Friday, December 27, 2013

Lo Que La Vida Me Robo, Capitulos 28 + 29, 12/26/13 - All Roads Lead To Hacienda Almonte

All Roads Lead To Hacienda Almonte

Cast of characters at or arriving at Hacienda Almonte and their current motivations

The Rich Bastard - Alejandro

Handsome and conflicted Alejandro, nouveau riche bastard that he is, has been channeling his inner beast—again. After purchasing Montserrat by paying her family debts, he takes her to his isolated hacienda and treats her as though she was a piece of chattel.  Although he ‘loves’ Montserrat, he tends to treat her very harshly. Recently he reminded Montserrat that she was all HIS, and that he would never give her a divorce.

The Poor Wife - Montserrat

Montserrat is a confused, very confused young woman. Recently, after listening to her gossipy Aunt Carlota, she made a nearly impossible cognitive leap to the idea that Alejandro has been lying to her—about everything. He is AGAIN perceived by Montserrat to be a murderer and the person who framed her ex-lover Jose Luis. She has a strong moral belief that lying is WRONG. Montserrat herself is suffering from a small problem with hypocrisy—she is lying through her teeth about the identity and role of her ex-novio Jose Luis/Antonio on the estate.

The Ex-Novio – Jose Luis/Antonio

JL/Antonio is on the estate under false pretenses—he is playing at being the new Hacienda manager and his inexperience is beginning to show. He is still trying to get Montserrat to run away with him but his incompetence as an estate manager has attracted the attention of the evil and beautiful housekeeper, Maria. He was also just spotted— swimming naked in the local river—by a mysterious, young blond artiste.

The Evil Housekeeper - Maria

Beautiful Maria is suspicious of ‘Antonio’ and his connection with her enemy and rival for Alejandro’s affection, Montserrat. She conspired with her evil uncle Juventino to get rid of Montserrat, but her uncle is double crossing her. He wants to kill Alejandro, take the estate and Montserrat for his wife.

The Navy Captain

Alejandro has invited the Navy Captain and old family friend of the Mendoza family, Capitan Robledo, to the Hacienda for dinner. Capitan Robledo is hunting for JL/Antonio and his companion Refugio Solares/Renato Garcia as escaped fugitives. They are AWOL from the Navy and on the run for murdering a Navy Lieutenant.

The Man of Business and the Pole Dancer – Victor and Esmeralda

Alejandro has called his friend Victor, former business manager of the Hacienda but now employed as manager of Alejandro’s ‘town’ enterprises, to complete two tasks. Bring Esmeralda the pole dancer to the estate for the weekend for the purpose of getting her to speak to Montserrat; and to befriend young Nadia, wife of the corrupt town Mayor Pedro Medina, to discover why the mayor is so interested acquiring a certain piece of land from Alejandro. Victor’s first awkward efforts to befriend Nadia ended with her throwing a glass of wine in his face.

The Poor Wife’s Best Friend

Nadia Medina has defied her husband to make a trip out to Hacienda to spend some time with her best friend Montserrat. She does not expect to meet Victor there, or to see Esmeralda, the woman she suspects of being her husband Pedro’s lover.

Introducing a New Family – The Archigas

Joaquin Archiga, former good friend of Alejandro’s deceased father  Don Benjamin, has returned with his wife and two daughters—Angelica and Virginia—to the rancho neighboring Hacienda Almonte. Archiga’s older daughter, Angelica, is the young blond artiste who caught Jl/Antonio swimming naked in a river as she was out drawing. She also made an excellent (naked) likeness of JL/Antonio. Angelica’s mother worries about her daughter’s health.

The Good Priest and Rosario

Father Anselmo tries to convince everyone at Hacienda Almonte to do the right thing. Rosario, who is secretly Alejandro’s mother, is his friend and the ally of both Montserrat and Alejandro.

In The Campeche Countryside at Hacienda Almonte

Alejandro is up and about with a sling on his arm and a limp in his step after the recent failed attempt on his life. Maria is there to fuss over him and get him seated. Montserrat watches this and walks away while Maria imposes herself in the place of Alejandro’s wife.

Montse goes to the kitchen but Ale does not want Maria’s company. He wants his wife and orders Maria to go fetch her. Maria finds Montserrat and sullenly tells her that Ale wants to see her. Rosario is in the kitchen as well, and as soon as Montserrat is out of earshot, Maria begins to abuse the older house worker, but Rosario informs her that Dominga told her to keep an eye on what was cooking on the stove—does Maria want to take over that task for her? When snotty Maria answers “No,” then newly spunky Rosario tells her to get out of her way in the kitchen! Score one for good Rosario, but Maria mutters the general threat in Rosario’s direction, “One day…”

Montserrat arrives in the sala where Alejandro is seated and asks him if he wants anything. He wants her company. He may like Maria better but Montserrat is under an obligation to be with her handsome and high-handed husband.

Alejandro starts a conversation with Montse by saying that she is very odd. When he was shot she was very worried about him. She replies that it was her obligation, but Ale says that it was not her obligation to LOOK so worried about his health. She wasn’t doing that for the benefit of others, so, he asks, why did she do it. She insists it was her duty; she would do it for anyone.

Ale challenges her to answer a question truthfully and she agrees.

Ale - “Do you know whether Jose Luis Alvarez is alive?”
Montse – “I was not expecting that question.”
Ale – “As far as I know, his body was never found. Nadia is the wife of the Mayor. Is that why she is coming here? To give you information that she knows about Jose Luis Alvarez?”
Montse – “No. Nadia knows nothing.”
Ale – “So you are sure that Jose Luis is still alive? Who told you?”
Montse – “No one. I just know.”
Ale – “You haven’t left the ranch without my permission, some one has been giving you information about him!”
Montse – “If you are worried that I will try to escape from the ranch again, do not worry. It will not happen.
Caveman Ale-Grock says that it better not happen because he would leave no stone unturned, he would spend every last penny of his money to find her. Montse says that she just told him the truth and that the difference between them is that she cannot live in peace with all the lies that are being told.

Uh, Montse. You were so deft at turning aside Ale’s questions that I think you have a future in international espionage. The biggest problem this recapper has with your last statement is that you seem to believe your own publicity—that you are a paragon of truth. There is a name for this problem – h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y!

In The Ranch Foreman’s House

Speaking of spies, Maria has dropped by Jose Luis/Antonio’s house to see how he is doing. Is he having any problems deciphering her father’s ledgers and books? To tell the truth, JL says disarmingly, I AM having a little trouble. Maria, ever disingenuous herself, says she often helped her Dad with the numbers, she knows the prices of feed and supplies. She fingers her exposed shoulder as she offers to help JL as well. JL complements her as smart and pretty and they exchange information like they were in a hook-up cantina. Neither is married, nor has a novia/o.

Maria continues her Mata Hari interrogation. Although JL/Antonio is wary, I do not think he is as cunning as Maria. She asks if JL/Ant is having a hard time with the work at the Ranch? Well, to tell the truth, he has found it a little difficult, but it is not bad. Maria continues, when she first saw him at the ranch she thought he was not the type to be a ranch foreman. But, now that she has known him for a while, he is JUST the type. He rides a horse better than the workers and he is a great shot, her uncle Juventino told her. Really, wonders, JL/Ant, when did Juventino see him shoot anything? Maria responds that Juvie saw him shooting rabbits.

Rabbits? wonders JL. A strange look crosses his face as Maria questions him about whether he knew Montserrat in Agua Azul. “No,” he replies, he did not have the pleasure.

In Agua Azul

Dimitrio and Adolfo walk down the street and discuss their grand swindle of poor Josefina. Dim has already offered all the excuses he can think of for not sleeping with his supposed wife—headache, stomachache. He wasn’t to get her money and get rid of the disgusting arachnid. Adolfo offers to hold all the money Josefina has in her safe, but Dimmy doesn’t trust him not to head off to Brazil with the loot but without Dimitrio. Dimmy says the money is staying safe in the safe until they are ready to take off for Brazil. We know that there is no honor among these thieves. Adi has been skimming money from Dimmy from the very beginning.

Hacienda Archiga

Two young women walk into a traditionally decorated sala. The furniture is heavy, antique, expensive, there are two huge crystal candelabra standing on side table. The young women are giggling and each is carrying a glass of water. Both women are blonde—the younger one with curly hair and her older sister with straight locks. Both sit on a Victorian upholstered loveseat and lean in to speak with one another.

Curly – “Angelica, I cannot BELIEVE you painted him NAKED!”
Straight – “ Virginia—He is the handsomest man I have ever seen. His name is Antonio Olivares, and he is the new Capitaz at Hacienda Almonte.” Angelica tells her sister that she will need her help. She has to see Antonio again.

The girl’s conversation is interrupted as their parents walk in to the living room. The papa notes that these two always have secrets. He wants to know where Angelica was this morning. Virginia couldn’t tell him where she was. Angelica replies that she just went tot the river to draw. Papa does not like her wandering around by herself. It could be dangerous. Her mama fusses that if she were to get in the river it could be dangerous to her health. She rattles a pill out of a bottle and puts it on her daughter’s tongue. Not to worry, says Angelica, she feels just fine. Angelica asks her father if he is going to see his old friend Don Benjamin over at Hacienda Almonte? Can she come with him to help cheer him up? She understands he has been very sick. Her father agrees to take her to Hacienda Almonte with him.

Your recapper thinks that Angelica is a very manipulative, charming and headstrong woman.

Hacienda Almonte

While Rosario is dusting she tells Montse that she should not go to talk to JL/Antonio again. It is clear that her loyalties are torn. Rosario knows that she could get fired for telling Montse this, but she is very worried about these two. Why is she SO worried, asks a curious Montserrat?

Rosario is worried about her and for Alejandro. Montse sits her down and thanks Rosario for her loyalty and care. But for someone who has been with the family for such a short time, she worries a lot about the Almontes. Actually it isn’t really normal, says Montse gently. Montse asks Rosario where she is from. Rosario says, “Here. But I was away for many years.”

Montserrat continues to probe. “So you knew Alejandro’s father? Did you work for him?” Rosario responds that all were at his service. Montse asks if Rosario knew Ale’s Mother and Rosario gets very nervous. She left the Hacienda a few months before Don Alejandro was born. Montserrat presses, “But how do you know when Don Alejandro was born?” Upset, Rosario excuses her self and walks off.

