Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Lo qué la vida me robó, cap. 16, Tuesday, December 10, 2013 -- Let's celebrate Human Rights Day with a sympathetic look at rape!
¡Feliz cumple, Heriberto! ¡Te quiero mucho!
I'm very anxious to read your thoughts on this episode. A character we really like (Alejandro) does something that we really despise.
I think the writers view his behavior with sympathy. Should we? Can we? What year is this anyway?
Some of my favorite Mavenisms: "A collective shudder runs through The Patio." Ick, We hate the comb! Can't believe that Juvie combed Maria's hair with his own disgusting comb.
Another great observation: "María thinks it's a bad sign that Alejo is eating in the dining room instead of sharing the kitchen table with her and her sociopathic kleptomaniacal uncle."
And the best:
"Face -->Eye --> Mind
I knew this headband would change my luck!"
Thank you telenovela goddesses for letting JL and Refugio frolic in the river. Say what you will about annoying JL, he's got a bod.
I don't know what was shown in Mexico, but our version of the violación was lacking in details. I'm bummed it was alarmingly true to previous versions.
NovelaMaven, as you say, a character we like did something odious. He admits later on that he despises himself for his part in this. I do agree...What year is this anyway? It's hard for me to reconcile Alejandro's actions. He raped his wife. Not good.
ooh, I'm so excited you're awake! Yes, this is "an, ahem, very interesting episode." It makes me feel like the whole novela is seen through the looking glass.
JL SHOULD be the hero, but he is not because, among other things, the actor is so annoying.
Alejandro SHOULD be the villain (or A villain), but he is not because we have so much good will towards the actor and because the writers NORMALIZE his transgression.
P.S. I just turned Juvie back into a thief from a klepto because I realized I was going for the cheap zinger and sacrificing the truth. [I do have tendencies.]
Thank you for the recap. I do agree this certainly was an interesting episode. I wasn't sure how this part of the story would pan out. Honestly, I am a bit confused about the whole thing. And I think those were the writers intentions. They may want the viewers to debate whether or not it was a rape. Ale was wrong for what he did, on the other hand Montse did not even try to fight back. She threw her arms back when she was on the bed, as if saying, lets get this over with. Did that throwing back if the arms mean just that? But that still does not excuse Ale's actions. He was wrong, but I also think that he sincerely felt guilty after the fact. Like he said, she brings out the worst in him.
Also, I don't think Ale could be accused of rape because technically she never said No. Still, what he did was wrong, and he knows that. Will his guilt lead him to let her leave the hacienda? So much more to discuss, but I must go.
Back to sleep...hasta pronto!
Some of my favorite lines:
That's the Problem with Toads
What's that odd creaky sound? It is Refugio. He is thinking.
[At this point, Alejandro is making Refugio look like a genius in strategic thinking. It is a good thing he has Padre Anselmo around.]
"María thinks it's a bad sign that Alejo is eating in the dining room instead of sharing the kitchen table with her and her sociopathic kleptomaniacal uncle."
Your writing is a lot tastier than my morning oatmeal, lady! (I know, faint praise, faint praise) but I was dying to see what happened and to read your take on it.
Not too many decades ago, in THIS country, it was impossible to accuse your husband of rape. Because the marriage contract gave him unlimited access to your body.
There was a kerfuffle in Islamic countries last year because the Taliban wanted to make it illegal for married women to ever say "no", under any circumstances, to their husbands. A century ago, brides in Albania were sent to their future husbands with a pistol in their suitcase. He was to use it on her if she displeased him.
My point is, we are civilized and we are also savage. And taking sexual advantage of physically weaker beings, of whatever sex and age, is part of our savage reality.
I'm certainly not defending it. But Alejandro is a very flawed hero. And I think I prefer that to the impossibly perfect, fairy-tale galans, that we often get.
By old-fashioned telenovela standards, she is a very flawed heroine as well. Now, can these two very imperfect people, who have a lot of maturing to do, manage to achieve a relationship that is tender yet passionate, trusting yet challenging. And can they move beyond grievances and blame shifting and make amends?
Not there's an interesting story arc. Sure, I still like the fairy-tale romances. But I think there's a place for these plots as well, if they are well acted. And this one sure is, at the moment.
I am so frustrated, have little time to read recaps or watch the TN, I am going to try to keep up.
Generally agree with everyone who thinks the TN is anachronistic. Ugh. OH WELL. Beanie time.
I for one hate the main storyline of Amor real with a passion. (The side stories, like the one with Ernesto Laguardia and Mariana Levy were fantastic.) Manuel was a jerk from the beginning until the end and Matilde was a weak, fragile crybaby. I was disgusted at their Stockholm-syndrome/domestic abuse "love story", just because they had a great sex life (after the violent noche de bodas) they didn't have a balanced relationship until very last episodes. I like Fernando Colunga, and I'm a huge fan of Adela Noriega, but in my opinion Matilde from AR was the worst character she ever played. Manuel was a meatier role, and FC played him well (he's an annoyingly overrated actor, but he did a good job in AR-Alborada-Pasión), but no, the character got on my last nerve with his machoistic hissy fits.
And don't even get me started with that wedding night.
I also watched Bodas de odio, and I liked it a little bit more because the heroine Magdalena (played by Christian Bach) was more like Montserrat: spoiled but feisty.
In Lo que la (or Lokela, that's how many Hungarian telenovela addicts call the show) I cheered when Alejandro DIDN'T have sex with Montsie on their wedding night. And I didn't expect he would force himself on her on the next day.
Call it however you want: rape, half-rape, sexual rage, "but M. didn't scream"... He used her body against her will. He basically masturbated with her body. (Excuse me.) It was a kind of an acceptable behaviour 100-200 years ago, but nowadays it's a very shady thing. The writers should've used their brains to realize that with their charming marital abuse-imprisonment storyline they feed the violent, chauvinistic rape culture. (Many people don't even dare to visit Mexico or the South American countries because so many tourists were raped.) And afterwards Alejandro even blamed Montsie for bringing the worst out of him. For f**** sake! Is this a telenovela or a Manual to Domestic Abuse? The situation would've been different if Montsie responded to his kisses, it would've been a more acceptable, less creepy act of sex (like Scarlett and Rhett - some like it rough). But any self-respecting man's libido would die if his wife was just lying in the bed with teary, dead eyes and a cold body. But Alejandro did the deed, and the next day he showed only a very, very small amount of remorse. I'm disappointed because he started out as a likeable character.
