Well ramblers, if tonight’s Dusk is any indication of what’s to come for the rest of the season, it’s both an amazing sign and a terrible one; amazing because this episode picked up most of the slack felt in other episodes, delivering a tight and emotional storyline. Terrible, because tonight’s episode might just take all the air out of your lungs from the sheer gut punch of it. “La Llorona” is the episode Dusk fans have been waiting for all season, and it does not disappoint.
Following the twists and turns of last week’s episode, “Straightjacket,” “La Llorona” picks up with Seth (DJ Cotrona) and Richie (Zane Holtz) with a visible strain in their relationship; Seth wants to protect Richie, lest he fall pray to Amaru (Madison Davenport) a second time, and Richie seems to be working overtime to prove himself to his brother and their ragtag team. Scott (Brandon Soo Hoo) proves to be their glue; as their defacto baby brother (it’s a found family dynamic, go with it,) Scott serves to keep the brothers both focused on their mission, and works as a reminder of what they’ve done in the past that still needs to be reconciled.
And if you were hoping some of that ugly past would come to a head this week, you’re in luck; Calling on the tropes of The Exorcism and The Woman in Black, it’s all female monsters this week, though viewers may note the real villains of the episode seem to be the Geckos themselves. After all, it’s their exorcism plan that puts the entire group in danger, and it’s their original actions that set the stage for the horrors abound. La Llorona, also called Itzpa, is the famous weeping woman of Mexican myth; her story, as viewers may recall, is about her drowning her children. Dusk puts a spin on it this week, and adds a change to her story: Instead of killing her children herself, she lost them at the hands of a cruel husband. The change reminds us of an ongoing theme in Dusk: That this supernatural world we’re dealing with enjoys chewing up women and spitting them out. The Geckos have played their hands in this world with and without meaning to, and if Seth’s interactions with Kate (also Davenport) are any indication, the scales are not in their favor.
Worth mentioning is that while Dusk continually shares the message that the worst thing a man can be is brutal, they seem to say one thing for their two main female characters and do another entirely for their minor female characters. Quite frankly, that’s not good enough, and seeing as how Ximena’s (Emily Rios) pointless death was reduced to a footnote in Freddie’s (Jesse Garcia) story this week, the emotional punch and vengeance of Itzpa seems kind of too little, too late, next to the pile of killed of female characters. Dusk is good about many things: abuse, mental illness, and sexual assault, for one. But that doesn’t excuse lacking female representation on the show.
Unfortunately, Freddie’s arc this episode isn’t a very powerful one. Seeing as how he has just lost Margaret (Jamie Tisdale) and Billie, it’s likely Freddie will be bringing the punches for the rest of the season; However, this week really put the focus on Seth, Kate, and Scott. Davenport and Cotrona haven’t gotten to do a real high-powered scene together in over a season, and this week’s episode more than made up for lost time. Between Amaru’s bitter snideness and Seth’s hairpin temper, the two prove to have a formidable opponent in the other. The added Exorcism references just heightened the tension of their scenes, and nothing was quite as satisfying this week as watching Amaru and Seth scream insults at each other.
Doubly gratifying are the scenes between Seth and Kate, which gave Kate a real chance to express some of that unspilled bitterness, and Seth a chance to beg for forgiveness. We get an excellent moment of Scott suffering from the guilt of getting Kate killed at the blood well, and watching Soo Hoo listen to Amaru’s screams while battling his own visions was another standout performance this week. Combined with Kate’s tearful but firm, “I don’t forgive you,” to Seth, this week just further enforced that Soo Hoo and Davenport are a major power duo on this show. If something happens to the Geckos at the end of this season, it would be interesting to see the younger twosome carry the main plot of season 4.
Each week, the Geckos seem to trade off their relationship with Amaru/Kate- this week, Seth had a major emotional turn, and Richie’s was last week. Hopefully, we’ll see more confrontations between Scott and Amaru. The fight scene from “Fanglorious,” was, well- Glorious, and left me hungry for more. With only 3 episodes left in the season, and the chips seemingly all the way down, it’s only a matter of time before everything explodes.
Literally. This is Dusk, after all.
From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, airs Tuesdays 9/8c on the El Rey Network.