Thursday, December 05, 2013

Lo Que La Vida Me Robó #12-12/04/13: Of Heart Attacks and Looming Heartaches

A couple of scenes have been combined so I can avoid some of the shifts back and forth.  I know it's a long one, so let's get started!

REFRITO # 1:  Bar in Agua Azul:  We begin tonight's very exciting epi with a repeat of DIM and Adolfo discussing DIM's planned fake courtship of Femme Uni-brow Josefina for dinero. DIM says he'll do it as long as he doesn't have to do it every day but, boy, does it suck for him.  He doesn't want his mother to know, since she might really make him marry J. He proclaims he needs to be with a real woman pronto to be able to help him forget the couple of seconds he had to spend with Josefina today.

What More Do You Want, Mamá--REFRITO #2 and more  (We're guessing just about everything, Montse)

Madama Graciela and her daughter/princessa/meal ticket Montse arguing in M's bedroom of the Hacienda Mendoza.  Monserrat has turned into MONSTERrat is going on a very impassioned tirade concerning the fact that Gracie has basically gotten everything she wanted and succeeded in totally dominating Montse's life:  Gracie found Montse's husband, planned the wedding--"What more do you want, Mama?" she cries.  "What more more do you want?"  It seems that what Gracie mostly wanted just then was to organize a little dinner to announce the engagement of Montse and Ale, but never mind her ambition for that particular instant is fairly small since Montse is right in a larger way and continues screaming as Gracie attempts to calm her down--"Don't touch me!"  "Leave me in peace!"  After much screaming and crying from Monster, Gracie eventually begins to suspect that maybe Monster doesn't want her mama's crazy, badly dressed nalgas around just then and leaves.

But guess who is in the hallway just outside?  Sweet Auntie Carlotta continuing the grand telenovela tradition of listening at doors, though in her case, always for good, not evil.  Graciela gets all peeved--Were you listening?  No, no, Aunty insists.  I only just arrived.  Gracie knows she's lying but is more angry at her Monster daughter anyway and lets Tia's well-intentioned nosiness slide as it's now Gracie's turn to go on a rant about the Monster's crude behavior, her ingratitude, etc.  Monster doesn't want a dinner for her engagement.  Gracie wanted to take her to Mexico City to check out the latest wedding gowns, but she's not interested.  Auntie Carlotta worries that it's just that Montse is still crazy in love with and hurting because of that sailor.  Gracie is having none of this and insists she needs to talk to Alejandro about some things.  Auntie Carlotta stays, and as soon as Gracie is gone, slips into the bedroom to be a more sympathetic listener for Montse. 

Another brief scene in aforementioned Stripper Bar, Agua Azul
Esmerelda and a "colleague" are in the bar working hard for the money.  Esmerelda says she has been looking for a cute sailor who came in about a month ago but she hasn't seen him.  Unfortunately for her instead DIM suddenly appears on the lookout for her, and she tells the other woman that he is an idiot and to tell him if he asks that she (Esmerelda) is sick.  The friend, not as fastidious, approaches DIM and when he asks for Esmerelda, she asks him for a drink instead.  We don't see more, but let's assume they get down to the business of helping him get rid of Josefina cooties.

Alejandro DEEP in thought--or maybe going off the deep end.
The lights come up in Alejandro's house to reveal that the most handsome and wonderful man in Mexico is sitting alone in the dark and doing what looks to be a tequila shot.  Astutely, his good friend Victor guesses that something might be wrong (he walked in on Ale and turned on the lights) and asks if Ale is okay to which Ale replies, "I hope yes."  This doesn't satisfy Victor (or me) and Victor rightly points out that it seems a little strange to him the Ale is just sitting there drinking in the dark.  Alejandro insists that he has just been thinking and then comes out with the request that Victor return to the hacienda and run everything for him.   Victor is surprised at this sudden change of plans.  Besides, won't Ale be missing the country, his horses, his people?--Victor thought Ale really wanted to go back and run the hacienda himself.  Ale says he has changed his mind.  In the dark, truth has revealed itself to him and he is going to stay in Aqua Azul to run the factory and to live in bliss with Montse whom he is marrying in less than one month.  Victor continues rightfully in his interpretation that this is all sounding more than a bit nutty to him and asks him why the change and also why all the rush to get married.  Ale gets a little defensive, me thinks, and says he's not pressuring Montse in any way--if she didn't want to marry him so soon she wouldn't have to.  She could delay things if she wanted.  Besides, he thought Victor would be excited to run the hacienda, and at this point Ale is getting irritated wants to know is if Victor is interested or not.  Victor says of course, he is, but still something is smelling rotten to him in all of this and maybe he shouldn't say it, but Victor shows the good friend that he is and tells Ale that he (Victor) doesn't like the way Ale has changed since he's hooked up with Montse--living in a place he doesn't like, with people he doesn't like and who don't care for him like his own people on the hacienda.  He says that Ale has become little more than a puppet (títere) in the Mendozas hands, and especially getting involved with Graciela was a mistake.  Victor even suspects that the daughter isn't much better than the mother.  Here Ale gets really angry and reminds Victor that he is talking about his future wife and to can it now or else.  Upset but, with any luck, satisfied with the knowledge that he did the right thing to speak the truth to his friend, Victor leaves.  

Really Mean and Sordid Streets of Agua Azul--Running from one bad man, Esmerelda runs into some even worse ones, though at least they don't have uni-brows.  However, they are a lot more threatening and dangerous, and recognize her as the stripper from the bar, and they begin to harass her seriously,  Hey Baby, why are you out alone?  Esmerelda is a tough and smart one and tells them to beat it, but there are three of them and only one of her, and things are starting to look pretty bad, except that LUCKILY two recently wrongfully disgraced, good guy ex-marineros--José-Luís and Refugio--are hanging out on the park bench and, even on the run and hoping to be invisible, can't ignore the call to come to the aid of a stripper whose already lost virtue is in need of saving just then.  They give the would-be assaulters a well-deserved beat down.    Grateful, Esmerelda thanks the two profusely and even manages to share a meaningful look with Refugio.  They say they'll leave, but she asks them not to and to escort her home.  It's really close, and she'd feel a lot safer.  How can they refuse?  They don't and head off to her house.