I love gothic telenovela storylines, especially the stories based on Caridad Bravo Adams's work (La mentira, Corazon salvaje, and she wrote Bodas de odio, too). The Trap with Rita Tushingham and Oliver Reed is one of my favourite movies. I also love watching complicated relationships. I don't scream rape every time two characters have bad/violent sex, but this scene was really ugly.
In Guadalupe the hero, Alfredo (E. Yanez) also forced himself on his wife (A. Noriega) during a heated fight, but at least he atoned for it (and for the other things he did) for years, and he became a different man. Whereas Manuel? Even though he suffered a lot, he remained the same old jealous hubby. I'm afraid Alejandro won't show much personal growth either.
Thank you for interspersing some lightness: "María Has a Headband" (Carlos must be smiling) and humor: "Now he reaches over and starts to comb María's hair.[A collective shudder runs through The Patio.]" Ack. Have we ever seen a character with more loathsome eating or grooming habits?
Other pearls were: "At this point, Alejandro is making Refugio look like a genius in strategic thinking" and "
Alejandro SHOULD be the villain (or A villain), but he is not because we have so much good will towards the actor and because the writers NORMALIZE his transgression". Perfectly stated.
I'm puzzled as to why in 2013 this storyline was not changed to reflect today's standards of decent and acceptable galan behavior. Rape is never, ever acceptable. I agree with Sylvia and others who expressed this sentiment.
This begs the question: is redemption even possible for rape? Is saying you are sorry, never doing it again and becoming a better person sufficent atonement? The question leaves me uncomfortable as does the answer. To say Ale's stock has plummeted does not do the situation justice.
Aribeth, so happy to see your posts! "Call it however you want: rape, half-rape, sexual rage, "but M. didn't scream"... He used her body against her will" - ITA - thank you for expressing this so well.
Other than JL and Refugio surviving and Ale's mother reappearing, this was joyless.
Thought provoking from beginning to end NovelaMaven. Top notch comments (as always) as well.
I was disappointed that the writers "went there" with AleMon. To me, they think there is, let's say lessening of the act because they are married.I get that it was the original plot line, but it should have been handled differently...could have stopped before the actual act was done. Monse would have been just as upset, and he as remorseful.
At this point, yes, I agree, it's all about Rulli in the role which leads us to want to "understand" the character, and Boyer doing her pouty, snotty best. But it's still wrong, wrong, wrong on Ale's part. So, if we want him back as our true hero and see these two work things out, I expect him to have to go through some heavy duty heartache and earn his redemption.
As for the other denizens...I now believe that Maria is not only a spoiled little brat(don't have to be rich to be spoiled) but has a few screws loose. Wishing someone dead and stabbing poor harmless veggies, girl needs some help. Is there a good psychiatrist around? This crowd could use one.
JL - poster boy for clueless. And Refugio, if Monse thinks JL is dead, Esme will think you are too. I missed a few scenes the other day...did Refugio just leave Esme with no word after everything that happened with them? if so....jerk.
Have to say, though everyone seems angry at each other and the characters are all over the board with emotions, they certainly all come together and agree on one thing - Gracie is one lying b**** and not to be trusted.
NovelaMaven, your was a great piece of writing for a pretty difficult episode.
About the rapey scene... After it was all over, I was surprised to see that Montse didn't run straight to the shower. Instead, she tucked herslef in, in the same bed and threw some more barbs at her abuser; at the same time, Ale looked like the one who couldn't stand himself.
I watched online, where they always show the Mexican version but I didn't see more than you did, so I guess that was the entire scene, no parts cut out.
When Montse tried to leave the next day, she didn't look like a woman who has just been abused. Again, I call this bad writing, because she acted just like the day before; the faces she made at Juvie when she thought he'd help her but then realized he won't, made me laugh - not much of a suffering heroine.
When Refugio and JL started bathing in the water I got the strangest gay vibe; I know that's not the case, but I was glad when the scene was over.
I kind of agree with Ale's reasoning for not telling Montse that JM died - if she keeps waiting for him and he doesn't show up, she'll maybe think he gave up but if she thinks he's dead (and while being on the run, searching for her), she will turn him into a saint.
Refugio does have a point, too, because based on what he knows (the kiss he witnessed), Montse might very well fall for the hubby.
And YES, with all the animosity and violence going on between them, Montse still warned Ale not to fall for her mother's traps again. Interesting.
I'm kind of glad we're done with this episode, I was dreading it.
I like the idea that there is nothing simplistic about this story. I think there is a lot of Scarlet and Rhett in these characters and yes, this episode was deliberately vague on the issue of her cooperation or lack of it. What is not clear is the extent of her reaction to him. A lot of the venom she is spewing at him is the direct result of the misunderstanding that preceded the wedding ceremony.
We know she doesn't find him physically repulsive. She may not have adequate experience to have responded in the manner of his preference, but we know that will eventually happen. A line I remember from Amor Real -- which seemed very advanced or out of place -- was when Manuel mentioned the issue of marital relations to Mathilde, telling her that despite the tendency for women to hate it he was determined that she would enjoy it. Rhett makes certain comments to Scarlett in GWTW (dialogue that didn't make it to the film) to this effect as well.
As to Monserrat telling Alejandro not to give her mother any more money, I think she's very interested in punishing her mother at this point. Her mother's greed was the driving force in this entire unfair situation and this is -- for the moment -- the only way Monserrat has to fight back.
Maria does have a few screws loose. When I saw her stabbing the produce my first thought was that there is no doubt she is related to Juventino.
Aribeth, Thank you for your post and comments, especially about other cultures. We are so insulated over here and often never know about life in other countries. Also, Lokela is a lot easier to type than LQLVMR and every time I see "Robó" my brain says "Robo Cop". Gah...
