Friday, January 03, 2014

Lo Que La Vida Me Robo, Capitulo 36 - Dysfunctional Family Conversations and Capitulo 37 - A Fair To Remember 1/3/2014

Dysfunctional Family Conversations

By Elna June

It is impossible to know how Tia Carlota really feels as she delivers Montserrat’s letter to Jose Luis in the foreman’s house. Montserrat begged her to do this while Alejandro was gone and she complained and tut-tutted all the way over to JL/Ant’s new home. As she comes in she glances around and asks JL/Ant if he is alone. When he signifies that he is, she comes to stand by him as he sits at his desk. She tells him to destroy the letter as soon as he reads it. Her face has a censuring appearance and she is somewhat flustered as she carries the precious missive from its hiding place in her ample bosom to Jose Luis’ waiting hand. But if you look real hard at Tia Carlota, I think you might see that she is excited to be part of this illicit transaction, however much she seems to disapprove. She leaves the house.

We know that in the letter Montserrat begs Jose Luis to leave the Hacienda.
She's glad that Adolfo prevented her and J-L from leaving together the other night. It would have been a big mistake. She is sorry but she is not going to leave her husband. She is afraid of her brother, Dimitrio and believes he will tell Alejandro whom JL/Ant really is when she is unable to come up with the blackmail money that Dimitrio has demanded. Montserrat warns JL/Ant of Ale’s character (temper) and worries for her ex-lover’s life if Alejandro finds out the truth. Maria also suspects him and he must go, now.

Important Conversation  - Jose Luis/Antonio and Alejandro

As JL/Ant finishes reading the letter, Alejandro enters the room and asks if he may know who wrote JL/Ant the letter. JL/Ant wipes his eyes and says that the letter was personal, for him. Ale persists. He still wants to know who wrote the letter. He can tell from JL’s face that he got bad news. Was it regarding a woman? Angelica Arechiga?  JL says it is very personal. Ale clasps JL/Ant’s shoulder and says that JL can count on him anytime—he is serious about this.

JL/Ant asks Ale if everything is OK with his work—why is Ale always asking for the report of his recent activities? Alejandro tells him that he just wants to be sure he did not make a mistake in trusting Antonio. JL/Ant is beginning to look truly conflicted—His obsession with Montserrat and his growing appreciation of and friendship with Alejandro just do not line up.

Alejandro grasps JL/Ant’s shoulder in a supportive and manly way. Truly, Alejandro shows more skill in his relationships with men than with women.

Some Happenings

·      Victor and Nadia kiss outside the big church in Aguazul. They pull away from one another, apologize and she says she has to go. Nadia says she will come to him when she can.

·      Pedro Media, local regional President, tells his sidekick and captain of police Loreto that Juventino is an imbecile. Juventino has not carried out his orders and President Pedro wants Loreto go ahead and deal with the Alejandro situation PERSONALLY. Tonight there is a dinner to be held at the Hacienda Arechiga. The Almontes will attend and Pedro arranged for Loreto to get an invitation to the affair. He will need to be very close to Alejandro until he gets a chance to kill him. This would best be accomplished sooner rather than later. Loreto agrees to this proposition.

Montserrat Practices Knife Skills As She Interrogates Dominga

Montserrat wanders into the kitchen and begins asking Dominga questions. Has Dominga worked here long? All her life. Her father, bless his soul, was a worker of Don Benjamin’s. So you knew Alejandro’s mother? No. Nobody knew her. Alejandro came to the Hacienda as a child with his grandfather Fulgencio. Fulgencio was a very sad man, perhaps because his daughter had died giving birth to Alejandro. Did Don Benjamin know that Ale was his son? Well, replies Dominga, If he knew he pretended that he did not. He treated him just like all the other workers. No, Dominga says she did not know that Rosario had worked at the ranch before. This was a long time ago and she is not that old.

Montserrat moves over to the other side of the kitchen and begins aggressively chopping some innocent vegetables. She questions Dominga about Maria’s relationship with Alejandro. What is the deal with Ale and Maria? They were always together growing up. Maria was always chasing him.

Montserrat’s knife does not make the rat-a-tat-tat sound of someone who has experience working as a sous chef. Instead we hear the knife make a big k-thunk as Montserrat asks Dominga if Maria and Alejandro were ever together. No, says Dominga, I do not believe so.

Montserrat beams at this news, abandons the mutilated vegetables and leaves the kitchen. Dominga smiles at the mangled zucchini like an indulgent mother and takes a knife in hand to properly chop the abandoned vegetables.

Plans For The Fair

As Montserrat leaves the kitchen she heads to her husband’s study to see Maria wheedling and begging Ale to take her to the local Ag Fair. They ALWAYS go together, she reminds him.

“No,” says Alejandro. They are going to the Arechigas and they probably won’t be done in time. But Alejandro is a fool and very easily manipulated by Maria. Montse sees her give Ale a kiss.

A Surprise Mendoza Family Reunion At The Arechigas

Dimitrio comes to Hacienda Arechiga early and is warmly greeted by Angelica. He has come ahead of Montserrat an Alejandro and he flirts with her as she introduces him Virginia, her sister. Virginia is surprised because Dimitrio is so handsome. He says both of the sisters are very pretty and they soon establish than none of them has novios.

In the background, we hear a growly, familiar sound. Is that the sound of a large trashcan being rolled over bumpy cobblestones in the courtyard outside? No, we are hearing the dulcet tones of Graciela Giacinti de Mendoza, mommie dearest of Dimitrio and Montserrat. What an INTERESTING little family reunion they are about to have.

Graciela walks into the sala with a large ivory crocheted tablecloth draped across the front of her black frock. The pointed end of the tablecloth falls between her knees, below the hem of her black mini-dress. The outfit is in hideous taste, as is Graciela herself.

Graciela low-roars that there has not been a woman yet able to catch her baby Dimitrio—yet.  “Mommie! Mommie! Is Daddy with you?” Dimmy smiles grimly at his mother. Graciela replies that no, he is working on some issues but she needs to speak to her son for a moment. They head for and reach Joaquin’s study before Graciela tears a strip of hide off of her son.

From her onto the end of this Capitulo we will spend most of our time at either here at Hacienda Arechiga, or back at Hacienda Almonte. In these moments we are treated to several informative conversations. In the interest of time, and for ease of future reference, we will place the key points of the following conversations in bullet points:

In Joaquin’s Study; Graciela and Dimitrio

·      Graciela is disappointed in Dimitrio because he disappeared from Aguazul like a coward.
·      Demetrio says this was his only option as Josefina’s brother Tomas was going to try to kill him.
·      Graciela wants to know what Ale is going to think of all this—should he find out. Dimitrio scammed that creep Josefina to get money from her. He never had a business with Adolfito.
·      Dimitrio replies that she is absolutely right and that she can hardly complain because all that he knows he learned from her. They are not that different, what about what she did to pay off the family debt? How can SHE sleep at night?
·      Graciela commands him not to be cynical. His father gave his word to Tomas that Dimmy would marry Josefina.
·      Dimmy will not marry Josefina and his mother must help him.
·      Graciela says she has always helped her son and that there is nothing she would not do for him.
·      Dimmy wants to know why she told Alejandro the truth about him killing Bruno Gamboa.
·      Alejandro pressured her, Graciela says. Do Montse or Tia Carlota know of the dirty trick he played with Josefina in Aguazul? No. When they do know they will tell Lauro Mendoza.
·      Graciela proses a new scheme to her son. Angelica Arechiga is ill and does not have long to live. He could marry her and have two benefits: he would not have to marry Josefina and he would be be a young widower. Angelica will inherit a substantial fortune. This could be a very convenient business for the (debauched) Dimitrio.

Another Conversation; Graciela and Montserrat

The doorbell rings and in come Montserrat and Alejandro. Greetings are made all around and Amelia tells Montse that she has a surprise for her—just as Mommie Graciela walks back into the sala.

Montse wants a word alone with her mother.

·      Graciela gets in the first blow. Moments ago, your brother told me you are doing something behind your husband’s back. It must be back because you are hiding it.
·      What I want to know, Mama, says Montserrat, is what you are hiding. How do you know Juventino Samudio? The man has worked all of his life at Alejandro’s hacienda and yet he says that he knows you very well.
·      Graciela denies all.
·      Montserrat is sick of her lies, her tricks. But she is warning her mother, whatever Gracie is hiding Montserrat will find it out!

