‘Queen of the South’ Season One Finale: Cicatriz – Scar (Review)

 Queen of the South - Season 1

After last week’s episode, where Brenda stupidly brought up the subject of her son, “Cicatriz”  moves the future Queen of the South closer to her evolution from chrysalis to butterfly.  The season finale threw many things into the mix, including the shocking revelation that Guero is still alive.

He is also, apparently, either an undercover agent for the DEA or he has turned into an informant  for the US agency.

Theresa is questioned by her old would-be rapist, Gato,  who now has a huge scar on this face after she shot him.  Camila gathers her new employees for a meeting. Epifanio is now the Governor and after speaking with Mendoza, threatens action against his wife for stealing his men.

Gato  intends on taking up where he left off and Theresa takes him out permanently this time. Pote (Hemky Madera, who tried to stop Gato (James Martinezfrom raping Theresa the first time becomes a reluctant  ally.

Epifanio uses his newly acquired military forces to attack Camila’s new business associates, killing one and capturing another. The men’s “families” and soldiers are murdered as retaliation for Camila breaking away from him.

Theresa forces Pote to drive her to get Brenda from El Limpiador. She calls Camila after learning about Epifanio’s move against her. Mendoza tells Mrs. Vargas to meet her at the Higueras farm. After the call Pote decides to help Theresa.

James comes to grab Camila and get her out of Mexico. Instead he goes with her to meet Theresa at the farm. Isabella and Camila have a big falling out and the girl is sent back to Epifanio.

Cesar, who was marked for death,  manages to kill his guard and escape.

At the farm, Pote helps Theresa overpower the men guarding Brenda.  She finds her friend tied up in the garage, dead.  El Limpiador returns to find his men dead and Theresa shoots him to death.  She then buries Brenda.

Epifanio murders Xander, one of his former head’s that  he had kidnapped, in the back of his car just before a press conference. He tells his campaign manager that he needs a new tie.

Camila arrives with James. The two women talk and Theresa reveals that she no longer works for Camila and that she has a list of demands.  As the two women talk someone in a ghillie suit is taking their picture.

At an office in the US, a DEA agent  lays down the picture of Theresa and asks,  “who is she?” The person looking at the photograph is Mendoza’ former boyfriend Guero.

The season finale of Queen of the South increased Theresa’s body count significantly. She now has three notches on her gun and  a new right hand man in Pote.

Mendoza has made her move, with the aid of Guero’s book and a pistol, and will clearly start working with Camila instead of for her. Epifanio has declared war on his wife and will not be very pleased to learn that Theresa has escaped again.

It will be interesting to see if Camila’s prediction about Cesar, aka Batman comes true. Will her husband turn on his right hand man and sacrifice him?

The biggest shocker in the finale was Guero sitting in an office alive and not dead.

Brenda’s death, while upsetting, was pretty much on the cards from the first episode.  The woman may have had a certain amount of business smarts and cunning, but she also suffered from an innate naivety that got her killed in the end.

Theresa is now set to begin her rise as the new queen of the Dallas cartel and next season should show a significantly different Mendoza.  Braga was good as the lead character and the rest of the cast managed to shine as well.

Kudos to the show’s creators M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller for a splendid adaptation of the telenovela original.  Queen of the South will return in 2017.

CAST:

Guest starring Jon-Michael Ecker as El Guero

Queen of the South: Quinientos Mil – 500 Thousand & Brenda (Recap/Review)

Queen of the South - Season 1

Queen of the South this week intensifies the tension as Brenda and Theresa try to buy their freedom. Last week saw the two women learning about the coordinates in the book. “Quinientos Mil” has James getting the Jimenez man out of the DEA safe house and the book’s first location found in Mexico.

The election is not going well for Epifanio and Camila gathers her Colombian contacts for a meeting. It looks like Cesar may have been taken out of the equation. Camila kidnaps her own daughter to keep Epifanio from grabbing her first.

James and his men locate the man they will rescue as Theresa and Brenda open the entrance to a tunnel.  They find a lot of dead bodies and react accordingly.  The two stumble out of the tunnel and after vomiting are caught by two men from the house nearby.