Anybody want to take a wild guess at the winner of Pervy Scene of the night?  Cut to a shot of Juventino in bed.  In a romantic mood, he's lit a little bedside lamp to enhance the ambiance, and we know it's a big moment in his brain because he get his FIRST close-in eyeball shot!  And what's in his eyeball?  MONTSERRAT!!!!  Yikes. It even look like she's walking out church in the memory.  I think he'd go to hell for this alone.  He mumbles something suggestive about seeing her again and is even moaning a little.  EEK!!!

Meanwhile, not suspecting that her image is fast becoming the bugger of Juve's eye, Montse and Tia Carlotta engage in some heartfelt talk in Montse's bedroom.  Tia says Montse can't fool her and thinks that Montse is upset and agreed to marry so quickly for spite.  Montse says no that's not it.  Tia says such a sweet ENTONCES here--i.e. so what gives? Montse starts again down the Jose-Luis memory lane, maintaining the wound he gave her won't heal, and that she still can't quite believe that he would treat her so badly, whereupon Tia insists it's a good thing Gracie changed Montse's cell phone number so J-L can't bother her anymore.  Carlotta believes that when Ale confessed he loved Montse he was sincere, but Montse still isn't sure.  Carlotta wants to know if Montse wonders if it is a mistake, why did she agree to marry Ale and in less than a month?  Tia Carlotta suspects that it's because deep inside Montse knows that Ale loves her and this is keeping her moving forward in spite of her doubts.  Montse says maybe but she doesn't love him.  Tia Carlotta says Montse can't deny Ale is good to her and is very caring.  Carlotta thinks that one day Montse will realize she is in love with him.  It's not a mistake to marry him.  Tia is convinced that at the side of a man like Ale, Montse is going to be very happy.  Amen, Auntie Tia.  Montse isn't convinced yet, but the rest of us in the Viewerville chorus sure were even before this very sweet pep talk.  

Esmerelda's House.  She enters with J-L and Refugio, thanking them both again for saving her  and for walking her home.  Refugio has an aw shucks kind of reaction and doesn't want to go, but J-L clearly feels the need to clear out asap. Esmerelda notices that Refugio's shoulder is hurt.  She assumes it was in the fight and offers to clean it up.  They say it's not necessary, but she insists and goes to get some rubbing alcohol and cotton.  While she's away J-L again says to Refugio that they've go, but Refugio says where and in the middle of all Esmerelda returns having heard them and tells them not to worry that they can stay with her.  It's the least she can do for them after what they did for her.  She wants Refugio to take off his shirt, which somehow manages to be both suggestive and not suggestive at all.  She also asks them their names.  They lie and say Renato and Andrés and that they are brothers..or, er, half brothers.  She is suspicious and comments that this is weird since they don't look like each other at all.  Refugio asks her her name and comments that it's very pretty.  Anyway, Refugio finally takes off his shirt and she goes to clean up the injury but then becomes even more suspicious and declares that his wound is no ordinary wound caused by roughing up some would-be assaulters.  She knows an injury from a bullet when she sees one!  Not sure how she knows, but they are either shocked at her amazing powers of perception or by her previous experience of gunshot wounds and exchange some meaningful looks. 

Kitchen of Hacienda de Alejandro:  A rejuvenated Juventino, frisky from his eyeball dream the night before, appears in the kitchen seemingly to molest Dominga again, though she promptly picks up a frying pan to keep him at bay.  He just laughs and says he's bored by her now since he's seen an angel and has set his sights much higher.  This guy clearly has never met a crazed ambition he couldn't claim for his own.  She calls him a little man and tells him to get out.  

Hacienda Mendoza:  Doorbell sounds.  Ale-hunko has come to call on his prometida.  Gracie pre-empts him and asks to talk to him in the study.  Wasting no time, she gets to the point and not surprisingly it's all about money, or her need of it.  She says the hasty marriage has put her in a tough position.  It's her only daughter, after all, and she wants to do things up right--the invitations, the trousseau (ajuar) the wedding dress.  Beyond used to her now, he says he'll pay for it.  Also, she wants to make sure he honors all the promises he made to cover their debts, and he assures them he will and just tell him how much and he'll write a check.  She tells him that whatever, he shouldn't tell Lauro about all the money details--or Montserrat, either.  He's already on board with that one and wants to make sure, too, that Montse knows nothing of the money since clearly this is a big embarrassment to him.  She promises him she'll never tell but at that moment, Montse herself walks in having just overheard this last bit and wants to know what important information they want to hide from her.  They both look pretty guilty as she demands to know again what they are talking about.  Ale recovers fast and assures they were just talking about the honeymoon he's been planning for her and which he wanted to keep as a surprise.  Gracie does a quick exit at this, proclaiming concern for Lauro, and leaves Ale. to deal with any further fallout.  Montse is still suspicious and tells Ale that something about the whole thing gives her the feeling that Ale and Gracie were really talking about something that would tick her off for sure if she knew what it was.  He still insists it was just a spectacular honeymoon and she comments sarcastically that he's making such a deal of it, it's as if he's never traveled before, to which he responds sincerely that, no, he actually hasn't.  He's never been beyond Agua Azul.  She finds this hard to believe since he's rich.  He tells her, no, his FATHER was rich.  Ale himself, no.  She seems surprised, though why she doesn't have the curiosity to ask him more about this really annoys me, but I guess I have to live with her misunderstanding of him for a while.

House of DIM's Female, Uni-Browed Counterpart, Josefina:  Adolfo has come to call on her in a pair of red pants he borrowed from that other stylish evil-doer Hernan from La Tempestad, ready with a plan for taking her money from her.  She wants to know where DIM is, but Adolfo says that DIM felt bad that he couldn't come, but that something important and difficult came up.  She wants to know what it is, but he keeps saying he can't tell her because DIM would be really angry if he found out that Adolfo had told her.  She says he can rely on her discretion whereupon he spills the beans he was planning to all along and tell her about the Mendoza's money problems.  They trash talk Gracie a bit, how it's her lavish lifestyle that's ruining the family.  Josefina comments that Gracie seems religious but is really superficial.  Anyway, Adolfo says that DIM needs the money pronto to pay back a guy the Mendozas borrowed money from or the old Admiral will be headed to the carcel.  DIM is desperate trying to find the money.  How much, she asks?  One hundred thousand pesos.  She's shocked but then she's all probrecito DIM.  Adolfo insists that DIM is just dying to come to see, her but he's so harried looking for the money, he can't.  Suddenly, she gets the idea that Adolfo intended for her to have all along and offers to LEND DIM the money herself.  Aldo insists this is IMPOSSIBLE that DIM would never agree to borrow money from a woman.  He's too proud and thinks too much of her. She keeps insisting, and Adolfo keeps refusing until he gets the great idea of having her lend the money to him (Adolfo) in secret instead of DIM.  Adolfo can then lend the money to DIM saying he just came upon it some way, and DIM can save face and never be the wiser.  For some reason that can only be classified under D for DELUSIONAL, DUMB, DEPRESSING or even DIMMER than DIM himself, she thinks this is a brilliant idea and giggles with DELIGHT just thinking about it.  