Alejandro Talks With His Mother-in-law Graciela; Montse Talks With Her Brother, Dimitrio, Ale Talks With Both Of Them

·      Ale closes the door behind him as he meets Graciela in the study. He does not like her being there. How long will she stay?
·      Graciela doesn’t know. She tells him that no one knows her at the Arechiga home.
·      Ale shoots back that if Graciela does not return to Aguazul today, he will tell Montserrat about her mother’s relationship with Don Benjamin.
·      Graciela tells Ale that she needed to see him. She is scared!
·      A man from Ale’s ranch, Juventino, knows she is Montserrat’s mother and has been blackmailing her. She even gave Juventino lots of money and a few pieces of jewelry to shut him up but now he wants more…Plus he is putting ideas in Montserrat’s mind.
·      Alejandro looks grim at this last thought. He will take matters into his own hands and make sure Juventino never bothers Gracie or Montserrat again.
·      JL confronts Juvy about last night’s fiasco with Angelica.
·      Montserrat meets Dimitrio outside and tells him that she knows him. She knows what he is capable of. He promises that he will not tell Graciela about Jose Luis being at Hacienda Almonte but Montserrat does not trust her brother’s word.
·      Does Dimitrio know just how much trouble she got in when he told Alejandro that she tried to escape? Dim says he is not playing around. He wants Montserrat to take his threats seriously. But he likes her—
·      He will reduce the blackmail amount to 200,000. Pesos.
·      How will Ale feel when he finds that Jose Luis is SO close?
·      Ale hears this and demands to know where JL is or he will break his skull.
·       Dimitrio says that he saw Jose Luis wandering around on the Almonte spread exactly the night that Montserrat tried to escape.
·      Dim says that he, too, is troubled by Jose Luis and wants to protect his dear sister. But how can he do that if he has to leave Hacienda Almonte?
·      Ale tells him to stay as long as he likes as long as he reports any sightings of Jose Luis directly to Alejandro.  Dim agrees.

More Happenings

At Hacienda Almonte Adolfo flirts with Maria and she trades him a kiss for the info that Ale ‘bought’ Montserrat by paying her family’s debts. They did not marry for love.

At his house, Father Anselmo reminds Rosario that she can go to tonight’s Fiesta/Fair with him.  She doesn’t want to go. Maybe she s=could get a job at the Arechiga ranch. But Father wants her to tell Alejandro the truth. Rosario balks. She won’t tell him. She cannot. Let him think that she is dead. It embarrasses her.  It would be better for her to leave…but Father Anselmo says that he has been put in a bad position here. One day he will no longer be able to hold the secret.

Loreto arrives at Hacienda Arechiga and all eat the meal together. He tries to cozy up to Ale.

Montserrat Tells Ale That She Is Falling In Love With Him
·      Ale confronts Montse. Perhaps Dimmy doesn’t know where JL is hiding, but he is sure that Montse does.
·      Montse says she doesn’t know.
·      Ale says that she is lying.
·      She repeats that she already told him that she is not going to leave him.
·      Ale says that while that man is near his lands, she will try to escape to be with him.
·      Montse sweats to Ale that she is not going to try to escape to try to be with Jose Luis anymore.
·      Ale tells Montse that she never keeps her promises.
·      She replies that he is right. She swore to hate him until she died and now she cannot keep that promise because she is falling in love with him.
·      Ale asks her to repeat her statement but she won’t. He heard her the first time.

Montse and Angelica agree to be friends. Angelica says she is feeling better and no longer needs radiation. The Rancher’s Fair is discussed that night but the Arechigas will not let Angelica go. Too many drunken people.

Back At Hacienda Almonte

Alejandro asks Montserrat to join he and Maria at the Fair. Montserrat leaves to change into a sexy red dress.

Meanwhile, Ale gives Maria a mild lecture on being nice to Montserrat. He tells Maria that she kissed him today in front of Montserrat just to provoke her. Maria denies it but Ale says he knows Maria. She plays dumb with him about her hostility to Montserrat and he wants her to act nice.

When Montse comes out dressed to kill, she and Maria spar. Maria tells her that she should not wear the red dress to a rancher’s fair. There will be too many drunken people. Montserrat replies that she is going with her husband so he can protect her. Besides that, she has nothing more casual to wear. Dimitrio and Adolfo join the women. Dimitrio fantasizes out loud about Angelica and Montse tells him to leave the sick woman alone. Dimitrio once again threatens to tell Alejandro about Antonio being Jose Luis if Montse doesn’t come up with the money.

JL/Ant and Refugio argue about leaving the ranch forever. They argue about Montse. Angelica drops by the Foreman’s House and talks Refugio/Renato and JL/Ant into going with her to the Fair.

Meanwhile, while Ale asks Miguel to bring around the van, Ale strides off to find Juventino. Alejandro fires Juventino and offers him money to leave the ranch forever. Juventino should think well on the amount of money he wants, because Alejandro wants him gone ASAP.

Ale and Montse. Get ready to leave the house. Alejandro asks Montserrat again,  “Are you really falling in love with me? She shakes her head. Yes. They kiss and head out arm in arm. All leave for the fair.

Yes, it's true I once knocked out a horse. It was at a fiesta in my mother's home town of Guarare. Someone bet me a bottle of whiskey that I couldn't do it.”

NovelaMaven continues with Part 2 (ep. 37): A Fair to Remember

Put on your red dress, baby
Montserrat, stunning in her city girl red dress, follows Padre Anselmo's advice: she is staking her claim on her husband and she is showing José Luis that he will have to look elsewhere for his happiness.  If that costs her a night out at the rough and tumble Cattle Fair, so be it.

A new player on team Alejandro?
He is the man we have seen Dominga pine for, the man she feared had died.  And yet here he is, in the flesh, sitting at the table in the Almonte kitchen, laughing with her about old times and telling the story of his lost years, his hard times north of the border, how in the end he got caught by la migra and sent back to Mexico.  Yes, it is Macario.  Dominga's lost love has been found.  He thinks she is as fetching as ever.  He'd marry her in a Campeche minute -- if only he had work (chamba). Does Dominga think Don Benjamín will have him?  He is astonished by the story Dominga tells him.  Don Benjamín is dead? Alejandro is the patrón now?  Ben acknowledged him as his son?

Who doesn't love a good cockfight?
Alejandro makes his way through the merry crowd, Montserrat on one arm, María on the other.  He is a hacienda sultan squiring two wives, the first glowing, the second glowering.  The difference in their status is evident at every turn. (Just look at the size of the stuffed animals he wins for them. Montse's is an enormous tiger, so unwieldy that she bumps María with it.  Oopsie.  María's prize is more modest -- a mouse perhaps?). Knowing her way around a cockfight doesn't win María any points either -- Alejandro is not a betting man. 

This is not the only unlikely trio at the fair.  José Luis escorts the beaming Angélica, as Refugio follows in their wake.  JL scowls when he catches sight of Montserrat and Alejandro with their arms around each other.

Dim and Dimmer wander about, cadging drinks from overly trusting barkeeps.

Margarita, "La Diosa de la Cumbia," holds the crowd in thrall.  Then we get a taste of Banda when Los Sebastianes take center stage. The crowd is moving to the beat.     

It is, in short, a fabulous party.  It is a night for fun.  It is time for anguish to give way to childlike pleasure.  It is time to dance hard and drink hard and eat cotton candy and mingle with old friends...


For the Presence of Evil 
Loreto, the man of the law, slips a gun to a nameless thug in a plaid shirt.  Juventino gives him the nod to proceed.  The pistol is drawn and aimed at Alejandro -- for he is, yet again, the target.  But Montserrat somehow glimpses the gun and cries out a warning to Alejandro.  He pushes her down, shielding her with his body.  Without hesitation, José Luis kicks the gun out of the thug's hand and then decks him.  Whap! Whap! Whap!

All at once it is a full-scale brawl.  JL and Alejandro fight side by side against the toughs who dared to bring terror to an innocent celebration.  At one point, JL aims his lethal fist at Alejandro and only stops when Alejo calls his name.  Refugio is getting his licks in too.  María pushes Dimitrio into the fray. He stands behind another man, and gives him a little push.  [He could be flirting, attacking or just hiding.  I'll pick door number three.] Adolfo stands at a safe distance and hurls Montserrat's stuffed tiger into the battle.

José Luis glances over at Angélica and sees she is crying and on the verge of collapse.  He rushes to her, gathers her in his arms, and carries her off.  "¡Angélica se puso mal!" he shouts.  (Something's wrong with Angelica!) The Almonte contingent follows him.

The fight dies down. The party gets going again.  No reason to waste great music and dazzling fireworks.

Juventino reports back to Loreto -- he has failed once again to kill Alejandro.  But it is so difficult now that Alejo has kicked him off the hacienda.  He doesn't think Loreto will be able to get the capataz to join their side either.  Then Loreto will have to infiltrate the hacienda with his own men on the pretext that they are there to protect it.  As for Juventino, he needs to get back in Alejandro's good graces.  Outside the hacienda, he is useless to Loreto and Pedro Medina.

At Hacienda Almonte, Montserrat attends Angie.  Over the girl's protests -- she is still trying to conceal her illness from Antonio -- Alejandro has called her father.  And now Joaquín Arechiga himself sweeps in angrily.  He snubs JL and his attempt at explanation.  Dimitrio (the toad!) tells Joaquín not to worry: he was looking after Angélica.  Joaquín thanks him.

As soon as father and daughter have left, María laughs.  It was so funny to see them fighting.  [Hey, she did say she loves a cockfight.]

Dominga fetches the first aid kit.  JL takes his leave -- he doesn't need anyone's help.  Adolfo moans that his ribs are bruised and asks María to come up to his room and treat his injuries. [What injuries?  Did he trip and fall over his own sense of entitlement?]  Dim grabs a bottle of what looks like tequila -- to soothe the wounds of his soul, he smirks. [As if he had a soul to soothe.] Montse examines Alejandro's face with concern, and touches his mouth gently.  Does it hurt?

