Synopsis of 3×10: With Kate Fuller near death, our heroes race against an eclipse to defeat Amaru and close the gate to Xilbalba, before hell consumes the world.
Here’s to getting rich and fat, and dying in the arms of a beautiful woman.
Full disclosure, this was originally going to be a very different article. Those of you who read my typical recaps know that I like to get pretty detailed in the subject of recapping the episode. But, that was before I lost my completed recap in a dumpster fire of technological mistakes — or maybe it was fate.
Instead of talking about the whole episode, let’s talk about endings and beginnings. Keeping in mind the potential ending of the series after this episode and the uncertainty of its future, this episode can easily paint itself as a bookend, with a potential stinger that leads to potential future miniseries/ventures.
The episode itself is told as a frame narrative almost, with the first and last scene set in the future after the events of Amaru. The Gecko brothers are sitting in their car, preparing for what they know best, a bank heist. They’re older and wiser, and this is an almost picturesque scene. They’ve lived through Amaru, and culebras, and Venganza, and the gates to hell, and heroin addiction, and becoming culebras. They’re different people than the Seth and Richie we met in season one.
It seems like a blank slate, to start off where they began, sure it’s nostalgic, but it’s an ending that speaks little of the actual changes of their character. It seems like a cheap ending a first,
until we watch the episode and we get the big reveal.
While all of the characters are important, and they’ve certainly evolved within the series, I want to talk specifically about Seth, Kate, Santanico, and Richie. They’ve always kind of swirled into the story as the main characters. And this finale saw huge changes in all of them, changes that take their characters down a completely new path.
Since Richie’s change into a culebra, it’s undeniable that he’s not the same guy he once was. His abilities forced him to hone in on that weird side of him that’s he’s always had to keep stifled. While captured by Amaru, we see him visited by Carlitos in a vision. Carlos’ character has been kind of an enigma this season, but never more than in this episode. His largest role was in guiding both Santanico and Richie towards their destinies. In Richie’s case, it might not even really be him. He simply appears to Richie, like a spirit guide, and reveals his potential.
He connects the hallucinations that Richie saw in the convenience store in the pilot to Xibalba, hinting at the possibility that Richie is part Xibalban. We never see Richie fully deal with this knowledge, but it doesn’t seem so far-fetched all things considered. He’s always had a special connection to his abilities, and even as far as culebras go, he’s always been special.
Richie spends much of the episode alone, running from the middle of the desert and ending up in Xibalba before coming back through the gate with Kate, but he’s come far. He went from the loose cannon, the one that had to be supervised, into a self-made man.
The same can be said for Santanico. She’s been enslaved and used by people for centuries. If it’s not Malvado and the Lords, it’s Carlitos. Struggling between who she’s forced to be and who she wants to be, she’s been absent most of the season, but she’s back with a vengeance.
Satanico has one of the most inspiring journeys. A reluctant goddess, one who felt more like a slave than a queen, she was always unsure of her title as Diosa. She rejected it, despite caring about the culebras who worshiped her and appearing as a deity to them. It’s easy to see how someone who has been abused and used, who has been a basic figurehead for a culture based on enslavement and servitude, might shy away from being a seat of power towards the vulnerable masses.
However, we’ve seen Carlitos push her towards embracing her title. While it’s always felt a little self-serving in the past, it seems he’s serious about it when it comes to Amaru. In the face of culebras killing one another under Amaru’s control and being slaughtered, we see Santanico rise to the occasion. She stands up and fights for her people. She doesn’t rule them or control them. Amaru does to them exactly what she never wanted to do, she enslaves and puppets them to her will. Santanico champions them. She defends them and speaks for them as no one ever did for her.
Similarly, Kate also comes into her own. Facing off and finally destroying Amaru on her own, gaining back her agency and her body.
We come upon her on death’s door. Seth comes to her and transfers his blood to her. It’s almost impossible to even talk about the two of them separately in this episode, since Seth and Kate revolve around each other, and have been for most of this season. They embody cause and effect. In saving Kate from dying, we see the most vulnerable side of Seth. Kate has been his clear weak point since the beginning, and Amaru took advantage of it every time. She knew that Seth wouldn’t have the heart to hurt Kate and that he couldn’t hurt Amaru as long as she inhabited Kate’s body.
