In last week’s review, I speculated that in season 3 of Dusk, odd numbered episodes would be the lighter ones, and even numbered episodes would be heavy on the pain. If this week’s follow up to last Tuesday’s scorpion-cowboy escapade is any indication, we might want to get used to the even-odd pattern of episodes. Not that “Protect and Serve” was a bad episode- It was fun, cheeky, and bloody- But this week’s episode, “Fanglorious,” is this best of the season so far.
While the first three episodes of the season worked to establish the expanding universe, mostly the Xibalbans and Amaru’s origin, this episode finally dives into the major question left at the end of last season, namely: What the hell is going to happen to the Fuller siblings?
Well, if this episode is any indicator: a lot of horrible things. That’s what’s going to happen to the Fuller siblings. This week marks the much-needed return of Scott Fuller (Brandon Soo Hoo), and also of Kate Fuller (Madison Davenport). And while Amaru is still mostly in control of Kate’s body, this is the first time in season three that viewers finally get to see Kate as herself. Which, by the way, is absolutely heartbreaking.
Scott and Kate are a welcome return to the show, especially given how easily Soo Hoo and Fuller seem to knock their roles out of the park. Soo Hoo’s Scott is tempered from last season, instead channeling his anger into rescuing his sister, and Davenport’s Kate is a tragic heroine lost in her own body; pretty impressive, given that when she plays Amaru, she seems right at home. Their chemistry as siblings feels so utterly genuine and honest that it’s impossible not to root for Scott to somehow manage to save the day, or for Kate to break free of Amaru’s control. As the season 3 progresses, their bond will likely become more pivotal than even the relationship between the our two Gecko brothers.
Speaking of which, now that Kate-Kate is back, even in small doses, the show has decided to remind us that everyone is very, very sad. Not in a cloying or smothering way, though; for instance, Richie’s (Zane Holtz) constant instance that he can reach Kate, somehow, is both tragic enough to make the viewer pity him, but hopeful enough that we want to hope he’s right. Countered by Seth’s (DJ Cotrona) insistence on letting Kate go, this episode proves not only to be about Scott and Kate fighting for Kate’s freedom, but for the Geckos to cope with the guilt and trauma that’s been hanging over their heads. And I’m not just talking about since Kate’s passing; I’m talking about their entire lives.
Look out for the quiet but brilliant scene where Seth explains to Richard that he, as a child under the age of 10, was forced not only to kill Richie’s pet dog (she had become rabid) but then had to lie about it to his brother for their entire lives. The scene is more revealing about Seth and Richie than any handful of flashbacks; it confronts and then immediately represses issues that the Geckos themselves have yet to hash out. Hey, do you think that’s going to come back to bite them, eventually?
Short answer: yes.
Acting kudos of the week to both Davenport and Cotrona for their confrontation between Amaru and Seth, and then Kate and Seth; showrunner Carlos Cotos has called Kate and Seth’s relationship one of the more “human” on the show, and it was obvious from the way the scene played out that the show plans to wring both Kate and Seth for every bit of that humanity. With other actors, it could’ve come off as over the top or corny, but between the two of them, the scene remained slowly and delightfully agonizing; it may just end up being one of the standout scenes of the entire season.
If Kate and Scott are being pulled apart, and Seth and Richie are having words, that can only mean one thing for Ranger Freddie Gonzalez (Jesse Garcia): trouble. A lot of heaping trouble. And trouble has arrived, in the small, blonde body of his adoptive sister, Dakota (Nicky Whelan) who spends the episode first gaining Richie’s favor, only to shoot him in the parking lot of his bar as retribution. While Freddie has begrudgingly taken on his role as peacekeeper, and grown to have a somewhat decent relationship with the Geckos, which means that he has abandoned his vow to his mentor and father figure, Earl McGraw (Don Johnson) from the first season. And while Freddie may have shaken off Brasa’s (Maurice Compte) insistence that Earl would be ashamed of Freddie for protecting culebras and demons, the reappearance of his sister spells an incoming test of loyalty. Looks like everyone’s got sibling problems. The trick, it seems, is to be an only child.
We’re a few good rounds into this season of Dusk, and the stakes are getting higher: not only must Kate fight against Amaru, she must keep her from killing the people she loves. Hard to do when she can barely keep control enough to protect Scott. Seth and Richie will have to confront the fact that Kate is, in fact, alive, despite being told she wasn’t; where they proceed from here could make or break their position in the culebra world, as well as potentially save Kate or, you know, kill her again. And Freddie’s going to have a whole lot of explaining to do to his sister, especially since she shot Richie point-blank in the stomach and he’s… well. Fine, actually.
Shoutout to Peaches the Dog. You were the real hero of this story.
From Dusk Till Dawn airs on The El Rey Network, Tuesdays at 9/8c.