From Dusk Till Dawn 2×08 ‘The Last Temptation of Richard Gecko’ Review/Recap

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By Jes Vu

We’re only a few episodes away from the finale now and that means many things: action, heartbreak, and for a supernatural crime series like this? Death.

“Innocent blood sheds innocent blood.”

Delivery for Malvado! What’s in the bag? Narcisco’s head of course! Only Carlos would.

With the map/oil bonds in hand, Carlos and Sex Machine team up in search of Occulto’s blood well. In order to activate the map, they need to complete a ritual—innocent blood must shed innocent blood. Meaning Kate must kill an innocent man they kidnapped in order to open the map. Scott manages to convince Kate to do it, but when she hesitates, Scott forces her hand. While Kate mourns, the sky turns into night and from there, Sex Machine is able to locate the blood well through the stars. Poetic, right?

We’re Off to Kill Malvado

To infiltrate Jacknife Jed’s, Seth, Richie, Sonja and Santanico use the culebra-managed Greely’s meat factory as a disguise (Winchester Greely, Balthazar and their employees don’t really have a choice in the matter to be more accurate.) The plan? Greely and Richie (disguised as Balthazar) will gain clearance from Malvado’s arbiter to allow clearance for Seth and Sonja to transport Santanico (who would be hidden in the freezer cargo.) Santanico warns Richie not to allow Malvado to get into his head. Foreshadowing, yes?

Arriving at Jacknife’s, the Arbiter determines, through stones, if the tributes they brought pleases their lords. Greely fortunately gets the white stone assuring the truck’s clearance as well as their lives. But it’s not over: an employee inspects the external parts of the truck. Concerned, Seth diverts the employee as Freddie escapes from under the truck.

In a flashback, we learn that Freddie has teamed up with the Gecko’s. While Seth and Sonja are after Malvado’s money, and Richie and Santanico are after Malvado’s head, Freddie is here to take back Occulto’s prophetic key—the Macuahuitl—and prevent it from getting into the wrong hands.

Malvado’s True Goals

Carlos (with Scott and Kate) arrive at Malvado’s office revealing he found the blood well and demands the Macuahuitl. Carlos knows Malvado’s goal: He wants to release the souls from the blood well as an offering to the gods in order to leave this realm and enter paradise—El Rey, in otherwords. However Malvado needs a successor first, which is why Carlos and Narcisco were pitted against each other. Carlos feels he has earned the position and Malvado doesn’t deny his claims. Amused, Malvado tells him where the Macuahuitl is, however, in return, Kate has to remain with him for the time being. Scott objects with abandoning his sister, but Kate assures him that what Malvado really wants is Santanico, and reminds him of the sacrifices she’s made to get him so far.

Madison Davenport has been bringing her game this season with all her scenes with Brandon Soo Hoo. It’s heartbreaking and touching because despite everything they’ve went through and everything Scott’s done, there’s no doubt his concern for his sister’s well-being is genuine. She has “a little chisel in his heart.” So maybe there’s hope left for the Fuller siblings (I mean, that’s what Brandon Soo Hoo said at NYCC this week)? Either way, Scott listens and leaves with Carlos.

Kate tells Malvado she isn’t afraid of him, however, Malvado says she should before he has Alice, his minion, knock her out.

Traitors

Do you remember how I always thought Sonja was shady despite what she told Seth? Well, I was right.

Sonja cuts the wires from Santanico’s cargo revealing herself as Malvado’s mole. Unfortunately for her, one of Greely’s culebras discovers her tampering. To hide her tracks, Sonja kills the culebra and tells Seth they can’t be trusted. Seth kills the other culebra, however, confronta Sonja on his suspicions and connects the dots: Sonja had made a deal with Malvado for money, that she informed the Regulator of their location, which resulted in Uncle Eddie’s death. Sonja attempts to assure that everyone benefits, but Seth says otherwise. Feeling the weight of his uncle’s death, Seth shoots Sonja. “I don’t even know who you are,” he says as she dies.

I’ve always been open about how Sonja was never a character that worked with me. I found Seth and Sonja’s relationship forced especially in the romantic nature of it. A platonic, but sexual relationship would more realistic (because they barely know each other), but it seemed like the writers wanted to show there was something more? However because it felt forced, it didn’t work. But even though I wasn’t attached to Sonja, I felt there was a lot of disjustice to how her character was killed off. Unlike Vanessa last season (who despite her short stint was so well developed and felt real in her relationship with Seth), Sonja was trope—she was your Femme Fatale. She was a prop for the plot and for Seth’s pain, and it felt like her death happened in order to tie up loose ends. Because her character and the relationship never came off genuine to me, I find it hard to care for Sonja or even Seth’s loss. If I’m moving on from it so easily—that’s a problem (or maybe I’m just void of feelings?)

Either way, see you later Sonja. I’ve moved on long ago.

Seth releases Santanico and tries to warm her up (snakes don’t do well in the cold after all.) Malvado’s men arrive and a shootout occurs. Seth sets up an explosion by shooting the gas tanks killing the men, however, burns Santanico in the process. But it warms and wakes her up and by the time Seth returns to her side, she’s gone.

The Chase for the Key

Freddie retrieves the Macuahuitl first. When he puts the remaining obsidian piece to the key, he’s overwhelmed by the visions of the sacrifice. However he’s ambushed by another culebra. Managing to kill him, he escapes, however blood from his wound remains in the room signaling Team Carlos to go after him. Sex Machine takes back the key before Carlos and Scott bury Freddie alive.

The Last Temptation of Richard Gecko

In the meanwhile, the Arbiter guides Greely and Richie down to Malvado only to reveal he brought them to his torture chamber. The Arbiter had sensed Santanico was here all along. Restraining them, the Arbiter skins Greely alive while Richie receives visions of Santanico please for help. He forces his hand through the stakes and escapes—The Arbiter however is not so concerned about it. The plea however is revealed to be Malvado’s trick to lure him to him.

Malvado knows Richie wants his empire and pokes at Richie’s inferiority complex with Seth and his desire for independence from the Gecko Brothers name. Malvado wants to offer Richie his position as a final step in order to enter El Rey assuring it’s a win-win for them both. He suggest Richie to try his chair out only to be please that Richie has long seat himself at the throne of his desk. With their communications severed, Santanico realizes she’s lost him.

Other Notes:

  • “I was going to give a fuck, but I’m all out of fucks to give.” Carlos to Malvado. Combined with him dropping air in Malvado’s hand, it became the BEST line of the episode and maybe my favorite line this season thus far.
  • All we know is that El Rey is paradise. But what is it exactly?
  • How did Malvado and his siblings even enter this realm? There’s so much mythology coming at us, but there’s still more questions. The slow world building has been fantastic.
  • Where the hell is Paloma? Is she gone for good?

Will you miss (or not miss) Sonja? Has Richie really betrayed Seth and Santanico and do you think there’s still hope left for the Fuller siblings?

Be sure to tune in for the final two episodes of From Dusk Till Dawn Tuesdays at 9pm ET/8pm CT on El Rey Network or Wednesday on Netflix internationally.

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