José Luis is beginning to get it.  Maybe.
Maybe Montserrat isn't putting on an act, he tells Refugio.  Maybe she really has stopped loving him.  Maybe it's time to leave.  But what if he left and then Dimitrio told Alejandro the truth? He might take it out on Montse.  Besides, he's ashamed of deceiving Alejandro.  The dude is decent.  He's been very good to them.  In any other circumstances, they could have been friends.

Why does JL think Montserrat doesn't love him as she did before?  Because she looks at Alejandro differently, answers JL.  And because now she gets jealous of María.

Alejandro is beginning to get it.  Maybe.
Montserrat tends to Alejandro, her wounded warrior.  Her touch is careful.  Delicate.  Alejandro is moved.  He thanks her -- for everything.  For accompanying him this evening, for being concerned about him, for taking care of him now -- here he pauses and kisses her hand -- and tonight he'd like to ask her to... 

Before he can finish the sentence, María bursts in noisily, breaking the spell.  Montserrat says goodnight and heads to her room.  

Alejandro turns to María and in a voice sharp enough to cut through her vanity and presumption, tells her: "The next time you see me talking to my wife, you turn around and you go back where you came from.  Got it?"

He leaves her alone and seething.

[¡Salud!  Everyone on The Patio raises a glass.  Maybe it wasn't such a bad night after all.]  

A new day at the hacienda

Macario's arrival is a happy surprise for Alejandro.  Of course there is work for him.  The two reminisce about the old days, times when they were so desperate they had to steal corn to fill their empty bellies.  Macario always stood up for Alejandro as Alejo's grandfather Fulgencio had asked him to do. Alejandro wants the older man to call him by his first name, but Macario can't bring himself to do so.

Loreto's arrival is a less happy surprise.  Alejo introduces him to his capataz.  Loreto has heard about the assaults in and around the hacienda.  He offers to put his men on the inside as protection -- it's what he used to do for Alejandro's father.  But neither Alejandro nor JL/Antonio is enthusiastic about the idea.  Antonio feels he can train the hacienda workers to do the job.  He may not be a police officer, but he has experience and training from his days in the navy.  This is news to both Alejandro and Loreto.  "You were in the navy, Antonio?"  He was.  He was a cabo.  

"You see, Loreto, we don't need your services."  Alejandro sees the Police Chief out but asks JL to wait for him.  They still need to talk.

The Queen of Mixed Messages is not ready to abdicate the throne
Montserrat takes advantage of a moment alone with JL.  She wants him to leave.  She knows all about Dimitrio's threats, but that is her problem.  It is simply too risky to JL to stay.  She fears for his life.

Aha!  Then he matters to her!  He was starting to think she cared more for her husband than for him.  

She answers in a whisper: "If that were so, would you leave?"

"Do you love him?" (He is unwilling to refer to his rival by name.) He pulls her towards him roughly. ¡Contéstame!

Sí, she answers, me estoy enamorando de Alejandro.  (Yes, I'm falling in love with Alejandro.)

JL becomes agitated.  "That's not true!  And you feel nothing for me?"

Monserrat says softly:  "You know how much I love you -- but I've decided to kill that love.  Go!  It hurts me having you near!"

Alejandro rejoins his capataz, just missing the sight of Montse struggling to get away from JL's grasp.  Montserrat steps out of the room for a moment.  JL's sweaty face gives nothing away.

The two men talk over Loreto's proposal.  Has Alejandro ever considered that the criminals might be working for Loreto?  He has, but he has no proof.  But say -- if Antonio was in the navy, is he sure he didn't know this dude José Luis Álvarez -- he was also a cabo... 

Montserrat rejoins them just in time to hear Alejandro's question.

I honk for greasy perverts!
[If Loreto doesn't have this bumper sticker on his cop car, he should.]  
Juventino is resting on his petate, his sombrero over his face.  He rises lazily at the sound of Loreto's horn.  Loreto reports Alejandro's rebuff of his "protection." Juventino will have to put some major pressure on Alejandro -- burn more crops, rob more horses.  And if someone gets killed, well even better.  Say, why didn't Juventino tell him the capataz was a navy vet?  Loreto's going to check him out.  But in the meantime, he wants to talk to him in his office.

Alejandro accuses Montserrat of listening in on his conversation with his capataz.  She did hear his questions about José Luis Álvarez and she's upset that he would ask one of his employees such a thing.  Alejandro reminds her of her history and repeats his conviction that she must have an accomplice in the hacienda, either Rosario or Antonio.  Since Antonio was also a cabo in the Navy, it's easy to imagine him as the missing link.

Montserrat repeats that she has no accomplice.  

[True.  There is no missing link -- just a couple of Neanderthals roaming the hacienda, dragging their knuckles on the ground.] 

Why can't they just forget all the past and start all over? 

Alejandro knows she has been in contact with JL right under his nose.  He has to know how and where, and who was helping her.  He'll never trust her if she doesn't tell him the truth.

All that matters, she replies, is that she cares for him and that she is falling in love with him.  If her words aren't enough, perhaps her kisses can convince him.  

As they embrace, foul Dimitrio spies on them, unseen.

"And José Luis?  Do you still care about him?" asks Alejandro.  She is silent.  Why won't she say something?  Because he wouldn't like her answer!

Dimitrio chooses this moment to interrupt them and another opportunity for these two to tell each other the truth is lost.  

Montserrat wants to check on Angélica.  Alejandro doesn't want her leaving the hacienda alone.  Dimitrio volunteers to join her, though Montse would rather he didn't.  Alejandro will have a van brought to the house and one of the workers can drive them to the Hacienda Arechiga. 

As the two walk towards the driveway, Dimitrio taunts his sister for lying to her husband about her feelings.  For his information, she tells him, she really is falling in love with Alejandro.  Dimitrio doubts it's possible to love two people at once.  Of course there are advantages -- when she gets tired of one, the other one is right there waiting.  But she'd better be careful or she'll be like el perro de las dos tortas*, losing both and ending up all alone.  She can still head off disaster, of course, if she gets the money to pay him off.

[*This is a fable in a phrase.  The dog has two cakes (or sandwiches) but can only hold one in his mouth.  He takes so long to choose the one he wants that he eventually loses both.]

 Whose side are you on?
Angélica is distraught.  Her mother has forbidden her to leave the hacienda.  And what's more, if her illness worsens, she will be taken back to Mexico City for medical care.  

When Montserrat and Dimitrio arrive, Angie asks to speak to Montse alone.  She has a favor to ask:  will Montse ask Antonio to come visit her?  Montse doesn't think that's a great idea -- her parents would never allow their capataz into her room.

Angélica asks: Does Antonio know she is sick?  No, answers Montse, but Angie should tell him before someone else does.  He's not the kind of man who would turn away from her because of her illness.  Even so, Montserrat cautions her not to get her hopes up -- he'll never offer her more than friendship.  

Is Montserrat saying that because Antonio is in love with her?  Well Montse is married.  And as long as she has a chance, Angélica is determined to fight for Antonio's love -- whether Montse is on her side or not.

Alejandro confronts Antonio: has he been the go-between for Montse and José Luis?
Flames threaten to engulf Montserrat!


Wow. That capitulo seemed to take forever to recapitulate. There were so many conversations that needed translating. I tried to condense, but again, I am afraid this is a very long recap.

The first half was written by Elna June and the second half by Novela Maven.

Please enjoy.



THIS IS NOT A SPOILER, just a speculation.

Friends, What if Graciela's dear sociopathic BEBE, Dimitrio, is, along with Alejandro, the child of Don Benjamin? Who knows how long Graciela had been going on those spiritual retreats?

I repeat, this is just a provocative late night thought. I have seen neither 'Bodas de Odio' or 'AR', but I have been thinking about how they are going to make this show 180 capitulos long. That would sure be a twist.


Thank you for the awesome recap. Doing double duty is hard, you and the rest of the recappers are doing a great job with it.

I am wondering about Dim being an Almonte, too. Otherwise, why would Ale's paternity be mentioned now? Graceless, as money hungry as she is, might not want this dirty little secret out. At least, not now.
Continuing with the speculation, what if one day Ale loses the fortune (the bad guys make it seem like he is not an Almonte) and Gracie swoops in with the Dim news?

That lunch or whatever it was - very funny! All the guests chatting their issues all over the house, while the hoasts were supposed to make small talk among themselves.
There is nothing (NOTHING) like telenovela characters gathered to eat; normally the drama happens at the table, but it works just as fine before, apparently :))
I was half afraid Maria would come, too. I can totally see her capable of it.

That giddy smirk on Ale's face when Montse told him she's falling for him .... swoon! The best part about falling in love is when you find out that the other person might feel the same way, too. There is nothing quite like it, in my opnion - real like or reel life.

These were so much more than recaps. I'm in awe of both of you. And love that quote about dysfunctional families, Elna June!

From NovelaMaven's, my treasured gem is:

Adolfo moans that his ribs are bruised and asks María to come up to his room and treat his injuries. [What injuries? Did he trip and fall over his own sense of entitlement?] Dim grabs a bottle of what looks like tequila -- to soothe the wounds of his soul, he smirks. [As if he had a

Will be back to say more when I've seen this (and when I'm more awake).