Josefina’s Fab House

Josefina has a visitor. It is her brother Tomas.  He is very worried. Their man of business just informed him that she wants to sell all her holdings in D.F. Yes, she says.  She and her husband want to live in Europe. In Europe? Her brother is gobsmacked. And when did she get married? To whom? Why wasn’t he invited?

It was a very intimate wedding, Josefina tells Tomas. Just a few people. I am so in love! I have never had many, well, any, boyfriends. Tomas is furious. I am your only family! Why wasn’t I invited? Josefina finally tells Tomas that her husband’s family doesn’t approve of her. She married Dimitrio Mendoza who is from one of the finest families in Aguazul.

Tomas continues to rage. He could have talked to Doña Graciela. Why are they going to Europe like they are running from the police? Is Dimitrio really in love with her? He adores her! Says Josefina and she him. Tomas rolls his eyes.

What does he do for a living? He has a business with Adolfo. Now Tomas really blows up. They have known that good for nothing Adolfo since they were kids. And they were married at Adolfo’s family Hacienda? Who was the priest? Who was the justice? Jose cannot remember but she will show Tomas the papers.

Dimitrio eventually comes home and Josefina introduces him to her brother, Tomas, lately come from the capitol. Dimitrio holds out his hand but Tomas will not shake it.  All sit down in the living room to a MOST awkward conversation.

Tomas asks Dimitrio what made him fall in love with Josefina? Dimmy answers that she has a most unique beauty. She is pretty, generous, and whenever I see her she takes my breath away.

Josefina looks ecstatic as she listens to Dimmy’s doubled edged compliments. Tomas wants to know when they will make the marriage public and Dim says  "Soon." He does not like to keep things from his parents. Tomas asks Dimitrio why they do not go tell the Mendoza’s now, but Dimmy demurs. His father has a heart problem. They should probably wait. Tomas says he will not tolerate the situation to continue. He has to go back to DF and when he returns to Aguazul things had better be different. Also, he spoke to Josie’s lawyer and told him not to sell any of Josefina’s Mexico City properties, since they were not going to live in Europe after all. Josefina is very happy that they will stay in Aguazul and Dimitrio looks like he is about to lose his lunch.

These actors are all fabulous. What wonderful scenes.

A Near Escape

JL/Ant is asking Alejandro for the weekend off to attend to some personal business. Ale is not pleased. He has some breeding stock coming in on Saturday and he wants JL/Ant to make sure each animal is perfect. Jus then, behind JL/Ant’s back, enters Capitan Robledo, trussed into his spiffy pale blue Navy uniform. JL/Ant frees with his back to the Capitan and, Montse, who has just entered the room facing JL and the Capitan behind him, assesses the situation. Just as Ale is introducing El Capitan to his new Capitaz, Montserrat creates a distraction by knocking over a pedestal with a huge vase of flowers. Everything crashes to the floor with a loud noise, Montserrat crumples herself down in the glass and water mess on the floor and Jose Luis makes his way quietly out of the house. He just barely escaped detection.

Montserrat is now settled on the sofa, her leg in Tia Carlota’s lap, and her devoted aunt applied ice to her supposed injury. Montse is surprised that Capitan Robles is there. She thought he was coming Saturday! No, no, explains El Capitan Robles, it was me who called your husband and changed my plans. I was unable to come on Saturday. Ale says he has invited the Capitan to dinner and he hopes that will not inconvenient his wife. Not at all, Montse says politely. She would like a brief word with her husband.  Ale gets up from his seat on the sofa next to Robles and walks with Montse into the other room. Carlota beams at the captain and refers to him by his first name, Ignacio, as she tells him that she is delighted to see him. He beams back at her and they leave to take coffee on the terrace.

Montse accuses her husband of telling another lie, but Ale says he likes to get to the bottom of things. He does not like to leave things half done.

Characters Begin To Converge at Hacienda Almonte

Outside, Refugio/Renato and his horse run into Victor and Esmeralda, newly arrived from town. Refugio, shocked to see Esme off her home turf, calls her by name, and Victor is surprised to see that they know one another. Esme, ever the quick fabricator, introduces Refugio as Renato, a former client of hers at the strip club. The men shake hands but Refugio asks Victor if he is the person who hired the new Capitaz, Antonio Olivares? Yes, replies Victor, and I would like to talk with him. Refugio calls Miguel to take away his horse to the stables and leaves chop-chop to find JL/Antonio.

The boys on the run have just had another close encounter with someone who knows their real identities. Refugio runs to the Foreman’s house and as they talk they discover that both Victor Hernandez AND Capitan Robledo have arrived at Hacienda Almonte. They are doomed.

JL/Ant writes a letter that ends with the words, “Do not be late!” He tells Rufugio to deliver it to Montse through Rosario. Montse is to meet them at a certain place. Refugio tells JL that if Montse doesn’t come on time they cannot wait.

Inside The Big House

Alejandro and a less than enthusiastic Montserrat welcome Victor and Esme to the Big House. They will be staying the weekend. Montse takes Ale aside and tells him that he did not need to bring these people to the Hacienda to prove his innocence. He insists that he is sick of her blaming him for everything and wants to clear things up once and for all.  She should try to act nice with the guest and save her hysteria for when they are alone.


Esme fusses at Victor that Montse gave her the evil eye. She reiterates that when she pulled the wool over Monstse’s eyes about JL, she thought she was doing Montse a favor, because of what Dimmy told her about JL’s bad character. Victor tells her to tell her story to Ale and Montse, enough already.

Enter The Arechigas

Joaquin Arechiga and his headstrong daughter Angelica tear into the drive at Hacienda Almonte. She wants to take a walk in the garden while her father greets his old friend, Don Benjamin.

Joaquin Arechiga enters the Big House through the shuttered door and asks for Señor Almonte. Immediate and multiple misunderstandings commence.

Montse introduces herself as Mrs. Almonte. Joaquin cannot believe his old friend married such a young woman. Capitan Robles sees and greets Joaquin. It seems that they, too, are old friends. Robles says he is really more of a friend of the Mendoza family. Montse introduces her husband as Alejandro Almonte, Joaquin doesn’t understand; the last time he saw Alejandro when was just a worker at the Hacienda. Alejandro delivers the news that Don Benjamin has been dead six months, that before he died he confessed to being Alejandro’s father and left him the whole (enchilada) estate.

Whoa. Don Joaquin is muy impactado.

Ale, Joaquin and Montse all go to the study to talk. Joaquin expresses his condolences at Don Benjamin’s death. He has not visited this place in more than a year. Joaquin asks Ale to call him by his first name and suggests that they should be friends, as he was with Ale’s father. He asks after Ale’s mother but Ale doesn’t want to talk about it. Joaquin, not the most tactful of men, comments that Don Benjamin did so many wild things in his youth that he should not be surprised if Ale discover he had other illegitimate half-siblings, who might come and lay claim to the estate.

Joaquin also asks if Montserrat is related to Admiral Mendoza and says that Amelia, his wife, is very good friends with Graciela, Montserrat’s mother. Montserrat wonders just how Graciela and Amelia might have met.

This sounds ominous and like a key moment in the plot.

In the kitchen, Refugio delivers JL/Antonio’s letter to Rosario and begs her to give it immediately to Montserrat.

In the garden, Angelica, with all the entitlement of a Goldilocks, asks for directions to the home of the new foreman. She enters JL/Antonio’s house calling a greeting and kicking over a trashcan. A crumpled letter falls out of the can. Angelica, who seems to have no boundaries at all, picks up the letter, reads it and and takes off in a hurry.

OK. If this next set of events strains your credulity, I understand. That is why I have on one of Emilia’s custom super-titanium beanies as I write this.

The Secret Meeting Place

Jose Luis/Antonio and Refugio/Renato have arrived at the secret meeting place (where they hope to meet Montserrat). It is a lovely lotus pond and fountain. A truck pulls up and the window comes down. Goldilocks herself, AKA Angelica, rolls down her window and asks just where she can take the two men on the run.

I’ll tell you what. This girl’s got spunk.

In the kitchen in the big house, food is being prepared to serve to Sr. Arechiga. As Celia and Dominga take the food out to be served to their guests, Rosario gives Montserrat the urgent message that JL/Antonio has left the Hacienda and he will not be coming back. He is sorry he could not tell her in person. His assistant, Renato, delivered the message.

Rosario remarks that this is for the best. Now Montse can live in peace. As Montserrat leaves the kitchen and is headed to her room, she asks Tia Carlota to make the guests welcome. Esme is helping herself hungrily to some snacks when Nadia Mendoza arrives. She is greeted by Montse and Capitan Robles and explains that Pedro is not able to join them. Montse takes her to her room.

Nadia asks Montserrat why Esmeralda Ramos is there? Montse is surprised to learn that Nadia knows Esme. Nadia looks pained as she says, “Let’s just say that she is the woman who is keeping my husband entertained.”

Elna June

NovelaMaven continues with Part II (Episode 29)

You can't control your own destiny -- that's why they call it destiny.*

*NFL commentator Bob Costas, in a rare moment of home truth. 

Flirty Angelica knows a place where the runaway capataz and his friend can hide out.   But first she wants to know who Montserrat is and why he wanted her to meet him here.  JL turns away without answering.  But she won't let him get away that easily. She calls after him: There's a little abandoned shack (choza) near the river.  He remembers the river, right? [wink wink.]  She'll take him there.

She touches him lightly on the nose, then leads him by the hand back to her van.  Refugio can drive and JL can sit in the back with her.  Say -- what is he hiding from anyway?  He doesn't look like a bad guy* (No tienes cara de malo).  

She beams.  He wears his usual expression -- humorless, sweaty, intense.  The less she knows, the better it will be for her, he says.

Back at the hacienda, Alejandro admits to Victor that things aren't going well with Montserrat.  Now that he knows that José Luis is still alive, he is determined to find him.  Victor has heard from a pal in the navy that JL is a stand-up dude, not a criminal.  Alejandro's not impressed.  He's still the man who is trying to steal his wife away from him. 

Montserrat arrives with her friend Nadia.  Alejandro explains that Capitán Robledo is waiting inside to talk to Montserrat.  And no, it can't wait for later.  He leads Montse back to his study.

Meanwhile Nadia gives Victor the cold shoulder, still smarting over his boorish behavior in the restaurant in Aguazul.

