Episode three of Queen of the South sees Theresa slowly being accepted by Camila. While the boss lady’s main motivator for gaining Mendoza’s trust is her husband’s interest in her Camila is impressed with the former money changer. As Theresa works slowly to move into the circle of trust. Brenda and Tony (Adolfo Alvarez) are struggling to stay alive.
Clearly Chino’s girlfriend lacks the street smarts and survival instincts to keep ahead of Epifanio’s men. Theresa has to warn her about the cell phones and tells her friend to destroy hers. Despite this, the mother and son are still almost caught by Varga’s thugs.
Even money is on Brenda and Tony getting caught and taken out pretty quickly. The two may have paid “coyotes” (smugglers) to take them across the border but Brenda just is not clever enough to stay alive. She can learn fairly quickly but as evidenced by her phone call with Theresa, Brenda has no real idea of what “bad” is.
Last week’s stomach churning episode had Theresa swallowing balloons of drugs. The containers were faulty and disintegrated too soon. This was edge of the seat stuff where it looked like the future queenpin would die before she really got started.
Mendoza continues trying to gain Camila’s acceptance although James warns her not to. He cautions Theresa about getting too close and that if she succeeds getting out will be harder. Camila forces James to take the new woman on his drug pickup and drop off.
Prior to her second outing, Theresa calls Brenda on a borrowed cell phone and tells that Varga’s men are tracking her through it. She tells her friend to go to the “crazy green place” and that she will call her there. Brenda and Tony barely manage to escape from Varga’s men.
Camila has to cancel visiting her daughter who reacts angrily. Isabela (Sandy Valles) hangs up and refuses to answer when her mother calls back.
At the pickup, James orders Theresa to say in the vehicle and act as lookout. He goes into the warehouse to collect the product. Theresa calls Brenda at the beauty salon (the crazy green place) and as she finishes the call the DEA grab Mendoza and abduct her.
Throwing her in the back of an unmarked van they question her and try to make Theresa give them Camila’s name. As they attempt to force her to tell them that she works for Vargas, her future self shows up and advises against it.
The agent’s phone rings and it is Camila. The boss lady is impressed with Mendoza and she reveals that the DEA raid was a test. Theresa passed and Vargas now trusts her. James tells Theresa he did not know about the test but that Camila operates that way. He reminds Mendoza that he did warn her about Camila.
At the drop off Theresa meets Lopez with James. The buyer is not happy to see a new face. Camila makes her move to purchase the small fishing business for shipping while James checks the money for the drugs purchase. After Valdez okays the transfer, Theresa asks to see the money.
She tells James that something feels “off.” Going through some of the bills she finds a counterfeit note. Theresa tells James that real US money weighs a gram and that they should weigh the bill. He does and it proves to be fake.
They repeat the process and find another. Lopez claims he knows nothing about the counterfeit money. The suspect is Lucian who pleads his innocence. The man tells Lopez to check his house and Theresa tells them to check his car.
They find the stolen money.
James asks Theresa what they should do to Lucien and she replies, “Nothing. Just let him go.” Valdez tells her that is the wrong answer.
Later Camila meets with Theresa and attempts to give her a watch for doing so well. She also warns her new employee not to show mercy. It makes women in the business look weak Camila explains. Theresa tells her new boss how she knew something was wrong. (Lucien kept cracking his neck.)
Camila talks about loss and Theresa again refuses the watch telling Vargas to keep it to pay off her debt. Later Theresa pulls out the photograph of Malverde and has a flashback to when Guero was alive.
Brenda and Tony get on a bus and hide under the seats. As Theresa calls her friend Camila watches her newest business acquisition via CCTV. Theresa tells Brenda that she will love America.
Camila is moving up and losing all she holds dear in the process. The latest casualty in her life is Isabela who chooses to estrange herself after Camila had to cancel a visit. Brenda and her son must survive the trip to America and Epifanio has faded into the background for now.
James could possibly be the new Guero if he and Theresa continue to work together. Although at the moment the loss of her boyfriend is still fresh and painful. It will be interesting to see if what Guero taught Theresa will endear her to James.
Queen of the South is pretty gripping stuff although there were fewer deaths and fraught moments in this week’s episode. Braga continues to perform at an Emmy winning level and the rest of the cast step up smartly to deliver as well.
The series airs Thursdays on USA. Stop by and watch this one for Braga and keep watching for the story.