But ladies, we salute you. More than a recap, it was literature. Just stellar.


Excellent, ladies, and a huge pleasure to read.

As to whether Alejandro is an Almonte, I don't think we need to worry about that. I'm ready to believe that Rosario was an innocent young woman with little or no history before Don Benjamin raped her. The whole idea about that would be enough to freeze things long enough for Pedro to get his hands on the land he wants unless a very clever lawyer (Victor can help find one) gets involved to demand a DNA test and get the lawyer who drew up the will to testify that Don Benjamin was of sound mind at the time he made out his will. Padre Anselmo will also say so.

We still don't know what period of time Graciela was getting it on with Don Benjamin. Alejandro was born in the women's prison, so he is probably 30. Dimwit is 28 years old, Monserrat 19. Graciela would have had to have been an idiot to not use contraception during the affair, especially if Lauro was away for extended periods of time.

It would be an utter disaster if Dimwit were also Benjamin's offspring (although it would explain his dishonesty and cruelty) because he is so feckless. It could be said that Alejandro takes after his mother while Dimwit after his father (and mother). It would also not be the first novela in which one character has a half-sibling from each of his own parents who have no common DNA and who marry each other after meeting as adults.

That would also jive with the serious criminal activity going on around them. I can easily see Dimwit falling in with these guys (who are light-years smarter than he is) just in the name of his own greed. He can tell Monserrat he loves her, but I don't believe that for a second.

I think she is also starting to realize that, too.

As for Graciela, I would have slapped her flat had she clicked her tongue at me like that. She has no right to play the motherhood card on Monserrat; she forfeited that when she sold her like merchandise.

More later after I've had something to eat.

Elna June and Novela Maven, thank you for your wonderful recaps. Elna June, that definition of "dysfunctional" made me laugh. Novela Maven, I liked your calling Dimitri a "toad". He is very "toadish."

Why does Pedro always look like he has a bad case of indigestion? I keep waiting for him to belch!

Graciela encouraging Dimitri to become involved with Angelica? They are so low and morally corrupt there are no words for them.

I loved Ale telling Maria to take a hike the next time he sees him talking to his wife. It looks like Ale is finally on to Maria. I also loved Montse hanging on Ale at the fair.

Too bad JL is Ale's rival because he proved he could be an ally and a friend to him. Another reason for him to go asap because Ale is going to feel a double treachery when he finds out that JL AND Montse lied to him.

Bad mistake when JL let it slip he was in the navy.



EJ and NM, what great recaps. Literally we got a lot of fussin and fighting last night. Bet the cast, well the guys anyway, had a scream filming the fight scene.

"Truly, Alejandro shows more skill in his relationships with men than with women." So true...there always seems to be an underlying commonality among some of the characters in TN's and this one sure plays up the bromance factor. Now arguably, some of these guys are cheating on their fellows ( Refugio showed a little jealousy there at JL?), but it is rather cute to watch.

WTH with Maria?? You know, she came off as nothing but a petulant child at that fair more than ever.Interesting to hear she always "chased" Ale even as a child, and I do remember those early scenes with her father. Plus, Ale knows full well how she feels and he still allows her at times to just hang all over him. Drives me batty because, and no spoiler since I never saw the originals, but it's too early in this story to know she gets kicked to the curb and there's the nagging feeling she is going to get her way at some point for awhile. Patio folks--please be warned to keep all glasses, darts and any throwable/breakables out of my reach at that point.

EJ--interesting idea on Dim. Hadn't thought about that. Might make sense why she prefers him and he has NOTHING in common with his "father". Maybe she doesn't even know for sure??

WTH? with JL fessing he was in the Navy. Dude, someone rattle your brain during that fair fight? That will so come back to bite him.

Again, thanks to all our recappers for the double duty this week. You all have been wonderful!!

Elna June and Novela Maven this is a stellar recap.

What, oh what will Alejandro feel and do when he finds out that he has been betrayed by Montse, JL, Gracie, Adolfo, Dimwit, and tia Carlotta? Not to mention that his mother won't come out of the woodwork and declare herself. Oops, I forgot Padre Anselmo. Steadfast in Ale's court is Maria. Well, folks, how about that?

Macario might be the key to the whole story. Medina and Loreto will probably try to make him disappear, too. But, hopefully not before he reveals the Almonte family secrets.

So, what was JL thinking by telling Loreto and Ale that he was a marino? Loreto is going to check that out. What?

Dear Elna Juna and Novela Maven,

Woke up this morning to a continuing blizzard (I'm off work at least!) and your wonderful double recap. Both were fantastically written and incredibly detailed and informative.

Elna June: Among many others, some of my favorites from you were--"In the background, we hear a growly, familiar sound. Is that the sound of a large trashcan being rolled over bumpy cobblestones in the courtyard outside? No, we are hearing the dulcet tones of Graciela Giacinti de Mendoza" I really laughed at this!

And this observation: "Truly, Alejandro shows more skill in his relationships with men than with women." (I'd never thought about this, and it is very true. He thinks he can treat the women in his life like he does the men but is starting to realize it's more complicated)

Novela Maven: Also among many others, some of favorites in yours were this hysterical heading--
"A new player on team Alejandro?"

This witty aside re DIM: "[He could be flirting, attacking or just hiding. I'll pick door number three.]"

And this great observation: "Adolfo stands at a safe distance and hurls Montserrat's stuffed tiger into the battle."

Thanks, too, for the parable of "el perro de las dos tortas" I heard this and had a guess about meaning but wasn't sure until your explanation.

I loved both of these episodes, too. At last, we get some love, tenderness, and movement in the relationship of Ale and Montse!

Both of you are the best. I know how much work it is to recap, and having just finished a double one myself, I was very content this morning to be able to sit back and have the pleasure of reading yours.


What fantastic recaps and what a lot of work you guys are putting in! These are long epis with lots of info. Many thanks!

Just wanted to say that it seems to me that JL/Ant wants to be outed and just (to quote many of you) doesn't have the avacados to do it. By making slips like telling Ale that he was a cabo he steps closer and closer to being found out without ever really manning up and telling him himself.

Also, I know we are all focused on the fact that Montse is lying to Ale and how this will play out, but I think we should also remember that he is keeping a pretty big whopper to himself: that Graciela was Benjamin's lover. They are both lying to each other still but both are rationalizing their own lies.

thanks again!

And this great observation: "Adolfo stands at a safe distance and hurls Montserrat's stuffed tiger into the battle."
This was my favorite moment of the entire epic fight. The evening at the fair was inspired TN action. I'll come back after reading in detail. Looks like a fabulous recap!

Good Morning EJ and NovelaMaven:

Truly superb recaps and a pleasure to read. I loved the quotes of both the authors you put up.

What a couple of episodes! So action and conversation filled. Kudos to both of you for all the detail you gave us in these fantastic recaps.

ITA that JL never should have given out his Navy info. Now Ale will never let that go. He'll be on him like white on rice, until he gets something he wants to hear.

I liked the dissing of BM (Bitch Maria) again. She needs all the comeuppance she gets. She thinks she is all that and a bag of chips when she is overdone pasta!

I really hope Dimi never gets his hands on Angie. Angie isn't into him, but her parents sure are. I don't like that.

Vic and Nadia better be careful where they go smooching. That was a very public place. Loreto could have seen them.

Did anyone else notice that the shooter was wearing a very similar shirt to JL's? If you took a quick glance it looked like JL.

I like that Ale and Monse are growing closer, despite both of their misgivings. I think Monse is pleasantly surprised by Ale. He needs to work on that trust issue.

Glad Juvie finally got kicked out of the hacienda. It's about time already, now if only his niece would join him.

Another ally for Ale has arrived, Marcario. I think Ale is going to need all the allies he can get. I do like the fact that Pedro and Loreto are on the losing end, but they do hold a lot of power. Joaquin helping them out isn't good either.

Thanks again Ladies for your wonderful, awesome recaps.

Thank you EJ and Novela Maven for these superb recaps which I definitely needed having missed several key scenes. These double episodes are so chock-full I depend as well on everyone's unique perspective. Look forward to comments as a reward for chores completed!

What is absolutely central for me is the fuse of the dynamite hissing and sizzling right between Montse and Ale: Alejandro knows she has been in contact with JL right under his nose. He has to know how and where, and who was helping her. He'll never trust her if she doesn't tell him the truth. Talk about a pivotal episode, this will be explosive!

Not as weighty but still heavy is the truth Rosario refuses to reveal. I agree with whomever said yesterday that this is a baffling subplot. Didn't Dirtydon Joaquin tell his wife that Pedro thinks Ale is an imposter? Of course, Rosario can clear this up, but why should the word of an "ex-con campesina" be any better than that of a "nouveau riche bastardo"?

On a lighter note, the fight was fun! Adolfo throwing the stuffed tiger was hilarious and then he had the nerve to claim his ribs were bruised? Too funny. Ale continues to be stupid about Maria. I tell you what, this subplot wouldn't have lasted two minutes in my home cause I would've gotten that bitch up off my man and out of my house quick, fast, and in a hurry. Can I get a witness Cynderella?

