TV Review: FROM DUSK TILL DAWN:The Series (Episode Six: “Place of Dead Roads”)

 

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*As with the rest of the episode recaps for FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: The Series, this will have many spoilers in it, so if you’d rather not know exactly what happened without seeing it first, you’ve been warned. 🙂

Sorry folks, it’s been one hell of a crazy week, which explains why this recap of “Place of Dead Roads“, the sixth episode of FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: The Series is almost a week late. If you watched it when it aired, then you already know this, but if you didn’t then let me just say: this show is heating up. Guest directed by HALLOWEEN 4‘s Dwight H. Little, “Place of Dead Roads”  was the most visually intense episode thus far, so expect more stills this time around.

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Like the majority of the previous episodes, this week’s started out with a flashback. This time, we’re given a glimpse of the life that Richie was leading that was only faintly mentioned earlier in the season, with a Band of Horses-looking Richie dirty, bearded and doing his best to look like a cross between Charles Manson and Rob Zombie (wait..is there a difference?). After failing to kill a deer, Richie sees a snake, and pulls out the mystical knife that has already played a huge part in the story so far. Cut to Richie eating said snake, and he’s then confronted by Santanico Pandemonium once again in a vision, telling him to find her.

We’re then taken to present day, where the Geckos and Fuller’s arrive at the Titty Twister bar, and are harassed by the doorman (in a similar fashion as the scene in the film), this time played by DEXTER‘s season three baddie, Jesse Borrego (for you cool cats out, there, he also the badass Cruz in BLOOD IN, BLOOD OUT). With his “I’m always in charge” persona in full effect, Seth breaks the doorman’s nose, something that later backfires when the doorman and his crew chain Seth up to motorcycles and begin to beat the living hell out of him. Need proof? See below:

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..but before he gets jumped, we’re given a pretty awesome scene in the Titty Twister, that starts out similar to the scene in the film where Seth makes the Fuller family take shots, but like the majority of this week’s episode, it then heads into completely new territory, with Seth challenging the secrets of the family, and making Kate take it upon herself to try to get the keys to the RV, so they can escape. Meanwhile, Richie is in high-heaven, as he’s finally arrived in his words “paradise”, speaking even more nonsensical stuff, but quickly proving that he’s the one in charge of the situation, not Seth, right before Seth heads outside to be jumped and chained.

While all of that craziness is happening, Freddie, knee-deep in his own visions and on the trail of the Geckos, sees a vision of a talking severed head taunting him and sending him closer to the bar himself. It’s a visually intense scene, and while some of the blood effects on previous episodes might have left a tad bit to be desired (not bad per se, just not mega great), the sight of the head on a stick giving Freddie shit is pretty damned crazy.

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Freddie heads into a small bakery to calm himself and get a cup of coffee, then sees a couple of Carlos’ henchmen head into the rear of the place. As he follows them, he sees a shrine and the men entering a code to get into another room. A young boy approaches Freddie, telling him he can get him into the room, but it turns out to be a setup, one that ends with Carlos and co. torturing Freddie. Knowing that Freddie has been seeing visions himself, Carlos takes the knife and cuts Freddie’s hand, putting his hand on top of Freddie’s and seeing everything that had previously happened. Having had an earlier flashback of Earl McGraw telling him that brutality is necessary at the “place of the dead roads, right before you get to hell”, Freddie tells Carlos that the vampire businessmen who Carlos had fed the truck full of  woman to in a couple of episodes back, are expecting to turn on him, and says that he’ll give up which of those men is leading the revolt, in exchange for the Geckos. The planned revolt is confirmed, when the Titty Twister bartender calls Carlos and tells him that the man is chatting it up with Seth (the business man having saved Seth from the chained beating a few moments earlier). While Carlos appreciates the heads up, he tells his men to kill Freddie slowly and to save his tongue for him. The henchman plan to shock Freddie with battery cables, and one even urinates on Freddie to make the shock worse, but Freddie must have had an out of nowhere plan to become pretty much the most badass character in the show, because he puts the kibosh on that by headbutting one of the men, using his body as a shield for the bullets that the second henchman, freeing himself, shooting the second henchman in the eyes, and using a machete to chop their heads off. Now a full on crazed man on a mission, Freddie uses the head of one of the men as a way to scare the little boy into rectifying the setup and letting him know where Carlos is heading to: the Titty Twister.

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At the bar, things get weird, when Kate does her best to attempt to seduce Richie into getting her the RV keys, which heads into an odd scene involving Kate watching Richie get a lap-dance and then kissing him when Richie sends the lap-dancing stripper elsewhere. Jacob his best to make Scott feel like he has the family’s best interests at heart (which he does) and the two try to find a way for them and Kate to leave as well, but are unsuccessful.

Seth and the business talk and the man reveals that Carlos is setting the Geckos up and that the promised “El Rey” is just a myth. Freaked out by that, Seth tries to talk Richie into taking off, but Richie, knowing that this is where Santanico will be, refuses, ending in the Gecko brothers having a knife throwing match. The match goes in Seth’s favor, until one of Carlos’ henchmen gives Richie back the mystical knife, in which he uses to throw directly through the target (that Kate is holding, after her insisting that they give the Fullers the RV keys if Richie can throw the knife through the target). Just as things begin to look up for the Fullers, everyone is told to immediately sit down, right before Carlos appears on stage, and introduces…Santanico. She walks onto the stage, and Richie says, “She IS real..”, and end episode.

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Place of Dead Roads” was easily one of the best episodes yet, showing how well the show can stand on its own two feet, instead of being a carbon copy of the film version. While there are beginning traces of the film’s scenes (the doorman, the Seth/Fullers taking shots, etc), about 5 seconds into those scenes, the show goes in its own direction, which is definitely a welcomed route. It’s also the episode in which it’s made blatantly clear that Richie is the one in charge, a change from the film that makes the show even more enjoyable. While the first couple of episodes made it seem like Richie was just crazy, everything comes full circle in the bar, something that makes Seth realize how in over his head he really is. The turn in which Freddie becomes a tough as nails, hellbent on getting the Geckos without any care for law or anything else, is also a turn that is very very welcomed. While I was initially wondering why the gang arrived the bar merely five episodes into the ten-episode season, episode six proved that there’s still a LOT of new twists to be had. Hell to the yes.

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