Rafaela continues to spend her time playing chess with Leonardo while trying to figure out his true motives, conversing with the ghost of Maximo, and trying to subtly encourage her youngest daughter to become a raving lesbian. On top of that, she’s also a mother figure to Mariana and a constant voice of support and encouragement.
Things with Leonardo were going well, which means that something had to give eventually. Alma ended up sleeping with Alejandro, for work purposes, you understand, except that what they shared was so intense and orgasmic that Alejandro has fallen further in love with Alma and Alma has discovered that maybe she harbors some deep-rooted feelings for Alex. As a result of all of this, Alma is now all awkward around Alejandro and Alejandro continues to be emo while still openly pursuing Alma. Alma has taken to being awkward with Leonardo as well, which works out because now Leonardo is also seeing Maximo’s ghost everywhere and is slowly losing his mind.
Maximo’s “ghost” is more of a projection of their own feelings about Maximo and so he represents different things for them all, though it seems that the common denominator is guilt. In Leonardo’s case, he feels guilty that he made Maximo a promise to investigate his murder and has, instead, fallen in love with Maximo’s ex-wife. So he’s tentatively trying to investigate the murder while simultaneously trying to not find anything out at all. He doesn’t want to know if Alma had anything to do with Maximo’s murder because then he’ll be put in the position of having to do something about it.
Mercedes got involved with a politician that helped her out tremendously during the Rosario case (lady whose sons were murdered and then called drug dealers). And she ends up going out with him a couple of times but she starts to get suspicious about him and though she agrees to a weekend alone with him, she figures out – due to his behavior in public – that he’s married. He’s married to a good friend of Alma’s, actually, whom Alma “helped” through the escort service. But Mercedes doesn’t know that and it doesn’t seem important that she knows it, since she tells the guy that she can’t see him any more.
As a result, Mercedes and Claudio – who has been acting like a jealous idiot the whole time Mercedes had the thing with Ricardo – get closer. And it’s sort of inevitable that they’ll eventually get together, but they’re not quite there yet.
In terms of work, now that Mercedes has taken on one of the most powerful families in Mexico, and then taken on the Mexican government, her next stop is: HOMOPHOBIA. Indeed, Mercedes’ latest Crusade for Justice is against hate crimes. And why? Well, because of Mariana. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Mariana/Julia (and … Gaby)
So where were we? Ah yes. When last we left them, Julia had spent five minutes or so in Spain before deciding that she couldn’t live without Mariana. So she returns to Mexico and goes straight to Mariana’s apartment, only to find that Mariana isn’t there. And it looks unlikely that she’ll be back any time soon.
What follows is many days (and episodes) without Mariana. Here, let me hold your hand through the anguish of it all.
In episode 31, Julia gets a speech from an angry Rafaela who tells her that she needs to grow up and figure out what she wants and stop hurting people unnecessarily. I don’t think she’s that upset that Julia hurt Armando by leaving Spain (although she doesn’t like it in principle), but she’s very upset that she’s hurt Mariana. “Don’t get me started on Mariana,” is what she actually tells Julia, while pacing around the living room, ranting about how Julia needs to get her s–t together.
Mercedes and Alma are present for this whole thing, but they’re more about protecting Julia than taking their mother’s side, even though I strongly suspect that they agree with what Rafaela is saying. As do we all.
Julia’s all defensive and talking about how she refuses to make choices based on what other people want her to do. But Rafaela’s point is simply that Julia needs to figure out what she actually wants and stop the nonsense of flipping back and forth between people.
Julia just looks like a grumpy puppy.
And later like a kicked puppy.
I know, you’re probably just looking at Mercedes. It’s okay. I’ll give you a moment to enjoy the view.