After Theresa’s close call with Cesar last week, Queen of the South shows Mendoza moving further up the food chain. In “Un Alma. Un Mapa. A Futuro” Brenda begins to distance herself from Theresa, Epifanio makes his move against Camila and his wife explains to Mendoza that if she runs, she dies.
In this episode more is revealed about Theresa’s “keeper” James Valdez. He has a girlfriend; Kim (Blair Bomar) whose clothes and shoes are the same size as his charge. Valdez is also a planner and a killer. He takes Theresa to a party where her job is to help set up the future mark.
She must hide a device. Its job, James tells Theresa, it to disrupt the target’s birds. The bird loving man with the ‘X’ on his back is Eric Watson (Brent Smiga). Watson is a baby sitter for property controlled by Camila’s competition; the rival Jimenez gang. They control half of Dallas and Vargas wants it all.
Theresa is not a willing participant in this bit of “wet work” but she really has no say in the matter. While getting a party dress and the appropriate shoes James checks his equipment. At the party, she gains access via one of James’ contacts.
Once inside she is directed to the master bedroom on the first floor. (Note: This would be called the second floor in the USA. Apparently, in Mexico, as in England, the second floor is called the first and the “bottom” floor is referred to as the ground floor.) After she places the bird disrupter under a heating vent in the floor, a handcuffed man is brought to Watson’s bedroom.
(In an awkward moment, Theresa must hide in a room with reflective surfaces everywhere. She would have been seen by the men escorting the handcuffed chap had they been paying attention. Not the most believable scene in the episode…)
Theresa is spotted by the man, who has been roughed up, and she attempts to free him. He urges her to leave. Once she is out of the master bedroom, James sends her a text telling Mendoza to leave the party. Out in the car, she and Valdez watch Watson murder the handcuffed man.
Mendoza does not sit idly by while Watson suffocates his victim. She struggles with James and at one point the vehicle’s lights flash on and off; this can be seen in the bedroom window. It is noticed, peripherally, by Watson as he kills his victim. This will surely come back to haunt Valdez and Camila later on.
Back in Sinaloa, Epifanio Vargas is making his retaliatory move against his wife Camila by cancelling all her drug shipments. He tells a concerned Cesar that he knows how to handle the woman he has been married to for 25 years.
Camila calls her husband who claims to have problems with the shipping process because of the federales. She asks about their daughter Isabella. He tells her to come home and Isabella will talk to her. Camila then calls a Colombian supplier and asks him to speed up the next shipment. Later Epifanio calls the same man and tells him not to supply his wife.
Earlier, Brenda freaks out when she learns that Theresa is working for Camila. Later, when her money starts running low, Brenda helps a small time drug dealer sell his product. When Theresa calls, she ignores her phone and carries on counting her freshly earned money.
After the party, Camila explains to Theresa exactly where she stands. Since Mendoza has something against Epifanio, she is useful to Camila. If Theresa tries to leave, Camila will have her killed.
Once again, Brenda proves that while she may have some street smarts, as in successfully selling cocaine in a club, she lacks the survival instinct of her friend. Although to be fair, Theresa made a number of mistakes in this episode. The first of which was telling Brenda too early about Camila.
Epifanio also made a mistake by forcing Camila’s hand in her take over bid. His wife built his drug business and is clearly the better businessperson. Another mistake was using their daughter as a pawn in their struggle for control.
Next week’s episode of Queen of the South looks more action packed than this one. It looks as though there is an ambush and James is shot. Theresa Mendoza is still very much on the lower rungs of the ladder and her journey to power is still in its infancy.
Queen of the South airs Thursdays on USA. Keep an eye on this series, Alice Braga rocks as Theresa Mendoza and the rest of the cast are performing brilliantly. This is top notch telly even if it is a remake.