Montserrat, alone with Robledo, gets right to the point:  

--Why did he say JL had left Aguazul when he was, in fact, being held, incommunicado, in a cell on the base?

--Because her mother asked him to protect her from JL.

--What made Robledo think José Luis killed Bruno Gamboa? 

--Graciela herself tipped him off.  She saw him at the scene just before Gamboa was killed! Then his suspicions were confirmed when he searched JL's quarters, and found a suitcase full of cash and the murder weapon.

"He was completely innocent," says Montserrat.  The money was hers!  She gave it to him.  She can't explain how the gun made its way to his room.

Robledo remains convinced of JL's guilt.  He was just doing his duty.  But Montse now realizes it was her mother, not Alejandro, who set the trap for José Luis.

Hacienda Arechiga
Don Joaquín's haughty wife Amelia is scandalized to hear that Benjamín Almonte has left his estate in the hands of his illegitimate son.  And she can't believe that her friend Graciela allowed her daughter to marry such a man.  Joaquín is unsurprised.  They both knew Graciela was always after Ben's money.  Anyhow, Alejandro seems like a good guy.  And he's educated too.

Amelia suddenly realizes that her daughter Angélica isn't home.  She lashes out at Joaquín -- he is so weak with her!  One day, something bad is going to happen and it will be his fault!

If Amelia only knew...
Angélica is sheltering Sweaty and Dopey in her childhood hideaway and has more than a casual interest in one of them. 

Angélica has to go -- she doesn't want to get in trouble with her daddy -- but she promises to return later with food.  

The boys ask one more favor of her: find a woman named Esmeralda Ramos -- she is staying at the Hacienda Almonte -- and bring her back to the choza.  

Now do you believe me?
Alejandro wants to know if, after her talk with Robledo, Montse believes he never implicated José Luis in Gamboa's murder.  She doesn't want to talk about it.  Fine, says Alejo, but Esmeralda is still waiting to clear up the rest of the lies.

By the way, he has invited the familia Arechiga to join them for dinner.  Montse remarks that even though Alejandro spoke openly to Joaquín about his past and his father, he avoided the man's question about his mother.  Will he tell her who his mother was?  Alejo answers that she was a poor countrywoman who worked for his father.  He abused her sin remordimiento (without remorse).  

And her name?  


Rosario??  The same name as the woman who works here?  


Alejandro... could Rosario be your mother?

No, Padre Anselmo would have told me.  Besides, I already told you -- my mother is dead.

Montserrat listens to what Esmeralda has to say:

--Did Alejandro send Esmeralda to tell Montserrat lies about José Luis?  

--No!  Dimitrio sent her -- with Graciela's blessings!

Esme lied about José Luis, she tells Montse, because Dimitrio asked her to.  She didn't do it for money.  She was just doing a favor for a friend.

[The Patio knows she's lying about the money and friendship part, but gives her a pass.  The larger truth is the important thing here.]

Later she felt bad because she could see how stricken Montse looked.

[That's true.  She did show a nanosecond of remorse.]

Esme was afraid JL would discover her lie, but Dim told her not to worry -- he was already far away from Aguazul.

An excursion to a very foul place
Graciela's eye --> mind
Juventino's salacious whispers in the confessional...Alejandro's death...a boon to them both...Juventino's hand stroking her cheek.

Graciela is brought back to her surroundings -- a ladies' clothing store -- by the voice of the clerk asking her if she is looking for something special.  She smiles and answers:  "What's the latest thing in black?"  Uh oh.

And if possible, an even fouler place...
Juventino rummages through Montse's delicates, pulls out some undies and sniffs.  Carlota almost catches him in the act when she walks into the bedroom.  But he has time to stuff the garment in his pocket and then do his cockroach retreat, leaving Carlota to reflect that that man gives her the creeps.  (Ese hombre me da escalofríos.)

[On The Patio, Diana shivers.  She looks for a place at Padre Anselmo's table.]  

Dumb and Dumber (that is, Dimitrio and Adolfo) booze it up in the cantina.  Dim is in a panic that Josefina's brother Tomás has entered the picture.  What now?  Will he have to live with Fina as if he were her husband?  Adolfo advises Dim to empty Josefina's wall safe -- she gave him the combination, right? -- and then the two of them can catch the first available flight to Brazil.

Alejandro admits to Victor that he is a little uneasy about Antonio Olivares.  He saw him talking with Montse in his study, and there was something not quite right -- Maybe Antonio is the go-between for JL and Montse.  Victor dismisses Alejo's concerns.  His friend is just jealous.

While Montse primps before the dinner (hairspray? really?), she tells Nadia how hurt she feels knowing her own mother and brother deceived her.  They ruined her life -- and that of José Luis.  At least now she knows that Alejandro was telling her the truth, says Nadia.  She thinks it's time for Montse to move on.  Alejo loves her.  Does she really feel nothing but hatred for him?

Montse admits that, as much as she wants to hate him, she can't quite do so. In spite of herself she feels bursts of tenderness for him and admiration too...but those are fleeting moments.  Then they quarrel again, insult each other, and they are back where they were before.  Or worse.  She is sure she will never be able to love him as intensely as she has loved JL.  In the end, she can't forgive him for buying her like an object.  And he can't forgive her for trying to run away with José Luis on their very wedding day.

The two friends are coming to the melancholy conclusion that their lives in no way resemble their girlish dreams, when Carlota joins them, takes one look at their gloomy faces and knows something is up.  "José Luis se fue de la hacienda, tía," says Montse tragically.  Thank God for that! says Carlota, perhaps looking around for someone bump fists with.

[The Patio would celebrate with Carlota, but we know that the Sweaty One is still too damn close, just biding his time until Victor goes back to Aguazul.]

María does a flirty turn for Alejandro and Victor.  She's a little miffed that she wasn't the first person Victor sought out when he arrived at the hacienda.  Doesn't he care about her anymore?  It's more like he realizes that she doesn't care at all about him, he tells her.  He leaves her and her Wonderbra alone, with nary a soul to stare at her cleavage.

Juventino tells Alejandro that he hasn't seen the new capataz all day.

Corrupt Police Chief Loreto calls Juventino and they arrange to meet secretly at the hacienda the following day.  There's an abandoned choza near the hacienda -- very close to the river...

The navy boys are still cooling their heels in the choza.  

Carlota thinks Montserrat should be glad the Sweaty One has finally left.  Robledo's arrival was a blessing!  Enough with the tears!  She needs to focus on her husband.  And right now it's time to join the guests downstairs.

I made the pambazos myself!
Josefina has put out a lovely meal but Dimitrio has lost his appetite.  He is furious that she told her brother about their marriage. "It makes everything more difficult!" shouts Dim, pounding on the table for emphasis.  "But why is it difficult?" asks the bewildered Josefina, now surrendering to her sobs.

This is just the distraction Dim had hoped for.  He rushes off to the wall safe and tries to open it.

Dim comes back to the table even angrier than before.  The combination to the safe has been changed!  Doesn't she TRUST him?  Fina knows nothing about it.  Her brother must have done it.  She'll get the new combination for him in the morning.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeosie (the lost telenovela version)

Grumpy María announces that the Arechiga family has arrived. 

Polite introductions are made and greetings are exchanged:

Angélica asks after Captain Robledo's sister, her godmother.

Victor enters and Amelia mistakes him for Alejandro.  He explains he is his friend.

Joaquín presents his wife Amelia to Montserrat and she introduces her aunt Carlota.  Then he presents his daughters, Angélica -- we know her as the artist and admirer of the male form -- and his younger girl, Virginia.

While all the social niceties are playing out, María stands apart and watches sullenly.

Amelia reveals to the assembly that Graciela is an old friend of hers.  Carlota is surprised.  She can't recall her cuñada ever mentioning Amelia's name.

["Telling detail," murmurs Karen.  Vivi nods knowingly.]

Now Alejandro arrives and apologizes for being late.  He was looking for his capataz, he explains.  Both Angélica and Montserrat look a little embarrassed.

Is it true what they say about Pedro?
Nadia and Esmeralda, who have not yet joined the group in the living room, share an uneasy encounter.  Nadia is sure Esmeralda lied about Pedro.  "If I were you," Esme tells Nadia, "I wouldn't worry about another woman." Esme thinks the rumors about the Municipal President are very likely true.  Rumors?  Yes -- that Pedro Medina doesn't like women.

Adolfo and Dim are back at the cantina.  Adolfo thinks all is not lost.  They have a week before Tomás gets back from the city.  If Dim can't get Fina's money from the wall safe, then just get her to write him a big fat check.   She's done it before. 

Alejandro presides over the motley assortment of guests at his dinner table.  He raises a glass of red wine to all -- ¡Salud!

Amelia draws first blood.  She turns to Esmeralda and asks her what she does for a living.  "I'm a dancer," answers Esme.  Amelia wants specifics.  Classical ballet?  Not hardly.  She dances in a men's club in Aguazul, La Escondida.  But Amelia has nothing to worry about -- she has never seen her husband there!

[Oh, score for Esmeralda!  During this scene, a few on The Patio are pulling up their chairs to her table.]

Angélica scandalizes both mommy and daddy by her giggly enthusiasm for Esme's profession.  It wasn't on her bucket list, but she'd love to dance there before she dies. 

Carlota tries to smooth things over.  "Child, you have your whole life ahead of you."  "That's not what my oncologist thinks," answers the young woman with cheerful fatalism. Carlota is mortified.  María leans her boobs towards Alejo and whispers:  "What's an oncologist?"  He'll tell her later.

"We are an eclectic group at this table," announces Amelia the Bitch.  (No cabe duda que estamos en una mesa muy ecléctica.)  "We have a Navy Captain, the Mayor's wife, an exotic dancer (here Esmeralda smiles pleasantly and nods acknowledgment), and this...woman (she points at María) who was just serving us a few minutes ago..."

"You forgot to mention a bastard son," says Alejandro flatly.

"True," acknowledges the Bitch.  She doesn't know how she forgot that!

Angélica is laughing.  This is the first time she's ever had fun in this house.

Montserrat, Carlota and Joaquín look grim.

Apparently everyone has survived dinner (only the words, not the food, were venomous) because it is the next day and no new catastrophes have been announced. 

Alejo is still looking for his missing capataz.  Juventino, still hasn't seen him, but he'd be glad to stand in for him and receive the breeding stock.