And it was gratifying to hear JL confirm what I suggested a couple of days ago, that he was falling for Ale! Hee Hee! "I can't leave, he's a damned decent bloke, he is! Under different circumstances we coulda be mates!" (not that kind). I agree with my fellow commenter who noticed that more significant and sincere bonding is going on between the guys! After JL's confession of respect and admiration for Ale, JL may himself have to plead Montse's case with Ale. Wouldn't that be a kick in the head?

Thanks again, so much EJ and NM, for this stellar, satisfying double recap!


Rosario is under the very mistaken impression that Alejandro would be ashamed of her. The padre knows otherwise, but this is a tough one. Is it because she did time for a crime she didn't commit (and now needs to be solved) or is it because she is a campesina?

Had he married within the ranching community that might be a different deal, but he married someone who appears to be a City Girl.

I have a feeling that Joaquin doesn't know all of Pedro's plans; we need more data.

Alejandro shouldn't be worried about what Monserrat will find out about her mother; at this stage that relationship couldn't get any worse.

Wonderful recaps! I am truly in awe of you ladies. These episodes were chock full of action and dialogue. I was really feeling for the two of you, EJ and NovelaMaven, as I had to occasionally rewind to catch the dialogue.

Favorite EJ quote: "Is that the sound of a large trashcan being rolled over bumpy cobblestones in the courtyard outside?" OMG EJ you absolutely nailed Gracie's voice. I had such a good laugh over your amazing description. And I'm still laughing.

Favorite NovelaMaven quote: "[Hey, she did say she loves a cockfight.]" Lady you are hilarious. The fight was the best scene of the evening. JL's over reactive nature sure came in handy with his quick kick to the gunman. I loved how Dim and Addled "fought", and how Maria quickly jumped out of the way to save her own skin.

Too bad JL is not as quick with his wit as he is with his kicks. He admitted he was in the Navy? Really? What an ass. And wouldn't that have been on his resume or amongst his qualifications that he presented to Ale? Never mind; I am over analyzing again.

(I also quite enjoyed the wordplay of "the first glowing, the second glowering". Well done amiga.)

Anyhoo, kudos to both EJ and NovelaMaven for the thoroughly entertaining recaps. Thank you!

Elna June and Novela Maven, great recap.

Finally due to a snow storm I have time to sit down with a nice cup of coffee and enjoy a recap! For once I am glad they had two episodes in one night.

EJ-Great title! Very funny observations, “Truly, Alejandro shows more skill in his relationships with men than with women” Wow, so true! Monse’s knife skills-I cringed, thought she was going to cut herself! Your comments about Graciela’s voice, and the tablecloth draped across her shoulders, (thank you to yesterday’s recapper, too!) I kind of thought dresser scarf, but same diff!

Novela Maven-loved, There is no missing link -- just a couple of Neanderthals roaming the hacienda, dragging their knuckles on the ground; Thank you for the explanation of the dog fable. I never would have gotten that the Perro didn't come from two pies.

Here is another dog fable that comes to mind: Nadia and her husband Pedro-Pedro is the dog in the manger.

One observation I made, as bad as Dim is he looked very pained when his mother suggested marrying Angelica for money since she is going to die anyway. Does that means he has some conscience or heart?


Well, I awakened this morning to a blanket of snow and two fabulous recaps. thank you so much EJ and NM for those clever retelling. you Teo really know how to weave a tale.

One of my fav parts of last night's episodes was Aldimfo throwing monymony'su stuffed prize into the fray. He is a riot . He and dim make quite a pair of freeloading mooches.

Also, I get a kick out of shows with scenes at a country fair , and the hero always wins a gigantic stuffed something for his girl. I wentt to our local ag fair every year when I was a teen! and winning one of those enormous dust catchers is not that easy. Anyhoo, someone should advise Malria to focus a little more when she throws darts. But wasn't she thrilled with the tiny consolation prize Ale gave her. Pathetic.

Lila..I do not know where our Cyn is this morning, but I will be a witness. I am standing right here ,girl , while you are beaming at my man.. HELLO...move along now.

I couldn't stop singing (in my head) "A Fine Bromance" during last night's episode, what with the way that JL and Ale were bonding, and Refugio's hangdog expression like he was the ignored boyfriend. I do agree that Ale is much more adept at his relationships with men than with women. Heck, all the guys in this show are. What's up with that?

Emarie, you wondered if Dim has some sort of conscience or heart? I'm going to vote "No". I think Dim is just pure lazy and doesn't want to take the time to woo anyone. Let's see what happens with this boy, and if he will eventually come around. (Hard to imagine, isn't it?)

I miss Fina. Get her back in the scenes NOW please.

"She thinks she is all that and a bag of chips when she is overdone pasta!" Oh my stars, Mads, I love this!!

emarie, great point about Dim. I caught that as well. It was like "oh my god, here she goes again." I think he knows full well he is her pawn, no matter what she confesses about "I'll always be there for you". Yeah, as long as you go along with my schemes. He has himself in such a tangle, he goes with it. But it does make one wonder if there may come a time when he turns on her...maybe he, ironically, will be her ultimate undoing?



You brought up an interesting point about Joaquin. I wonder if he will really help Pedro and Loreto of if he is stringing them along, letting them believe he is helping them. Joaquin seems to like Ale. I don't know, I am conflicted about him right now. We do need some more data about Joaquin.


I couldn't help myself about BM. She makes me so mad! She really thinks she is all that. She's like a big wet noodle ; )

I thought that Gracie's suggestion to pursue the ailing Angie made even our lazy, unethical Dim's stomach turn over. The expression on his face made me think that he couldn't believe his mother was low enough to want to take advantage of this sad situation. Dim is shiftless, but he seems to really like Angie.


You are so right, he didn't have that glow of the dollar signs in his eyes did he? I too think he really likes Angie. Maybe he has a teeny tiny heart, but I still doubt it, about the heart that is.

Mads: Joaquin openly admitted last night to his wife that he was an opportunist. He's playing both Pedro and Alejandro. So, he expects to win no matter which side wins or loses. This doesn't say much for his character, or, maybe, it says it all. He wants the land just as much as Pedro does and is willing to sell his soul to get it.

Now, as far as his relationship with his daughter, that seems genuine. I think both he and his wife would be horrified if they had a clue as to what Graciela's plans are for Angelica. Likewise, they would/will be horrified if and when they find out that Angelica is in love with JL.

I think I've seen a light in Montsy's eye when she found out about that. A very satisfying light it seems.

I do, too. As to Graciela, she is a ghoul.

She is also making the assumption that there is anything of value in Angelica's name. Very presumptuous of her.

Joaquin should be smart enough to spot Dimwit's real nature a mile away. Since he is likely to outlive his daughter, there is no reason for him to not change his will when or if she dies. That assumes he or his helicopter-mother wife will allow the marriage in the first place.

Quick general comment:

I think the actor who is playing Juvie is awesome. I hate his character, but love his little bits of business--like fiddling with pens on desks, and the cigarette thing. Plus, his expressions. I actually look forward to what he's going to do next.

Now back to reading Wed's recap. I'm soooo behind.


I had never seen the actor playing Marcario before until a few days ago when I surfed into Mentir and saw him portraying a henpecked husband of a scary harpy. He has a different hairstyle in that novela, but I think that he is a handsome guy for an older dude. I am a sucker for a silver fox. I hope that he and the sweet, long suffering Dominga get back together. She deserves some happiness after putting up with Malria and UncleIcky all these years.

Elna June, excellent recap. Your noting the crux of the important conversations was invaluable. Well done with your usual wit and style. “Dominga smiles at the mangled zucchini like an indulgent mother” and “Is that the sound of a large trashcan being rolled over bumpy cobblestones in the courtyard outside? No, we are hearing the dulcet tones of Graciela Giacinti de Mendoza,” were wonderful! Your insights were perfectly stated and truly on point: “JL/Ant is beginning to look truly conflicted—His obsession with Montserrat and his growing appreciation of and friendship with Alejandro just do not line up and “Truly, Alejandro shows more skill in his relationships with men than with women” stood out among many.

Bravo Novela Maven. Pure poetry. "He is a hacienda sultan squiring two wives, the first glowing, the second glowering", " Dim and Dimmer wander about, cadging drinks from overly trusting barkeeps" and "[What injuries? Did he trip and fall over his own sense of entitlement?]" (sidebar worthy)were amazing.

I think Monse does like many things about Ale and does feel a sexual attraction, but believe she is trying to make herself love him primarily to forget about JL. I also believe her feelings for JL are diminishing. She is being honest when she now states she will not leave Ale and is trying to do all the right things for that to occur.

Loved Ale's imperious command for Maria not to interfere when he is with Monse. The little contest between the two is now showing a clear winner and it is not Maria.

With Graciela telling Ale about Juvie, let's hope we will be spared a Graciela/Juvie coupling. That would be (shudder) truly cringe worthy. And of course, her urging Dimwit to marry Angelica to inherit her fortune and to avoid Fina was reprehensible.

