At long last, we are finally at the point in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series in which the real fun will truly begin. All of the build-up, character progression, and supernatural teases have been leading up to this, and the climax of the season truly begins with the performance of Santanico Pandemonium in “Pandemonium.”
The episode opens with a voice-over from Santanico, the woman from Richie’s visions, in which she explains that her plan may be something much more sinister than even Carlos, the “mastermind” realizes. During this narration, we see glimpses of every main character, including Freddie Gonzales, finally all in the exact same place, witnessing the beginning of something terrible.
The sequence that follows is possibly the most direct adaptation of a scene from the movie. Santanico begins her performance on stage for the Titty Twister, disappearing and reappearing at will, seducing everyone around with her skill. During this, Richie also explains to Seth that this is the woman that led them here, and Seth begins to realize that perhaps not all is as it seems. As the dance continues (to the sound of a song whose title loosely translates to “From Dusk Till Dawn”), Freddie shows up and threatens Richie, leading Santanico to transform into a snake-vampire form and attack him. What ensues is all-out carnage as the rest of the women who “work” in the Titty Twister transform and begin killing everyone as the bar is sealed shut.
The following sequences are, in my opinion, some of the best examples ever on the production of action and mayhem on television. The classic Tarantino gore is out in full force, and everything is as exciting as one could ever hope for. It’s hard to talk specifically about the events that take place here, but this really is one of the best battles to ever take place on TV.
After the carnage, few (aside from the women and bar workers) are left standing. Even Freddie is bitten by one of the monsters and is seemingly pushed to his death. The Gekko Brothers and Fuller family try to figure out a way out, but they realize that the bar is completely sealed shut. They try to figure out what the creatures are, and they determine that they are, possibly, a snake-based “vampire,” for lack of a better word, that is of Mayan or Aztec origin. Sex Machine shows up and tells the story of Las Culebras, the name of the group, and explains that the Titty Twister stands on sacred ground that is a source of immense power for the cult. Underground, Santanico expresses her anger at Carlos for the way events upstairs played out.
Sex Machine explains more about the cult (with its hierarchy) and the purpose of the temple, and the group decides to do whatever is necessary to survive. Carlos, meanwhile, faces the wraith of those above him because of his deal with the Gekko Brothers. The brothers, back upstairs, have a major argument about Vanessa, and Richie feels like Seth has been conning him from the beginning. Even the Fullers are at each others’ throats because of differing opinions on how things should be done. Tensions are incredibly high between every member of the group, but they still realize that the only chance out of this situation is by working as a team.
I’m going to avoid spoiling the events and reveals from the remainder of the episode, but, suffice it to say, that things begin coming to a head for everyone as Carlos and Santanico’s plan continues in full-force. There is also another incredibly well-done action sequence as the group realizes that new Culebras are formed through bites. Also, miraculously, Freddie survives his predicament to fight another day, and Richie is separated from the rest of the group.
“Pandemonium” is, hands-down, the best episode thus far of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series. It manages to tie absolutely everything together that has been built up since the very beginning, and the all-out carnage and mayhem that takes place after the dance sequence is justification alone for the adaptation of the movie to exist. The dance sequence itself was masterfully translated from the big-screen to the small-screen, and the episode still managed to further divert from the movie in new and exciting ways. “Pandemonium” is truly a master class in the production of an action-oriented television episode, and it is a real gift to be able to witness it.
[Photo via El Rey Network]