At the DEA safe house, the men attack and kill everyone but the man they came to rescue.  Camila soothes the nerves of the Columbian’s by explaining her plans. She will take over her business and freeze Epifanio out. Whether he is elected governor or not, she says, there will be peace between the Jimenez and Vargas cartels.

Theresa and Brenda are taken captive and questioned by the local drug dealer. He wants to know where they learned of the tunnel and who else knows about it.

During their questioning, the man reveals he knows who owns the car they arrived in. It is Brenda’s cousin’s vehicle. He is looking after Tony and keeping him safe.  Threats are made, and the dealer says that the car’s owner will be killed.

The women manage to broker a deal.  Rather than the haggled price (Brenda insisted that they ask for $500,000 dollars) Theresa asks for $250,000 for their silence. The local dealer agrees and lets the women loose.

He pays them the money but as they start to leave, Brenda panics and asks if her cousin, and her son, will be safe. The dealer realizes he has leverage over the two and says so. Grabbing Brenda, he orders Theresa to stop.

She runs.

There is a prolonged car chase and the men shoot at Theresa while attempting to run her off the road.  After a long chase, crashes  and Theresa is caught.

The pace of Queen of the South picked up this week.  A higher body count ensued after the attack on the safe house and although it was short, the shoot out was handled very well.

This penultimate episode proved that Brenda is the weakest link in this partnership. Not because of a lack of intelligence, but because of her concern for Tony. It was the worry for her son that allowed the deal to fall apart.

Epifanio may still win the governorship but he will lose his hold on Camila.  Although his wife may have won the war for control Camila has  lost her daughter as a result. Isabella was not happy at being taken away in front of her friends.

It will be interesting to see if Brenda manages  to survive their “extortion” attempt. With Parra revealing the existence of Tony, they have lost their leverage. Clearly Theresa is safe but Brenda may have signed her own death warrant.

There is one episode left in season one of Queen of the South. It is safe to assume that next week’s finale will also end in a cliffhanger.

The series airs Thursdays on USA.  Next week is the season one finale and as season two has already been approved, it should be a no-brainer. Tune in and see what you have to look forward to next year.

CAST:

Queen of the South: Punto Sin Retorno – Point of No Return (Recap/Review)

 Queen of the South - Season 1

Queen of the South “Punto Sin Retorno” takes up right after Camila’s decision to kill Birdman. Now that the man’s death has been ordered everyone scrambles to make deliveries and move from their current location. There will be reprisals and Camila knows this. She heads to Mexico and Theresa runs.

Camila:

Mrs. Vargas has moved against the Jimenez cartel by taking out the despised Eric, aka  Birdman.  Moving her people out of harm’s way is only a precaution as she knows Epifanio will be blamed for Eric’s death.

Camila attempts to make Theresa feel better about killing the Florida drug dealer.  She also reminds Mendoza that they are “family.” Theresa argues that Vargas is still in business “because of me.”

Later, after Birdman is dead, Camila talks to the Jimenez cartel leader. She explains about Eric and why she killed  him. She also promises to get one of his lieutenants out of custody. They are now friends.

Epifanio:

Senior Vargas made a critical mistake in his dealings with Camila.  He opened himself up to compromise when he opened up two “fronts.”  Declaring war on his wife while running for governor caused him to take his eye off the ball.

Epifanio also misjudged Camila forgetting that she is strong character who never does “as she is told.” It looks like Vargas may lose whatever momentum he gained running for governor.

James:

Camila’s right hand man takes out Eric. First, however, he tells Kim to hide as there will be reprisals. She refuses.  While James takes out Birdman’s guards, Brenda is inside the house trying to sell the book that Theresa was given by her boyfriend.

Queen of the South - Season 1
Peter Gadiot as James Valdez, Blair Bomar as Kim

After killing Birdman (who dies with a threat on his lips) James finds the two pages from the book that Brenda had shown Eric.  James heads to the trailer by the lake and finds that Kim is not there. He calls repeatedly until she arrives.

Somewhat amusingly, Kim rants about never knowing if he is dead or alive.  Concerns usually associated with a cop’s wife.

