From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, Ep. 1.05, “Self-Contained”: Series continues to excel at character and story development

From dusk one

From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, Season 1, Episode 5, “Self -Contained”
Written by Matt Morgan
Directed by Joe Menendez
Airs Tuesdays at 9pm (ET) on El Rey Network

“Let’s Get Ramblin”, the fourth episode of From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, was a high point for the freshman series. It was a technical achievement, funny, twisted, well executed, and it moved the story forward. “Self-Contained”, the show’s fifth episode, is another high point for the show, which just keeps getting better and better.

“Self-Contained” is a tightly wound and nerve jangling episode, set mostly in the RV as the Fullers and the Geckos scramble for power and control over their desperate situation. In that manner it’s not all that different from “Let’s Get Ramblin”. We bounce between characters but each story is fleshed out and we are given a chance to care about what is happening.

This is a good episode, more action oriented and over the top than previous episodes. It’s great to see Richie (Zane Holtz) trying to explain to Seth (D.J. Cotrona) his talent for “seeing things”. It’s even better to see Seth struggling to understand his brother and his issues. Both Cotrona and Holtz play the scene perfectly. One of the most surprising character developments of “Self-Contained” is Jacob’s (Robert Patrick) confession to Katie (Madison Davenport) and Scott (Brandon Soo Hoo) about what happened to their mother. We knew it was coming eventually but finding out so early in the season is an interesting decision. It’s not hard to see that there is still more to his story, perhaps more than even Jacob realizes; watching it play out over the rest of the season could be one of the show’s high points.

The episode does have a few missteps, though. When not dealing with the Geckos or Jacob, we’re left with Freddie (Jesse Garcia) and Carlos (Wilmer Valderrama). Both are perfectly fine characters, they serve their purpose on the show and will surely mean much to the plot later on, but they seem very disconnected from the series as a whole. This is particularly true for Freddie. His story seems a little disjointed. It’s all perfectly understandable why he is chasing the Geckos and they do need someone chasing them. But it doesn’t seem like he’s a formidable enough threat to the brothers. Something about him just hasn’t clicked. The same could be said for Scott. We get a glimpse into his background as a bullied teen but with everything going on in the show, it’s hard to care.

Even with those minor character issues, “Self-Contained” is a remarkable episode that pushes the story forward and finally brings the Geckos to Mexico. From Dusk till Dawn: The Series has been a great surprise and has given viewers much to look forward to in the final five episodes.

Final Thoughts:

“I didn’t know you were capable of not talking”

“I’m a professional thief not a killer”
“It’s not you I’m worried about”

Please keep the Earl (Don Johnson) flashbacks coming. He’s such a great character and so well played by Johnson.

“You know a life looking over his shoulder isn’t going to give him peace”

The flashbacks to Jacob’s past are intriguing. He is clearly unstable and they beg the question, what exactly happened on that highway?

“How you feeling, brother?”
“Never been better”

The introduction of the bar, presumably the show’s setting for the rest of the season, is perfectly shot.

Tressa Eckermann

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