Brandon Soo Hoo
Three episodes in and most of our protagonists have had their time to be established. We know a bit of their back stories and their motives. Of course, having seen the original film as most assuredly a great percentage of the viewing audience has, we know what is to become of many of them. That is, if the show does not throw us a curveball and change the fates of many of them. So at this point in the series, there needs to be some action or they risk losing viewers. In fact, I’ve already seen fan reaction stating that the show is taking too long to get truly moving and they have given up. For many, this episode, and possibly the next are make or break. So, does the show make the necessary steps forward?
The episode begins with a flashback to the Fuller family matriarch, introducing her husband Jacob in church. The speech she gives ties everyone together through a bit of a montage, featuring Seth and Ranger Gonzalez. We then see Kate driving the RV and deciding to stop at the next hotel to give her father some time to rest and sober up. Unfortunately for the Fullers, they’ve chosen the Dew Drop Inn, the same place the notorious Gecko brothers are currently residing. In the pre-credits sequence we get their first encounter.
After the credits roll we see Ranger Gonzalez hot on the trail of the Geckos with the newfound information of a blood cult that seems to be working with them. Given his promise to Earl back in the first episode, he does get support from his superior officers despite them previously telling him to lay down.
Seth and Richie then take the Fullers hostage, although Kate has gone to the pool. Seth sends Richie down to get her in fear of what he might do if left alone again. Zane Holtz does a phenomenal job with this scene and his creepiness level gets amped up to eleven with his visions of the young Madison Davenport who also steps up her game in this scene. This may be the first time in the series where it appears that they have fully embraced their characters, and it is worth noting that while Kate and Richie are down at the pool, Seth is in the hotel room with Jacob and Scott. While Brandon Soo Hoo doesn’t get much to do during these scenes, both D.J.Cotrona and the always awesome Robert Patrick truly shine.
We then get a flashback to one of the first days on the job for Ranger Gonzalez, with Earl. We show how much of a bad ass that Earl was, having no second thoughts about putting a bullet in someone. This leads to Freddie having a vision in his truck of one of the criminals shot on that day. He then passes by the Big Kahuna Burger and talks down Vanessa, Seth’s ex-wife. But not before getting some information on where Seth and Richie is, on the pretense of saving Seth from Richie.
Gonzalez ends up at the Dew Drop Inn just before the Gecko/Fuller roadshow gets on its way. We get some humorous interaction between Scott and Richie (including a Bruce Lee exchange which cemented my thought on Holtz totally making the role his own and outshining the original performance by Quentin Tarantino) and then some tense scenes involving Gonzalez tracking the brothers. Gonzalez almost gets the, but thanks to another vision he gets delayed resulting in their inevitable escape. But Seth does take a bullet to the arm on their way out.
As I previously mentioned, this was a make or break episode and thankfully the show seemed to get its balls back.
This may be due to the return of Robert Rodriguez to the director’s chair, or just the fact that the story finally gets moving again. Either way, it paid off in spades, and as long as they don’t start dragging their feet again, everything should be decent moving forward. Of course, it could all go downhill next episode. I can’t recall any show in recent memory that bounces up and down like this one.
Check out Episode Four now streaming on Netflix!