Thursday, October 15, 2015

From Dusk Till Dawn, Season 2, Episode 8: The Last Temptation of Richard Gecko

Narcisco’s head is delivered to Malvado who promptly puns over it. It was delivered from Freddie who is now working with Scott, Aiden, Kate and Carlos.

They’re performing a ritual based on the bonds now they have the full set which Aiden can now translate. The first step to setting it up is having innocent blood sacrifice innocent blood – or getting Kate to kill someone. She naturally protests but is rather quickly talked into it even if she does cry and need Scott’s nudge

The daylight sky turns to night – but only through the vampires’ eyes. Aiden just tells a crying Kate to see the bigger picture.

Over to Richie and Seth with Richie expositioning about his “extra power” – apparently every Culebros has a bonus power and he doesn’t know what his is yet. They’re still working on their plan to get to Malvado and getting into the organisation by trying to work with one of Malvado’s minions – a Culebros called Greely. They seem to convince him and he agrees to join their revolution (largely because Malvado is taking took great a percentage of his profits)

Despite the plan and them now being surrounded by Culebras, Seth makes it clear he’s still no pro-snakey-vampire (though he now seems to be making an exception for Richie).

Part of the plan also involves putting Santanico in suspended animation so Malvado can’t sense her (since he made her). Before going under she warns Richie not to let Malvado in her head and share a last kiss as she’s loaded up.

So to the Jackknife where Greely makes his “tribute” to Malvado. Which involves a fun game of find-the-lady with coloured stones and a four armed vampire before they can make their delivery. Part of this delivery is Freddie

Yes we need a flashback to explain this – he found them and they talk with guns pointed everywhere (and mocking Freddie’s dead mentor), Freddie wants to get something from Malvado (presumably the key thing they need for the prophecy) and offers the map that Malvado’s brother had of Malvado’s operation without which they’ll be hopelessly lost

They agree and he joins team let’s-all-pretend-we-don’t-hate-each-other. After some more close calls they manage to get in to the big stash of Malvado loot – Seth is happy.

Carlos, Kate and Scott go to see Malvado fully admitting to killing Narcisco and destroying the Twister – and sassing Malvado with internet memes on top of that. He demands they key in exchange for the doorway to the well that his brother Celestino had (the big exposition of the pit of blood he made) – which Malvado apparently wants to go to “El Rey”. Another realm (yes, vampire are aliens are something as was touched upon in a massive “whut?!” and then not really investigated).

He also thinks that Malvado is looking for an heir since the other Lords won’t let him go without leaving a new leader (well, Celestino didn’t seem to care over much). Malvado wants more –he wants Kate as well (whyyyy? Why would he exchange everything for Kate?) Carlos agrees.

So does Kate – realising he wants Santanico really and Scott really really needs the prophesised blood. She convinces him to leave.

Things start going south upstairs as well Sonja has let Malvado into her head – and gives up Santanico. She quickly blames Greely’s minions for her sabotage and kills one, forcing Seth to fight and kill the other. Seth realises that Sonja has been playing him - though she thinks they all win this way with all the money since Malvado agreed to pay them 33,000,000. Nice but there’s the pesky reality of Eddie’s death. Seth shoots her.

He then frees Santanic and tries to revive her though he has to have a nifty firefight, first.

Greely and Richie are led into a trap, captured and Greely is tortured though Richie escapes (albeit largely because his captor doesn’t seem to be that bothered) running to help the mind-speaking Santanico. Or Malvado – because he’s good at mind tricks. He temps Richie with his throne – offering to give it all up to Richie because of the whole prophecy about him going to El Rey and getting him out from under his brother’s shadow (apparently Richie’s heart’s desire based on what Malvado reads in his head) and more hints that he wants Richie to sacrifice Seth.

Richie sits in the throne. Santanico sees it in her vision.

Freddie gets the key, Celestino’s nifty obsidian club but is injured in the process – which means it’s gone when Carlos arrives (though he tastes Feddie’s blood and realises who has taken it).

Freddie takes the key outside – and is ambushed by Aiden and then buried alive in a pit buy Carlos and Scott. Nasty.

Before we go anywhere, can we address the fact that Santanico, ancient, powerful, goddess-Santanico – has the “extra power” of “wings”. Really? This is her power? It’s not like she even makes a habit of flying! What desperate retconned insertion was this?

I kind of feel like I’ve missed something with Freddie’s sudden involvement. I mean, he didn’t seem that convinced by the idea of the prophecy meaning Culebros won’t need to feed on people any more – he was definitely sceptical. But now he’s watching Kate be pushed into murder and joining with the Geckos – who killed Early? I just… don’t see his motivation, not in his character, to allow this much to go. Seth and Richie I can see, they have compelling motives to take down Malvado – but is Freddie really that invested?

I also feel there was a similar lack in the world building with Malvado wanting to go back to El Rey, what exactly this Well is, some more details on what the prophecy is and something on the other Lords and their relationship to Malvado (especially after he killed Celestino – did this not create any repercussions at all? Especially if they’re meant to want him around). This screams for less Gecko drama and more world building which looks to be epic

While I liked a lot of the epic feel and plotting of this episode – the fact that there are so many episodes to go means that we already knew all this plotting was going to go south from the very beginning.

Other things I’m not happy about – Sonja is the traitor and dies. Kate is the sacrificial victim for the sake of her brother and a cause she doesn’t even follow. Santanico spends the whole time in a damn box. That’s three female characters – the only three female characters – reduced to extras.