From Dusk Till Dawn 2×06 ‘Bizarre Tales’ recap & review

fromdusktilldawn

By Jes Vu

Hope you aren’t too worn out, ramblers! We’re over half way through From Dusk Till Dawn. Appropriately titled ‘Bizarre Tales’, this episode (in showrunner Carlos Coto’s directorial debut) showcases flashbacks and even gives us a bit of a history and mythology lesson.

Sex Machine Lives Up to His Name

Narcisco (who’s grown back his face) locates Sex Machine and isn’t quite happy with the latter’s search for the oil bonds. Sex Machine thought he could solve the map with the current bonds and the codex, but the four remaining bonds are vital to crack the code.

The Gecko Double Date

Like the previous episode, I actually found the Gecko brothers the least interesting here. But that’s because there are more interesting stories happening outside of them—though that’s not to say they aren’t entertaining.

Having discovered Malvado’s hideout, the brothers (along with Santanico and Sonja) meet to discuss a plan over dinner. Their goals: Richie and Santanico want to kill Malvado while Seth and Sonja want to rob him.

Seth’s reluctant to work with them, but it’s really a clash of egos. I started to think Seth was chauvinistic with women (like how he tried to order food for Sonja only to learn she’s a vegetarian), but I believe he likes to take control in general. Despite his codependency on Richie, Seth has always been accustomed to being in a position of power with his brother. So maybe ego is the reason he’s reluctant to believe in Richie. Either way, it’s no wonder Richie is trying so hard to prove his capabilities.

Sonja and Santanico aren’t exactly getting along either. We all know Sonja is shady as hell, but it’s not a question of what Sonja will do, but whom she’s connected to. Confronting Sonja at the bar, Santanico makes Sonja break her shot glass, cutting herself. Santanico’s suspicions are confirmed when she tastes Sonja’s blood.

Meanwhile, the Gecko brothers, unable to wait for the dates, begin to eat. Boy, is it amusing. It’s a long scene of passive aggressive silence and chewing noises. Actions speak louder than words, and no one knows the other better than each other: Richie gives Seth pepper/salt, and Seth gets Richie Tabasco for his food. In that moment, Seth agrees with collaborating.

On the other hand, Santanico confronts Sonja in the bathroom. But the brothers arrive to save Sonja from Santanico’s wrath and are reluctant to believe her.

Lord of Stories and the Return of Sheriff Earl McGraw

Freddie and Kate are quickly becoming a favorite for me in their mentor-student relationship, and it’s through their story, we ‘re heavily delving into the Mesoamerican mythology of the show.

The remaining oil bonds are with Freddie when he intercepted them from Vanessa last season. And remember the bodies Freddie discovered earlier? Well, they return again when they arrive at the coroner. Learning that the killer’s blood is under the victim’s nails, Freddie does a blood exchange to learn more (is there a term for this yet?). His visions are flashbacks of ancient times, and instead of five bodies being sacrificed, it’s a thousand. The visions overwhelm him to the point Kate has to stabilize him.

Freddie’s mentor, Earl McGraw, may be gone, but his presence still lingers greatly through the threads of the show. They learn that Earl (Jesse Johnson via flashbacks) was investigating a similar mass murder in the 80’s. Earl had encountered Gabriel Cruz, a migrant who escaped the serial killer. Gabriel provided Earl one clue: the logo of an oil company, similar to the symbol carved on his forehead. However, the remaining files leave much to be desired leaving Freddie and Kate to further investigate themselves.

Locating the company, they encounter Celestino Occulto (Hemky Madera). Not only is he the killer, but one of the Nine Lords and the creator of the bonds/map to his secret: the blood well. Through flashbacks, we learn Earl didn’t pursue his investigation further because Occulto threatened his family. Being unable to help Gabriel, Earl accepted his request watch over his son in his absence as his wife raised their son. It further emphasizes the tragedy of Freddie’s history as it parallels greatly to his own situation with his family. Will Freddie suffer his father’s fate? Is Gabriel where Freddie got his ancient warrior genetics? It makes me wonder if Gabriel is still alive and if Freddie will one day reunite with him.

The Regulator and Malvado arrive, but not before Occulto enables Freddie and Kate to escape undetected with the remaining bonds. However, before they do, they watch Malvado kills Occulto.

Occulto wasn’t a good guy—he did sacrifice innocent people over the centuries—but he wasn’t exactly siding with Malvado either. He seemed intent about hiding his blood well and even protected our protagonists. So why would it be so dangerous if this blood well got into the wrong fangs?

I’m also hoping that won’t be the last we see of Occulto too; Hemky Madera was absolutely charming and fun in his role. The Nine Lords were never human in the first place; they’re from another realm and are technically gods, so please tell me he’s not permanently gone?

The Most Handsome of Pancho Villa’s Men

The Regulator had dropped Carlos at the Titty Twister for Narcisco. The latter wants to make a deal with Carlos as partners, but Carlos is smart enough to know that’s not the case. For a long time, I thought Narcisco was Carlos’s elder, but in their conversation, we learn Narcisco was actually one of Pancho Villa’s bank robbers and that Carlos was the one who sired him.

Scott (who has apparently taken ninja lessons) arrives and aligns himself with Carlos against Narcisco, easily overpowering him. Carlos then decapitates his former friend outside before detonating the Titty Twister. Paralleling his former commander Hernán Cortés, Carlos destroys the Titty Twister—there’s no turning back now.

I confess: I didn’t care about Carlos much before. But his scenes with Narcisco hit hard as it unraveled the depth of their history, friendship and rivalry. There’s something darkly poetic about the fact that Carlos both gave and took his life. His detonation of the Titty Twister is also absolutely metaphorical, symbolizing how he’s moving on from the past (Narcisco, Santanico, etc.) Kudos to whoever chose the last song during the explosion—it’s absolutely haunting.

Other Notes

  • Narcisco grew back his face and apparently Sex Machine literally grew back the penis he lost in his childhood. But they’re culebras—snakes—it makes sense that they can grow back their lost limbs and skin.
  • Sex Machine has to be on his own side. I don’t trust him, but I never did in the first place.
  • Flashback!Earl McGraw was one fine
  • Nice to see Kate finally gets her crossbow as shown in her character card. Same with Scott and his blades.
  • Dos Equis product placement have been very amusing.
  • Malvado murdering Occulto was brutal when he stuck his hand in his throat and pulled out that snake. However, Santanico wasn’t sired traditionally—she had a snake forced down her throat. Would that make her somewhat god-like compared to the other culebras?
  • Fun fact: Showrunner Carlos Coto revealed via Twitter that the weapon Occulto had is the macuahuitl from Mesoamerican lore.
  • So the Nine Lords are siblings…so they’re like the Mikaelsons of The Originals, but less overdramatic?

Let us know you thoughts about the episode below!

If you want to relive the first six episodes of season 2, catch the marathon this Saturday, October 3 at 12pm on El Rey Network. Otherwise, catch the next episode of From Dusk Till Dawn Tuesday at 9pm ET /8pm CT on El Rey Network and Wednesdays on Netflix internationally.

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