liquor store… and also, there’s another hostage in the trunk. A female bank employee. 

All women have been hostages or neglected housewives so far. I noticed.

Most of this episode takes place in flashbacks to the bank robbery. The woman in the truck is a hard worker and a mother of two who keeps her daughters cell phone in her coat a secret when the Geckos collect electronics, she sticks up for her coworkers and she tries to get Richie to turn against Seth, They try to break into the bank vault: no one has the code, Richie can’t crack it (because of the hypersexualized Latina in his head) and Seth ends up drilling his way in. The police arrive and Richie grabs the woman and goes for the killshot on every arriving LEO Seth opts for blowing up the cars. 

In the present the woman kicks in the trunk and Richie nearly runs them off the road.

Seth calls Carlos who says he’s “working.” Carlos intercepts Kyle who is going to pick up his girlfriend Katie (the daughter of guest star Robert Patrick’s character). Katie is being “kidnapped” by her father who has lost his grip since the death of their mother along with her adopted brother. But Carlos goes all snake eyes and fanged and sucks out Kyle’s essence. That scene was particularly cool. Especially when his ungloved hand starts smoking in the sun. Then Carlos (shapeshifted as Kyle) continues on to pick up Katie and ends up fist fighting Robert Patrick. It’s a weird world when Fez can take down the T-1000. 

Out in the middle of the desert, Richie draws an eye with the blood of a dead dog. He has a rare moment of realization that maybe something is going wrong with himself. Freddie is rewatching the video tape (that his wife takes for neglecting his family) and sees the bunny eared phone case, he surmises that it’s her daughter’s phone and gives a call. The Gecko brothers hear it ring from the trunk and Seth answers and showboats a little bit. Which is ridiculous, he’s the clever one, right? He knows they can trace phone calls. Freddie arrives that the scene. The Geckos are long gone but he finds the dog blood eyeball.

The scenes with Wilmer Valderrama were the best. Unfortunately there weren’t many. Some scenes were incredibly stiff. I’m always excited to see Robert Patrick doing stuff. Lot’s of things happen out of chronology, leaving me to be like “Why are we having a picnic right after we killed people?” But it’s pretty tight Robert Rodriguez is making this work so far.

From Dusk Till Dawn- episode 1

This is one of those things that I heard about and was originally baffled about it. From Dusk Til Dawn is great source material. But expanding one film into nearly 13 hours? Seems excessive.

But the first episode lends depth to characters; emotional motivation for detectives on the trail of the Gecko brothers, Richie’s “mental illness as supernatural power” or “supernatural power that presents itself as mental illness”, Seth protectiveness over Richie.

The first episode takes place almost entirely at a liquor store (which I had thought was a gas station… whatever) where Richie takes hostages while Seth tries to make arrangements with a drug lord (“Carlos” played by Wilmer Valderrama). DJ Cotrona does an awesome George Clooney impression throughout the episode. Cotrona does a great job the swagger is dead on Clooney without being overdone. Zane Holtz interpretation of Tarantino’s character, Richie Gecko, seemed slightly more camp to me. The first 10 minutes is stretched into 45, but aside from digging deeper, there isn’t too many liberties taken. Richie takes hostages and has an itchy trigger finger, and quickly starts hallucinating serpentine vampire girls.

Don Johnson plays Earl McGraw a Texas Rangers after the Gecko brothers, along with partner Freddie Gonzales (Jesse Garcia). The length of time available allows us into their mindset (tenacious law enforcement officers) by exploring into their background like in scenes of Freddie asking McGraw to be his young daughter’s godfather. McGraw discussing how much of his daughter’s life that he missed while on the job. McGraw telling Freddie to get the Geckos if he has to follow them to the gates of Hell. It’s still stereotypical, but it’s good enough. 

The quicker you get over it and remember that this is Robert Rodriguez’s project which translates into “this is very good looking camp” the easier it will be to enjoy. 

Certainly worth a look, especially for fans of the source material.

There are some overused tropes the “mental illness/supernatural power” thing, the hyper-sexualized Latina, tenacious LEO with a personal vendetta. 

The (original) film was released in 1996. I’m not entirely sure when this takes place. There were also 2 knock off sequels and the making of documentary Full Tilt Boogie spawned from that flick, do we need 13 episodes of it? It remains to be seen.