Esme wanders through.  She turns down the offer of a horse -- she's afraid of them.  Alejandro warns her not to stray too far.

As soon as Alejo walks away, Juventino catches up with her.  He grabs her and warns her to keep her mouth shut about him. 

["What does she know?" someone whispers.  Susanlynn explains: "She saw him with Pedro and his posse at La Escondida!"]

Nadia continues to treat Victor coldly.  He apologizes for his behavior to her the other day in the restaurant in Aguazul.  He misjudged her.  He'd like to be her friend.

Esme wanders off,  hoping to find Refugio.  She is surprised when Angélica rides up to her on horseback and asks her to come with her.  Esme mounts the horse with the agility pole dancer.  She seems to have forgotten all about her fear of horses.

Montse, in a halter top, tight tan jeans and high boots (take that, María Wonderbra!), asks Alejo what is going on.  He says he's concerned about the missing capataz and hopes he hasn't crossed paths with the gang that assaulted them the other day.

Not to worry.  "Antonio Olivares" is alive and sweaty in the choza.  Angélica delivers Esme as promised.  She also hands over a sack of fruit and sandwiches.

JL tells Esme that he had to go into hiding when Robledo arrived.  Now that Victor is at the hacienda, he has to stay hidden.   

Esme waits in the choza for Refugio, leaving Angélica alone with JL.  She presses him for his story.  There's something between him and Montserrat, right? He isn't saying.  Well, Angélica is happy that Montserrat is married. That leaves the capataz free for her!  She kisses him on the cheek and slips away before he can protest.

Back at the hacienda, Carlota is reproaching herself for her gaffe of the previous night. "But no one knew she was sick," says Nadia consolingly.  Montse likes the Arechiga family -- except for the awful wife.  Carlota agrees.  Amelia is quite the tyrant.  It's no surprise she's a friend of Graciela.  They are two of a kind (cortadas por la misma tijera).  One thing is odd, though.  How do they know each other?

"Maybe," says Montserrat with a straight face, "they met on one of those spiritual retreats my mother goes to now and then."

María Wonderbra saunters by and grudgingly tells Montserrat that she last saw Alejandro headed for the capataz house.
Carlota explodes at María's attitude.  Qué pesada, she says. (How irritating she is! What a pill!).  Nadia admits she has been wondering about María.  Who is she anyway?  Montse just scowls.

Victor and Alejandro find nothing unusual at the house of the capataz.  They agree -- If Antonio isn't back by the next day, they will have to go out and look for him.

Lovely, tragic Josefina sits on her couch, knitting.  When someone shouts her name, she cringes like a dog accustomed to the lash.  She turns to face her brother Tomás.  He has upsetting news: Dimitrio has been making a fool of her.  She was tricked!  She is not married to Dimitrio Mendoza!  Her wedding was fake!

Avances:  Montserrat sees Angélica and José Luis smooching.  Game changer?



Greetings from recappers Elna June and Novela Maven.

Following please find a VERY long recap. These episodes were absolutely action packed and we compressed them as much as possible, but...

You will need a pot of coffee with which to read these recaps. A cup will never do.


Elna June, on behalf of myself and the INCOMPARABLE Novela Maven

EJ and NovelaMaven:

What marvelous, detailed prose you both wrote! This whole recap is fantastic! I love both your styles and they so compliment each other. You Ladies are the bomb ; )

That dinner was a hoot and then some. I really laughed throughout that dinner. Esme is another frank talker, lol. She never hesitated one bit! I don't like Amelia either. I am liking Angie (Angelica), she is another great character. I hope there is some cure for her.

Ale never learns. All this mad face, you lie, no you lie, between Monse and Ale drives me up the wall. I am glad though, that Monse finally admitted to Nadia, that yes, she has feelings for Ale, at least that is a step, but Monse and Ale both need to clear up these misunderstandings and Monse needs to fess up too, she isn't totally blameless here.

So Pedro isn't liking women, I still don't get the gay vibe from him. I hope they do some backstory on him to find out what his problem is. Great of Nadia to stand up to him and go visit Monse anyways. Good for her.

I was glad that Monse was able to put Bitch Maria in her place, like how Tia Lottie is doing it too, without interference from Ale.

Victor and Nadia do make a great couple.

I am sick of JL. He really is a coward. I wonder how Monse even still loves this guy. I do like Refugio though. He is trying to be the voice of reason, but JL won't listen. I don't like the fact that JL is constantly pressuring Monse to go with him. Maybe this will be her wakeup call, that he left without saying goodbye.

Tomas is a real older brother isn't he? He is rough with Josie though, and something I don't like. But he does have her best interests at heart. Dimwit and Addy are the true Dumb and Dumbest. I hope they never get that combination to the safe.

Angie really does have it bad for JL. Can't wait to see what happens there.

Gracie it seems gets off on the idea of money. It really wasn't Juvie it was the thought of all that lovely lana. I hope she ends up poor and out on the street, would serve her right. I too wonder how she knows Amelia? Hmmmm......

Thanks so much Ladies for this fab recap and all the time it took to write it. It was a delight to read and thanks so much for the cast of characters.

Good evening amigas. Thank you for getting your recaps up so quickly. You two are on fire! I was just about to go to bed but now I have a good excuse to make myself a hot spiced cider (with a little rum) and enjoy your recaps.

I like how everyone is converging on the hacienda. It's kind of like a traditional mystery, everyone's got a secret. Except Esmarelda of course because she happily tells all.

Oopsie. In addition to the multiple typos and auto-corrected but incorrect words I found in my recap, i also made a mistake. Refugio gave a MESSAGE to Rosario to give to Montserrat, not a letter. It seems to me that Refugio may have crumpled up Jl's letter and thrown it in the trash for Angelica to stumble upon.


Elna June and Novela Maven, what a fantastic recap to go with my first cup of coffee this a.m. The description of all of the characters was very interesting.

Cap'n Sylvia, I also like the converging of all of these characters at the hacienda. It does have that mystery feel to it.

Madelaine, I agree with you that JL has pegged himself as a coward and hope that his departure sin despedida does further alienate him from Montse.

It seems that Angelica is seriously ill and may not have a long life ahead of her. Are they hitting us over the head with a name like "Angelica"? Anyway, I like her character whose urgency and naivete are stirring the pot.

Creepy Uncle Juvie sniffing the underwear was so absolutely disgusting.

I like that Ale is trying to prove his innocence to Montse with the "witnesses" he has provided at this get-together at the hacienda. What I don't like is his obnoxious attitude towards her and demeaning her by involving staff in his desire to monitor and control her.


Great work, ladies. This was quite a story-advancer and makes me wonder how this will end up twice as long as its predecessors.

Angelica is the counterpart of Kika Edgar's character in AR. Not beautiful, but with the potential to look better with some effort. Also sickly, but with a different sickness (I think).

Amelia is played by the same actress who was the pathetic Paloma in Teresa. For the moment I suspect that she and Graciela were classmates once upon a time.

As to Graciela's "spiritual retreats"? I think that's a crock. She might have been spending the family fortune on Hot Young Guys who don't shrink from boinking older women for money.

Tomas is right on the case and I like his approach. That role was previously played in AR by Luis Xavier, who is playing Joaquin.

Dear Elna June:

You can tell me a story any time you like. You draw me in from the very beginning and no matter how long the tale may be, you leave me wishing there were more.

[One hopes that our combined verbosity does not overwhelm Blogger, and that Melinama does not take away our posting privileges -- or send us to sit in the corner table of The Patio and think about what we have done.

Maybe we should have added a warning: Do not read this on your phone unless you have a charger handy.]

It's funny that you were thinking Goldilocks. I myself was thinking that the choza looked like a collaboration between the First and Second Little Pigs.

Urban, the actress playing Amelia (Isabella Camil) was also seen in Abismo de Pasión as Irritating Ingrid. Of course she looks a bit different without her Yeshiva boy side curls.


Padre Anselmo's calling JL a coward seems to have stuck. But then what are we to do with the fact that he saved Alejandro's life? Or that he refuses to be intimidated by Juventino? He's a complicated guy. A very sweaty complicated guy.


Oh boy are they ever hitting us over the head with the name Angélica.

I think they made it clear that she has terminal cancer and has decided that in the short time left to her on this earth, she is not going to be held back by middle-class ideas of social propriety. It will be great if she manages to turn JL's head -- that's about the only way Montse is ever going to get past him.

Dear Sylvia:
I'm glad we were able to put you to sleep. "Better than Seconal" -- that's our new motto!
[NM snorts in an unladylike fashion, then asks Esmeralda to scooch over on the couch.]

Just wonderful. Haven't even seen this yet, but couldn't resist treating myself to a double portion of Elna June and NovelaMaven. Like eating dessert first! (something I also recommend.)

"The biggest problem this recapper has with your last statement is that you seem to believe your own publicity—that you are a paragon of truth. There is a name for this problem – h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y!"

Well said. And I loved how you shared your delight in the Josefina, Dimitrio, Tomás scene, noting that they are all such great actors. Felt like we were together on the family room couch, discussing the goings-on during the commercial breaks.

And Robledo "trussed into his spiffy pale blue uniform" just cracked me up. Come to think of it, the actor just look a bit "trussed", no matter what outfit he's in.

And who knew NovelaMaven was an ESPN watcher? (does she never sleep?).

"You can't control your destiny. That's why it's called destiny. *NFL commentator Bob Costas, in a rare moment of home truth".

Simply loving the literary feast this morning. Sweaty and Dopey (oh my, and who's Snow White?...the lovely Montserrat?) and the heading IS IT TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT PEDRO?. Wonderful, wonderful.And a lot more, but I'm still too hung over from Christmas to muster the energy to note it. Diana, help me out!

Catching up on recaps and videos after another debilitating Christmas (the 8 hour trips there and back, combined with rich food and wine age me by about a decade), but enjoying every minute.

Thank you Gloria, Urban Anthropologist and Eli also for helping me get back in the flow with your helpful details and delightful prose. We 9pm folks are truly spoiled by our first rate recapping team.

I will try to be a higher caliber commenter when I recover more from the festivities.


You are so right about JL, amiga. He did save Ale's life and he is onto Juvie. He can't exactly come out and tell Ale who he really is either. And if he did, he'd be back in la carcel and could he really prove his innocence? I guess I mean toward Monse, in the beginning he was too afraid to face her Papa. Now he is always pushing her to run away and damn the consequences. This little journey of his to the hacienda has taught him some things though. Especially about Ale, I'm thinking.