So... Rosario's name was not changed for this version. I hope I like the character in this version. I loved Rosario in AR.
María has a headband? (apparently this has significance from another telenovela that I did not watch...) Perhaps it is a headband version of the telenovela beanie hat?
DH and I are flying to Sweden tomorrow for a "long weekend" to attend a wedding. Craziest thing this pair of sixty-somethings have ever done in our lives. I'll be following the recaps on the free WiFi at the hotel, so I am always eternally grateful for our Caray recappers and all the hard work and hours you put into them!!!
Not sure what happened in other cities and regions, but my local Uni station actually cut the whole first few minutes. We came in after Ale got out of bed and spoke to Monse. So I definitely had a WTF moment. I then went to search for the epi online so that I could see what happened. You described it perfectly, but it still left me wondering what the heck the writers wanted me to feel about that scene, because in my mind it was rape. I don't care if they both said they hated each other right before the act, that she taunted him about thinking of someone else, or that she didn't scream or fight him. She told him she did not want to have sex with him, and she was totally unresponsive during the act. That's enough.
It just made me wonder if there is a different definition/understanding of rape in Mexico than there is here. I have seen rape handled poorly, so many times, in most tns (currently in an otherwise good tn, Mentir), that I have really started to think that Mexico has a looser definition of rape.
I used to like Ale more than Monse because she acts so immature and bratty sometimes, but now she's way ahead of him in my eyes. I hope she makes him suffer to earn her love and respect. I want to see him grovel. I also noticed that he left the part where he forced his “marital rights” on Monse, out of his talk with the Padre. He knows he can’t justify that.
Yikes. I am surprised that they stuck with the storyline . As much as I loved AR! I was puzzled that the writers could let the galan have such a violent nature. The story was mesmerizing, but the galan was so flawed. He could be gentle and loving , but he had such a dark side which was believable because of his childhood. He worked on the hacienda . His boss (father) had him beaten for trying to learn to read. The positive influence in his life was always the padre who tried to protect and help him. You felt sorry for Manuel because you knew his background, but he was very flawed.
Let me say how much I love Caraycaray! a place to come and share our thoughts with a great bunch of people who are caring, funny! and smart.
well, time to see how the old coffeemaker did and go off to give my grammar final. Have a great day. it's sunny here, but cold...not Minnesota cold! but cold for me.
P.s. I think the actress playing Rosario was Tia in Amor Real. it's funny that all the characters' names have been changed, but the mother's name was the same.
ITA w/Aribeth. The writers were lazy in not updating this part of the story. While I do think it was strategic for the entire violation to be shown so we can still have sympathy for Ale, it doesn't negate what happened. And then adding to this, in his pseudo-apology, he tells her SHE brings out the worst in him, a line most abusers use. As Aribeth said so eloquently, is this tn a guidebook for domestic abuse? Finally, what disturbs me is how the audience is set up to rationalize Ale's behavior in further complicated when we consider the cultural implications of such violence.
In the few years I've watched tns I feel there is a cultural disconnect w/me and the use of rape in stories. Most of the time the rapist is a wretched guy who attacks the most innocent young woman in the story. Though I know it can happen in domestic situations, rape seems to be used as a plot device to show growth. But in 2013, this type of behavior is very troubling. Yes, people can change but that is a really horrible violation to recover from in a relationship.
Aribeth, my take on Ale withholding the news of JL's "demise" is different. Am I wrong or was he smirking? If sparing her feelings were indeed his motive, his facial expressions did not convey the same intent. I'm confused.
As with the others, I can't thank you enough for this fantastic recap and your thoughtful take on the events of this episode. I was really eager to see what you would have to say, and I am grateful for your intelligent and wry point of view.
I, too, laughed when I saw your fantastic title. It sums up in one pithy statement so much of what is uncomfortable and angering and even ridiculous for many of us here. That the writers couldn't think of less grosero and create a more interesting and modern way to handle this needed first bedroom scene was disappointing. I bet our group here in Caray Cary could think of something better in heartbeat: Any takers? I know I have an idea of what I would have preferred to see!
But your point that the writers are basically trading on the goodwill we feel towards SR is great. I know I was still willing to forgive him because I see him as truly in love with Montse and having been wounded by life before and now Montse. But what Alejandro did in this episode was terrible. I found his, "Aren't you going to say anything" moment afterwards strange. What's she supposed to say? Thanks for raping me--in retrospect, it was great? I was pleased that she had slept with drippy J-L at least once so she could fling it back at Ale. This seems to be at least one improvement from the AR version--which I haven't seen but based on the comments here.
Still it's definitely got us all talking, which is probably all the producers/writers want and need to keep the ratings up.
Many thanks again to you and all the great commenters, too.
And I have another nickname for LQLVMR: Lokela -> Lükela. In Hungarian lüke means looney. :)
Also, the whole plot made more sense set in the 1800s when men were the lords and masters. Manuel seemed noticeably older than Matilde,but here Ale and Money seem to be closer in age. Manuel was a distortion who was used to being in charge of people's health and lives. Also, Money is a spoiled, feisty spitfire ,so we do not feel as sorry for her as we did for Matilde who was a quiet, pious little mouse whom everyone wanted to control....her mother, her brother, the galan, the church, society.
. Juvie combing his hair AND Maria's is a great shtick. I would bet that the actor improvised that bit. I hope that Maria does not catch the Juvie cooties. Maybe the headband has protective powers. The apple has not fallen far from that crazy tree, verdad ?
Susanlynn: Yes, those FELS hotties also came to my mind. However, as as EY is my ultimate galan, last night's splishing and splashing didn't even come close! ;)
We must be prepared here for a hero who is as flawed as Rogelio Montero of LQNPA and for bigger reasons.
As to the cultural perceptions of rape, I have the same questions. In thinking about Sofia in FELS and how her mother regarded her as damaged goods after her violation it astonishes me that this is a story written within the last 25 years (albeit in Columbia). I just watched the first episode of that again and I wanted to kick Gabriela across Mexico and back.
I too loved your title, it fit this Capitulo so well. Fantastic recap for a very hard subject.
