From Dusk Till Dawn 2×04 ‘The Best Little Horror House in Texas’

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By Jes Vu

I’m torn.

Torn from thinking there was too much going on for one episode. Torn from wanting to see more. Torn from loving this episode. All at once.

Head Goddess in Charge

Richie’s a hypocrite. He may have a rule about not eating civilians, but he’s not as moral as he likes to hold himself. And, I think it’s starting to hit Santanico that he may not be as understanding of her as she initially thought. Richie wants to take advantage of Malvado’s human trafficking operation after they kill him.

So far in this season, it felt more like Richie was leading her. But their scene is a reminder of who’s actually in charge. Santanico kicks Richie’s ass—and it’s pretty freaking awesome. She makes it clear: She doesn’t want to just kill Malvado—she wants to destroy his whole kingdom.

And she says all this while threatening to smash his face into his car. What a HBIC.

But when it comes to Santanico, what I Iove is the theme of what it means to be a god(dess). It’s a title she rejects. It’s attached to her years of captivity and sexual trauma under Malvado. To her, there’s no power or agency being a goddess.

However, being dubbed a ‘goddess’ is taking on a new meaning. Being a goddess means to be a protector, particularly to the other women in the story (and I adore the amount of girl power developing.) She may not know it now, but she’s already taking on that role.

That’s why Paloma and Santanico’s relationship is becoming one of my new favorites this season. Despite the contradictory nature of it, Santanico does hold her word to protect Paloma—in this case, against the madam of the human auction. The incident reveals Santanico’s culebra face, yet despite her monstrous form, the religiously devout Paloma realizes that this situation is far bigger than she realizes and that Santanico may be the goddess she’s been praying to all this time.

I’ve also noticed how much darker this season is compared to last’s, especially entering the human trafficking storyline. But the sick part is human auction does in fact exist to this day. If you didn’t notice, Paloma is wearing a quinceañera dress.

“Quinceañera for Latinos—[it’s] the right of passage when they turn 15.” Joe Menendez, the episode’s director, told me during a previous interview. “For Latinos, they throw a big party. To make all these girls seem even younger than what they were, the pervy part of the sales tactics is put all the girls in quinceañera dresses.”

It’s pretty sick when you think about it, and sicker when you learn this actually happens.

The Battle of the Exes

Carlos makes a surprise appearance at the auction, but Richie and Santanico’s plan works nonetheless. He’s immediately enamored by Paloma. Though he buys all the girls, he wants Paloma for himself.

Once again, Santanico comes to her rescue and Paloma seems to be caught up between two exes. Who knows Santanico better than Carlos? Five hundred years together, Carlos knows exactly what to say and throws Malvado’s words right at her. He mocks her and point out her hypocrisy—she’s got to play dirty with the boys to fight them. Her anger takes control, and Carlos easily disables her with a gun.

Horror Night at the Fullers

Joe Menendez must have had loads of fun directing Kate and Scott’s story. It’s very much like an 80’s teen horror film (or Teen Wolf as some fans on Twitter have noted.) And it’s completely appropriate, tense, yet a whole lot of fun.

Still, it’s heartbreaking how Kate’s trying to piece whatever’s left of her family and trying so hard to see the good in her brother.

Kate tracks Scott back to their hometown of Bethel, but Scott rejects her offer to help him with his cravings. Losing his sister, he lures three of his old bullies to the woods, and there’s no doubt he has darker intentions in mind as he gets them high on drugs (and they’re too high to realize Scott’s hand catching fire is not normal). I do think he fully intended to make a meal out of them (the official summary had dubbed it ‘revenge’), but he’s caught up in their attention that he forgets. We have to remember, Scott was bullied; he’s an outcast. But finally, they think he’s cool. More than his hunger for blood, he hungry for acceptance.

A group of girls arrive to the party, including Jessica (Allie DeBerry), Kate’s friend and Scott’s crush. But the attraction was mutual all along (and I have to say Brandon Soo Hoo is at his best when Scott is confident—He can be super smooth.) It gets intimate, but having not fed, Scott’s hunger gets the best of him and he kills her.

Kate finds him and reluctantly assists in burying her friend. The weight of everything finally causes her to break down when she’s alone. The dearly departed Rafa (Patrick Davis) appears—Rafa, we missed you! He assures her she needs to be there for Scott as his moral voice. But Kate realizes more than anything that it’s also the other way around: she’s the one who needs Scott more than anything or anyone.

I’m not quite sure if Rafa’s appearance is a coping mechanism for Kate or if it is supernatural. I’m inclined to think it’s the former, but the scene feels so randomly placed. As much as I love Rafa, I’m not sure if it worked for me. Whatever he is, it’s enough for Kate to return to her brother.

But the wrong voices have already gotten to Scott’s head as Carlos’s earlier words are starting to finally hit him. He’s high on power, and it’s disturbing how fascinated he is about eating people’s souls. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s spent three months in a temple full of culebras, but he’s not guilty or disgusted by the fact that he just killed a girl (and a girl he actually liked.) He’s not even trying.

But he tells Kate he’ll protect her—by turning her. He’s close to doing so, until Freddie arrives to stop him—that man has impeccable timing.

The Rise of Seth Gecko

Now traveling together, Seth and Sonja arrive at Uncle Eddie’s for a favor only to discover Richie had visited earlier. Eddie gives the same advice to Seth as he did to Richie—they’re nothing without each other.

Three thoughts here:

1) Sonja is growing on me. I love her snarkiness and I love her dynamic with Uncle Eddie—but I don’t trust her. She gave one of those ‘looks’ that she’s hiding something. I’m still wondering what her endgame is outside of wanting reparations.

2) I do love that Seth wasn’t stuck in an angst-fest for too long. He’s back in his trademark suit, spitting out monologues before kicking people’s butts. I missed that.

3) I also love the mention to Seth’s ex-wife, Vanessa (Adrienne Palicki.) She was one of my favorites last season, and for such a short-term character, I found her and her relationship with Seth so well-written. But seriously Seth? You don’t even ask about Vanessa? WTF? She’s spending 20 years in prison for you!

Unfortunately, the peace doesn’t last long: one of Nathan Blanchard’s men arrives. He wants revenge on Richie for killing his brother.

It’s far from a gripping cliffhanger, but this episode does feel more like part one of two, and next Tuesday can’t come any sooner!

 

Other Notes:

  • Not mentioned above: Sending love for Esai Morales. He’s so debonair and sinister as Malvado. Also, I found it hilarious how normal a Mesoamerican god could be during his business conversation on the phone.
  • The scene between Esai and Wilmer clashing was A+. Amazing.
  • Apparently Mesoamerican gods use Apple computers.
  • The episode overall was quite “pec”-tacular. So much fanservice. All the abundance of shirtlessness is almost as bad as the Vampire Diaries. And no, that’s not a complaint. (Also cue me going to the gym.)
  • Kate and Scott: Someone please teach these kids how to bury a body because that grave was way too shallow.
  • “That’s not how you treat family.” Seriously, Jesse Garcia has some of the best cheesy lines this season.

Catch From Dusk Till Dawn Tuesdays 9pm EST/8pm CT on El Rey Network or Wednesdays on Netflix internationally.

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