Midseason Review: ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’

Weekly ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ reviews took a small break last week in order for me to fly over to London for a small geeky trip (no conventions this year, so I had to do something). But fear not, friends, for this is the perfect opportunity to write a review on the show as a whole up to midseason and what is working and what isn’t about season two, so far.

YAYs 

kate_freddie_206

New dynamics explored

The best part of this season so far have been the ways the characters have paired off. Seth and Kate lasted so little but gave us a lot and quickly became a fan favorite pairing (#sethandkate4everrr), but their separation didn’t mean their stories became boring. Quite the contrary, Sonja and Seth’s relationship, which seems to be going too hard, too fast, is interesting because Sonja obviously has something to hide and doesn’t stop herself from giving Seth crap and Seth seems to be throwing himself into it because it’s the most ‘normal’ he has felt in a while.

Kate found her brother Scott and even though Scott didn’t want to accept her help and flew off despite Kate’s efforts to understand him, Freddie showed up when she needed him the most. And he needed her too. Their partnership in the last episode was great, and it was nice to see Kate being valued and taken into consideration as an equal, since it took so long for Seth to actually let her work with him.

Meanwhile Scott and Carlos are in young padawan – Jedi Master territory, with Scott becoming his right hand in the setting up of his new empire of evil.  Santanico found a shadow of her former self in Paloma, a young girl she kidnapped in order to make her way to Malvado’s hideout, but who keeps reminding her of the monster she is becoming versus the girl she used to be.

All of these new dynamics are keeping the show from becoming stale and repetitive, and keeping the brothers away from each other worked out rather well, to my surprise. But of course you cannot do that for too long, and now the Gecko brothers ride again.

Women, women, women

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‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ was a sausage fest during its first season and even though both of the women leading the show were layered and interesting, their stories were definitely not delved into as much as the brothers’, or even Freddie’s and Carlos’. This season, we have learned so much more about Santanico and Kate and what drives them, from Santanico’s horrors as an abuse victim inside the Twister by Malvado, to Kate’s struggles moving on from her loss (or rather, how she bottles up such trauma). Sure, I still would love to see how Kate has been dealing with almost being sacrificed at the Twister, but maybe in the future? The show has also introduced three more fascinating women  in Paloma, Sonja and Margaret (who was already there last season, but we didn’t see much of). Paloma is going through something horrible, but she still questions what is happening to her and why, and she has stood up to Santanico and Carlos, claiming ownership over herself and her body. Sonja is obviously pulling the strings in her relationship with Seth, first by helping him get clean cold turkey, then by using him, who knows what for. Margaret made the brave yet smart decision of leaving Freddie to save herself and her kid in order for him to have a family to come back to once he does what he has to do, and she stood up to Sex Machine like many others wouldn’t have. These women are strong, smart, flawed, vulnerable. They’re women you wouldn’t expect to see in a show like this and that’s what makes them so interesting. My only wish? That they interacted with each other more.

More mythology

The show takes pride in its Mesoamerican mythology roots and you can tell, as we have delved into the world of culebras, their realms and their gods. It’s always interesting to watch and it’s not so overcomplicated that you cannot follow it. I’m looking forward to meeting more lords in the upcoming seasons, as Celestino Oculto was a great lord, much more likable (if you can use such a word, with a lord) than Malvado and gone way too soon.

In my list of wishes: more about Freddie’s bloodline.

NAYs

Sorry, that happened when?

The show has had a problem with filling in huge chunks of information for the audience and leaving them up to interpretation or simply not caring about them. Carlos went from three months in a labyrinth to being ahead of what every character would do, and we were never shown how he found out about all these things so fast. Scott was sent on his own journey of self-discovery by the aforementioned Carlos and when Kate got back to Bethel (apparently showered, dressed, with a new car and after having investigated where her brother was) he had already been hanging out with his friends outside of school… for how long? The Regulator and Sex Machine show up when convenient after having no idea of where they are or what they’re doing. The chronology has been off and we don’t know what these characters know about each other sometimes.

The Geckos’ likability, up to the test

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Now don’t get me wrong, both Geckos are assholes. This is something that we have known ever since we got into the show, and we are not exactly watching this show to watch good people doing good things, but they were always funny assholes. This season doesn’t have to deal with these two characters thrown into an unknown world, so their reactions to the weird stuff happening around them are missed, and their overly macho personalities surrounding Santanico and Sonja haven’t made them look so great. It’s been especially hard to sympathize with Richie, after he suggested taking over the human trafficking operation from Blanchard. Seth seems to be overcompensating with Sonja, especially in front of Richie, but fortunately for him, she doesn’t seem to take him seriously and honestly, after seeing Seth at his lowest, I’m having a hard time taking him seriously too. Maybe that is the point.

AYs

Malvado’s operation: not that interesting

Once we’ve reached the bottom of Malvado’s operation, it seems Santanico’s idea of just showing up and killing him was the best option, as it wasn’t so complicated to find him in the first place, had uncle Eddie (by the way, a great addition to the season) shared his knowledge before. However, the storyline brought up a lot of depth out of Santanico, but Paloma and the other girls’ suffering wasn’t worth it. I’ll give them this one halfway.

Carlos’ manpain, not worth it

So you’re telling me that what Carlos saw in the labyrinth was Santanico and Richie having a happily ever after and that’s why he tried to enslave her again? Listen, son, I don’t care that you lived the fantasy version of Mr. Brightside for all of eternity. You’re not making me sad, at all.

As we have reached midseason and the ultimate reunion among all the characters is about to happen, ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ promises betrayals, new partnerships and shocks. For now, the show has fairly surprised me, as most theories I had about the season as I followed its filming have proved to be wrong and that’s exactly why I continue to watch. Does it have to work on some things? Sure, but ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ has proved that you shouldn’t take it for granted, and I have learned not to.

Weekly reviews come back this week with ‘Bring Me The Head of Santanico Pandemonium’. It seems like Seth promises Malvado Santanico’s head, but future episode descriptions show she might actually be in the plan, if not something forces them to work together.

What have you thought of the season so far?

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