Back in Esmerelda's house it's morning, breakfast is ready for the boys, and Esmerelda's  suspicions are growing, though not in a bad way.  She tells Refugio she recognizes him as the sailor who was making eyeballs at her in the club not too long ago.  He is surprised that she recognizes him, but she says how could she ever forget those eyes that eyeballed her and that smile?  He is clearly digging this but then suddenly old single-minded J-L enters to break up the flirt-fest and remind everyone that he and Refugio are only passing through and will be leaving soon.  She comments that she knows they are in trouble in some way and that they are lying about who they are, but she doesn't care and wants to help them.  This is good news to their ears, especially for Refugio.

Back at Hacienda Mendoza again DIM and Adolfo are indulging in a self-congratulatory moment for having tricked Femme UNI-BROW of some of her dinero so easily.  Lauro comes in and interrupts the evil feeling and is hankering to lay in to DIM.  He (Lauro) has just gotten off the phone with his friend Captain Robledo who called to inform Lauro that though he offered DIM gainful employment a month ago, DIM still hasn't shown up once for work.  Lauro says DIM is making him look bad, but DIM urges his Dad to calm down.  Lauro isn't listening, though, and claims DIM is an embarrassment to the family and even gives him a good smack upside his DIM, uni-browed head.  DIM, however, has had enough too, and is completely un-cowed by his father and stands up and calls Lauro an old, miserable wretch.  Lauro tell DIM to get out of the house, but DIM refuses. DIM even says that Lauro should be the one to set a good example in the family and DIE ALREADY.  By this time, everyone else in la familia Mendoza has run in at the bronca including Alejandro, too, who manages to catch a now fainting, chest-clutching Lauro.  It sure looks like another infarto brought on by the ingratitude of a spiteful and spoiled child.

La Ciudad de México, Hospital.  And because Lauro never uses the infarto to fake-out his children, he has been hastened to what I assume must be one of the best hospitals in Mexico to see a cardiologist.  DIM and Adolfo wait in the waiting room, the latter leafing through what looks like a Harper's Bazaar.    They gossip about what DIM did to his father, but Alejandro comes in basically to tell DIM that's he's worthless and not staying any longer in el D. F. to freeload off Ale and to give his family more anguish.  DIM insists Lauro is old and that he DIM is not to blame for the heart attack.  He can't be a sailor because he and Adolfo are doing some kind of importation business.  What kind?  Ale wants to know.  Oh, you know, clothes and well, everything, says Dim.  Adolfo chimes in about some contacts he's got in Brazil.  Ale is suspicious and says if that's so then DIM can finally pay him back, but he's not buying that they're up to anything useful and basically tells DIM to scram that he's not helping him again just because Ale is marrying into the family.  Montse and Carlotta come in and Montse informs them that Lauro is going to need intensive therapy and is in a delicate condition.  Carlotta says Gracie is worried about the medical expenses but ever-wonderful Ale assures her not to worry about anything since he is in charge and will take care of it.  At this point, Montse starts in on DIM saying how could he--doesn't he realize he nearly killed their father?  DIM is all about refusing to take responsibility and is not about to go on the guilt trip she's organizing for him.  Thank goodness he leaves with Adolfo which leaves Montse with Ale to comfort her.  She complains about how awful DIM is, horrible and irresponsible.  Ale urges her not to work herself up.  She says she's the only one who worries about the family.  Ale promises to help her with everything--even with beyond dim DIM.  She seems honestly moved by his concern and gives me the sense that she's beginning to realize what a gem this guy is, especially when she tells him she feels terrible for all the craziness the family is putting him through--after all he's only known them a little while, and all they've given him is trouble. But he says he doesn't mind--it's always like this with families, and besides the ONLY THING THAT''S IMPORTANT TO HIM IS HER!!!!  Aww.  Cue theme music and she gets a sweet hug in his lovin' arms.  

One sort of Random and another VERY bizarre scene that took place during the time the family was in the hospital scene:  
1.  J-L and Refugio stake out the Mendoza house.  J-L is determined to talk to Montse, as he has been for all of this episode now and earlier ones, too  He's hoping she'll appear but hasn't yet even though they've been coming for a month.  Refugio is nervous.  It's dangerous and he's fed up with the wait, but J-L insists he will keep coming until he finds her.
2.  Juventino seems to have come a-courting OR to do some evil I can't figure out as he brazenly rings the Mendoza door bell and combs his greasy hair while he's waiting for someone to answer. ¿Qué? Does he think they'll welcome his as a suitor for Montse?  What's going on here?

