Saturday, October 15, 2016

From Dusk Till Dawn, Season 3, Episode 7: La Llorana

Aiden has discovered a Culebra cult – yes, Culebras worshipping and sacrificing to Itzpa, a demon, who in turn passes on the energy/mojo to Amaru. This happens via scalping with a Xibalban blade and then handing them over when they’re all helpless and alive for Amaru to suck on their souls. Most unpleasant

Over at… well I’m not going to call them Team Good Guy given the givens, but with our protagonists Burt is concerned that Freddie has left the group after Richie used his mojo to force them to reduce their already paltry female representation even further. Freddie has decided to crawl into a bottle with a side order of casual sex and doesn’t want the Geckos near him. Burt, being more sensible, less emotional and generally not willing to lose a soldier to angst, decides he’s going to try and help Freddie through this somehow

Richie himself is rather troubled by the whole possession thing, as one would be, and his doing his research: discovering that when the Lords of the Culebra first arrived probably also possessed. The possession has also left him with issues – and possibly the ability to psychically eavesdrop on Amaru and her minions

Despite being under manned and Richie having issues, the whole gang decides they’re going to raid this cult with a chance of grabbing Amaru. This is a very bad idea

And it works…

The fact it does work should really have been a wake up call to everyone. After all, Amaru herself is super dangerous, Brasa with his sun-hand was nowhere to be seen and the cult of Culebras basically did very little

But they shackle her and manage to get her to Burt’s shop where he has a cage which will hold her – which he’s not amused by them bringing this to his home (he brings Freddie with him)

When they have her they decide to exorcise her – using a rack that Cortez brought other that once belonged to Torquemada. I have a major problem with this

Implying that this rack that Torquemada had actually works to remove possession implies that the Spanish Inquisition is right. Further we have it being brought to the Americas by Cortez, a Conquistador expressly to exorcise the Aztecs and other Indigenous Americans – and, again, it’s implied it works. This is a gross sanitation of two incredible evil events in history

Also, you’re going to haul a rack – especially such a simple rack – across the ocean?

The exorcism is brutal and horrific and does manage to break through to Kate – briefly. But Kate isn’t a fan of Seth – she doesn’t forgive him and with that line pretty much brutally pokes his sorest and most vulnerable spot – guilt over what happened to Kate. She also reveals that, basically and obviously, this was all a trap (hence how easy it was to capture Amaru)

A trap that is sprung when Itzpa arrives to free her mistress. Itzpa is kind of a mash up between the La Llorana myth and Itzpapalotl and is a beautiful woman who becomes a skeletal warrior with venom dripping claws. She hates men and those claws infect people with hallucinations of all the terrible things they’ve experienced. Personally I would have liked some obsidian wings

Everyone in this group has experienced terrible terrible things. Being clawed by Itzpa and going through the utter horror of it is why Burt retired and started smoking all the cannabis in the first place.

The lethal ghost arrives and infects Scott and Burt – breaking and confusing Scott enough that he rescues Amaru/Kate. Hearing his sister being tortured wasn’t exactly easy on him either.

But even all this is another distraction: because Amaru’s real target is Freddie’s wife and child – Margaret and Billie. That’s also why Itzpa disguised herself as a woman to sleep with Freddie and research his family. With the gang distracted they raid Margaret’s home and kidnap them both. Freddie and Burt arrive – but only in time to kill Itzpa who, in the tradition of this show, goes from being utterly lethal and unbeatable to being easily dispatched by Burt and Freddie. Together they kill her and all of the scars from her claws – even Burt’s ancient scars – fade

But Margaret and Billie have still being taken. Like last episode, she’s looking for a mother and child who are pure hearted for her nefarious purposes. I’m not sure how she’s sure Margaret and Billie are pure hearted… or whether they’re just snatching her to give Freddie more motivation.

I do like the continued useage of Mesoamerican mythology but I do think that sometimes they’re just using a name or word but not really following up with all the legend behind it; in the same way we see “Wendigo” used to basically mean “werewolf”.