VOD Review: FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, Season 1, Episode 4 'Let's Get Ramblin''

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

Eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed a From Dusk till Dawn-shaped hole on the site last week, where a (possibly lizard-surnamed, but probably not) cheeky scally broke into my home, stole my laptop and took my review of episode three (Mistress) with it. Not cool. So before we get started with Let’s Get Ramblin’, a recap:

Well, Seth went for a tasty burger (a Big Kahuna burger, most notably favoured by Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction) and we learned more of Richie’s apparently psychic abilities as he bonded with their hostage. A hostage who wound up dead by the end of the episode. Meanwhile, lawman Gonzalez met with Jake Busey to discuss vampires and Mexican cults, while Jacob Fuller got himself well and truly drunk. It was also revealed that Seth’s contact, Carlos, also happened to be a bloodsucker. All in all then, you didn’t miss much. Thank the Lord for TV decompression.

That decompression is still in full effect as the Fullers arrive at the motel for a well-earned rest, not escaping Seth’s notice as they do. Four episodes in, and the Geckos interact with the Fullers for the first time. All the added time and space of the TV series gives us more insight into the Fullers’ family history than the movie allowed, with daughter Kate suspecting that her dear old dad is a little less guilty of her mother’s death than he’s letting on. Robert Patrick is no Harvey Keitel, but he’s a good enough fit for the character, and an enjoyable screen presence. Let us not forget that he has prior From Dusk till Dawn history too, starring, as he did, as the lead in its sequel.

Where episode one gave us the film’s prologue, episode two took us from there to the motel, and the third (Big Kahuna aside) was content to stay put, Let’s Get Ramblin’ rather laboriously details the kidnapping of Jacob Fuller and his two kids. No surprises so far, with the plot staying incredibly faithful to Tarantino’s original story. Everyone gets more background and there’s method to Richie’s madness, but none of it seems particularly necessary. If anything, it serves only to undermine the characters. Seth is suffering the most at present, lacking the wit, charm and steely scariness of the George Clooney iteration. D.J. Cotrona might do a fine impression of Clooney’s easy drawl, but he lacks almost all of his charisma. Of the two, Zane Holtz is worthiest of your time, not hampered by the need to go around doing a Quentin Tarantino impression all of the time. Because that would just be horrible.

It’s not all old news though, with ranger Gonzalez (Jesse Garcia, still turning in the series’ worst performance) still hot on the brothers’ tail. After a quick flashback and an even quicker nightmare sequence, Gonzalez busts Seth’s ex-wife to learn where the boys are headed. He gets damn close, too. Unfortunately, the tension of the chase is kind of ruined by the fact that anyone who has seen the original Dusk till Dawn will know exactly where everyone is headed next. Poor Gonzalez, literally the only man who doesn’t know how this story is going to play out. Still, it does get us a Mexican standoff, a motel shootout, rooftop chase sequence and a spot of fisticuffs between Seth and Gonzalez. As far as action goes, it’s not Robert Rodriguez, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Four episodes in, and From Dusk till Dawn finally gets on the road. Let’s Get Ramblin’, goes the episode title, but I don’t know if I’d recommend that. From Dusk Till Dawn has rambled enough for now. Let’s get a move on, maybe.

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