First of all I want to say I have never watched Amor Real or Bodas de Odio. That being said, this scene was hard to watch. I really didn't want Ale to do what he did, I wanted him to woo her until she fell for his charms. I felt for both of them, Ale realizing what he had just done was wrong, wrong, wrong, and Monse never thinking he'd actually do the deed. The faces of both characters this Capitulo spoke volumes without the dialogue. I am glad though that Ale realizes what he did was wrong. Now I want to see what he will do to right the wrong he's done to Monse.
I can see where Monse is coming from. Bought and sold like chattel, pining for her lost love, having to endure this act and just wanting to die. That was my take. I am glad she is still standing up to him. I don't want her to rely on Juvie.
I think Ale felt so bad after what he did to Monse he didn't have the heart to tell her that JL was "dead", cause we know he's not. Sure he had that smirking moment but I think his better sense came to the fore. If he was really cruel he would have told her. Either way, JL will remain a ghost between them.
Rosario was a surprise, I wasn't expecting that. I wonder how Ale will take her.
I bet the actors that play Refugio and JL just loved that swim in the stream. They have both been sweating so profusely it must have been a relief to take a swim. Refugio so didn't want to get out of the water.
I felt for Esme coming home to her cold, dark apartment. Try to do a good deed and see what happens.
I am not liking Maria, again she asks why Ale married Monse, he's already told her so she needs to stop asking. I think it's a huge mistake for her to move into the big house. She'll cause nothing but trouble, same as her thieving, murderous uncle.
Beg a man for anything and he will never respect you.
I don't have a problem with that scene because we are watching a telenovela. People who read romance novels know that the hero usually forces himself on the heroine. Afterwards, the hero feels guilty. So, I just think of this as a moving romance novel.
If this were in the real world and woman were being raped, I'd be upset. In this case, this is a television show.
Not liking Ale at all right now. Whether it was forcible rape or Montse lying there like a stone, Ale showed in that moment (cause it sure couldn't have lasted long) that he didn’t give a damn about *her* sexual pleasure or dignity. Those who know the AR and Bodas TNs set in past centuries can put the incident in perspective as a poor updating by the writers. But I fear that young viewers will see this as marital rape being No Big Deal. And then to have him say, though sadly, that she brings out the worst in him – Grrrh!
I can’t imagine that Montse isn’t comparing JL being generous and giving their first time to Ale treating her like a slab of meat. But by telling him not to give her mom more money, maybe she’s showing that, besides despising her mom, she has to concede that Ale bought her fair and square – in 2013, ahem.
Diana and Susanlynn – Yep, EY’s splish-splashing in FELS was the best. :D
Aribeth – Nice to see you!
NM, I'm so glad I waited up for your recap. It certainly gave me food for thought as I dropped off to sleep and again when I woke up this morning. I couldn't wait to see what y'all had to say.
In retrospect, the thing that I found extremely annoying about Alejandro is that he offered to let Maria continue being in charge of the household. Yes, I know Monse declined to be involved. Still, he offered so quickly? Feels like Ale and Monse are now in a war of one-upmanship. Let the good times roll.
Aribeth, great to see you here! Thanks for the info on Lükela. That is what I will think of this from now on.
doris, when you see the recap on your reader do you see a link at the end of the paragraphs that says "Read More>>"? Can you follow that link to the rest of the recap? The recappers are adding that page break so the recaps don't take up the entire home page of the site.
Sylvia, I agree. Alejo was a real jerk to put María in charge of the house so quickly. And moving her into the big house is an act of pure aggression.
In Cuando me enamoro, the actress playing María was Matilde, a maid in Juan Soler's hacienda and a particular favorite of our Carlos. She spent most of the novela mooning over her boss and resenting her new patrona. She always wore a headband across her forehead. She was a little bratty but much nicer than María here.
Nice to see you here, Aribeth!
Let me put my dos pesos in the mix:
--As JudyB pointed out so beautifully (well I suspect that JudyB does everything beautifully), spousal rape is a concept that is relatively recent, historically, and is culture-bound. The same goes for "no means no." Not too long ago, "no" could mean "I'm playing hard to get."
--Why didn't Alejandro blurt out that José Luis was dead? I'm with those who say he didn't want to hurt Montserrat. It was only later, when he was with Padre Anselmo, that he thought about how to use the information (or disinformation) to his advantage.
--I also agree with those who think Montse showed genuine concern for Alejandro when she warned him not to let Graciela take advantage of him. Certainly she is furious at her mother (remember how she hissed in Graciela's ear that she would not get another peso from Alejandro); but she feels for Alejandro in spite of herself.
--What did you folks make of the way Montserrat answered Alejandro when he stood over her and asked if she had anything to say? She answered that he had proven for himself that he wasn't her first, that she felt sorry for him but that it was his own fault for insisting on buying a woman whose heart and soul already belonged to another man.
I read in her words not just defiance but also a certain sense of shame. Now he knows she came into her marriage already deflowered, sullied. It is as if he has torn off her clothes and uncovered a terrible scar that they were hiding. Or am I just reading too much into the scene?
Finally, I think stories are enormously powerful and important. It matters when a popular telenovela seems to normalize odious behavior. But I agree that the narrative is far more compelling precisely because the protagonists are so flawed.
No, you weren't. Powerful and poignant. You are incredible.
Montse doesn't know it but Ale actually (accidentally) saved her from a more vicious and perhaps even deadly violation by Juventino. No, not excusing Ale, just interesting. . . I'm glad he didn't tell her JL is (supposedly) dead. I thought he was going to ask the Padre to tell her. Padre is very perceptive about the dynamics between Gracie and Montse and hopefully Ale will turn to him often for counsel. And I am thinking Montse's witnessing the upcoming mother and child reunion will be another tiny little ray of light for our lovers: I think/hope Rosario and Montse will form a close and warm relationship which will eventually help Montse and Ale understand and love each other. Great recap.
Your recap did justice to this confused and ambiguous episode.
ITA with all who abhor Alejandro's rape of his wife.
What comes up for me here is Alejandro's abuse of power. All rape is a violent acting out of 'power over', and this was no exception. Alejandro does not get a pass from me because he is married to the woman he violated.