Loreto is not stupid and JL may very well have cut his own throat by vounteering the information that he was a cabo. Not a good move JL...

Wonderful comments all.

Just spent several hours on and off trying to dig out. Hope everyone is safe and warm.

elna june and Novela Maven, you gave some warmth to this snowy, cold blustery day. What a dynamic duo! Exceptional recaps - both.


That poor stuffed animal!

I missed some important scenes because I dozed off for a few minutes while cuddled under an afghan......finally telling Malria off and his meeting with Marcario. YAY

Perhaps the witless Aldimfo stepped on his own....."sense of entitlement"....Uff.

Been a while since I commented but I have been enjoying the recaps of this team immensely!!

Elna - I loved your insight to Ale having better bromance skills than wooing....never thought of it that way.

Novela Maven: Your commentary of the fight was hilarious. Personal fav regarding Aldofo "Did he trip and fall over his own sense of entitlement?"

I too love the actor playing Juvie....his character is awful but the nuances he adds to it makes the character fun to watch. I've only ever seen him in PVAA but he is doing phenomenal here.

I too was shocked at Dim response when his mother brought up marrying Angie....the idea seemed right up his alley (similar to what he did with poor Josefina).

Very surprised that Joaquin is playing both sides...I thought his friendship with Ale was genuine. Ale better watch out.....he has a very long and growing list of enemies.


Whoops....hurrying to post so that I can get some chores done...I am anonymous. I really have to get dome work done. This site is hard to leave.

Good Day to All!

First, I must make a bow to my writing partner, Novela Maven. This was another star turn for you, NM. Nice work and wonderful irony in today's recap.

Judy B: Praise from the praiseworthy...thank you so much for your kind words. You are a real writer, amiga, and I feel honored by your kind words. I have such angst about no longer being able to properly edit my work that I fear much meaning may be lost amongst all of my typos, grammos, mis-spellings and auto-corrected mistakes. Thank you for speaking kindly of my work. Your words buoy me up, Judy.

Adriana Noel:
I am so glad you enjoyed the recap, AN.
So you also were wondering if Dimmy could be an Almonte? This is such fun! I am always on the lookout for hints as to plot developments in the TN's. The writer's hints and the possible blind alleys down which we are being led make my mind race. Of course, that makes me a foe of spoilers, hee hee, because I want the excitement of the experience, not necessarily the actual answer. Good point about why Gracie is SO worried about Montserrat finding out about her affair with Don Benjamin.

UA: I am so glad you enjoyed the recap. You said, "It would be an utter disaster if Dimwit were also Benjamin's offspring (although it would explain his dishonesty and cruelty) because he is so feckless. It could be said that Alejandro takes after his mother while Dimwit after his father (and mother)." Too right, Urban Anthropologist.

Jarifa: So glad you enjoyed the recap. You said, 'Graciela encouraging Dimitri to become involved with Angelica? They are so low and morally corrupt there are no words for them." Unbelieveable, right? At this rate, Graciela will soon be wearing baby seal fur to trim her tablecloths. 'Cruella' Giacinti de Mendoza is how I will now think of her.

Hi, Daisynjay! Great to see you here. Your summary "A lotta fussin' and fightin"' is right, ha ha ha, and would have made for a much shorter recap! I like your point that Graciela may not KNOW the truth.

Another puzzler- why is Cruella de Gracie SO averse to the possibilities of Josefina's millions?

Pasofino: You are right. The only person in his life who has been thoroughly loyal to Alejandro is Maria. Great point.




I would have beat Maria's A$$ on first sight. In the words of the late Bernie Mac: "There would have been a misunderstanding. There would have been some furniture moving around up in that room".

Oh, especially the day he was shot in the arm. Maria would have had to fight both me and my aunt.

Susanlynn, I hear you over there trying to lay claim to we also have to have a "misunderstanding"?

Thanks for the recap, NM and EJ.

OK, I have to go spread wisdom nuggets and good cheer to rest of the world. LOL

Elna June and NovelaMaven, thanks for my lunchtime delight. A thoroughly enjoyable recap.

it seems to me that JL/Ant wants to be outed

Rebecca, ITA that was no slip. It’s almost like JL is playing “Clue” with Ale now.

Joaquin and his wife are interesting. I wonder if she has cheated on him. Even though both parents are snobs and opportunists, I do believe they want the best for Angélica. I wouldn’t have wanted her to attend the cockfight fair either.

Shocked to see that Maria throws like a girl. But at least I know now that Montse could probably take her, without even breaking a nail.

Graciela doesn't seem to be the type who would let something as big as the possibility of Dim being Benjamin's son slide by. She would be the first one claiming her son's "rights," especially with her initial response to Alejandro. She'll be like, "Give ME the money now and I'll explain (lie) everything (to Lauro) later!" So, no, I don't think Dimitrio could be Benjamin's.

Jose Luis is truly an idiot. Up to now he had been under Loreto and Pedro's radar, merely seen as a "small" obstacle to getting rid of Ale. But now, with his diarrhea of the mouth telling them he was in the navy, and a cabo, no less, Loreto is certainly going to investigate him. Wait 'til they find out that Antonio Olivares was an older man and a real capataz! If they go to Ale saying he's a fraud, he'll have to bring Victor back to explain (and confront JL)!


Another day of great comments from the patio. Sounds like our recent investment in space heaters was a good idea with all the snow and blizzards.

EJ said "Another puzzler- why is Cruella de Gracie SO averse to the possibilities of Josefina's millions?" So true, that simply does not make sense to me. It also does not make sense the Dim would inherit any of Angie's money. Gracie's plans are stupid.

Pasofino's comment about Maria being thoroughly loyal to Ale is very troublesome. No spoiler, but we all know that this whole JL charade is going to explode, it's got to, and BM will be right there to "help" Ale sort things out. Darn it. Quick, get her to the factory!

Aha! I thought I recognized Macario but I couldn't remember where. Thanks Susanlynn.

Diana, I adore you my dear, but your comment about a Gracie/Juvie coupling nearly made me lose my breakfast. ICK, I say ICK, to quote Mads. Shudder indeed, to quote you.

Sylvia, still laughing and shuddering

Julia Rold: Thanks so much for your note. ITA— Our Novela Maven's commentary on the Battle of the Cattle Fair was priceless. I especially loved the description of the cowards Dimitrio and Adolfo.

"Adolfo stands at a safe distance and hurls Montserrat's stuffed tiger into the battle." That was LOL funny!

Becky: I love your idea that JL wants to be outed. He is so self destructive that he is now dropping hints to anyone who will listen. The 'slip of the lip' about him being a Navy man will cost him dearly.

Hi, La Paloma: It looks like we shared a fav line from NM's recap. Hee hee.

Dear Mads: Greeting to you on this cold morning! I am sending kind thought to all readers who find themselves in the path of the Storm. I hope Marcario can help Alejandro out. Pedro seems out to get the lands, but is he trying to get Ale disinherited as well? I am confused on this subplot.

Lila: You tell Maria where to get off! Hee hee. I believe you when you tell us that you would have Maria out of your house in the bat of a gnat's eyelash.

I also feel so much for Rosario. She is my favorite character in the show, and the least morally ambiguous. I don't want her to let shame keep her from a relationship with her son. He can use all the help he can get and a little unconditional love might brighten up his character. Maria's love is utterly conditional upon the hope that he will one day be 'hers'.

Dearest Sylvia: I, too, miss Josefina. I want her to come to the ranch and raise havoc with Dimmy's dirty little plans. Then I want Montserrat to fix her up with that suitcase of creams, unguents and hair glue that she drags around.She is my other fav character in the novella.

Emarie: So glad you stopped by. ITA with Sylvia. Dimmy has no heart. He is a lazy, greedy and entitled sociopath.

Hi, Diana: Wonderful, thoughtful comments from you, as usual. How is your weather?

Hi to Cece, Eli and Nanette! Good to see each of you.

Susanlynn: You made me laugh out loud this morning. SR sure has a lot of telenovias, doesn't he? Hope the snow is not too bad where you are...Northeast, I seem to remember?

Best to All,


Thanks to both of you! Great read! I also loved the incisive lines everyone else mentioned.

That was an awesome party and a fun fight. Dim and Dimmer's prissiness over getting involved was hilarious (not that I blame them-I would certainly run the other way!). I also enjoyed Maria's total lack of skill at the darts, and Ale laughing at her.

Is it possible that Graceless also had an affair with Josefina's father, and maybe Fina and Dim are half siblings? They do have matching eyebrows, and it's unlike Graceless to be so opposed to getting access to another family's money.

Pedro is only interested in the lands. Juvie had been told previously that if he killed Ale he could keep the hacienda and everything else BUT the lands. The only reason Pedro is trying to get Ale disinherited is so that he can get his hands on those darn lands. How? Who knows what Pedro and Loreto can come up with!

Dear Elna June:

I just had the chance to read your half of our congressional record…um…I mean our double recap. It was, as usual, a delight. I am particularly fond of the way you nail down those small, telling moments that we might otherwise overlook:

-- That Tía Carlota is secretly thrilled to be part of the intrigue when she acts as Montse's messenger.

