From Dusk Till Dawn Season 1 Episode 8 Review: “La Conquista”

From Dusk Till Dawn

The previous episode of From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, “Pandemonium,” was the best episode of the series so far, as it finally began paying off all of the build-up and expansion that had been taking place over the course of the show’s first season. At the end, our group was together and trying to survive the night as Richie was dragged away by the mysterious Santanico. Freddie, meanwhile, narrowly escaped with his life, and that is where we begin Episode 8, “La Conquista.”

The episode opens with a glimpse at the background of how Las Culebras came about, and we are given the indication that this history will be revealed more throughout “La Conquista.” Back in the present day, Santanico and Carlos discuss Richie and his current condition. She assures him that things are going as they should, and he reluctantly complies to her will. Meanwhile, Seth and the Fullers are in the process of figuring out what to do with Freddie. As they take a vote, Scott resurfaces in one of the underground tunnels of the temple. Unfortunately for him, he is not alone.

The gang ties up Freddie in the bar before opening up the trapdoor he had been dropped into after being bitten in the previous episode. They manage to cross the grinder and make it to the tunnels on the other side, but not before Sex Machine accidentally destroys the weapons that they had managed to ascertain. Freddie ends up escaping his bonds (because Seth, obviously, did not think things through), and Richie finally wakes up in Santanico’s chambers. The two of them have a conversation, and Santanico reveals more of her intentions to her “captive.”

Upstairs, Carlos shows up in the bar, and he and Freddie have a pretty impressive sword/ax fight. Carlos ends up being more capable than Freddie anticipated, though, and Carlos tells him that Ranger Gonzales is of a very ancient bloodline (explaining why he managed to survive the venom). Back downstairs, Santanico tells Richie her story and explains how she got this way. The story is surprisingly well-crafted, and it really goes to show that there is ample room for expansion of the mythology created in the From Dusk Till Dawn film. Santanico explains that she will be set free with Richie’s help.

Elsewhere underground, the gang is trying to make its way through the tunnels. At this point in the series, Jake Busey has really shown how capable he is of playing the character of Sex Machine well, and this role is one that has greatly benefited from a television adaptation of the story. A group of Calebras end up chasing the team, but they manage to lock themselves in a storeroom full of cargo left behind by all the bar patrons that had been killed over the years. Surprisingly, a man is already in the room. He has been hiding in the storeroom for an undetermined amount of time, and he just wants to be left alone. He decides to give the group the firearms they want before sending them on their way.

Carlos and Freddie continue to discuss the current situation, while Richie and Santanico do the same downstairs. More of Carlos’s backstory comes out, as it is revealed that he is over 500 years old. We finally learn the true connection between Carlos and Santanico, as well as the (perhaps one-sided) rift that has grown between them. Freddie decides to put an end to Carlos, but he is attacked by a now-transformed Scott (who was bitten in the tunnels by Carlos).

In the storeroom, the group is given ten minutes to go through the weapons and pick out whatever they want. Katie tries to talk to the man and get him to go with them, but he appears to have lost all hope because of what he has experienced underground. The man, Sergeant Frost, sends them on their way and locks the door behind them. As they continue through the tunnels, Katie begins hallucinating in the ways that Sgt. Frost had warned them of. While distracted by the visions, Katie is taken by a Culebra and tied to an alter.

Deep in the temple, Seth, Jacob, and Sex Machine try to rescue Katie by fighting off some of the Culebras. They manage to save her from being sacrificed, but they are horribly outnumbered. Luckily for them, they are rescued at the last second by Sgt. Frost, who unfortunately sacrifices himself to ensure the others’ survival. Back in Santanico’s chambers, Richie agrees to free Santanico, and she bites him.

“La Conquista” proved to be an extremely solid episode that greatly expanded to the mythology of From Dusk Till Dawn. You can truly feel the ending of the season at this point, and it is really exciting to see how events play out in the end.

[Photo via El Rey Network]

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