The rape is horribly wrong, period. So far Alejandro is floundering about with his new found wealth and power and making terrible and deeply harmful decisions. He bought Montserrat like she was a trussed up prize pig, took her home and had sex with her—because he could. He then blamed her for the abuse—classic.
I agree with you, Maven, that the writers view Ale's actions with sympathy. I do not.
For me character redemption in stories is entirely dependent on the awareness of the failed character. If the person deeply regrets their actions (and not just the consequences of those actions), if they take themselves on to try and fix whatever drove them to horrible behavior, if they ask forgiveness and genuinely try to understand the experience of the person they wronged, then forgiveness is possible.
But I cannot forgive a character who does not take responsibility for her/his behavior and all of it's unintended consequences.
I will be out most of the day (a tough day for EJ) but will try to check in on my iPad.
I would love to continue with this wonderful conversation.
Thanks again, NM, for a brilliant recap and for your thoughtful invitation for us to discuss this story as it unfolds.
Lila, I agree that Ale should have the Padre tell Monse about JL.
Wow. Hasn't Alejandro been a naughty boy? Perhaps he needs to be put in time out for a couple of episodes. Of course he gets points back for not revealing that JL bought the farm. How cruel (though truthful... at least from Alejandro's point of view) would that be? Just tell her that he got sick and had to be sent to the farm... indefinitely.
Maria's head band was a bright spot last night.
Nice recap, NM! Thank you! GREAT title.
Too bad the shadow of the rape lingered over the funnier things like Mont not knowing how to pull up the handle on her luggage. She was all bent over trying to roll it!
And the French manicure showing under the dirt they put on Rosario's nails.
" when you see the recap on your reader do you see a link at the end of the paragraphs that says "Read More>>"?"
Yes, I always do that so I can read the entire recap. The problem happens when I've got the entire recap on the page and I try to look at it in "Reader View" . This gives me a much larger font (both on iPhone and Kindle Fire) and, therefore, no eyestrain.
In the Silk browser of the Kindle Fire for today's recap, after the paragraph break immediately before For Esme -- no Love, just Squalor (which does not show up), the post ends with the "Lables" and Permalink posted by NovelaMaven.
The same "Reader" works fine on my iPhone and I can see the entire recap, so it has to be something with the Silk browser today. Argh!
Previous recaps, once I go to the "read more..." , are all complete in "Reading View" with no glitches.
JudyB - my apologies for giving Aribeth the credit on the info about other cultures.
"Interesting how he just did the very thing that he found so inexcusable and that enraged him so deeply before." --Cap'n. Sylvia. I didn't see the novelas this is based on so don't tell me otherwise if it's not true but that's why I feel Rosario is going to be a uniting force between Montse and Ale.
She is a worthy opponent in that she can hurt back effectively when she is hurt.
They are both very wounded right now. And came into the marriage wounded. He, by an uncaring, abusive, rapist father, and unknown mother (no feminine tenderness in his life). She by an uncaring, abusive slut of a mother (and a loving but weak father who failed to protect her).
And, as Cynderella pointed out, this is classic bodice ripper scaffolding--which will lead to an eventual reconciliation and flamin' hot romance.
The other rape...the abusive taking of Alejandro's mother, and the evil accusation that sent her to jail (for a killing of her fiancé which I assume Alejandro's father ordered)--that, to me, is where our anger and disgust should be.
Alejandro is the son of a cruel, abusive, niggardly man who is also a murderer. Pretty rocky DNA.
Or are we supposed to somehow think that it was less vile because she wasn't screaming and fighting him off, or because they are married? UGH. Is it too much to hope for a retcon flashback showing that she changed her mind, acted like she was into it, he went with it because that suited him, and then afterward she was like, "Ha! Not!" Because that would make it easier for me to be sympathetic toward Alejandro.
Their behavior afterward was rather weird. Especially his asking if she had anything to say. "So, what comments are you going to make about 'Rape By Alejandro' in your Yelp review? How many stars?" Well, he now has a deep, deep pit to climb out of to get back on the good side.
I enjoyed the Thelma and Louise scene more than I thought I would. I'm amazed that actually seemed to work out for them. Something has finally gone in their favor? Well, I hope JL and Refugio have a grand old time gallivanting around Michoacán and going swimming. I don't suppose it would ever occur to them to get on the phone or the internet and do a property record search for Alejandro Almonte.
Here, Hear! I was thinking exactly what you were. They are characters in a telenovela not real life. I read lots of those bodice rippers ; ) My favorite one was "The Flame and The Flower" by Kathleen Woodiwiss. She was the first romance novelist to include rape in her story without being censored. It was in flowery language, but not so flowery you couldn't understand what the author meant. The romance after the act was really fantastic ; )
I admit I was anxious to read your impressions of the episode. You wrote:
"For me character redemption in stories is entirely dependent on the awareness of the failed character. If the person deeply regrets their actions (and not just the consequences of those actions), if they take themselves on to try and fix whatever drove them to horrible behavior, if they ask forgiveness and genuinely try to understand the experience of the person they wronged, then forgiveness is possible."
I'm hoping that Alejandro's redemption is possible. He has been presented to us as a fundamentally good man whose head has been turned by his sudden shift of fortune.
I never saw the earlier versions of this novela but I trust our friends here not to spoil things for us.
I confess I'm a little worried about how Alejandro will react to Rosario -- Padre Anselmo was so SURE he wouldn't be ashamed of her humble background that it feels like a set-up for just the opposite to occur. [Which would make Alejo's road to redemption longer and stonier yet.]
R la O:
Nice to see you back! You came for the avocados? Stay for the guacamole!
"I know I have an idea of what I would have preferred to see!"
NOW you've got our attention… :-)
Remember that you can safely leave off your beanie when you are on The Patio of Lowered Expectations. [Though in this weather, you may want to keep it on, earflaps down.]
I think we are all a bit confused at this point!
".I now believe that Maria is not only a spoiled little brat(don't have to be rich to be spoiled) but has a few screws loose. Wishing someone dead and stabbing poor harmless veggies, girl needs some help."
Yup. [Let's not tell Carlos, okay?]