I wonder if JL is onto Bitchy Maria. I watched his face closely as she was trying to get the goods on him, so to speak, about not having the experience to be a capataz, and then she just threw in that line about la patrona. Did he know her? He boldly looked into her eyes and said no, he didn't even flinch. Since he knows that she is Juvie's niece, maybe he is onto her fishing expedition.

Juvie is a major perv. His sliming all over Esme, being in Monse's room and stealing her unmentionable. Why in the world didn't Tia Lottie tell Monse about finding Juvie in her room, so Monse could lock her door. And how is he having the run of the house? Creepy.

I wonder if Amelia was another of Benny's women or knew that Gracie was? Just a theory, not a spoiler. Maybe that's how they know each other.


Both Amelia and Joaquín knew Graciela was after Ben's money, so I assume that means they knew she was his mistress.

Amelia even mentioned in passing that she was the one responsible for introducing Graciela to Benjamín.

I think José Luis is quite leery of María -- he knows she's Montse's enemy and rival. And he is suspicious of her because she is Juventino's niece. He is quite willing to milk her for information (for example, the fact that Juv knows he's a good shot, a thing he can only know because he was one of the masked bandits in the shoot-out with him the other day) while she thinks she is the one spying on him.

JL hasn't behaved like a "gentleman" with Montserrat. A gentleman would "dar la cara" with her family. A gentleman wouldn't assume a false identity and skulk in the shadows to be near his woman.

What Padre Anselmo and Carlota and now, Montserrat herself, are calling "cowardice" is a failure to act up to a chivalric code.

Great point about Juventino -- why on earth is he permitted access to the Big House? There is no reason for him to be there and plenty of reason to keep him out.

Dear JudyB:

It was my son (visiting for the holiday) who mentioned the Bob Costas thing. I was so delighted by it that I just had to use it in the recap.

I simply purr at any words of praise from you, as you know. Thank you. And may I say that you chose to highlight some of my very favorite lines from EJ's part of the recap. (I always have so much trouble choosing from the embarrassment of riches she offers us.) How lucky we all are to have you as a reader and commenter and even, now and again, as a returning recapper.

Recappers: Splendid recap.

You'd think that by now Monsy would notice that her underwear drawer was a little light. What would Ale do if he knew Maria had rummaged in there? Probably just say, well, what do you expect when you bring so many things you don't need.

And speaking of Monsy, she has a fantastic wardrobe that she wears so well.

My heroine: Esme who just tells the plain truth. Yes, I'm a dancer - not a ballerina - but, the other kind.


Clearly Christmas continues. These recaps are beautiful, rich, delightful gifts.elna june and Novela Maven have bestowed us with rich, fanciful and mesmerizing jewels.

Elna June: Absolutely fabulous. “channeling his inner beast”, “ nearly impossible cognitive leap” and “The biggest problem this recapper has with your last statement is that you seem to believe your own publicity—that you are a paragon of truth. There is a name for this problem – h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y!” were fantastic. Well thought out, insightful and great fun.

I want to like Ale. I mean, he is Sebastian Rulli, after all! But, I can’t quite get there: “Caveman Ale-Grock says that it better not happen because he would leave no stone unturned, he would spend every last penny of his money to find her”. Indeed. As though she were “his”, “his property”. Ack. Blech.

Novela Maven: I continue to be in awe of your exceptional talent. Your phrases are well, refreshing and delightful. "An excursion to a very foul place", "Graciela's eye --> mind", "Juventino's salacious whispers in the confessional...Alejandro's death...a boon to them both...",
"And if possible, an even fouler place..." were spectacular.

The plots thicken. An interesting independent forward-thinking potential love interest for JL (under the unfortunate cloud of ill heath); Monse and Ale continue their dance of mis and non communication; Esme and Refugio still apart and poor Josefina experiencing yet another heartache with the knowledge her marriage to Dimitrio is a sham.

Two truly cringeworthy moments. Graciela fantasizing about Juvie and "Juventino rummages through Montse's delicates, pulls out some undies and sniffs". Oh dear. I fear that image is indelibly seared in my brain. Again, is this really the same, handsome shashbuckler that made our hearts (and Jimena's) race in Pasion? Great actor - hideous character.

Welcome back Judy! Glad you have returned yet sorry you had such a long journey. You have been sorely missed. Amiga, you hit many of the highlights in your excellent comment. You are spot on in noting these rich recaps were like eating dessert! They were indeed...

Wonderful comments all. Thank you to all of the recappers who give so generously of themselves and their valuable time, particularly at this, the most precious and busiest of times.


Elna June and NovelaMaven- Wow! You ladies hit it out of the park with these two recaps. There were so many details to cover, and SO many new characters to introduce in one night, and you did it perfectly, while giving us a scintillating narrative.

I like Angie. Since JL is doomed, and she’s doomed, then they make a great pair. JL should just go with it. She seems much more fun and down to earth than Monse.

What a great dinner party. I too was expecting someone to fall dead at the table or somewhere in the house, and propel us into an Agatha Christie-like murder mystery. Loved Esme’s and Angie’s frankness at the table. Didn’t those two make a great male fantasy, riding together astride a horse through the countryside?

When I mentioned Fina’s big brother coming to knock heads yesterday, I didn’t expect it to happen so soon! Wow, he just blew Dumb and Dumber’s plan right out of the water before they got their hands on any cash. What will Fina do next? Will she reveal that she knows what the boys did and are up to, or will she play along some more and turn the tables on them?

Woweewow. Thank you both, EJ and NM, for that amazing recap and synopsis of characters. I have not been able to watch this novela for awhile. Hub and I picked up our older daughter and her family at Newark airport on Dec. 23, and life has been a whirlwind of holiday activities since then with time divided between our home and our younger daughter's home five miles away. We took them back to Newark for their flight back home yesterday evening. Now, I am exhausted and trying to catch up on the novelas and chores.

It looks like this show is moving along nicely. Some events and characters are similar to Amor Real, while others are different. There was a neighboring family with two daughters. The guy playing the father was Josefina's blustering brother in AR. The scenario with Matilde's brother, Josefina, and her brother was the same way.

In AR, two events happened that brought the leads together and bad them making love all over the hacienda.. First, Matilde was hurt while pleading with Manuel to let her go home while he was on a horse. Being a doctor, he cared for her wounds and was deeply contrite for causing her injury. Then, Manuel was shot by a henchman of the bad hacienda worker ,and Matilde was very upset and cared for him. The housekeeper entered the bedroom to care for Manuel, and she and Matilde had a full-on cat fight before Tia dragged the housekeeper kicking and screaming from the room and Rosario and Matilde locked her out !!

Ladies, how fun to re-read and re-enjoy your recaps this morning.

Wow, that was some epic undie sniffage going on last night. I thought TioJuvePervi was about to make soup out of Monse's dainties, if only he knew how to cook. (And yes, isn't she wondering about her disappearing wardrobe?)

"(hairspray? really?)"...I thought the same thing. Hard to imagine any hairspray wouldn't melt in that heat.

"He leaves her and her Wonderbra alone, with nary a soul to stare at her cleavage." The Patio truly howled at that one.

I like the casting of Isabella Camil and Ilithya Manzanilla as mother and daughter. I have always thought they looked very much alike.


It felt like a bit of a Teresa reunion with: Ale, Monse, Victor, Esme, and Amelia all in the same room.

Vivi, wasn't it great how Fina's big bro showed up so quickly? I love how he is so on to Dim and Dimmer.

OK, I was a little surprised that Gracie had a mini fantasy about Juvie. Super Blech. But then again, what can we expect from a grown woman who wears bows on her ankles?

A big welcome back to JudyB and Susanlynn. You ladies are always missed.

Sylvia... I got the same vibe as you did about the group gathering at the hacienda....which never happened in AR. The crowded hacienda made me think of an Agatha Christie novel or a Murder She Wrote episode or perhaps a game of Clue.. It was NotGroovyJuvie the conservatory...with a candlestick. It also brought back memories of the crowded dining room table at the farm on Sundays when our whole family gathered together for my mother'so tasty meals.

Sylvia..thanks for the welcome back. I've missed my cyber buds. And...yes...what was up with that Shirley temple outfit that Gracie was wearing???frilly socks ??? She is a hot fashion mess.

I agree with Mads that it's primarily the idea of getting her hands on Ale's money, via widow Monse, that is turning Gracie on, more than Juvie's pervy caresses. Although, I'm sure she probably has some unfulfilled urges, since Benjamin is no longer around for her "spiritual retreats."

Thanks to two of my favorite recappers and gracious ladies, Elna June and NovelaMaven. This is most excellent my dears. What great reading you have whipped up. I was breathless at the end of last night's presentation and now again after reading this delightful double recap.

Some great lines in the episodes but I think the most entertaining and best delivered was by Graciela in the clothing store. I knew almost exactly what she was going to say before she said it and it still made me laugh out loud:

"What's the latest thing in black?"

What a great character.

Do any of Ximena's fans from Gancho see some of the same similarities between Josefina and Ximena? Both are endearingly ingenuous and innocent...making one long to protect them from the world as well as themselves. Didn't you just want to hug her when she meekly confessed?:

"I have never had many, well, any, boyfriends."

While her brother may have seemed a little rough, I felt that I could see his exasperated love for her... he has been her brother for all these years after all.

I so enjoyed María playing cat and mouse with JL.

That dinner was wonderful, good food, interesting guests, and fascinating conversation.

And how good is having Ingrid AdP back?


Nm..HA..I agree that JL is "a very sweaty, complicated guy." So true. He like so many characters in this novela are shades of gray...except for Juvie and MalMaria who are bad to the bone. Gracie and the dim one are bad , but perhaps not on the same evil level as those two nasty pieces of work.

I also have the feeling that DC and AB will be cast again as mother and daughter.

Anyone else surprised at the preponderance of blondes in this series? Whoever thought that up, gracias.

Thank you EJ and NovelaMaven! Wow! A lot going on these two episodes--too much for my fussing and ranting style of post. I just want to say Yaaaay for Tomas! So glad this Dimi/Dopey ruse has been busted already. Can't wait to see what Fina will do with this information. Hopefully she'll take the best revenge (after putting Dimi out, of course): get a make-over and live well, becoming the breathing embodiment of that Gloria Gaynor anthem "I will survive!"