Theresa:

Mendoza goes on the run. She keeps all her coke rather than delivering it. Theresa uses it to pay for false passports for her and Brenda.  She and her  best friend cannot make out what the  ledgers’s contents mean.

Theresa decides to sell the ledger to Birdman and sends Brenda to his house with two pages from the book. Eric calls and asks the leader of the cartel about  Brenda Parra.

Parra calls Theresa to say that Eric wants to buy the book if  he can verify the information. Theresa hears Birdman’s birds going crazy and realizes that James is there to kill him. She tells Brenda to get out of the house.

Mendoza and Brenda later  learn that the “code” in the book is actually  longitude and latitude coordinates.  They decide to investigate and leave Tony to keep him safe.

Thoughts:

It appears that James is still interested Theresa, even though he does tell Camila that she did a runner.  Camila has  managed to increase her business prospects and hurt Epifanio.   Theresa has secured a false identity, although it will take months to be processed, and it will be interesting to see why she stops running and starts as the new Queen of the South.

This move by Camila to grow her business will keep her husband  busy trying to salvage his run for office. Will this latest betrayal by Theresa cause Camila to decide she has outlived her usefulness?

Queen of the South - Season 1
Joaquim de Almeida as Don Epifanio Vargas

And finally, what will Epifanio and Camila do when they realize that Theresa is selling information about their  cartel?

Brenda, played by Justina Machado, is becoming a firm favorite in this series. Machado, besides bringing a sort of desperate, and inborn, bravado to her performance,  adds beauty and strength to her character.

Queen of the South airs Thursdays on USA.  There are only two episodes left in season one  so keep watching to find out what Theresa does next.

CAST:

Queen of the South: Esta ‘Cosa’ Que Es Nuestra – This is ‘Our’ Thing (Recap/Review)

 Queen of the South - Season 1

Queen of the South “Esta ‘Cosa’ Que Es Nuestra” begins with Camila heading south of the border to appease Epifanio while  Theresa is also in Mexico, returning the maid to her family. James continues to hunt down Mendoza and gets a lead from the company who towed Theresa’s car.

In Mexico, Theresa is taken captive by Maria’s family.  The maid’s father wants Theresa dead and Angel helps her to escape. She steals the father’s car and goes in search of the tire repair place where Camila’s men picked her up. She is after the book.

Camila returns home to Epifanio and the first thing they do is have frantic sex. It appears that,  above all else, that animal attraction is still there.  She tells her husband that she knows he is interfering with the shipments.

The two discuss Cesar, Theresa and Birdman.  Epifanio still wants Theresa dead and Camila reveals that Mendoza works for her.  She agrees to stay for the fundraiser.

Theresa finds the tire repair center and the book is gone.  The brother of the owner appears and tells her that a pipe burst and they found it. He returns it to Theresa and tells her it will cause her more trouble.

She heads back to the fruit market to the tunnel but is stopped by the policía.  Maria’s brothers arrive in a truck. They grab Theresa and put her in the  back of their father’s car.

At the fundraiser, Camila learns that Epifanio wants a truce in order to enhance his chances in the election. While she is there the leader of the Jimenez cartel calls Epifanio and attempts to shake him down.

James tracks down the car  Brenda was driving when she picked up Theresa.  He speaks to Brenda and threatens to kill her two workers if she does not give up Mendoza.  She refuses.

Maria’s father releases Theresa but promises to kill her if she ever returns.  She makes it back across the border and James tries to find out where the maid is. Camila, who is also back in Dallas,  calls about the maid and James lies, telling her the woman is dead.

James returns to the club and Camila tells him that Epifanio has ordered that Birdman be left alone. Camila explains to James that she can now run her business the way she wants.  The plan is,  as before, for Camila to double her shipments.  She then orders the Jimenez cartel member’s death.

Queen of the South - Season 1

Brenda and Tony move to a different hotel. She begins to read the book that Theresa retrieved from Mexico.  The two women must learn what the information in the book means to guarantee their safety.