Back in Hacienda Mendoza a month later:  Lauro has returned from hospital in Mexico City finally and is feeling better, thanks to the good care from Montse--and Carlotta and the nurses and…oh, and Gracie.  Montse's fluffing pillows and making a fuss.  They begin talking about her wedding which apparently is taking place TOMORROW, and he assures her he is really excited for her and that Ale is a good man, but Montse's just not feeling it and Lauro senses that.  He asks her if she loves Ale and she says she cares for him a lot.   He says don't marry unless you love someone or otherwise it will become a torture for you--anyone else thinking he's thinking about Graciela here?  Anyway with the experience of nineteen years behind her, she insists she can't fall in love and the reason is because no man is as good as her dear old papa.  He asks her why she's marrying and asks her if it's because Ale is rich.  She doesn't deny it--is that a bad? she asks.  He tells her it is wrong to get married for this.  He then goes on to tell her that their economic situation is improving because they're going to have a bumper crop at the hacienda, and they can pay Ale the money they owe him.  She brightens seemingly thinking it might mean she could back out of the wedding.  Gracie walks in at that moment and tells her she needs to come and try on her dress since the dressmaker is her, though as soon as they're in the hall she wants to know what Montse and Lauro were talking about.  Montse says papa told her things were looking up in Mendoza land in terms of money, but Gracie's not about to let her money-bags future son-in-law slip away and says, no, that that's only what she told Lauro so he wouldn't get upset by the truth.  Actually Ale paid for everything and  there's the ARGREEMENT…..Oh, no, Montse wasn't supposed to find out about that!  Her worst suspicions now confirmed as not as bad as she had feared, Montse demands to know WHAT AGREEMENT?  Gracie then spills the beans about how she and Ale had an agreement that Ale would pay their debts and more if he could marry Montse, but while still maintaining her own (Gracie's) complete innocence.  It was Alejandro's idea.  Alejandro pressured Gracie to pressure Montse to marry him.  Montse is now really and rightfully upset and keeps repeating pathetically and angrily "You SOLD me?  You SOLD me, Mama?"  Gracie keeps trying to worm out of any responsibility and keeps blaming Alejandro.  He will ruin us if you don't go through with it, but, hey, he still really loves her!    Monse isn't believing it.  Still, Gracie comments, it did save Montse from that sailor, though Montse isn't having this, either, and says that what Ale did was worse than what J-L did to her.  I missed a little of Gracie's final evil point about why Monse still had to go through with it, but it seems to be something about how Lauro will die if she doesn't and/or the family will be destroyed forever.  Regardless, Montse believes she has no choice but to marry Ale, even though she now thinks he is the worst man on earth, and also her Mama disgusts her, too.  

Casita de Alejandro:  Not suspecting that he is being betrayed by Gracie at the same moment, Alejandro patches things up with his good friend Victor.  He feels bad about their argument.  They've been friends a long time (along with Padre Anselmo, his two truest friends) and he (Ale) is getting married tomorrow and Victor is his only friend attending.  Victor feels bad and apologizes too, but wonders why Ale hasn't invited anyone else.  Ale says that he doesn't want the fine folks in Agua Azul to be snooty to the good, simple people of his home hacienda. Victor scoffs at the fine folks and wonders why Ale doesn't at least invite Father Anselmo and suspects that it might be because Ale knows Father Anselmo will be the one person who will finally get Ale to understand he's making a mistake.  

Uni-Brows United in Living Room of Josefina's house:  DIM is doing some forced courting of his own.  Doing some fishing, Josefina speculates that Montse must be so excited to get married and wouldn't DIM like to follow her lead?  Instead, doing some leading on, DIM makes it seem like he would really like to, but who would marry him with his awful financial situation.  J insists that ANYONE would, he's so handsome.  He then pretends to have something to tell her but stops short saying he has no right, given his circumstances.  She tries to get him to tell her and he NEARLY does it, but then backs off again, teasing her and leading her to believe he WOULD if he only COULD.  Eventually he leaves and she then does some praying to the Virgin that he will finally declare himself.

Hacienda Mendoza:  Montse is having what seems to be a final fitting in her wedding dress while Tia and Mama look on happy.  Sensitive Tia tells Montse to come on and get happy, too--she looks like she's going to a wake, not a wedding--while Gracie tells Tia to lay off a bit cause Montse is just nervous like she (Gracie) was the night before her wedding.  While all this fun is happening on the sofa, Montse is experiencing some serious negativity in her head, repeating, YOU BOUGHT ME!  YOU BOUGHT ME! to a phantom Alejandro and, for good measure, also remembering that Jose-Luis is a player, too, who tricker her and dumped her even though she loved (still loves) him.  BUT ALE IS WORSE, she thinks.

Nearly the end of epi and the scene that broke my heart:  A very excited, sweet Ale is in the Mendoza garden with his intended Montse recounting to her with joy the thoughtful plans he has made for their European honeymoon.  Madrid, Barcelona, Paris.  Does she want to go to Italy?  Her head filled with lies (not his, though she thinks so) she answers without any interest--Whatever he wants.  This hurts him and he wonders why she always answers like this.  He's planning all this for her.  They're getting married tomorrow--why is so unresponsive?  He feels like she's putting up a barrier, and he can't break it no matter how he tries.  She claims she is just sad for her father's health.  He says okay, he understands, but that's why he's willing to move to Agua Azul so she can stay near her family.  He then basically begs her to behave in a more caring way towards him and moves in to kiss her, but, crazoid that she is, she breaks away and runs into the house.  He is upset and runs after her, but he is waylaid by Gracie who has seen Montse run in and then cruelly goes to Ale to ask if SOMETHING HAPPENED?  DID YOU FIGHT?  knowing full well everything is awful and going to be worse because she ratted him out and lied about him.  He is not willing to tell her what happened.  She asks him if he's coming to dinner tonight.  He says sure and goodbye for now, though clearly is muy impactado about this latest turn of events.

FINAL Scene, Casa of EASY though still very virtuous in other ways Esmerelda:  Mostly same old conversation, different month.  Jose-Luis and Refugio are arguing again about hanging around in Agua Azul.  Refugio is happy in Chez Esmerelda but still thinks enough is enough.  They've been stalking the Mendoza pad for a month and no Montse sighting, but J-L insists it was because she was away that whole time and that Refugio can go if he wants, but that he (J-L) is not leaving until he talks to Montse.  Esmerelda comes in only to say  she's headed out, but suddenly there's a knock on the door.  WHO IS IT?  DIM, of course!  

END OF EPISODE--Please pardon what I fear are many typos!

Avances:  Wedding of Ale and Montse:  Looks like we're going to be able to appreciate why the original was called BODAS DE ODIO--Weddings of Hatred.  Also, J-L finally talks to Montse, but it doesn't look pretty.


Julia thanks so much for this wonderful recap. I so enjoy your support of SR/Ale with lines like " I guess I have to live with her misunderstanding of him for a while." I'm so with you as SR is so compelling as Ale.

Wow Graceless is so horrible. It will be fun when she can no longer manipulate with Monse or Ale and even more fun when she gets her anvil. Until then, good heavens what was she wearing tonight?!! This show becomes must-see-tv because you have to see these fashion felonies (thanks Mads) to believe them.

And Juvie's fantasies and bold delusions concerning our protagonista; insane. I will look forward to Ale beating him down for even thinking about touching poor Monse.