For Seth, Kate embodies much of his failures. He takes her on at the end of season one and turns her into a criminal just like him. He spirals into a heroin addiction that leaves her in a helpless position, one where all she can do is hope he doesn’t overdose, one where she must be the responsible one. He’s always seen her as just a kid, and as a result, much of what happens to this kid is in his hands. He was the one who plucked her out of that parking lot at The Twister, and he was the one who led her down this life of crime, he was the one who made promises that he couldn’t keep to her, he was the one who abandoned her at the side of the road, and therefore he is the one who inadvertently led to her death and possession by Amaru.
Amaru not only knew all of this, in fact, she leveraged this against him time and time again. She reflects all of his failures back at him and magnifies them. When Seth comes upon Kate, drained of her blood, in that moment saving her seems more important than anything else in the world. He’s not worried about chasing after Amaru or figuring out whether Richie’s dead or alive, he’s not even worried about whether or not she’s the same blood type, he’s there to try and at least right one of his wrongs and save the kid that he feels like he’s been charged to defend.
As a result, he coddles her, he worries about her when she finally comes to. He spends the whole episode trying to get her to safety, comiserating about the life that she’s missed out on, proms and dates that will never be. But, Kate is a different person. She’s not a girl anymore. She’s far from the innocent preacher’s daughter, or the ingénue partner-in-crime, she’s not Katie-cakes, she’s not even Kate Fuller really anymore, at least not the Kate Fuller we knew. She’s died, she’s come back, she’s a new fucking person.
And this new person doesn’t need a babysitter, much less a keeper. She takes the bull by the horns, she’s her own woman and she needs her own redemption. Under Amaru’s imprisonment, she’s had to stand by and watch as Amaru manipulated the people she loved, commit countless bloodthirsty crimes, take life after life without any remorse, she’s not about to just leave, she wants to stay and fight. Not only that, but she’s willing to sacrifice herself in order to close the gate, no matter what anyone says.
We see the emotional scene between her and Seth, as she faces the mouth of the portal ready to step in and do what needs to be done. She’s not scared of the unknown, Seth is. He’s the one who prayed that she come back to life once more, he’s the one who has been trying to get her to get the hell out of dodge, he’s the one who’s been trying to make up for his mistakes. But it’s not about Seth anymore. Kate says it herself, she’s there for redemption in the eyes of the people she loves, and she looks straight at Scott and Seth. She delivers a tearful goodbye, bidding farewell to Seth, “Time to let go, partner,” it seemed like we were saying our last goodbyes to Kate and closing the chapter on her story. The scene is poignant not only because of Kate’s goodbye but also the look of complete emotional devastation on Seth’s face. It’s watching everything that he’s been trying to save, to protect walk through to her death.
But thankfully, there’s more story to be told, and she comes back through the gate with Richie, and with her own bare hands, she destroys Amaru, throwing the amulet that kept her bound and silent into the gate as well.
The gang splits. Freddie has his family again, Santanico has her purpose, Scott has the road, and the Geckos go back to the beginning. But it’s not really the beginning at all. In another twist, we see the brothers stick up a bank, but this time they’re not alone. Kate pops up between them and drops the iconic line, “Be cool.”
I couldn’t have asked for a better ending if I had written it myself. Kate’s found her own place in the world. She’s not going back to her old life, that one’s in tatters. She’s found her place alongside the Geckos. She’s not a sidekick, she’s not an amateur, she’s not a tourist. She’s one of them. Seth gets his catharsis and he gets back that part of him that seemed to have died a little when Kate stepped through the portal, and Kate gets a life back, one where she makes the decisions, one where she stands up for herself and makes her own path.
The season ends with Madison Davenport’s “Monsters” as we get the closing credits of the cast, before a stinger that leaves some avenues left to travel for future projects. Could this serve as a solid ending for the series? Yes. Should this show get another season? YES. But if this is the last we get of From Dusk Till Dawn, then this is the only ending that I could have wanted.