Growing up without a mother or sisters probably kept him out of the loop on how girls don't tell their mothers everything. Not that any mother like Graceless would deserve to be told such things.
The writers could have handled this differently... by having him do this when drunk. Does that work for anybody?
Yes, wasn't it horrible that Rosario was sent to jail and had her baby taken from her while there? Triple ugh. And all this time she didn't even know her child was alive. Gulp. I like this actress and I think she will do a good job.
JudyB - ITA. I was glad Montse had enough fight left in her to stab him this way.
What would've worked for me is if Ale made a forceful attempt at seduction - and then stopped himself when he saw Montse had no reaction and was just stealing herself to put up with it. If I'm remembering correctly, that's how it was played with Sean Connery and Tippie Hedrin in "Marnie."
I kind of glossed over the JL-Refugio swimming scene. They aren't my faves as characters. As someone else said here, it's amazing their ploy with the car actually worked.
"A lot of the venom she is spewing at him is the direct result of the misunderstanding that preceded the wedding ceremony"
So true. How many episodes before Alejo takes the padre's advice and tries to talk, really talk, with Montserrat. They are both acting on lies and misunderstanding.
It is absurdly cold here. At least at the moment, we are above zero. And this morning I took out my French press to make my coffee because it was too cold to run out for new Melitta filters. Brrrrrr.
Thanks for your comments.
"But in 2013, this type of behavior is very troubling."
yeah, I think so too.
I was also surprised by Rosario's arrival. I had seen the actress in the credits but didn't know what her role would be. Should get interesting, huh?
Niecie in MD:
You're right -- Alejandro can't be looking too good in comparison to Montse's idyllic first love.
I liked the Thelma and Louise scene too. Look up Alejandro Almonte on the internet? Nah.
A drunk galan would have only made things worse, in my opinion.
But maybe if Montse had tried to get him drunk in order to be able to leave the ranch, pretend to fall to his charms and then get in way over her head...
Forget, nothing works... she said NO! Even if she did kind of provoke him after (that's how I read her words), to me her message was: yeah, you hurt me, but I can hurt you back!!!
You sparked an excellent discussion, with lots of wonderful analysis.
Mons refused Ale’s arm going up the stairs and then huffed when he walked ahead without her. And then had trouble managing the steps. Funny.
I thought Carlota looked especially pretty in her one scene with Graciela. I hope they introduce a love interest for her. She’s my fav.
I wonder if these writers didn’t want us to sympathize with JL. Maybe that’s not going to be one of the main conflicts in this TN.
Re: Juvie mutilating fruit. At least he’s eating healthy.
Maybe Juvie has a pic of Ale as substitute for a voodoo doll. However, he’s psychotic so assigning logic to what he does is probably fruitless (no pun intended).
This is my first glimpse of Josefina (I’m behind in eps—going to catch those up later). I see what everyone is saying. There’s beauty under there. She has the potential to be one of my favs, too.
Thanks Novela for an excellent recap.
Where to begin? I’m really surprised the writers went that way. I can see it being part of the AR story—back in the day it was societally acceptable for a man to take his wife by force if she refused him—but this is the 21st Century.!!Do the writers really believe this is acceptable?! They could have gone another route. Like others commented before: let Monserrat give into her attraction to him. Afterwards the rift could be her hatred of herself for doing so. It seems to me that Monserrat’s behavior during and after the rape is the writers’ way of trying to make what he did acceptable. I’m very disappointed. I also feel guilty, too. This is a boycott the TN kind of situation for me, yet I don’t think I will because it’s been so good up to now.
Surely, they’ll realize there were no bodies in the car. Having watched enough CSI type shows, there’s always evidence of a body in a fiery car crash.
AB does despair very well (the scene of her crying in the chair). This is my first TN with her. I’m liking her acting a lot. That scene in the study when she was in Ale’s face was amazing, too.
I like Padre A. I think I’ve only seen one TN where the padre was a bit of a dim bulb.
Aribeth: Hear Hear!!! I agree with you totally. Side note: Ernesto Laguardia was the other guy in Fernando Colunga’s play that I saw on Saturday. He was a hoot.
I agree that Ale didn’t tell Mons that JL was dead to spare her. I also think Mons was sincerely concerned about his getting taken advantage of when she told Ale not to give any more money to her family.
If Ale was really repentant, he’d let Mons go.
Finally, thanks to all the recappers and commenters for the past week or so that kept me current with what was going on until I could start watching again.
If the CSI personnel are as careless in this story as in other novelas, this was the best escape these two guys could have managed.
Off topic: a friend of mine (a Hungarian girl who visited a friend of hers in Mexico) met Helena Rojo a few months ago. This woman is the best, she's so amazingly kind to her fans. She introduced this girl to her husband, to her son, and she sent personal gifts to the Hungarian fans... Because she knows them, she knows their names, and they keep in touch occasionally. My friends recorded a funny, sarcastic 2 hours long audio commentary to Corazón salvaje 2009, and they sent it to Helena. And she said was listening to it in her make-up room for weeks.
Ok, enough of fangirling. It was totally off topic, but... uhm... Helena Rojo played the Graciela character in Amor real. Ok, Aribeth, now you're on topic again. :)
"The Supreme Court of Mexico ruled ... that rape within marriage is a crime, bringing Mexico's laws into line with much of the world and removing one of the many obstacles women here face in reporting rape."
Nevertheless the abuse of power is alive and well all over the world. The following is not within the confines of marriage, but within employer/employee...last month I heard this on NPR which happened/is happening practically in my own back yard: Silenced By Status
Mad, I used to read a lot of historical romance novels. I think that my first and favorite was the Flame and the Flower. In fact, I first became attracted to telenovelas when I surfed in Alborada one day and saw Don Luis (Fernando Colunga)astride his noble steed in all his glory. It was like watching a bodice ripper on the screen. I could not understand a thing the characters were saying , but....I was hooked.
