Brandon Soo Hoo
So we are at the halfway point of the first season of From Dusk Till Dawn The Series. Thus far the show has had its ups and downs and has struggled with keeping a rabid horror audience that is always open to new material interested. As I mentioned in my review for Episode Four, these episodes were very much make or break. The last episode made strides towards getting the show on track, something that I had attributed to the return to the director’s chair of Robert Rodriguez, overseer of this project and director of the original film.
A little bit of information I should divulge. Before I view every episode I do a little research into the show, looking into who directed them, as well as past credits of the cast members. Knowing this was a very pivotal episode I was intrigued when I saw that the director’s seat was to be filled by Joe Menendez, who’s work I was not familiar with. A quick review of his IMDB page did not fill me with much hope as many of his credits were for pre-teen Nickolodeon shows. But on the bright side, maybe tackling something a little more violent and adult would allow him to cut loose.
The episode starts with a flashback to the crash that killed Jacob’s wife. It is however very brief and we move to the RV on its way to the Mexican border. Pre-credits we get a brief back and forth between Seth and Jacob which shows how much both D.J. Cotrona and Robert Patrick have settled into their roles. We also see that Richie is continuing to have his visions of the beautiful Santanico, filling his head with paranoia. After a brief phone conversation between Seth and Carlos which gives us an idea into how hot-headed Carlos can be, we get to meet with Gonzalez back at the Dew Drop Inn where he is once again being reprimanded for his actions. After being placed in cuffs and ordered to be taken away to Austin for review and having a vision of Earl (at this point I will not be surprised if everyone on the show has a vision at some point!) he makes an escape so that he can stay hot on the Gecko’s trail.
The remainder of the episode focuses mostly on the border crossing. Menendez does a good job building suspense throughout these scenes which is quite remarkable given that anyone with half a brain knows they are going to get through successfully. Another major change from the film comes here with the addition of Carlos helping the RV get through successfully. Carlos takes the form of one of the Border Patrol officers and has a face to face meeting with Gonzalez which is almost humorous in a way since he is telling him all these details about the man to himself.
We also get to see how dedicated Jacob is to following the orders of the Geckos, intercut with the car accident that took his wife, showing us what really happened. As they get through the border successfully Jacob finally reveals the details of that night to Kate and Scott, followed by another interaction between Carlos and the Ranger, which leads to a shootout between some of Carlos’ men and the Border Patrol. The episode ends with the whole RV gang successfully getting to the Titty Twister, so it now seems inevitable that things are going to be picking up.
While this is once again a bit of a stalling episode, it does seem like this episode was not in vain as it leads us to where a good chunk of the action will be taking place. While it is very frustrating that it took half the season to get to where it needed to be, hopefully they are able to make the long wait worth it. Whether that will happen or not remains to be seen, but if they stay true to what the original film accomplished, the action that takes place inside the bar will be phenomenal.
Given the timeline of the film and the series thus far, I would place good money on the next episode being largely vampire and horror free, probably ending with the revealing of the bar’s staff and patrons as what they really are. I am hoping I am wrong, but thankfully this episode pulled off keeping the viewing audience intrigued enough to stick with it. Hopefully they do not squander the moderately good will they’ve acquired.
From Dusk Till Dawn The Series Episode Five Self Contained is currently available for streaming on mostly every Netflix country except the US.