From Dusk Till Dawn: Blood Runs Thick Review

Deeds past and present continue to leave us wanting more as the story unfolds on El Rey's newest vampire show.

As the second episode of From Dusk Till Dawn starts, we get a quick reminder that these aren’t just awesome bad guys with swagger and attitude. They’re brothers first, and a fight over a taco order (or an incorrect taco order) that turns into “how you mis-spent your five years in jail” sounds just about right for family, right? Luckily, they put their differences aside and just go do what they do best: rob the Abiline Mutual Bank.

Warning: Spoilers abound (and I’m even holding stuff back!).

Last episode, I speculated hopefully about the Harvey Keitel-esque priest with his kids in a Winnebago. As soon as the credits finished rolling on “Blood Runs Thick,” I was not even a little disappointed as a Winnebago makes its way down the highway and I see a very familiar face behind the wheel: Robert Patrick. For those who aren’t movie geek enough to recognize him right away, he’s been in Sons of Anarchy, True Blood, Psych, and he was the Liquid Metal T-1000 Terminator in Terminator 2. If you still don’t know who he is… I don’t know how else to make you realize how wrong it is and I may have a little pain in my chest from that thought.

We quickly meet his daughter Kate (Madison Davenport, who I remember from an episode of House) and son Matt (Brandon Soo Hoo, you might’ve seen him on Community), and find out they have no actual destination and Kate feels like she’s been kidnapped from her life and her boyfriend Kyle.  As the siblings argue about their father’s sanity (or lack thereof), they pass a familiar liquor store, still smoking from the fire and shootout of last episode.

Returning to the Geckos, as they try to find their way to the border without finding themselves surrounded by cops. They’re still arguing, trying to figure out what to do, and the conversation lets us in on a new tidbit: Richie wasn’t always like this, with the hallucinations and the voices. This is a new phenomenon and Seth’s wondering if he’s high on PCP (Which brings to mind Principal Snyder from Buffy talking to the cops about “the usual excuse”: gangbangers on PCP).

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The Rangers, Freddie included, find a few things when dealing with the liquor store aftermath: Richie drew an eye on each of the girls’ hands. That symbol has been at the crime scenes of some cartel deaths. Richie’s knife, left behind at the store, has the same symbol on it.

Back at the Gecko car, after hearing some more voices, Richie veers the car off the road suddenly… right by a dead body that he had no way of knowing was there.  Of course, the body’s not actually there when we look again, and that just starts a brotherly fistfight (not that Seth knew about the disappearing body).

A quick call to Carlos later, and Seth is no more assured by Carlos as he was last time. We do get a lovely new clue: Carlos’ hand, sizzling in the sun as he hails a ride from…boyfriend Kyle, driving to rescue Kate from the non-kidnapping/vacation she has “suffered” so horribly. Aaaaaaaaaand…no more Kyle. As it turns out, Carlos isn’t just your run-of-the-mill vampire. His fangs are like a snake’s, and his eyes go all snake-like too.

From the first episode’s young woman being tossed in the pit of snakes, and the ensuing visuals, these vampires might be some kind of serpent-like variety, like the Followers of Set out of White Wolf‘s Vampire: the Masquerade games (pencil-and-paper RPGs. Brings back memories, let me tell ya…). If so, considering the shape-shifting, the fangs, and the snake pit girl being the possible origin story, could they eventually introduce more than one type of vampire? 

Lastly, on speculation corner, we have Carlos’ talk of Richie seeing things differently. Richie says he won that knife with the eye symbol in a card game… could the hallucinations be related to the knife, and if so.. is our Ranger friend going to start experiencing his own mind-altering voices and such soon now that he’s the current holder of the knife?

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I’d also like to add that an un-sung hero so far in the series has been the Gecko brothers’ car: A black 1960s Mercury Cougar. They refer to it as a clunker at one point, but it’s a thing of beauty nonetheless.

From Dusk Till Dawn keeps giving us flashes of the past, filling us in on what’s been going on and explaining random questions that pop up. While it definitely helps explain things easily in these first episodes, I’m hoping the flashbacks die down as we learn more of the past and the need to remain in the present heightens.

The players are introduced, the stage is set. Now we wait only for the curtain call that is the crashing of the two plot lines to begin. Next episode? Or is there more we need to know before that happens? Is there more crucial information soon to come, to explain what’s happening to Richie and how it all started, that will open our eyes? Stay tuned to El Rey/Netflix and to us as we find out together.

Have speculation you want to share with fans? Comments on the show so far? Don’t forget to let us know! Comment down below!

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4 out of 5