I know that no means no, but in historical fiction, the young female (married or single) is supposed to be pure and say "no" as she guards her greatest treasure. In the past , as we have seen in many books and movies, the husband has complete control over his wife from day 1. That's why I think that this scene was repulsive but more understandable in AR. Manuel was a man. Manuel married Matilde no matter the circumstances. The deal was done. Action. As for Matilde, society told her to submit to her husband. In a modern setting, it is much harder to forgive Ale. He was not drunk. He was hurt, angry, jealous and deceived . His actions were to prove his power and take control. He is a big, strong hombre, and Money is a very tiny mujer. If he really loves her, he could never hurt her no matter what. Remember the scene in which Rhett is in the diningroom drinking and Scarlet comes in for her "nightcap?" Rhett starts squeezing Scarlett's head trying to remove Ashley Wilkes from her thoughts . He turns to leave. Then, he has second thoughts, picks her up, and carries her up that long flight of stairs. yikes. ..I was impressed by his strength...it was a log flight of stairs. ....what a guy. The next morning, Scarlet is preening and glowing and smiling. Rhett evidently did not just lay on top of her, overpower her, and do the deed...(.I am looking at you ,Ale. ). There must have been quite a lot of seducing on Rhett's part to put that grin on Scarlett's lips. One wonders how much experience Ale actually has had with women other than crazy , obsessed, fruitstabbing Maria (sorry , Carlos). He keeps telling her she is like a sister to him, so no pankyhanky has happened there. Could Ale be a virgin ? He does not seem to have much experience with women in general, and he grew up on that hacienda with icky Juvie around .
I have to agree with those who think that Money pointing out to Ale that he was not the first was meant to hurt him. I did not think she seemed ashamed of the fact . Rather, it was her way of reminding him that her onetruelove was the first and will be her one and only true love because he loves her SOUL as well as her her body. Whereas, she feels that Ale just wants her body.
At any rate, I guess that we can all agree that it was a very bad move on Ale's part. Dumbbunny.
As to The Flame and the Flower, that one happened in the 70s when there was the crazy notion that women had fantasies of rape. Later books didn't have that. I read three books by Rosemary Rogers during the late 70s and now I can't even hear her name without getting angry.
Now to the show, I think that sadly in Mexico rape is still not taken as seriously as it is in the states, last summer there was a story in the news about several turists that were raped in Acapulco, the mayor of Acapulco came out and said "eh, shit happens" which caused the media to go crazy. His reaction to the events I think is a reflection on the Mexican culture (no disrespect meant, I myself am Mexican), it's a culture where men are still valued more than women, and where men can do as they wish because they are men. Montse's comment to Alejandro was a perfect reflection of this, by telling him that he was right about him not being the first man in her life she was basically saying "yep, you just got proof that I'm a whore, happy now?" because even in 2013 not being a virgin=slut. Sad but true.
I wish they had modernized this story too, and had Monse be a willing participant who gave into her hormones, but then felt guilty about her "betrayal" of JL later. Or, as others have mentioned, have Ale go to the brink, but then draw back before he actually raped her. All the guilt and the anger would still be there between them, but it would be a lot easier for the audience to accept.
Thanks as always for a detailed, thought provoking, incomparable recap. In South Florida, my Comcast Univision did not show the entire scene. It began with Ale on the bed with his pants on, and then later, he was standing up after the deed with his pants on with AB between the sheets. I am extremely disappointed at the way he treated this woman he loves beyond anyone's imagination. In some ways, he seems like such a backwards hick which I guess he was before he studied at the university. It seems that he went away older in life and probably just concentrated on his studies, not like many 18 yr.olds sowing their wild oats and gradually maturing. He should have suspected from the first instant
that Montse had another lover. No matter what the circumstances, he knew nothing about her and yet he thought everything would be ideal.
So he goes from total Naivete to
vicious raper. I was so glad that the Padre, altho unaware of the violence, pointed out the blame Ale so richly deserves.
I agree fully with Vivi's take on why he didn't tell M about JL.
I am lurking and barely have time to comment, but I wanted to say "Welcome Back!" to Aribeth. I'm bonded to you for life after LVO.
Your comments are always laden with dynamic energy and fascinating facts.
Most annoying character to me is Maria; I cannot tolerate the similarity of roles with this one and her character in CME.
I did not see the other versions,
and this is not a spoiler. It just seems so obvious that Maria will end up with Ale's friend, and
Montse's friend will end up with JL.
Refugio will end up with Esme.
All of the comments are so well expressed and very funny. Thanks to all.
This whole question is a powder keg.
I remember being at a marriage dialog support group in the late 80's, and the subject of a reported rape came up, and a lawyer in the group, quipped "What we have here is a classic misunderstanding."
He thought he was being funny, but all the women in the group were outraged. And the men in the group stayed mum.
Thanks for joining the conversation!
That's a terrific article you found. It answers a lot of my questions. Since this novela is set in the present but only vaguely (unlike, say, La Tempestad with its proliferation of smart phones and tablets and selfies), we can imagine the events happening before the law changed. In any event, there is, as Eli says, a big divide between law and culture.
Thanks for the NPR reference -- grim, but interesting and certainly pertinent to the conversation.
Long time, no see. Thanks for mentioning the Padre's role. He is likely to remain important as the moral center of the story and as someone who doesn't shy away from telling our hero the truth.
" This is a boycott the TN kind of situation for me, yet I don’t think I will because it’s been so good up to now."
Yes. This is exactly how I feel. I'm a huge fan of most of the actors here, especially Verónica Jaspeado (Josefina), whom I haven't seen since Gancho and adore.
I shall probably whine a lot about both main characters and moon over María (I prefer her with the thin leather headband across the forehead... very sexy) but try to remember that this whole thing is a highly improbable fiction.
In the modern world virginity is only valuable to insecure men. I also doubt that Alejandro was celibate during his studies unless he was in a seminary.
I think the reason I like Alejandro is the same reason I liked Rogelio in LQNPA, he knew when he was wrong and felt remorse but his issues kept him from doing the right thing, Alejandro is a lot like him, he knows and has always known that the reason he came up with the idea to "help" Montse's family is because he wanted Graciel to feel as small as she made him feel when she called him a bastard. In his mind it was "ok, sure, I may be that but you still need my help", he never felt good about himself for coming up with the idea and hell Graciela played him, and played him good, she made him believe that Montse felt something for him, imagine his surprise when he realized he was only a breathing ATM?