-- That Dominga smiles like an indulgent mother at the mess of vegetable chunks that her patrona has left on the cutting board.

And I am not alone in admiring your brilliant description of Graciela's voice. Trashcans dragged along rough cobblestones. Yes.

I am so glad we had the chance to collaborate again!

And to all of you huddled around the space heaters on The Patio -- thank you for stopping by and sharing your insight and humor. I'm so glad you enjoyed the recaps!

Here in NYC it's 18 degrees Fahrenheit and in my area it's a bit windy. I went out for breakfast this morning and to buy some dry cat food. I hate walking in snow.

Tonight I go to the opera and really wish I didn't have to. It's going to be only 4 degrees.

Anon, if Benjamin Almonte died without an heir his lands go to the state. That's how Pedro can get them. It seems that Alejandro is his only blood relative.

Since it's the 21st century in this story and DNA testing can be done, that would finish Pedro's plot.

Thanks to two of my favorites, Elna June and NovelaMaven. What a great team you ladies made.

Elna June, your Botox injections must have been successful... you were in excellent spirits and high humor for this. Great stuff. I really enjoyed watching Monteserrat assaulting those veggies with the huge knife, but your retelling was even better than the original event.

NovelaMaven, your sports reporting was a bit mixed. Your description of the people/(plush toy)-fight was detailed and hilarious...

"Adolfo stands at a safe distance and hurls Montserrat's stuffed tiger into the battle."

but you barely mentioned the scheduled main event... a fight between the actual chickens... though the show itself also gave the poultry battle short-shrift... it appeared to me that no birds were harmed.

Isn't it interesting that while we are seeing a bond developing between our two male natural enemies, JL and Alejandro... no similar bonding is occurring between the two female opponents, Montserrat and María?

So what's to become of Juventino? Will he go rogue or grovel? Groveling and pleading seems to work fairly well on Alejandro so I expect Juventino to be back at full-employment by Monday.

Julia Rold, I never got around to commenting on your excellent recap of Wed.'s double episode... what a feat and very well done. By the volume and nature of the comments, I see that the rest of our little group enjoyed it as much as I did.


First of all, let me start by saying...YIKEhS, Cyn...I do not want to get in a "misunderstanding" with you. When I read your comments , I am reminded of my high school friend Maryjane and my beloved cousin Jan...two mujers no one ever wanted to have a misunderstanding" with. Besides, there is plenty of Ale to go around. However, we must join forces to fight our common enemy..that crazed mujer Malria. This girl will not take a clue and back down. She is obsessed with Ale.

Question : is the Caraycaray company store planning to carry tee shirts emblazoned with "I LOVE COCK FIGHTS" ????.....just asking. I had to turn away during that brief scene because even though I grew on a farm with roosters...and feared and hated them...cock fights are awful.

EJ...yes! I am in the northeast. It started snowing yesterday afternoon, and we ended up with about 6 to 8 inches of snow. now the sun is shining brightly . And I am looking out at snow covered trees and a snow covered yard.

Well, I have devised a mind game for myself. for every ten minutes spent here, I must work at least half an hour on my chores. May I just say how much I hate putting away Christmas decorations...such a downer. Bah humbug. Later , gators, after I put in my time on chores.

Julia said "Is it possible that Graceless also had an affair with Josefina's father, and maybe Fina and Dim are half siblings? They do have matching eyebrows, and it's unlike Graceless to be so opposed to getting access to another family's money." OK, now THAT makes total sense. Good thinkin' there.

I forgot to say, terrific title for this recap. Yes, it was a fair to remember, and there are almost too many affairs to remember.

Oh, God; Graciela does get around, doesn't she? I wonder what else Amelia knows about her.

Since this series is going to be much longer than the two previous versions we have to consider this possibility and other plot complications as well.

About Fina and Dim as half-sibs --
A brilliant idea, Julia! [Are unibrows dominant? Have we seen a photo of Fina's late daddy?]

About Don Joaquín --

Let's not be deceived by his social skills. We now know he is part of the network of corruption.

In general --

I've been thinking lately about how subversive this novela really is. Look at the world it depicts: a corrupt civil government, a corrupt police force, a military that considers itself honorable but is easily seduced by social pressures, the powerful landowners who collude with criminals, the dearth of honest men and women who, when they do try to speak out, are likely to be silenced permanently.
(And let's not even get started on the playful treatment of spousal rape.)

At least in La Tempestad, we had the honorable federales fighting against corruption. But in this Hobbesian universe, it is every man (or woman) for himself. Even someone as powerful as Admiral Lauro Mendoza loses everything because he refuses to play the corruption game.

It seems to me that if the Televisa executives ever really thought about the 'message' this novela is sending, it would be pulled off the air and replaced with PEAM reruns, perhaps. But fortunately for us,
the networks focus on dirty words and bare body parts, leaving powerful narratives alone.

Just finished Wed's recap and comments and have a couple of questions/one comment:

Even if they find other Ben children, Ale would still be the heir since he was stated so in B’s will, right?

Also, confused about whether Fina knows that Dim is at the hacienda or thinks he might be in Brazil.

Maybe Dim’s anvil will be his falling in love with a transformed Fina and she won’t have anything to do with him.


We need someone who knows something about Mexican inheritance law.

Don Benjamin was of sound mind at the time he made out his will. However, if there is DNA proof of other offspring I think there should be a statute of limitations on discovery. It isn't fair to keep an inheritance in the limbo of probate for very long.

Brilliantly said, Novela Maven.


NM...good points about all the corruption this novela depicts. my boss's husband is from Mexico, and she once told me that sadly, the corruption is at ALL levels of authority.

Nanette, I think Gracie led Josefina to believe that Dim and AlDimfo were in Brazil.

These people need to make New year resolutions. For example, Juvie's might be ..." I must keep my hands to myself and work on improving my eating manners." Perhaps Gracie's could be " I must stop wearing my tablecloths as fashion accessories...they belong on my diningroom table."

I just realized something. Montserrat did not cry in last night's episode, did she? I think that's a first.

Susalynn, I like your idea about New Year's resolutions for our characters. Maybe Montse's could be "I will start wearing practical shoes on cobblestones and uneven, steep, stone steps."

I keep wondering why Pedro wants Ale's land. We learned in CI that if gold or valuable minerals are found on land, the government takes over the land, so that can't be the reason. Is it what is on the land or the position of the land ?

I loved the band, singer, and the happy dancing last night before the fight broke out ..the unplanned flight. The fight reminded me of those flash mobs that are so popular right now. I would like to be part of one of those. First, we had the happy dancing..then fists and stuffed prizes were flying. Then, , back to your previously scheduled happy dancing, drinking,....and fireworks. Things just unfolded.

Captain Sylvia...yes! that would be a good resolution for Monymony now that she has decided to save this marriage and be a country girl. Those CFM shoes are going to result in a sprained ankle. ...or much worse. A few months ago, I watched mesmerized as someone attempted to walk along the college sidewalks from one building to another wearing a pair of those shoes. Could not look away was oainful to watch each carefully placed slow step.. it was not sexy. I could not look away....I am a bed person. Anyway, Malria manages to convey that CFM message without wearing dangerous and uncomfy footwear. Those shoes are just bunions waiting to happen.

So...what should MALria's resolution be ? I think that she needs more than one.

Back to the Christmas decorations....sigh and grumble.

....susanlynn! avoiding the gaze of her snowmen on the etagere

.......Well, I am a bed person sometimes, but this time, I meant to say that I was a BAD person. I need to find my stylus. I have lost three since getting this Ipad for Mother's Day so I have just been using my finger...not working so well..

Aside from the unibrow and goofy clothes, Fina has looked fine to me. But last night the poor thing looked frazzled and worn worrying about Dim. Still hoping Fina gets a makeover and goes venganza on them.

I am guessing that the position of the land is the main issue. All we do know is that Pedro wants it for some nefarious purpose. However, as I type this something else occurred to me:

He promised the hacienda to Juventino (who has to stop mumbling). Without the lands, the hacienda isn't worth much and Juventino can't manage it. It wouldn't be long before it got into foreclosure and Pedro could close in on that, too.

New Years Resolutions for these characters...sounds like fun! Lets see:

DimDim: I will use my pea sized brain to actually contribute to society instead of mooching.

Monse's: I will not cry every 2 seconds and instead channel some of Ale's anger issues to express my feelings.

Ale: I will give up by caveman like attitude, use my inside voice when I am angry and take classes on how to properly romance a lady.

Rosario: I will realize that the Padre is the ONLY voice of reason in this TN and confess to Ale that he is my son.

Gracie: I will burn my entire wardrobe and actually read the fashion magazines I subscribe to as opposed to using them as decor.

Maria: I will realize that it is inappropriate to steal and USE anyone's undergarments other than my own.


Your snowmen are actually sending you approving gazes for breaking up boring chores with the mind improving activity of commenting on telenovelas. Go Susanlynn!

I am LOL at your description of a young woman walking on college sidewalks in sky high heels. So glad that when I went to college it was cool to be a hippie. I spent a lot of time in those days walking barefoot. Smile.

I am still pondering the idea of Josefina as Dimitrio's half SISTER. Wow, I love the possibilities of that plotline. Then Montse could legitimately take on her 'big' sister's fashion problem.

