Thursday, September 17, 2015

From Dusk Till Dawn, Season 2, Episode 4: The Best Little Horror House in Texas

We have a flashback – to when the Titty Twister was the Twister saloon – and when Santanico was still dancing for a crowd of men to gather blood of the vampires – and still watched and controlled by Malvado and used by him. Though Carlos, even back then, tried to insinuate himself closer to her though Malvado pushed him away. Because he knows she’s the super special one honest – while she continues to mouth the words he wants to hear while glaring at her, before he rapes her.

To the present, Sanatnico is lost in thought of the past and their plan to follow the trafficked women to Malvado’s hide out. She’s also wondering what’s going to happen next since Richie still wants to step into Malvado’s shoes.

She demands he pulls over and gets out the car while he tries to convince her not to break all the things while h rants on about how he’s going to do this she snaps, snarls and smacks him to the ground. They both go Calebros and the fight is on – it only stops when Richie gasps “the car” when she’s about to slam his head into it.

Yes I laughed. Yes I’m ashamed of that. Yes I’d laugh again.

She lays down the law – Malvado will die, his world turned to dust and there will be no more slavery.

Carlos and Malvado talk about the prophecy, the treasure that Aiden (Sex Machine) can find now he has his book – and Carlos is worried that Santanico may get the treasure first. This is just a lead in for Carlos poking Malvado about Santanico still being free and robbing his shipments. He isn’t impressed by the seemingly indestructible Regulator on the hunt. Malvado isn’t impressed – manhandling Carlos and accusing him of trying to have sex with Santanico again (after Malvado “shared” her with him another strike in the “ want to see Santanico kill this guy” column) and deciding he doesn’t need Carlos any more. Carlos pushes his luck taunting the Santanico will be looking for him.

Back to Richie who continues to do business with his verbose Nathan in a strip club while Santanico is in the back with the trafficked women, including Paloma the woman she recently forced to dance. Paloma is fearful and praying and refuses to go out to dance even when Santanico promises her no-one will touch her and they’ll both destroy the organisation. The Madam there decides to inject her with something – and slaps Santanico when she stops her. Yeah, Madam Diana becomes lunch and Santanico assumes his appearance. Paloma is duly impressed – even as Santanico uses the same worlds Malvado used on her to convince Paloma.

Carlos and his people arrive to see the girls with a plan to buy – Richie and Santanico quickly hide so he doesn’t recognise them; Santanico continues to play Diana, keeping on plan.

Paloma comes out and dances while they bid on her – she attracts Carlos’s attention because she uses several of Santanico’s dance moves. Carlos bids on her and all the girls. But he takes Paloma himself to “break the seal” and Santanico is in an awkward position since she promised no-one would touch her.

Richie’s ready to load up but Santanico won’t leave Paloma. She’s terrified and alone with Carlos, she struggles against him and tells him that the goddess will protect him. Santanico steps in as Diana and he hits all of Santanico’s sore spots with what she says about Paloma. Santanico slaps her and tells her to get in the truck – and away from Carlos.

Carlos has seen through her disguise. She attacks – but he shoots her repeatedly, incapacitating her so he can drag her with him.

Seth and Sonja are on the way to Houston to earn back all the money Seth owes her (her words). She also “gives him a pass” for the violent outbursts while he was hallucinating (though he is awkward about it). One pass only though. They touch on terrible people clearly after Richie and the past she’s not running from honest.

They go to see Eddie – the same contact Richie used to connect to Nathan. Like any relative, Eddie embarrasses Seth in front of Sonja. As they argue they hear that Richie was there recently as well. There’s a brief argument about the rift between the brothers while Sonja expertly pokes the macho posturing. But, in the end, Eddie can’t line up jobs for Seth because Richie faked their deaths – Seth doesn’t have a reputation to rely on any more.

Nathan gets his tattoos refreshed by Sonja while he gently tries to push her away from Seth to get him working with his brother again with lots of warnings that any women involved with either brother will be kicked out when the brothers reconcile.

Speaking of, Seth is currently collecting Eddie’s debts in his usually very ornate verbose fashion. Does all crime involve this much elaborate speechifying? Clearly I’ve only known a lower class of criminal who doesn’t pepper their brutal beatings with soliloquys.

Seth has Sonja’s money and he gives it to her with the plan that they’ve finished their business. But she doesn’t see why they can’t continue working together – and nor does he. They have sex. And then find enforcers looking for them with guns.

Kate has finally made her way home though there’s a blood stained dog collar in the entrance that is a little odd. But Seth is already home and waiting for her – Calebros Seth. The reunion is rather tense with family issues, the death of their dad and Seth being a snake-vampire. He tries to leave but she stops him, he’s been eating neighbourhood pets and he’s starving because it’s not enough. She wants him to lead a normal life, he claims his own agenda and pushes her to the floor when she tries to stop him leaving.

He goes into the woods where he’s gathered some local kids with the promise of marijuana and partying. Impressing drunken high high-school kids with Calebros powers is pretty easy. They’re also followed by some high school girls also looking for a party. Including one girl who is looking for Scott despite Kate’s warnings. Sexy times become awkward when his hunger rises up and he gets all snakey – he feeds on her.

Ate arrives and finds Scott with the dead body. He begs her, pleading that it was an accident. He begs her to help and despite initial reluctance, she agrees to help him bury the body. In the rain of course – because it’s always raining in body disposal. In the process Kate angrily breaks a picture of her family while she remembers killing her father and falls to her knees in tears.

While on the floor and kind of broken the dead Rafael appears to give her a pep talk – which I take to be a hallucination, while also assuring her that Scott can still be redeemed and saved. That she needs to tell him that or someone else will control him and influence him (while Scott is remembering what Narcisco told him).

She goes out and help burying the body and tries to give him a pep talk. It’s not well done but he does promise to protect her… by turning her. Oops that didn’t go to plan. She panics and struggles and is saved by… Freddie.

Santanico, her history and her quest for vengeance is a powerful story and I like how she fights Richard’s quest for power and wealth. She’s already shown herself to be at least a little hurting over using trafficked women to find Malvado in the first place- but the idea of displacing him but allowing his business practices continue is repellent. I also love that she didn’t even debate this with Richie as the older, more powerful Calebros, this isn’t something she’s arguing or has to argue. He knows her reasons, she doesn’t have to present them and she’s not debating this: Malvado’s empire is going down, partly revenge but also to protect others. Which is another element I like, especially since Santanico is using kidnapped women as a way to trace Malvado. “No more slavery” and refusing to allow Richie to take over means that bringing down Malvado is about more than vengeance – it’s also about stopping what he is doing.

And it really needs to end with a good stabbing – not with Santanico helpless again nor with her rescued. It's vital, especially on a show that uses women's bodies as decoration, is overly sexualised and makes many women disposable that we do have Santanico be strong and reject and fight against this. It's the difference between portraying brutal misogyny and encouraging and glamourising it.

Scott and Kate is going to be interesting depending on where it goes. I do like that Kate was not willing to just brush off the killing of Jessica – no matter what, it’s not ok. She acknowledged that even while considering that Scott can be redeemed – I hope this continues but only if Kate doesn’t just forget Jessica and they don’t drop her.