I hate that the fleecing of Josefina. I can't wait to see when she wises up to them. The actress was so much fun in Gancho and is putting in a great performance thus far.

Thanks Urban and NM for your great recaps. The holidays and my upcoming trip have kept me away from our blog.


Marvelous, superb recap! Liked your little asides and all the detail.

Esme sure surprised me. She is very nice. I wonder if what she told Ale was her true story. I hope she and Refugio end up together.

Monse and Ale are breaking my heart too. How very sad. Monse thinks that poor Ale is worse than JL, so sad, although JL is entirely innocent too. I feel bad for JL too, but he never had the avocadoes to talk to her Papa. I wish Ale hadn't made the deal with the devil Gracie about keeping things on the down low. So sad. Monse is sure hating on him that's for sure.

Juvie is a creep, no other word for him. I am always glad that Dominga has that handy skillet. I wish it were cast iron. She could really sock him with it. I too can't believe he showed up at the Mendoza's. Noone would let him near Monse that is for sure.

Dim and Addy are such Losers. They should be stamped with a big L on their foreheads. Like Ale can't see through them. Too bad Josie can't, poor thing, I so don't want Dim to take her for every thing she has. Isn't it funny how much Dim and Gracie are alike? Both won't take responsibility for anything they have done.

Best characters are still Lottie and Vic. Love the two of them, such voices of reason. I wish that Monse would listen to her Tia more and not ole Gracie. Vic is very sensible just like Lottie.

Gracie never wants Monse to be happy. She'd rather Monse hate Ale than hate her. Gracie is such a beyotch, she needs an anvil!

Julia, thank you for this absolutely top-notch recap! What an enjoyable read. I admit I haven't seen this episode yet, but I couldn't resist peeking at the recap. I'm so glad I did. Kudos to you for the skillful "D" alliteration. It was just DELIGHTFUL.

It sounds like Esme might be a sympathetic character. Good! The actress definitely has the props to play both naughty and nice.

Oh dear, so Montse thinks Ale is worse than JL? Let the chronic misunderstandings begin. We can't pretend we didn't know it was coming.

Julia, I was thinking I might skip watching this episode, but your recap has intrigued me. I don't think I can bear to miss the Pervy Scene winner or the setups for all the upcoming agony.

Thank you, Julia, for your wonderful recap.
I'm trying to watch this as it airs, so I can chat with all of you, because I really like SR and AB together.

I understand why Monse is upset with Ale now, he is kind of buying her affection - sure, he doesn't know that she knows (and I'm guessing this will bring them much heartache in the future), but he shouldn't have agreed with Gracie in the first place; Vic is right, he's so blinded by love, that he's spending all this money on Monse's family... for what? To make sure she won't turn him down?
Of course Monse is lying, too, wich makes things all the more telenovela angsty.

I really don't care for JL or his ruggedly handsome appearance (that I find anything BUT handsome). Refugio and Esmeralda are much more interesting.
I did find it funny how Esme let two strangers in her house, after just being attacked - yes, they did come to her rescue, but still, I would be so freaked out, I'd lock my door with a million keys and hide under the covers - but then again, Esme has the "street smarts" I lack.

I've never seen Josefina in another tn, so for me she is very fresh. At first I thought the brows were not enough to make her ugly, but then I noticed she has the whole attitude to go with it. I actually enjoy her with Dim and I REALLY like the Finita-Adolfito talks - I find them great comic relief, even if he's a lying liar who lies to everyone, including his partner in mischief, Dim (noticed how he asked Finita 100k and she only told Dim he got 50).

So the wedding is coming, huh? Fingers crossed that JL doesn't show up to ruin everything for Ale.


thank you, Julia. Well, here we go. although many points of the storyline follow Amor Real, some parts are different. The evil hacienda worker (Juvie here) was not related to the overseer and had no icky obsession with the leading lady or any other women.

I think that the guy playing JL is a much better villain than good guy. he was spectacularly wicked in Alborada . I do not think that he is right for this role.

Really fabulous job, Julia. So much was going on this episode.

Thanks for mentioning the 50% cut Alfie took for himself. I laughed when he told Dim 50 mil while barely keeping a straight face. No honor among thieves, or "ladron que roba ladron". I also enjoy the comic relief scenes with Fina and the two dimwits. They aren't over the top. But I hope Fina catches onto their game soon.

I was in the midst of taking cookies out of the oven, but I think Graceless also told Monse that Ale would call up the loan and take the house if she didn't marry him. It's not enough for Gracie that Monse marry a man she doesn't love. Now she's ensured that Monse is marrying a man she HATES and doesn't respect. Let the games and misunderstandings begin!

Esme and Refugio are adorable. JL was totally killing the mood between them. Too bad Refugio's a fugitive. I don't see much of a future for them.

Wonderful recap Julia. And I had the same reaction to a few scenes last night, especially those odd Juve scenes. I guess there always needs to be a real villain who is also enamored of the heroine. He gives me the creeps.

Gracie just can't do anything simply. Maybe that's why they dress her like they do--everything is in excess, even her scheming. Poor Ale, no idea the twist of the knife she pulled on him. There were a few moments last night I thought "gees, man. Run! you want to marry into THIS family?". Then they had the scene where they addressed just was so sweet and you just saw Mon melting. Well, I was melting too. That pile of goo on the patio--yeah I was a goner.

EEEK moment of the night for me though--that primal scream that came out of Dim in the argument. Holy crap! Definitely a few screws coming out of the hinge...

Hated that preview with Ale at the altar...sniff.


Julia, this was extraordinary - a deliciously detailed clever recap indeed!

"daughter/princessa/mealticket", "maybe Monster doesn't want her mama's crazy, badly dressed nalgas around", "Really Mean and Sordid Streets of Agua Azul", "not suspecting that her image is fast becoming the bugger of Juve's eye", "This guy clearly has never met a crazed ambition he couldn't claim for his own" and "Adolfo has come to call on her in a pair of red pants he borrowed from that other stylish evil-doer Hernan from La Tempestad" were my favorites (from a pared down list).

Such great chemistry in the pairings here - Monse and Ale and now, Refugio and Esme. Smoke detectors beware...

We knew Ale should never have made the agreement with Graciela in the first place, and it has now come to haunt him with full force. I feel for him - he is so enthused about the wedding and the fabulous honeymoon. Monse - not so much! Will she make it through the vows??