But wait! Isn't Josefina a LOT older thanthe BEBE Dimmy? Would Graciela have to have given up Josefina when she was about 10 years old?

UA, if you are willing to go to the opera in +4*F weather, then you are a true lover of the art. What the heck do you wear to the Opera when it is that cold?

I once went to the opera in Vienna in winter, but it was not THAT cold.



I think Fina is just a couple years older than Dimmy, and I was thinking they had their father in common. Josefina's mother was probably older than Graci.

Julia, I agree with that possibility.

As to the opera, I'll be wearing black velour pants and a heavy purple sweater. When it gets cold like this I go pretty bohemian rather than trying to be elegant.

On that subject, Monserrat looked very Grace Kelly in her nearly 50s-style dress and updo hair. Not entirely appropriate, but only Maria was rude enough to comment on it.

Money's outfit definitely wasn't the right thing for a country fair, and I'm sure she has *something* more casual, but she knew what she was going for, and the hot and sexy factor was more important than appropriateness. Maria was going for the cockfights; Money was aiming to make her, um, rooster NOT fight.

Hi Everyone--
Really enjoying all these comments today. I loved the agricultural fair music, too--and glad to see an attempted murder didn't ruin the party!

Also, wanted to say a big thanks to both Carlos and La Paloma for reading and enjoying the recap yesterday.

Cece: Your New Year's resolutions for the characters all made me laugh!

I also realized yesterday that I kept calling Angelica's sister Veronica when her name is Virginia! Will try to go back to fix.


Monserrat has upped the ante this time. I wonder when she will notice that some of her underwear is missing. Not that anyone I know ever inventories it, but a couple of those things could have been unique.


Money might never notice. Her mother insisted on getting a whole big trousseau right before the wedding, right? And since she wasn't exactly excited to be getting married, she probably didn't pay all that much attention to what frilly things she bought. She probably doesn't remember each specific thing out of the heaps of new stuff.

I would think not, unless the items were unique and she would notice if a particular one was missing.

Absolutely fab recaps, ladies. And wonderful comments. I loved the music at the fair. Looks like Margarita, la Diosa de Cumbia, left the set of CI and came right over to Robo's fair. The fight was a hoot, as was the quick return to dancing and fireworks. Monse looked amazing, if overdressed, but she got and kept her man's attention. Mission accomplished.

It was also a nice surprise to see "Ruben" from Mentir pop up as a new character, but considering Alfie arrived after his Mentir character died, I'm now worried for Ruben.

To answer the question about where Fina thinks Dim is, Gracie told Fina and her brother that Dim went to their family ranch to take care of urgent business. And now she thinks Alfie is in Brazil, because of what Nadia said. She has no idea that they are together at visiting Monde.

...together and visiting Monse.

It must be a rough trip over here from Hermosillo. Ruben/Macario showed up totally grimy, and Slimeball/Alfink has never had a chance to wash off the grease.

Julia- Tell me about it! Although Beto/Alfie seemed to fair better. He's a bit less greasy, less hairy, and less stinky. Just as much of a loser though.

Just getting to read comments. . .man! everybody and their grandmother was at the grocery store today. . they're predicting another snow storm, perhaps up to a foot (I'm in Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor) followed by double digit sub zero temps *ouch* and I guess folk are stocking up!

Hey Susanlynn, thanks for being a witness. BM would be such a non issue! Now, back to comments!


Hey Cynderella! Amen! Take her down, Cyndi! One thing about telenovios we can all praise and pant from afar without "misunderstandings"!

;D Lila

Would Marcario know Rosario?

Vivi: what family hacienda? Does she mean Ale’s? So Fina thought he was there, but when Nadia said they were in Brazil, she wasn’t sure?

I’m starting to keep a list of where everyone is from.


The Mendoza family also has their own hacienda, but it isn't as prosperous as Ale's. I don't think we've ever seen it and I'm not sure where it is, relative to the town or the other haciendas.

Good point that Macario might know Rosario. He seems older than Dominga, so he might have been around before Ale was born.

Yep. As Julia pointed out, it's the Mendoza hacienda, that we have yet to see. Nadia only said that Alfie was on his way to Brazil. So Fina has no idea if Dim is there, or at his own family hacienda. But she has no clue about Ale's hacienda being their hideout.

Elna June & Novela Maven:
Just wanted to say a quick thank you for the recaps. As usual they were both excellent! I greatly appreciate them.

Pasofino: You mentioned all the characters that have betrayed Ale, but that Maria was in his court. Let us not forget that BM has also betrayed Ale. She gave the green light for her uncle to "get rid" of her, and she went against Ale's when she helped Montse try to escape the first time.

Will comment more later...

"Why does Pedro always look like he has a bad case of indigestion? I keep waiting for him to belch!"

Jarifa -- what a hilarious observation! So true! Let's get the man on Prilosec and maybe we'll change the course of history in Aguazul.


Nice Dillo, Carlos.

I am so sorry that you were disappointed in my account of the cockfight. It's just that it was so blah that I wasn't inspired to say much about it. The human sparring was so much more fun.

Oops..'...She gave the green light for her uncle to "get rid" of Montse.......

Did they even show any cockfighting? If they did, I missed it. It was more like "hey, look at these roosters" and then they cut away, which I appreciate, because I did not want to see it. I'm not surprised that Bitch Maria would enjoy brutality, though.

Thank you NM and EJ for such an exciting recap.

EJ: I thought "mutilation" was the perfect word for what Monse did to those poor vegetables. I loved that scene.

NM: I loved your description of the fair. That was my favorite part of the evening. When Adolfo threw that huge stuffed animal into the fight, it was hilarious. The country fair reminded of FELS. Speaking of FELS, wasn't La Diosa de la Cumbia in that one also?

Urban: Your theory that Dimwit might also be Benjamin's son is totally plausible. How else are they going to double the amount episodes of the previous two predecessors. I would really hate for that to happen though, if Dimwit is already obnoxious..imagine him rich and powerful..ugh.

Thank you thank you EJ and NM! Congressional Record? No way! If this recap were twice as long I would still hang on every word.

"I honk for greasy pervies!" Omg HYSTERICAL!!! Are we selling bumper stickers at the Patio store?!

And EJ your unique way of NAILING the subtleties n the Tia Carlotta letter delivery and the veggie chopping is amazing.

I'm a little confused about Macario (?) being a love interest for Dominga. He seems a lot older than her. But I for sure think he's going to remember Rosario.

Thanks again, wonderful, brilliant recappers...

I want the shirt that says "I LOVE COCK FIGHTS!!!"

You're gonna get The Patio in trouble with PETA, Sylvia.

Couldn't I interest you in one of our



I'll take both shirts as long as I get an 8x10 glossy of Rulli! Or has the patio decided on a shirt of our TeleNovio?

I am right now embroidering a tank top for Ale with ,,,"SUN'S OUt, GUNS OUT". And another for JL..."ALE GOT THE GIRL AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY TEESHIRT"

If I have time! I will make matching shirts for dim and Aldimfo....."I'M WITH ESTUPIDO"

I think the reason the guys are amigos despite their rivalry is obvious--they RESPECT one another...and respect is totally lacking in Ale's "love" for Monse. I am as appalled by his keeping her a prisoner as I am the rape(s?) personally. He has violated all of her human rights and despite his undeniable handsomeness, I find him detestable and find it incomprehensible that she could be "falling in love" with him. As incomprehensible as Jose L. does, in fact.

Thanks for detailed re-caps on these long episodes. It is very appreciated.

Can't wait to see Ale in that tank top!

"I'M WITH ESTUPIDO". LOL!!!!!!!!!! I think that one would also work for JL and Refu.

Doris Wilson:
I can see where you are coming from regarding the respect. Maybe the character was written that way because Ale never grew up around a woman. He grew up with his grandfather and Padre A. Not that they did not respect women, but it's different when a boys upbringing includes his mother. I think that they see women differently. I think that Ale's anger towards the whole story with Montse stems from the fact that Gracie (a women) did not respect him and thought of him as a bastardo. He might never have had a positive influence from a woman. I think he cares for Montse, but he lost respect for her when she wanted to leave him on their wedding day. I don't think that Montse has respect for Ale either. She still wanted to leave just about 2 episodes ago. I think the talk with Padre A helped both of them. They now realize that they do need to respect one another in order for their marriage to work.

Alejandro also didn't have sisters. That usually makes a man more knowledgeable about women and how to communicate with them.

Dim and Addled

-- yowza, Sylvia, how did I miss that? I am so going to steal that and pretend I made it up myself.


Go for it amiga! Anyway, our collection of snark and snips is one big cauldron of brew that continues to fertilize our thoughts and ideas. It's hard to remember who came up with what, and we shouldn't really care.

Love the sentiment, Sylvia, but not sure I like the metaphor. It sounds like we are making cow pies here on The Patio. Oh wait...

Sylvia and NM:

'Dim and Addled'! OMG, what a great cow pie you have made on the Patio!

I believe in crediting genius—I am still going to put a '®' mark on Dim and Addled®. I will be using it a lot.

I miss recapping with you, Sylvia.


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