Heck, if I have more time next year (hopefully) I'll watch CME at last. I like Juan Soler and Silvia Navarro so much.
People who watched CS09: do you remember when Juan del Diablo told his wife (who only married him to protect her onetruelove's feelings) in front of a dozen fishermen that he'll sleep with her that night? Of course he didn't (especially because she got sick), but that speach was very mean and low. And it was enough to scare her and make her hate him even more. This storyline followed the book of Caridad Bravo Adams, by the way.
Well, can you see, telenovela writers, that's enough to create tension between the protagonists. There's no need of rape scenes. Thank you.
Graceless is sufficiently declasse to voice her contempt of Alejandro for something that wasn't his fault. That she needs his money gives him an opportunity for payback.
He will repent, but I'm sure there will be viewers who won't buy it because rapists are generally irredeemable in TNs.
It's like you read my mind. You wrote exactly what I was thinking about Ale. "a breathing ATM" Wow, what a statement.
There has been so much discussion about what constitutes rape, and in my earlier comment I stated that Ale could not be accused of rape. I was talking from a legal standpoint. If a woman says NO, it does not matter if it's the boyfriend or husband. It is rape.
Please tell me if you all remember Montse saying NO. I went back and watched the entire scene(which started Monday night), and she said, "tu sabes que no siento nada por ti", "you know that I feel nothing for you." Of course, there is still no excuse for Ale's actions, and I am glad that Montse hurt him by saying that he got "sloppy seconds". In my opinion, it would have been worse had the writers let Montse still be a virgin. I'm glad her first sexual experience was with someone she loved.
So strictly from a legal standpoint, the jury might set Ale free, because technically she never said NO. Still, I hate what he did. It was wrong, and my guess is that the caray caray jury will be in session for a while.
Back to work...hasta pronto!
And this tn only started!
I can't believe how much I enjoy it already and, in case I haven't mentioned it before, this site and all the people here are truly awesome!!!
The comments are even better and more thoughtful than I imagined. It's been a busy day on the patio and the cook has been having a great time making heaps of mashed up guacamole. (Hey, I just realized that's what I had for lunch. Freudian much?)
There is always a chair with your name on it waiting for you on The Patio. Barging Schmarging!
I was going to reply ,but I see that Vivi and Julia pretty much said it for me.
Nah, just a smidge.
Thought of you Carlos last night when Maria showed up with her "headband". Told my husband, "bet Carlos will say something about that".
Juvie combing Maria's hair was funny. And kind of wierd. A little to friendly for me.
100+ comments! Wow! Can't wait for tonight.
Maybe the Patio chef should also fry up some Rocky Mountain Oysters, in Ale's honor.
I'm not sure what number of comments measures, but I doubt it is the quality of the novela in question.
Carlos: I'm looking forward to seeing Josefina bloom. Also, watching this actress for the first time. She's very popular here.
I'm the one who mentioned boycotting the TN. It's going to be one of my guilt pleasure--like reading Anne Perry's books.
I want to make it clear that I only brought up the "NO" question since we were going to be discussing legal and cultural differences about the definition of rape. What would happen had Ale been charged with rape in the States? Unfortunately, most of us know that the victim (Montse) would be asked if she said "No". That is the only reason I made my comment. Again, my apologies to anyone I offended.
I appreciate your concern but honestly, I doubt if anyone took offense at what you wrote. I know I didn't.
I understood where you were coming from. Even so, it is very nice of you to worry about everyone's feelings. Thanks for that!
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By ELISABETH MALKIN and GINGER THOMPSON
Published: November 17, 2005
MEXICO CITY, Nov. 16 - The Supreme Court of Mexico ruled Wednesday that rape within marriage is a crime, bringing Mexico's laws into line with much of the world and removing one of the many obstacles women here face in reporting rape.
The ruling ended a legal battle waged since 1994, when a majority of the justices agreed that because the purpose of marriage was procreation, forced sexual relations by a spouse was not rape but "an undue exercise of conjugal rights."
The unanimous ruling on Wednesday said the earlier decision had denied women the right to exercise their sexual freedom and was based on an interpretation of rights relating to property, not human beings. The court stated clearly that forced sexual relations within marriage - whether the force is physical or psychological - was a crime.
"What's behind this is a modern conception of the relationship between a man and a woman in marriage," said José de Jesús Gudiño Pelayo, a justice of the Supreme Court. "It's a relationship of equality in which a woman does not lose her sexual freedom when she marries."
That the decision came with so little debate suggested that attitudes in this macho country are changing, albeit slowly. But many women's advocates agreed that while the ruling was a landmark step, polls on social attitudes have shown that deep-rooted opinions that women should be subservient still hold sway over much of society.
They warned that entrenched attitudes still made it very difficult for women to report rape.
A United Nations study found that 9 of 10 sexual assaults go unreported in Mexico and that 18 percent of victims of sexual assault were not aware that it was a crime.
"A recent government survey found that 47 percent of all women report being the victims of either physical, emotional, sexual or economic violence." said Patricia Espinosa, the director of the National Institute of Women. "But 84 percent of those who are victims of domestic violence remain silent."
The 1994 ruling by the Supreme Court effectively meant that husbands who raped their wives could walk free under most conditions. It was a retreat from earlier laws on rape, which did not specify anything about the relationship between the rapist and his victim.
The decision left women "defenseless" and "consisted of a serious and systematic violation of women's human rights," said Patricia Olamendi, who has worked to change the precedent and pass state laws overturning it. "The court should recognize that it has violated these rights for 11 years."
Only a few countries in the world do not recognize rape within marriage as a crime; India and Malaysia are the two most prominent examples. But the change in laws is relatively recent. In the United States, it was not a crime in all states until 1993.
Thanks again for a great recap and great discussion!
that's all I can muster.
except to say, Loved the title, snark, snark, and the recap - and I appreciate all the comments. Ana
Maybe it was bad acting/ directing, but you're not the only one who noticed it.
I suggest we start a "gay watch" on these two. It's not like we're lacking material :)