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.
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)
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.