Karen, I am also loving Veronica. I also loathe cruelty to anyone who is lonely and starving for affection and that is certainly Josefina.

Juvie is repulsive, isn't he Madelaine? I can hardly believe this is the same, swashbuckling, heart stealing main man Mario from Pasion.

How will Esme get rid of Dimwit tonight? Her bad taste in getting together with Dim aside, I think she has heart and spunk, an unbeatable combination. As you noted Sylvia: "The actress definitely has the props to play both naughty and nice." Exactly! Looking forward to seeing more of her.

Julia, you totally rock. This was amazing.


O.M.Gee what was that ensemble Gracie was sporting. Part white lacy shawl, part rags???? I had to laugh when I saw it. I got a really good look at her hair last night. Part sloppy bun, part frizzy curls. I have never seen such a sloppy villain, eva! The writers sure have given us a lot to snark over this "luke" of Gracie's.

Madelaine, I was thinking the same thing about Gracie's outfit, I forgot to mention it earlier.
She sure likes pink and wearing layers upon layers of fabric that intersects and hang loose and go around the shoulders and down the spine and so on and so forth...
I wonder how the actress likes her dresses - I bet they have a good laugh everytime she has a new outfit to show off.

Julia, thank you for your snarktastic recap. Well done!

I kept falling asleep while watching last night, so I can't wait to get home and see the rest of this Eli and check out Graci`s outfit.

But we got a great closeup of the Lampara Invitada again. I swear those people in the Televisa props dept are messing with us and having fun doing so.

Great work, Julia.

What I am not understanding about this series is how you can update it without having Monserrat attending college at her age. It looks even less likely that Dimwit attended. He's supposed to be 28 years old, so how did he reach that age without making anything of himself?

I certainly don't fault Lauro for wanting to disown him, but what took him so long?

Not " Eli" but "epi", blasted auto-correct. Argh...

Julia - Muchas gracias for a fun recap.

I like Esme & Refugio too.

Surprised that Gracie spilled the beans to Montse. Even though Gracie lied to blame Ale, seems to me she would fear that Montse would get even angrier and bolt on the marriage. In that moment, I felt like Gracie wanted to hurt Montse, even more than she wanted to get Ale's money.

I'm for Ale, but I like JL too, for someone else. JL was lame to not step up to Lauro, but Ale was lame to talk to Gracie, and even Dim, about his feelings for Montse instead of going straight to her in the first place.

Thanks for this excellent recap.Really nice work, very well written.

I particularly loved this segue:

'Meanwhile, not suspecting that her image is fast becoming the bugger of Juve's eye, Montse and Tia Carlotta engage in some heartfelt talk in Montse's bedroom.'

Absolutely brilliant, Julia.

Julia, I have an amusing story about your use of the term MONSTER_RAT. I have a lovely black cat that I rescued some years ago from a shelter. My great niece, who was about 4 at the time, was with me when we found her. As the cat had been spayed, I figured she must be a virgin, or at least re-virginated so I named her Montserrat, after the black Virgin of Monserrat in Catalunya, Spain. My little niece, who could not quite get her tongue around the new cat's name, called her Monster-rat.
I was very amused by your take on Monse's conversion in last night's epi to MONSTER_RAT.


Also, we, ahem, I, don't fuss too much about typos. I am the worst typo offender on the blog.

Elna June


Splendid job, Julia R! Thanks so much.

So many scoundrels, so many buffoons to mock and despise … (Hmm. What would Henry James say about the attitude on The Patio?)

Won't it be fun when JL realizes Esmeralda was a player in the scheme to discredit him? Or will he find out?

Right now, Alejandro would be better off marrying just about anyone other than Montserrat. I bet Josefina would be willing to live on the hacienda. Or what about Esmeralda? She would be nice and down to earth (and she'd know how to deal with María too).

[Sorry Carlos -- María has been too naughty to deserve Alejo. If she grows up a little, maybe she'll be worthy of Victor. Maybe.]

Anyhoo…to distract myself from all the nasties, I have started listening for one of my favorite suffixes -azo words. Last night, I only noticed two, but they were classics:

Dominga grabbed a frying pan and threatened to give Juventino a SARTENAZO.
[Q: What do you call the klop you give someone with a SARTÉN?

Either Carlota or Graciela referred to Alejo as a PARTIDAZO (a great catch)
[Here, PARTIDO is literally a match, such as a sporting event. A PARTIDAZO is a super important match. This is a figurative use: match --> catch. In any case, this isn't the first time the cuñadas Mendoza have referred to Alejo this way.]

Yes, art reflects life. Poor Alehandsome finally gets a break and inherits his miserable father's fortune, and then evil incarnate in the form of Graci and Dim Bulb crawls into his life. And thus , it is so in real life....when bad people happen to good people. Likewise, gullible pobrecita josefina was minding her own beeswax when evil came to call.

Dimbulb is despicable. I detest him so much more than Ernesto Laguardia who played the brother in Amor Real. Even playing the villain, Ernesto's sweet nature and charm peek through. This actor really makes me cringe. Yelling at his father to die was unforgivable.

The scene of Juv sprawled on his bed fantasizing about sweet, young Mony was icky. Channeling NovelaMaven as the camera zoomed in for a close up of his eyeball, I imagined his thoughts...ewwwww. ......" innocent , ripe young thing skipping out of church.....innocent, ripe young......ripe., ". UGH. Where's the brain bleach ???? I want a really big anvil on a gigantic pie cart for this oily, smarmy guy. How could this happen to sweet pirate Mario. I am so disillusioned.

theorems a chapter in our speaking book about fairy tales . All cultures have them , and they follow a certain formula. telenovelas are fairy tales. Today, I was reading Rapunzel and Cinderella from are big, fairytale book. In both stories, the prince falls in love at first sight. Sometimes, that can happen in real life, too.m

theorems = there is


I am so with you on the casting of Jose Luis. Noting about his acting here pulls for my sympathy. He just seems...obsessed with Monse, not madly in love with her. Why would he say he is going to take her away with him, willy-nilly? What is she has changed her mind?

I have to blame the writers and direction here. If they want us to care about and root for the doomed couple, they had better make JL more appealing.

Karen, I cannot STAND the 'fleecing of Josefina' as you so aptly put it. Ack!

Novela maven....guess I already had the Henry James quote in my journal.


