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From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, Season 1, Episode 3, “Mistress”
Written by Juan Carlos Coto
Directed By Eduardo Sanchez
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm (ET) on El Rey Network
“For people like you and Richard, heaven is not having to look over your shoulder”
The thing about grindhouse is you never really know what you’re going to get. Yes, these productions are never brilliant masterpieces but they are frequently fun and usually entertaining. They also work the best when they aren’t taking themselves too seriously. So far, From Dusk till Dawn: The Series has managed to be all of these things.
“Mistress”, the series’ third episode, does suffer from slow pacing but it does manage to further expand its mythology. It was clear from the first episode that the series was interested in creating a more complex backstory for the characters we knew so well from the film. Only three episodes in we’ve caught small glimpses of what’s ahead for the Gecko brothers as they get closer to El Rey, or “paradise” as Carlos (Wilmer Valderrama) calls it. A tightly wound professor (Jake Busey) guides Freddie (Jesse Garcia) and us further into this odd world of demigoddesses and creepy sacrifices. It’s a good ploy, using the straight-laced ranger as a surrogate for the audience.
One of the best things about From Dusk till Dawn: The Series has been how quickly it set a pace and tone. This was a show that knew exactly what it wanted to be from the moment it premiered. “Mistress” is perfectly moody and intriguing. Getting the chance to see a flashback of Seth (D.J. Cotrona) make his deal with Carlos and struggle to survive prison is a great way to connect to the character.
Cortona also offers us one of the best scenes, as Seth attempts to explain to his estranged wife (Adrianne Palicki) why he feels so indebted to Richie (Zane Holtz). Holtz, however, continues to be the show’s standout, especially in the episodes hotel scenes. He’s so unhinged, so untrustworthy. “I worked it out, I can see, I can see”, he tells Seth towards the end of the episode and its equal parts terrifying and sad.
“Mistress” does stumble mostly in its handling of the Fuller family. Jacob’s (Robert Patrick) drunken outburst, Katie’s (Madison Davenport) investigation and Scott’s (Brandon Soo Hoo) indifference all seem a little disjointed from the rest of the episode. This backstory, especially the part focusing on Jacob’s DUI arrest, is obviously an important part of their characters history but they aren’t weaved into the overall story very well. It just leaves you wanting more.
As a whole “Mistress” is a good episode. From Dusk till Dawn: The Series is only on its third episode so in a lot of ways it’s still laying the groundwork for what’s to come. The episode offers us some fun moments like a rendezvous at Big Kahuna Burger and a Point Break reference all in one scene and it gives us some important information about the brothers and where they are heading.