From Dusk Till Dawn TV Show Can't Quite Crawl Out Of The Movie's Shadow

Here's the problem that From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series has, and it's that's only gotten worse as the season's gone on: If you've seen the movie the show's based on, you know what's coming.

The only question is if changes from the movie that we've seen on the way will have a huge impact on that climax. But right now, it feels as though we're just treading water waiting for the big climax. Especially now that all the major players have reached Titty Twister, we're really just spinning our wheels trying to get to the end.

Spoilers now. . .

In last night's episode, the Fullers and the Geckos reach the Titty Twister and its not-Cheech doorman. Some may complain about him, but the dude's actually one of the most memorable things about this episode, as he give's a weird performance that stands out against all the bland ones. In the bar, Seth goes asking for Carlos, and is told he isn't there yet, but he will be. It's his bar.

Speaking of Carlos, here's what we know about him in this series: he's a vampire, he's planning something big for that night, and he keeps talking about a war. Also, he's milking the venom from snakes for some reason. Basically, it seems like he's going to try to take the nine vampire lords and take over.

From Dusk Till Dawn TV Show Can't Quite Crawl Out Of The Movie's Shadow

Also tying into Carlos this week is Freddie Gonzalez, the saddest little Texas Ranger. He's still trying to find the Geckos and the cartel, but is not exactly great at it. In that he gets knocked unconscious almost immediately after getting to Mexico, and wakes up tied to a chair, with Carlos taunting him.

Carlos uses the ancient-knife MacGuffin to slice open Freddie's hand and drink his blood. Doing so has magical "clip show" properties, as Carlos is treated to all of Freddie's "memories" of this season. And the knowledge that Freddie has a wife and kid, that's good blackmail material.

But apparently blood memories are a two-way street, because Freddie says that he knows about the nine houses that are coming, and offers to trade the name Carlos is worried about for the Geckos. This doesn't make any sense. I a) Don't understand how this trade would work b) can't believe Freddie thinks Carlos would honor its terms and c) am confused: a name Carlos knows is worth something? I think the idea is that Freddie knows that Carlos is afraid of Narciso and is telling Carlos to be prepared for him tonight, but, honestly, if he wasn't ready for him, he's a piss-poor vampire coup planner.

Eventually, Carlos leaves the rest of the men to torture Freddie, who eventually gets free and kills them. Just casually killing vampires, stealing a motorcycle, and heading to the Titty Twister. I will give them this: It was pretty cool when Freddy managed to shoot a guy just in his eyes. Ridiculous, but cool.

Meanwhile, back at the bar: Richie's happy as a clam in high water. I use the whole phrase because Richie's high water is the Titty Twister. He's positive his visions have led him here, and he's refusing to leave. Seth would like to, since he's pissed at Carlos, but Richie won't. Seth is confronted by Not-Cheech and his friends and is saved by Narciso. Narciso knows about the Geckos' deal with Carlos, asking why they'd pay a "piece of shit" $10 million. Seth says for El Rey, but Narciso laughs and says the classic "He's always using that line, and you bought it?" speech.

Richie and Katie have a tête-à-tête, since they are on the opposite sides of the "stay here or leave" fight. Katie first asks her father if they can go now, but Jacob says no. She decides to go ask Richie if they can go, because, I don't even know, he's been the sane one? On her way to Richie, she runs into a Busey! I don't care that he's supposed to be Sex Machine, he looks and sounds so much like his father that it's just a Busey she runs into.

From Dusk Till Dawn TV Show Can't Quite Crawl Out Of The Movie's Shadow

I actually really like Madison Davenport as Katie. And her dry delivery of "It looks like it shoots blanks," in response to the Busey's crotch gun is why.

Of course she and Richie then have the world's most uncomfortable conversation about why Richie doesn't want to leave. He says she once told him she felt like she didn't belong, and he didn't either until he got to the bar. Kate kisses Richie and asks to be set free, and I go look for some bleach for my eyeballs.

Seth now joins Kate's side of the "stay/leave" debate, so they have a knife throwing contest to decide. In the course of which, Richie gets the MacGuffin knife, Katie says that if Richie hits the target she's holding then she gets to leave, and Richie hits her target with the MacGuffin knife. But there's no time for anyone to leave, since Satanico Pandemonium has just taken the stage, and Richie's finally found the girl from his visions.

From Dusk Till Dawn TV Show Can't Quite Crawl Out Of The Movie's Shadow

With that, the episode ends and we're all still waiting for the climax we know is coming. At this point, my working hypothesis is that everything's part of Carlos' plan to kill the vampire lords and take over. Why he needs the Geckos for that, I have no idea, unless it's tied to the MacGuffin knife and Richie's visions. Which would also seem to indicate that the fate Richie in the movie is not the fate of Richie in the show.

I usually hate comparing between two interpretations of the same material. I'd prefer to let them stand or fall on their own merits. But this show so invites the comparisons, that it's impossible to not try to figure out what the differences mean. What's going to turn out the same or different, and why. Plus, since we all know the battle we're hurtling towards, the added material needs to have depth to hold our interest, rather than just make us impatient. And it doesn't. If anything, in order to make him work as a series lead, Richie's less interesting. The Fullers, save Katie, are boring. Carlos being a vampire and starting a war is a different spin, but it was easy to set up and is not just getting repetitive.

It wasn't a problem in the earlier episodes, and the show's still perfectly watchable. It looks gorgeous, and there's clearly a plan. But the closer we got to the bar, the more the pace needed to pick up. And now that we're at the Titty Twister, it'd better.