As always, you continue to enlighten us. Big smile.

I can honestly tell you that before this very moment, I had never given a thought to -AZO words. Wonderful exposition on the suffix, dear! Now I will listen for it.

I particularly enjoyed your 'por ejemplo' involving the skillful use of a skillet upside Juventino's cabeza.

Thanks, as ever, for being our grammar guru.


Elna June..For me, the actor playing JL seems to be phoning in this performance. I feel nothing for him. I think that he is much better at playing villains as he did in Alborada in which he was a diseased , deranged, and deliciously evil villain. As a good guy, he comes off as bland and boring. I just do not feel anything for him. I cannot feel his passion for Mon . Unlike, Alehandsome who wears his strong, big heart on his sleeve and is willing to endure dreadful relatives and shell out piles of money to be with Mon.

Even though I sttill do not understand much of what is said in the novelas, I surprised myself yesterday after class when I was able to figure out what the young policewoman from Colombia was saying to the guy from Mexico..."At first, I did not understand anything in this class." VWhen I translated it, the Mexican guy smiled and was surprised and delighted , Maybe there is hope for me.

Novela maven, Grammar Guardian Goddess, when you were writing about that subjunctive tense in Spanish, I realized why my Spanishseaking students are not as intimidated by the 12 verb tenses in English including the dreaded present perfect progressive. Are there 16 tenses in Spanish ?

Adriana Noel, you are so right about Josefina's geeky attitude. I noticed in this episode how she tends to cock her wrists inward as if she's trying to hide within herself. This actress is superb and I look forward to the little personality tics and glitches she will add to enhance her character.

Susanlynn, I am also disappointed in JL's character. The actor was so divinely wicked as Don Diego in Alborada; still one of my favorite villains ever. I am expecting more from him here, not sure what exactly, but a little more zing. ITA with you that his "love" for Montse is just not believable. I can't decide if I am supposed to root for him or not. I just don't care. Meh.

But THERE is a slimeball I can get behind. Even the way he combs his hair gives me the creeps.

"This guy clearly has never met a crazed ambition he couldn't claim for his own."

What a wonderful spot-on description of Juventino. In this updated version of Amor Real, the writers have added some repugnant sleaze, I must say. Gracie and Juventino are both bottom feeders. The mother in the original was not anywhere near as repellent. And there was no distressing Juventino character. Sorry that in "updating" they felt they had to ratchet up the repugnance.

Susanlynn...I'm in complete agreement about JL. He was fabulous as the corrupt Diego; but leaves me cold as the "innocent, betrayed lover". He's wasting his time (and our time) in this role. But I would love to see him as a villain again.

You said it best on Juventino:

'Even the way he combs his hair gives me the creeps.' Hee, hee, hee, amiga.

You know how it goes, amiga. In real life the actor probably helps lame old ladies across the street and cares for sick puppies.

But on screen he has me totally creeped out.


I agree with all the observations on the bland, boring JL. There is no spark in his character (or in the actor in the role). As central as his character is to the storyline, I find myself FF-ing through his scenes and hoping he gets caught. I don't want Refugio to get caught, though. Go figure.

Sylvia, yes, how can someone make hair combing that creepy ? He is like a sleek, oily Fonzie or Kookie Burns..hello, Carlos. Slimy, slimy! lend me your comb. You have to appreciate an actor who can move from Jolly Pirate to Nothing-jolly pervert so easily. Kudos.

Judyb.. I completely agree with you. The mother in AR was cold and calculating and all about money and social status, but she dressed conservatively and was not BSC like our Gracie. She doted on her worthless son and showed no warmth to her daughter as she used her to save the family's face and fortune, but she had a little class while doing it. She was very concerned with appearances. Like Graceless Gracie, she wanted a big , ostentatious celebration to impress people . Also. like Gracie, she kept her husband in the dark about marrying off their daughter to a rich man. it seemed harder for her to accept a bastardo as a son-in-law, but Manuel's money was tempting enough to make her continue her push for Matilde to marry him. Do you remember the scene where Matilde is knocked unconscious in the street and good Dr. Manuel takes her to his townhouse and has the maid undress her and put her in a bed.? The mother finally convinced Matilde to marry him because her reputation was sullied. (shout out to Ursullied from LT who really was ultra sullied.)

"Slimy, slimy! lend me your comb", Bwahahahaaa! Good one.

P.s. I think some of Juv's extreme sliminess comes from that creepy smile he always seems to be wearing. Around here, people refer to that type of smile as a sh*teating grin....that about says it all.

So it seems we have followed the white rabbit right down the rabbit hole...Juv is the Cheshire Cat...Moony Mon is , of course, Alice...Gracie is the crazy Queen..Lauro is her weak , little king...okay, let's see Mad Hatter..Dim (or perhaps he is that pipe smoking caterpillar ) ..Marchhare..Addy...or maybe Dim and Dimmer could be twiddle Dum and Twiddle Dummer...maybe Refugio is the dormouse and the white JL (because he is always running somewhere) part for Alehandsome because Alice in Wonderland has no hero.

Happy Unbirthday, everybody, from a stoned Louis Carroll, Walt Disney, the cast of Robo, and me.

Whoa Nellie, love your imagination, Susanlynn. Alice in Wonderland, indeed.

On Amor Real, I actually had a little sympathy for Matilde's mother. She was totally shaped by her culture, and no doubt was married herself to someone she did not love (although I adored her husband..he seemed stronger spiritually than the doddering Almirante); so it seemed perfectly right and just that Matilde should marry someone financially adequate, regardless of her feelings.

Remember, that in many parts of the world, young women are still married this way. Some are even betrothed by the time they are 5 or 6. And many undergo grotesque, non-sterile surgeries, so they cannot enjoy marital relations. In a world where men rule, female feelings don't count. Not even to their mothers.

JUdyb...I had a student from Africa who had just such an operation.

I had guys from India and Bangladesh who told me that their parents would be choosing their wives for them.

The storyline made much more sense in AR because it was taking place 100 years ago when arranged marriages were common and women had few options other than marriage. Tia encouraged Matilde to marry Manuel as her mother wanted because she did not want Matilde to be an unmarried woman living with relatives like she was.

My mother's mother used to tell her "It is nice to put your feet under your own table." I wonder if that is a German expression...or just my grandmother's feelings.