Queen of the South this week had a nonexistent body count as it concentrated on moving things forward for Theresa. It is clear that James is attracted to Theresa and saved her from Camila for his own reasons.

There  may be  a truce between Epifanio and Camila for now, but if she does kill Birdman things could change. Although the move by the Jimenez cartel against Epifanio could keep the couple  on the same page.

Queen of the South airs Thursdays on USA.

CAST:

Guest starring Lanell Pena as Maria and Jeremy Becerra as Angel

Queen of the South: Season 1, Ep 9 – On the Run (Review)

Queen of the South - Season 1

The aftermath of stealing the Florida cocaine, and Theresa killing her first man, has stuck with the future Queen of the South. In “Coge Todo lo Que Puede Llevar” (Take Everything You Can Take) things are starting to come together for Camila.

Vargas pays back the Colombians who corroborate Camila’s theory that Epifanio is behind everything . After speaking with Villagossa  she forces him to keep their deal  a secret. Camila also doubles her order.

Before meeting with Villagossa, Camila dropped off the stolen cocaine to Allen. She just beats Watson with her delivery. He arrives and is met by Camila and her two associates.
Vargas taunts the Jimenez man; calling him “birdbrain.” He is not  pleased to have been defeated by Camilla.

Theresa rushes off the save the maid; Maria Sanchez (Lanell Pena).   James has orders to kill the woman after the police spoke to her. Even though she said nothing, Camila wants no loose ends.

Leon, John and Reggie’s brother, turns up wanting to know who killed them.  Word has travelled fast and the sibling that James never knew existed wants answers. Theresa asks Brenda to help her get Maria and her family out of Dallas.  James is tasked with finding the woman and he soon realizes that Mendoza has intervened to save her.

Camila, while waiting for James to return, focusses on Leon. She tells the troublesome brother that Watson killed his siblings and took their money. Leon is warned by Camila to take it easy as he is taking on a cartel. Leon  is not impressed.

Obviously Vargas means for Leon to kill Birdman but he fails. He really should have paid attention to Camila’s warning. Watson comes in and empties  a cup of Leon’s teeth onto Camila’s desk. He belittles the dead man and reminds Camila that he cannot be touched.

Queen of the South - Season 1
Camila squaring things with the Colombians.

James gets to the maid’s apartment after Theresa has fled. He tracks her car via the LoJack and follows the vehicle. James  learns that the car is being towed and Theresa is nowhere to be seen.

He tries calling her phone but she does not  answer. He also discovers that she turned the tracking off on her phone.

Theresa takes the Maria  and her family to see Father Ramon (Hugo Perez).  She asks him to smuggle them across the boarder to Santiago.  Initially he refuses and then tells her no buses are available till the weekend. Theresa says they just need a tunnel. He directs them toward Laredo, Texas. 

The small group arrive at the tunnel entrance.  As Maria and her two boys start into the tunnel she pauses. Maria then tells Theresa,  “God may forgive you for what you have done, but I never will.”

Theresa then returns James’ call. He pleads with her to return with the maid. He tells her that if she does it will stay “between them.” Mendoza says  “No” and hangs up.

She then tells Brenda that she is returning to get the one thing that can keep them safe. The episode ends with her entering the tunnel and heading back to Mexico. Theresa is going to get the book.

Queen of the South revealed how Theresa felt about killing John. It troubled her and changed her course of action. It was his death by her hands that forced her to work so hard  at saving Maria and her family.

Camila proved once again why she is the boss in this episode. She suspected Epifanio all along and now Villagossa has confirmed it.   She will now go after her husband with a vengeance.

Queen of the South - Season 1
Dave Maldonado as Leon

Leon turned out to be a tempest in a private jet.  He ultimately turned out to be “all shirt and no trousers” when Eric Watson got hold of him.

Presumably, now that Theresa has gone south of the border, next week’s action will take place in her old stomping ground. She will be up against Cesar and Epifanio while she retrieves that book.It seems safe to assume that there will be blood.

Queen of the South airs Thursdays on USA. Tune in and see why the “future” Theresa was so silent this week.

 

CAST:

Guest starring  Dave Maldonado as Leon and Brent Smiga as Eric Watson