And. I knew Pedro didn't like the ladies. He's an a$$hole, sadist and megalomaniac too, which are separate issues but I just knew he had to have other tastes to so cruelly reject the beautiful Nadia. Can Nadia get an annulment? Not necessarily because he's rumored to be gay but because the marriage has not been consummated?

Thank you Elna June and NovelaMaven once again and I look forward to comments to help me understand these chock-full episodes.


Elna and Novela Maven, I LOVE your way of telling things, I am so envious!!!
I'm sick as a dog - head ache, sore throat - not a pretty sight, but I did manage to stay up to date with Robo, because I simply love it! The trio of Finita, Dimi and Adofito is hilarious and Tomas will only complicate things for the newly weds. I can't wait.

I'm also enjoying Nadia and Victor, Refugio and Esmeralda are great sidekicks, Juvie and Maria are awfully good in their evilness... there is not a plot that I don't enjoy.

These two episodes have been very good, the dinner scene was especially funny.
I don't really like Angelica - the actress doesn't seem very good to me, but whatever takes JL away from Montse is FINE.

It looks like our main couple takes one step forward and two steps back each episode.
I wonder how much longer they plan to go on with the misunderstandings. I'm beginning to lose track of who knows what and who is lying about what.

Montse is a hypocrite, Ale is a bully (to say the least) - a match made in telenovela heaven.


Buenos Dias:

I am just now getting ready to read/respond to comments and to have a cuppa Joe.

But even before I start, I must give a bow to my partner in this effort, Novela Maven.

Really, her recap is genius, isn't it? I got a sneak preview when I posted it and I was WOWED.

I want to hear a large hand of praise for our Maven of Novelas. (Riotous and long applause ensues. Hundreds of harmless fruit and vegetable shaped nerfazos are tossed in the air and rain bouncing on the gathered crowd on the Patio).

Novela Maven, you are simply brilliant. It is a pleasure to work with you.

Back with you in a moment, amigos.

Elna June


I'm not out on the patio as to Pedro. He could have other problems that have not yet surfaced.

Yeah, we now know that Pedro does not pursue sexual pleasure with women, but we don't have any indication that he desires men either. We still need to get more info, and perhaps finally see him with someone he's attracted to, if he's attracted to anyone.

As for Pedro, I'm not at all surprised to learn that he is gay, but that doesn't even begin to explain what is wrong with him. He has a horrible cruel mean streak which is so very dark.

Juvenino would almost be cuddly were it not for a few major character flaws and some recent acting out.

María is cuddly but largely misunderstood by most of the crowd here on the patio. I think that she is redeemable (maybe if she'd just get that headband...).

Pedro is just not any fun at all and is probably worse than any of us even imagine.


My favorite part of the episode is when Alex went off on Nadia immediately. That was funny! I also loved the dinner table discussion. Reminds me of my family get togethers.

Thanks for the recaps EJ and Novels Maven!


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I'm worried about how he'll punish Nadia for disobeying him. I'm kind of shocked that she did it. Monse goes on and on about being scared of what Ale would do if she left him. She should take a look at Pedro to see a REAL murderous monster. I kind of hate that Monse took over the conversations about how horrible her married life is, instead of giving Nadia time to open up about what's really happening in her marriage.

Vivi, well it's always all about Monse. She's kind of like her mum that way.

I agree that Pedro is the worst. Maybe because we don't yet know WHY he is such a monumental a$$hat.

I sometimes give Maria a hall pass because Ale is so dense in his relationship with her. He is inconsistent which is the worst way to deal with an obsessive fan. One minute he tells her she is his sister, then next he is flaunting her in front of his neighbors and the other staff.

Carlos, every episode I thank the telenovela gods that Juvie is in this show. However, he has murdered too many fruits to be redeemed. Hey Juvie, didn't you know that when life gives you a mushed mango it's time to make a smoothie?!?

Holy smokers!! Wow, wow and again, WOW!! EJ and NM, this was beyond fantastic. In the office today to tackle a few things while it's quiet ( 3 people out of 42 here--yeah it's quiet) and this was the BEST lunch break I could ask for. Little Christmas gift for us.

Now, I love me some AleMon,their flaws and mind-numbing dance-arounds do entertain ( and they look so good doing it), but I am absolutely loving and enjoying the whole plot line, and acting, with Dim and Fina. And now the brother gets thrown into the story...just superb!!

I do have to admit that I yelled out in agaony "ARGH, Paloma!!" last night seeing Angie's mom. She better watch out when crossing streets for those oncoming cars. Did I see that right she actually was feeding her daughter something...that was sort of creepy and weird.

Pedro is an ass. This guy will be fun to plan a possible demise for. What the heck did Nadia see in this creep?

I'm rather liking this gathering of characters at the ranch. At least it shortens the amount of time we have to watch Maria being her usual bitchy self. Little of her is starting to go a long way. Sorry Carlos, but I'm not sure even a headband would help at this point.Redeemable you think? Not so sure, but I guess we'll see. Don't think she likes seeing how Ale fits in so comfortably with the "crowd".

Adriana-feel better!!


Elna June and NovelaMaven - Bravo! Thanks so much for crafting such a gem for us at Christmas time.

Ale telling Montse to make nice for their guests and save the hysterics for when there's just the two of them - lol.

I vote that Pedro isn't gay. He's so mean, I think his secret is something dark. The real mystery is why Nadia stays with him, with or without sex. Hers is not a case of "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" but "Just Get the Hell Out Already!"

I'm counting on Esme to tell JL and Refugio what she knows of Juventino. Just realized that Proud Pole Dancer Esme is the only working woman in this TN outside of the domestics Rosario and Maria.

Elna June:

You have no idea how daunting it is to partner with you, my genius friend. ( I did feel a little safer, however, knowing I'd be the horse's rear end and you would lead the way.) I am, as always, bowled over by your writing.

Okay. We have to stop now. Some of the bad girls in the back row are snickering at us. What was that? Get a room!.


Thank you to all those who enjoyed the recap(s)and commented. I was so happy to see that some of our regular denizens of the Patio are back in town after the Holidays.

So much happened last night that I can hardly get my head around it. A few random thoughts are passing through my head this morning:

1. To UA's point, What is with all the blondes in this show? Are there that many blondes in all Campeche?

2. I am not sure that Pedro is gay, even thought that was clearly Esme's read on the situation. Another way to read this is that Pedro is a true, old-fashioned misogynist—he literally may not like women. Like Carlos, I see him as a sadist and he probably has problems with potency. The writers are just not giving him the gay vibe, as Mads mentioned.

I would welcome a realistic portrayal of a gay character in a telenovela. When gay men are portrayed they are usually absurd comic foils.

3. Angelica. Hmmm. Yep, writers, hit us over the head with her future as a celestial being. She is brave and vital and clearly tragic. Only tragedy (or lust) would explain her instant adoration of the Sweaty One. There are plenty of ways to play out THIS development.

4. How does Amelia know Graciela? That will be fun to discover.

5. Why does Graciela need something new in black?

6. How will Josefina get back at Dimmy and Adolfito? Give that girl a new best friend who can give her some sage advice and pull off the prosthetic unibrow. (THAT will leave a mark. Spirit gum is strong stuff).

7. I am tired of Nadia being Pedro's victim. Perhaps she can just stay at Hacienda Almonte.

8. Why do we keep hearing about how well JL/Ant rides a horse? An odd point, that. Having grown up riding myself, there is no way to fake the skill. Where did JL/Ant learn to ride? I wouldn't think there would be a lot of work in the Navy for a skilled horseman.

9.Carlos de la Mota really is doing a great job with the Refugio/Renato character, even if he is playing it a little broad. The only time Luis Roberto Guzman lights up onscreen is on his scenes with de la Mota. Those two really DO have great chemistry.

10. I am not amused by Alejandro's caveman routine. Not amused at all.

11. The sooner Rosario tells the truth to Alejandro, the better.



Well, I have so much to do, yet here I sit reading recaps and comments of the novelas I've missed recently. I did manage to get some laundry done and made a big pot of Pork Chop Potluck.

Adriana, I hope you feel better soon. Both my daughter and son-in-law arrived here with colds.

"Sweaty, humorless, and intense,...yikes. those three adjectives probably would not be good choices to use for an online dating site.

Carlos, MalMaria IS wearing a headband, but as someone noted at an earlier date, it has slipped beneath her bust. Now, that's an interesting look....more like a "look-at-my-bust" look.

Moneymoney reminds me alternately of a teeny tiny Barbie doll and a Tinkerbelle with her short, puffy , colorful skirts and her silky , blonde locks.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the recap. I also enjoyed Esmeralda and thought she stole more than one scene, even when she had no lines.

Remember how she kind of tilts her head and almost rolls her eyes when Nadia tells Robledo that Pedro didn't come with her to the hacienda because he is so busy? She is just the best reactor!


Your exquisitely composed comments are like little gifts every single day -- gifts chosen by a friend who knows just what will delight. Thank you so much for your generosity of spirit and time.

A less likable actor than Rulli would have us all hurling our mango nerfazos at the screen by now. But he manages to suggest -- despite all the evidence to the contrary -- that within the breast of the macho bully, beats a tender heart who only asks to be loved back.

Thank you for the kind words. I also noticed how Montserrat turned the conversation with Nadia to her own problems and didn't really give her friend a chance to talk. Thanks for pointing it out. Maybe this will make Nadia more receptive to Victor's overtures of friendship -- the poor woman needs someone --anyone -- to confide in.


"what can we expect from a grown woman who wears bows on her ankles?"

[snort!] Nothing good, amiga, nothing good.

The only possible reason that I could figure out for Nadia marrying that pompous cold fish Pedro is that she was attracted to his power position in the community, I would not VOTE FOR PEDRO. At any rate, he is an arrogant, corrupt, unsmiling, cranky, joyless puzzle. The character in Amor Real was an arrogant ,corrupt, obese, smarmy, grinning, older womanizer who enjoyed his young wife's charms as well as those of other young women. For some reason, in this version, the writers chose to give this character a very different character. The only traits that they have in common seem to be their arrogance and corruption.

Thank you recappers! You are so generous and talented. I cannot believe how quickly these texts are made available and how wonderful they are.

These last two chapters were just crazy good. I loved them. Kudos really to everyone, cast and crew, who contributed.

