Thursday, May 15, 2014

From Dusk Till Dawn, Season 1, Episode 9: Boxman

It’s Dusk Till Dawn, let’s start with a flashback, how very novel! This time all the way back to Seth and Richie as kids getting out of the house because their dad fell asleep while smoking and set it on fire – Seth wanted to help their burning dad, but Richie dragged him out, seeming quite happy to see his dad become a much more gruesome version of the human torch.

It’s part of the flashbacks that comes with Richie turning into a vampire – and that includes Santanico morphing into Monica and stabbing out his eyes – as he stabbed out hers.

Richie grows fangs, he doesn’t need his glasses any more and all his wounds heal. Perhaps more remarkably, Santanico actually puts on an item of clothing (it’s a robe over the bikini – I mean, there are LIMITS to the impossible).

Meanwhile the living humans finally make their way to the surface – and outside. Where Richie is walking to the RV with Santanico. Seth insists on going after Richie, though Jacob warns him that Seth probably isn’t Seth any more (and gives him a stake) while Katie, Jacob and Sex Machine stay back to look for Scott.

Seth enters the RV and pretends Richie is normal, looking for Santanico. Richie bares his fangs, moves in on Seth – and then another Richie (without glasses) appears behind first Richie and bludgeons him in the head.


In the tunnels Katie and Jacob have a moment of understanding over Katie’s mother’s suicide and they run into Freddie. Who is STILL focused on killing Seth and Richie – that man is on a vengeance quest and he’s not letting a pesky thing like vampires get in the way. He tells them about Scott but Jacob and Katie insist on seeing for themselves, finally seeing innocents go into danger shakes the vengeance and he goes with them

In the RV, Seth would very much like Richie to explain these shenanigans. But while he doesn’t kill his brother, he refuses to listen and Seth charges out of the RV – into a giant empty hanger. Well, that’s unexpected. And Santanico (WEARING CLOTHES!!!) They’re in a labyrinth – a maze of the mind, put in place by the Lords of the Night, guarded by games and puzzles. It’s a prison – Santanico’s prison – and she’s been stuck in it for 500 years. And Seth can’t really say no to playing since there’s no other way out.

In addition to freeing Santanico, getting the centre of the Labyrinth (with games constructed from everyone’s memories which means yet more flashbacks) also means proving yourself worthy to the Lords of the Night. Worthy of what exactly remains to be seen. But first, Santanico has to leave or she would be cheating – she does, along with the RV.

The puzzle/game/flashback is a replica of the theft Seth tried that got him locked up – stealing from the vault of a Texan money launderer in a high class hotel he used as a front. We also find that Seth is carrying the money on him and Richie’s lack of injuries show he’s a vampire – he claims it was that or death and he’s not her slave, he’s still Seth’s brother.

Of course, it’s not an exact re-enactment of Seth’s original memories, the first contact is accompanied by people Seth and Richie hate. Which turns into  fight against vampires – and Richie vampiring and ripping out a man’s throat with his fangs.

Naturally, Seth isn’t thrilled with this turn of events, and Richie’s “I just couldn’t help it, I had to feed” is not even slightly reassuring. But Richie does discover the nifty vampire shapeshifting power.

Next improvisation has Richie talking to the rich money launderer who owns everything and throwing more sexualisation of women with a side order of transphobia into the mix (lots of trans women not being “real women” and being frauds). During which he manages to impress the big boss.

Seth gets stuck in his own memory loop – with his abusive father. Which, among other things, reveals that Richie set the fire that killed their father by pouring lighter fluid around the house. While this is happening, Richie fights a vampire in the lift. Creative use of bombs and shapeshifting later, the Geckos are alone with the big boss.

Outside, Carlos and Scott look for the money Seth hid, and don’t find it, much to Carlos’s annoyance. Scott reminds Carlos that Santanico chose Richie over him because Carlos is greedy (this is kind of proving her point). Carlos is trying to play recruiter for Scott as well, but he doesn’t buy the whole “you’re better” point and insists on going looking for his family.

Carlos goes to see Narciso, who they’ve kept alive and chained up for REASONS. He wants Narciso to help him stop Santanico being freed (this scorned man is having a temper tantrum it seems) and warns Narciso that the Gecko brothers are in the labyrinth, referring to the Popol Vuh and the legend of the heroic brothers.

Santanico and Carlos meet and there is tension – he’s jealous and she’s not happy that Carlos has lost the money.

To our gang in the tunnels under the Temple, Kate and Freddie talk about Richie’s tortured soul and how Freddie now thinks Richie was forced/manipulated into killing Monica. They enter a spooky, creepy catacomb (or a place that would be a spooky, creepy catacomb if I hadn’t watched Penny Dreadful which has a much better class of spooky, creepy catacomb). The catacomb is full of vampires – which should be really shocking to nobody – animalistic vampires that crawl and hiss and snarl and don’t actually do a whole lot of attacking and biting; they’re more melodramatic vampires. They run – but Freddie and Jacob are separated from Katie and Sex Machine.

Sex Machine praises all the wonderful history and how amazing human sacrifice is – at the same time that Freddie realises Sex Machine took his knife. Yes, Professor Sex Machine is obsessed, having a religious experience – and has been corrupted by Carlos. He’s going to sacrifice Katie. Freddie and Jacob are rescued by vampire Scott

Y’know, Renee had won with having to write silly character names with Sexicana. But with Sex Machine I guess I get to claim the crown now. Yay.

So we have pretty much officially gone beyond the film now, into an entirely new realm and story. I will mark this as the “Santanico Wears Clothes” line. It’ll be interesting to see where we go from here. I’m actually impressed at the amount of legend, world building and involved plot they have managed to extract from a film that was, basically, “kill Mexican vampires in a strip club!” There’s a lot of factions and splinters now which will be interesting to see, especially exactly what side Richie and Scott fall on now they are vampires.