Thank you, Julia. The stench of rats linger over this episode: Dimwit and Aldopo and Graceless with their dirty tricks. Dimwit's contemptuous raging at his father was unforgiveable. Poor Montse is right to be stone-faced and hurt: she's been lied to about her true love and now deprived of enjoying Alejandro's real love for her and the budding love and admiration she was beginning to feel for him. All because of her "mother" the real monster in this thing. Enjoying this, it's intelligent and riveting. Thank you so much Julia for this most excellent and thorough recap!


Matilde's mother dressed conservatively and like a true lady, for her time. Graciela dresses like someone who has been watching that Kardashian "reality" TV show.
Graci's hair always makes me think "deshabille."

I think they have to ratchet up the villainy in this version to justify how a 21st century young woman would get into this situation. Whereas the mother in the last version could appear more sympathetic because she was a woman of her time, and pushing a daughter into a marriage with a well-to-do spouse was normal/expected, a mother pushing her daughter into doing that these days can only be shown as controlling and greedy. Otherwise she would be pushing her daughter towards higher education and a successful career-- in addition to finding a good husband.

And the young woman must also not only feel an obligation to help her family, but also be made to feel this is a life or death situation (her father), and also be disillusioned with love and men in general, so that she doesn't believe she will ever find real love, so she might as well marry this guy.


I'm actually thinking that the actors playing JL and Refugio should have switched roles. I could more easily believe Carlos de la Mota as the doomed lover than Roberto Guzman.

I think both these guys are doomed, though.

Re FGM: This so horrified me when I first read about it. There are horrendous health problems that result from it and nobody seems to care. If the insecure men in those cultures would learn how to please women this practice would be easier to wipe out.

Vivi and UA..good points.

Vivi and UA..good points.

Thanks for this wonderful recap, Julia. Very well done and very entertaining.

NovelaMaven, I'm going to stand by María although I really don't want her to end up with Alejandro either but for very different reasons. I much prefer Victor for the sweetness, loyalty, and yes, purity that is María. OK, I remember the key thing but I don't think for a moment that she thought that she might be abetting a rape attempt.

Alejandro is certainly pretty, but he is not exactly that great a prize himself. He is self-deluding, social-climbing, and willingly involved in purchasing a wife. He's certainly not very discerning if he doesn't realize that Monserrat is not as enthusiastic about or committed to this marriage as he is. He, after all, did propose the initial deal with Graciela and she took advantage of it. Does he not wonder who Monserrat mistook him for the first time they met? Also he really put me off with his not inviting or even telling the folks back home of his upcoming nuptials. His excuse was lame and embarrassing.



Carlos- He did ask her, and wondered if it was Sebastian, but then Gracie interrupted them.

Very true that Ale has made mistakes. Don't worry. He'll weep many pretty tears because of his errors. But he's still too good for Maria, and so is Victor.

Thanks so much to everyone for commenting. I teach all day on Thursdays, and so it's tough to find time to comment back on your comments:

Karen: Glad you are with me on all things SR!

Mads: I am loving Lottie and Vic in all things, too! Could they ever end up together?

Cap'n Sylvia: So glad my recap pulled you in to an episode you might not have watched otherwise!

Adriana: Thanks for pointing out the sneaky thing Adolfo did with the money. I always get really nervous when I try to figure out numbers in Spanish for some reason, and I missed the double-dealing.

Susanlynn: I didn't know the guy playing JL had been a baddie before. I'd like to see the difference because I agree he's bland in this.

Vivi: I felt like a lot was going on, too! It was hard to keep up and condense everything, and I worried I was going on for too long.

Daisynjay: I agree, I am feeling so sad thinking about what Alejandro might have to face tonight.

Diana: Thanks for all your specific shout outs of lines you liked. It is always great to know which ones were most enjoyed

Doris: Love the term "Snarktastic" and to know my recap was such!

Urban: I really agree. Montserrat's not going to university really bothers me, too. Also, I keep wondering why no one ever asks Ale what his degree was in. Will we ever find out?

Niecie: Yes, G's need to spill the beans seemed weird to me, too. She tried to make it seem like an accident but it's as if she just can't stand the thought that her daughter would ever be happy.

Elna June: Thanks for sharing the funny story about MONSTER-Cat. As a full-fledged crazy cat lady myself, I welcome all feline anecdotes

NovelMaven: Those words Sartenazo and Partidazo are so cool and make perfect sense! I'm so glad you caught those and pointed them out and for your great ear.

IMPORTANT and off topic - all recappers please read Melinama's post Note To My Beloved Bloggers which she posted on Monday.

I remember the first time I heard (or noticed really) one of the -azo words. It was cuerpazo, meaning a hunk.

Judy B: So glad you liked my comment re Juventino. Repulsive as he is, I am amazed and even a little impressed this guy's got the balls to try the stuff he does.

Lila: I agree DIM"s ranting was awful and hostile. His lack of remorse is astonishing to me, too.

Carlos: I love your championing of Maria. Your comments about Ale's lameness really got me thinking about this more, and I think you're right. His excuses were bad, but somehow I just let him get away with this and still think he's wonderful.


I am guessing that Ale's degree is in agriculture or business. I hope it is in business so that he does not lose his inheritance the way Maricruz did in CI.

Once again, thanks to all who commented!

I wanted to give a personal shout out to everyone this time--if I forgot any of you, I'm so sorry. There was one anonymous with no name, but I enjoyed this person's observation about not wanting Refugio to get caught but not minding if J-L did.

Julia, we KNOW Alejandro is a good guy, or supposed to be anyway, so we have a head start on liking him. (His general awesomeness notwithstanding.)

I will be interested to see Ale's character development. In Amor Real the hero Manuel was a bit of an anti-hero. He had a dark side that he had to learn to control. Will Ale have a dark side? Rulli most certainly plays Alejandro as if there is something simmering underneath his very polite and generous exterior.

Julia, thank you so much for your recap. It was very descriptive, and entertaining.

I am sad to say that my original comment on this epi is gone...vanished. You see, I am at work, and I had to leave my desk. When I returned minutes later, a co-worker had decided to use my computer to write an e-mail and had logged me off the computer. All that hard work was gone. I am so upset right now that I can't remember all that I wrote, but I know it had to include, 'what was Graceless wearing?' For now, I am short on time, so I bid you farewell...

Back to work...hasta pronto!

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