Loved how the show got cracked open, after some claustrophobic installments. Terrific to see so many faces and characters at the Hacienda. Really, really well done -- suspenseful, engaging and funny.

"What is an oncologist?" "I will explain it to you after dinner." Really great stuff. Esmeralda at the table was also fantastic.

And Hurrah for Josefina's brother Tomas! Loved him and how that scheme went down in flames.

Monse can't admit that she's longing to hop into bed with her hubcab so she contrives reasons and excuses to keep them apart. And Ale is still hurt and angry beyond measure over the crushing disappointment he experienced on his wedding day. He insists on his "everyone is equal here so we all have to endure the dreadfully disruptive Maria" as a way of punishing Monse and asserting his power over her and the estate.

This'll go on and on in somewhat tedious novela style, como todos sabemos, until we finally get the long awaited passion explosion. LOL. (I am enjoying stern, no-nonsense Ale getting to the bottom of things as a means of getting Monse to stop with all the wailing and whining.)

The reveal that I'm really most wanting to see is the one between Rosario and her son. The two actors are great together -- very natural and fresh -- and, for me, right now, this is the real love story. Rosie has quickly become my favorite character.

The intro of the new characters was very well done. Only complaint would be that I can't quite figure out how the neighboring estancia family would not have heard of the death of Don Benjamin -- Minor quibble. Like that Angelica is not sickly sweet -- that helps the medicine go down. And I'd like to JL happier.

I love Alex. He's so grumpy! He's probably horny. That's why he's so irritable. You're looking at your hot wife for 6 months and you can't touch her.

I can see Monse being afraid of him. She's locked in a house and EVERYONE is watching her because he pays them. She can't go home because her family betrayed her. She would have to run and hide for the rest of her life if she left with her boyfriend. Her husband acts like a raving lunatic around her and her threatens her daily. I could see her being afraid of him.

Pedro is probably evil because he has to pretend to be what he is not. He is "forced" to be with a woman when he really wants to be with a man. I could see him being resentful and angry. I don't like him because he is just down right EVIL. He is not attracted to her and yet is "forced" to be with her to remain successful.



It is so good to have you back!

You know, I think Graciela is as wicked as they come, every bit as evil as Juventino. Don't let the Shirley Temple anklets fool you!

How lovely to know that one of my favorite recappers and the most gracious gentleman on The Patio enjoyed the show today -- the one here and the one on tv. (Actually, I think it is very telling that these double episodes are fun to watch. Unless a novela is very, very good, a double really drags.)

You are too sweet! I hope you are feeling better very soon. Clearly your wit is unaffected by your illness:

"Montse is a hypocrite, Ale is a bully (to say the least) - a match made in telenovela heaven."


I loved the dinner table scene too. Hey, thanks for stopping by.


Thanks so much! I really liked what you wrote:

"Now, I love me some AleMon,their flaws and mind-numbing dance-arounds do entertain ( and they look so good doing it), but I am absolutely loving and enjoying the whole plot line, and acting, with Dim and Fina. And now the brother gets thrown into the story...just superb!!"



Thank you! And I agree with every point you made:

Great line from Alejandro -- "save the hysterics for when we're alone."

"[Nadia's] is not a case of "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" but "Just Get the Hell Out Already!"

Amen. I am still unsure of Pedro's sexual proclivities but I continue to be intrigued by his stammer. I'd love to learn the backstory.

And your last point is one I hadn't even considered:

"Proud Pole Dancer Esme is the only working woman in this TN outside of the domestics Rosario and Maria."


Maria de Andrade:

Great point about the Arechigas missing Don Ben's obit. Beanie moment, anyone?

Carlos and all who love Isabella Camil, yippee! The scam artist, worst mother and best lover of Gabino Mendoza of ADP is back and she has not (yet) been buried alive! So much to look forward to...

Adriana Noel: I am so sorry to hear you are unwell. My daughter just got back yesterday from visiting her in-laws in Chicago. She brought home a dreadful Illinois cold to share, as she said, with California.

Eat hot chicken soup and sleep a lot is my best advice for those who suffer. Make people be nice to you. Carlos may have a more magic potion to offer those with seasonal ailments—I am thinking he likes a good hot rum toddy...

Pasofino, I appreciated this comment:
'You'd think that by now Monsy would notice that her underwear drawer was a little light.' That made me LOL. Also, do I not remember that you are a horsewoman? What do you make of the comments on JL's ability to ride like Jackie Kennedy?

Susanlynn: Montserrat does look like a short legged Barbie! Great call. Boyer has quite an unusual appearance, doesn't she?



Thank you for your kind words and insightful comment. I especially liked this part:

"He insists on his "everyone is equal here so we all have to endure the dreadfully disruptive Maria" as a way of punishing Monse and asserting his power over her and the estate."

Wasn't it brilliant to show that visually with the seating at the dinner table? Alejandro is at the head with María and Montserrat flanking him, sort of like co-wives. (Of course we needed the dreadful Amelia to verbalize what all the new characters were thinking -- the incongruity of having one of the servidumbre in pride of place at the table.

Isabella Camil was hit by a mac truck in Teresa, and buried alive in Abismo. Let's see what morbid end the writers can come up with for her here. :)

Wonderful comments, all. One episode would've packed a wallop but two! So appreciative of EJ and NM and all comments. Maria de Andrade yes, the Mother and Child reunion will be soo sweet as will be the crestfallen she-hound Maria when she learns that she has been treated her "beloved" Ale's Mom like something she scraped from the bottom of her shoe!

Yes, I love Ale and agree NM that "he manages to suggest -- despite all the evidence to the contrary -- that within the breast of the macho bully, beats a tender heart who only asks to be loved back." And yes, Cynderella poor guy is horny! Hee Hee!


Sylvia, Pasofino and others who love Esmeralda—sign me up for the fan club.

That scene at the dinner table last night was MADE by Esme's unashamed presentation of herself.

And although Refugio seemed shocked to see Esmeralda, He did not seem that dismayed to see his former lady love walking with the support of Victor's strong arm.

I think Refugio's first and last love will always be his friend Jose Luis. You noticed last night when he reminded Jose Luis that they are much more than friends—they are brothers...


Once one blond/fair actor or actress has been brought in as a main character in a tn, then casting has to go out of their way to hire half of all the other blond/fair actors around to be their family members. Like Elisa's and Gael's families in Abismo.

I wonder if at some point, someone will confuse Angie with Monse when Angie is in a compromising situation with JL and cause trouble?

Thank you, everyone, for your get well wishes. I'm waiting for my hubby to get home and pamper me a little.

I haven't been sick in ages, so now I feel worse than I actually should, I guess. I'm home until after the New Year, so that gives me a lot of novela watching time, but the screen doesn't help my head ache at all!
What's a girl to do?

Elna, Graciela was thinking about buying a new dress in black for Ale's funeral.
I notice most of you think she was turned on by the idea of money, but I actually think it was Pervie. Can you imagine such a lady getting down and dirty with Juventino Pervertino???
Normally, I'd find it disgusting, but there is nothing not to like about this telenovela.

The best parts of this tn so far: AleMon's spectacular fights; Refu&JL bromance (I agree JL is great with Refu, his true co-star); Finita with Dim and Adolfito.
And all the other plots are just as interesting.

Elna June, to your points:

1. I am relieved to see blondes for a change; I'm just wondering at why so many all of a sudden. AB looks much better with blonde hair than dark.

2. I don't think Pedro is gay; I think he is just a sadistic, mean, SOB because of something horrible. Maybe an accident that deprived him of his... equipment.

3. I personally think Amelia is a helicopter mother.

4. Amelia and Graciela definitely have something sinister in common.

5. If we remember Juvenpervo's pitch to Graciela, I think she's looking for mourning clothes.

6. I'd love to see her get a makeover and ditch the both of them on their butts.

7. Ditto.

8. Ditto. Horseback riding can be learned by anyone.

9. Ditto.

10. Neither am I, but that might be a hazard of remaking a novela de epoca to a contemporary story.

11. I would agree, but my gut says that will take longer than we want it to.


Thanks for joining the conversation. I am also looking forward to the mother and child reunion. The role of Rosario is remarkably well-written (and, as many have already noted, very well-acted). She is evolving before our eyes, standing up to bullies and having the guts to shape events a bit instead of just observing them passively.

While she is squarely on her son's side, she has come to know Montserrat as a good person who has treated her with unfailing kindness from the day she entered the hacienda. So when she suspects that Montse may be betraying her son -- or at least acting in a way contrary to his best interests -- Rosario tries to protect Montse, Alejandro and the marriage.

Gee..who knew that today's comments would bring me pleasant memories of my sweet dad. One was from Vivi....he was a master toolmaker for Mack Trucks.the other was from our Elna June. Daddyms remedy for a cold was a hot toddy and bed rest. Thanks, amigas for providing the sparks to those memories.


ITA about Boyer looking great as a blond. I seem to remember reading (somewhere) that Boyer is a natural blonde. That seems likely with the rest of her coloring. Regarding hair color in Latin America, I have seen lots of blondes in Argentina and Uruguay but not so many in Mexico, Central America, Peru, Chile or Ecuador especially in the smaller towns. One sees very few born redheads—the gene for red hair is recessive as I recall.

Help me out with your interesting take on Amelia. What tipped you off that she might be a helicopter mother? Was it the hovering? Hee hee.

Sigh. On Rosario—you are probably right that it will take her forever to claim her place as Ale's mother.


What fantastic recaps! I enjoyed them as much as or more than the show. And I am really liking the show! I know it's high quality when I am watching DOUBLE episodes and still, when it's over, I'm disappointed that there's no more until the next day. I'm impressed with how it's staying fresh and fast-paced.

The dinner party was awesome. I love how everyone is converging on the hacienda. Brave of them when there are bandits in the area shooting everyone, and two staff members are currently missing! The swirling conversations all these guests bring, a combination of shocking everyone with new information and cagey secret-keeping, is delightful.

That chozo looks a little too freshly maintained to be a place where no one would think of looking for anyone. Isn't there a handy cave nearby? Refugio really is the most ridiculously loyal friend. I'm not sure JL adequately appreciates him. He only wishes he and Money had the kind of undying love Refugio offers him!

EJ- AB was a total towhead.

As a baby:

As a kid:

Wow, Vivi, she sure was. Great research!

In the same article with the pic of her as a baby, this is what she said abotu growing up in Mexico with super blond hair: "Los niños del fraccionamiento solían decirme "pelos de elote" para molestarme pero no me afectaba. Me enojaba si me tocaban el pelo, por ejemplo, las señoras en el supermercado no creían que tuviera el pelo tan rubio y empezaban a tocarlo."

I'd get angry too, if people were always coming up to me and touching my hair without permission.


Oh, Vivi:

You sparked a bunch of memories for me. My daughter and I are natural blondes and when she was little about 3 1/2 we were stationed in Sicily and women on the street were constantly touching my daughters hair and calling her Bella. At the city open air market, we lived in Santa Agatha, and even in the Catania market she would get free candy all the time. They just love blonde hair in areas of the world where there aren't many.

Mads- I think one should work these differences to our benefit when traveling. Free candy for being blonde... hell yeah. :) My braids, twists and afros have gotten me plenty of nice attention when I've travelled to parts of the world where it's uncommon. It got me and my friend free room and board for a night in New Zealand! But, if you live in the country, like AB, the looks, questions, and especially the touching, would get old really quick.

EJ: It's been a while since I've been in the saddle. But, Juan Luis is a good rider, but Ale has a better seat - in more ways that one.

Wow...what a raft of great comments and information.

Adriana...Hope you feel better soon. Advil and bed rest work for me, but when I lived at home, my Dad had a remedy similar to Susanlynn's. He would make lemonade (from scratch, God bless him), heat it up and pour it into a big mug and put a good dollop of whiskey in it. Once you drank that down,all you wanted to go was go sleep and get your germy germs out of the family room! The fresh lemon had lots of Vitamin C, the hot water and sugar soothed and the whiskey was a great soporific. But best of all was the love that came with it. My Dad was just the best to all three of us.

Hope when your husband gets home, instead of being tired and grumpy, he'll be loving and helpful. That's the true healing touch; your immune system will do the rest.

Sorry to hear anyone is unwell and hope all feel better soonest.

This is such a great, civilized site.

AB looks like a real blonde and had the complexion of such. French descent, right? She has the most beautiful, glowing skin, and the wardrobe department has done her proud. Beautiful clothes always and perfectly tailored. AB has done amazing work. She annoys me but I feel her in every scene.

This novela works for me in large part because, like all Latin American soap operas, it takes over one's brain and makes day to day reality with one's own Ales, Juventinos, Marias, Monseys, and Gracielas possible and better. The whole cray cray Hacienda business over the course of the last several episodes has been beyond amazing -- and I hope garners some noms at Mex. TV awards season.

This is a superb production of a timeless plot. Just wish that I could get ahold of it's two or it three other precursors. They just don't make them like this anymore.

And the fact that this BlogSpot even exists blows my mind -- And that the quality of the recaps and comments is even possible.

I watched Sergio Rulli in Amores Verdadeiros and thought he was handsome as anything but interchangeable. He's been very good in this role. I would wish him a haircut and a lessening of the pink lipstick. He needs none of those. A classic classic galan and I think an actor who is getting better and better. Viva Argentina.

Long because I'm recuperating myself from nothing big and because the all the comments here are so terrific. Happy New Year!

Oh, and Daisynjay, what Mom was "feeding" Angelica was her chemo pill.

Maria de Andrade...loved your comment about the real love story being between Rosario and Alejandro. Boy, is this actress knocking it out of the park. She always does. Whether funny, annoying, infuriating (past roles) or endearing, she gets it done.

Susanlynn...I see I left out a comma in my comment about my Dad. Forgive me, Teach!

Mads and Vivi...Loved your hair stories. But I also have to note, in Latino countries, people just don't have the same boundaries as we Americans when it comes to touching people. I remember being in Italy (at age 20) and friendly women would just pinch my cheeks and tell me I was soooo pretty. Can you imagine a stranger coming up to you in this country and doing that!? Just a different culture with different rules.

Angelica is awfully perky for someone with cancer. I wonder if she is really taking chemo drugs. I've always heard that that usually makes people quite sick, plus, she seems to not think she's going to live long. Maybe it's just something for pain or whatever so she can enjoy as much time as possible? Or maybe her mother is faking the cancer to try to keep her under her wing?

I'll go away for a bit but I had wanted to say this --

I like, dramatically, that Ale is a cad in his dealings not with Monsey but with Maria. He talks a good game about being her brother but he doesn't treat her honestly and lovingly like a brother. He treats her like a prop and his inability to see how much pain SHE is in is in many ways more egregious than what he's inflicting on his new wife. Classic galan novela business. Irmaos Coragem in Brasil in the 60s did this in a way that turned Br. on its head.

All of this Ale-Maria betrayal feels very very Mexican -- in the best and most dramatic way. Maria has been driven insane out of sexual frustration but in large part because Ale is using her in the most cruel way.

The tantalizing bits about Pedro and his being gay are counterbalanced by the Adolfito-Dimitrio abuse of Josefina. I don't know what the depiction is of homosexuality is on Mexican TV.

Well, I think I might after this. Sergio Sendel is another beautiful creature. Quero mas! But then again Mentiras! E el me compro! etc. Come and get it wholesale ...

A little late to the party but I had to comment on how awesome last nights episode was. I love Esmeralda, I think she had the best two lines of the night, the first with "you'll be happy to know I've never seen your husband there" when explaining where she works and then her "what's an oncologist?" followed by Alejandro's "I'll tell you later" comment had me laughing. I hope she sticks around!

I was also happy to see that Tomas got back in time to save his sisters fortune, it was awesome to see Dimibrow have a total and oh so epic meltdown, I hope Josefina gets sweet revenge on those two rat bastards.

I think I remember someone saying that the Arechigas are "back in the area" - which would explain their not knowing about Benjamin's death. Maybe they only come to their hacienda in the summer (or whatever season it is) and wouldn't know the local gossip yet.

Thanks Maria d A. I have not liked the way that Alejandro has treated María at all. From the very beginning he has sent mixed signals about his true feelings about her and he has absolutely used her as a weapon in his rather botched conquest of Montserrat. If he had not been the beneficiary of a quirk of fate and his daddy's bad behavior, Montserrat would not even be on the table for him.

María loved him way before he became the patrón.


Maria, we had a previous discussion about gay characters in telenovelas. They run the gamut, but most are minor characters with stereotypically "gay" jobs.

Joining the hair uncle was an engineer for Aramco , so he his wife and five children lived in Saudi Arabia for a few years. Even though he and his wife both had dark hair, one of his sons and one of his daughters had red hair. I do not know if they got any free candy, but the Saudis were fascinated by them.

My sister red hair as did my mother. People were always commenting about my sister's hair. One day, a stranger made a comment about her hair, and she stuck her tongue out at him. My mother was furious and asked her why she did that. Herreply, "Why doesn't anyone ever say anything about my eyes?"


Glad you enjoyed the EJ and NM show!

I'm not so sure about a cave as a hiding place. Ever since Amores verdaderos when Kendra Ferreti was set on by a pack of wolves… Well, okay, Juventino can hide out in a cave when the time comes. But Sweaty and Dopey are better off in the neat Three Little Pigs choza.

On the other hand, it sounds as if there is going to be some heavy traffic at the choza tomorrow -- Loreto meets Juventino, Montse catches out JL and Angélica.

I was a little surprised the Arechigas hadn't heard the hot gossip about Ben's death and his newly recognized son. Maybe they only come to their hacienda rarely and aren't friends with the locals on Facebook, but whoever is keeping house at the hacienda wouldn't have caught them up when they arrived? I guess the staff at these haciendas really do keep to themselves. One would think they would all know each other since there isn't any other social scene around there, and the two homes must be pretty close if Angie can easily ride between them.

I was also surprised a few days ago when Victor claimed he hadn't heard that Maria's father had died. Isn't that why he was asked to hire a new capataz?

In Sortilegio was Roberto Gay or Bisexual..can't recall how it was finally addressed. I seem to remember that he played that role with dignity.

Anonymous...I think he was bisexual.

Yeah. There have been some lapses in communication that are beanie worthy-- Monse not being in touch with her fiance at all, for THREE years; Victor not knowing he was looking for a new capataz because the old one had been murdered; and the Arechigas not getting the hottest gossip in the region when they got back, that Ben was dead.

Oh well, the writers are keeping things interesting so far, so I don't mind the lapses.

Posting late but wanted to EJ and NM know how much I enjoyed your wonderful recaps!! Thanks so much.

Posting late, also. Thanks EJ and NM for the awesome tag team recap. Everything has pretty much been commented on--I can add nothing to the already insightful comments. However, I do think it's kind of hypocritical of Amelia to be offended by Ale being a bastard, but has no problem being friends with his dad's mistress.

I think it's hypocritical of her to be offended by a guy BEING a bastard, but to have been friends with the guy who CREATED the bastard.

Julia--so true.

A double--no, quadruple--dynamite evening! Two fabulous episodes, with two absolutely wonderful recaps! Add all the funny and sagacious comments to the mix for a delightful day's entertainment.

My favorite moments seem to be duplicates, previously mentioned: the mixed and rather malicious dinner table, Juvie grossing out everyone but himself with Montse's frilly undies, the popularity of the hut by the river, and big bro arriving in time to help Fina.

I was also intrigued by the reveal that Pedro's not likely to be seeing another woman. I also think he has deeper and darker stuff going on--he seems very twisted in some way.


Thanks a million for the recap!
I am trying to catch up on the last few epis, and it's taking a long time because of the nightly 2-hour specials. Haven't read the recap or comments yet, but I can't wait. Hope everyone had a great Christmas!
Going to start reading recap...hasta pronto!

What terrific comments today! Thanks to all!

Eli, Karen, Nanette, AuntyAnn, La Paloma -- it was great that you stopped by.

EJ, once more -- it is such a pleasure collaborating with you.
¡Hasta pronto!

What great comments! It's 03:00, I can't sleep, but I don't even care because the comments are so fascinating and funny.

Vivi, I've never had the chance to meet you in person (yet), but I'll bet your million dollar smile might have had a wee bit to do with people taking an instant liking to you.

Maria de Andrade, I have seen Sergio Sendel twice in live productions and he is even more stunning in real life. Great bod, great face, amazing charisma.

EJ and NovelaMaven, just see what you two started! What a terrific tag team you make. Thanks again for the epic recaps of some most interesting episodes.

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