Ruta 35, Thursday 1/21/16 #8

The end of Conchita’s NY vacation

Conchita talks Co-Pilot, whose name turns out to be Felix, into sticking around to help with his deliveries in NY–on Tomás’ orders. At one of their stops, Tomás comes in and makes a bust, but he has no luck turning Felix, so Conchita plays the lovable grandma card. He agrees to help them get Hugo and he and Conchita head back to Miami.

Before they go to the warehouse to give Hugo his money, Tomás stops the van so that Conchita can get a wire. This nearly gets them both killed, since her mic pack falls out of her shirt just moments before the DEA agents come into the warehouse. Felix gets grazed by a bullet making sure his “viejita linda” (pretty old lady) doesn’t get shot. When Tomás arrests Felix along with all the other guys, Conchita throws a fit and outs herself as an informant in front of the entire crew. So now it’s continue or go to jail with a bunch of guys who know she’s the reason they’re there.

Dylan’s problem

Dylan finally gets one of the guys they rounded up in New York to tell him that the missing 200 kilos (which actually were part of the 500 that were on loan from the evidence locker) were for a guy named Hugo, who had them delivered to various places around New York.

Dylan shows up at Tomás’ bust and witnesses Conchita’s tantrum, which may or may not come into play later. He tries to ask Tomás to give him the 200 kilos, but he can’t do that because the 200 were already confiscated by the DEA and there’s no getting them out. We were baffled as to why this even constitutes a problem, since wasn’t the whole idea to keep them from ever being distributed? And isn’t there a buttload of paperwork that tracks where that cocaine came from? And aren’t they both working for the same government, so why does it matter which agency has which drugs in which locker, as long as there’s some decent chain of evidence? Anyway, Dylan makes sad puppy dog eyes and Tomás really doesn’t care and doesn’t mean his “sorry, bro.” Or maybe he didn’t even say “sorry,” now that we think about it.


Taborda is gross. He calls up JULIA just to “say hi” and remind HER that Mercurio is supposed to pay him back for the big bag of fake cash today. She tries to sweet-talk him into giving Mercurio more time (since Marina confiscated that money and shows no signs of caring) but, as she says, “el viejo rabo verde no da su brazo a torcer” (the dirty old man won’t budge).

Marina comes up with this stupid plan that from now on, Mercurio will be wired and will get Taborda to meet with him at some house that’s got cameras and microphones all over the place. She sends him back to Taborda with the big bag of fake cash and he says he can either return it or Taborda can give him more time to move it. He gives him three days.

Marina and Mercurio go to the grocery store so Mercurio can recruit the cashier who has been working with Calixto to work with him instead–and not moving small amounts, either. She agrees.

Marina takes back the big bag of fake cash and gives Mercurio some money out of her own pocket, which she suggests he use to take Julia out for a nice dinner.

At the nice dinner, Mercurio makes a new friend in the men’s room….


Salomon’s daughters are keeping a pretty close eye on him. Dani knows he didn’t spend the night at home and Alejandra uses that to try to blackmail him into letting her go out with friends instead of to a family dinner to celebrate Jimena’s new job. He makes her a counteroffer–a small bundle of cash and she gets to go out with her friends tonight, but gets no more cash from him; or a larger bundle of cash to go to dinner with the family and he’ll convince her mother to let her go out with her friends more often. She takes the second option.

At dinner, Dani accidentally spills water on him, so he ends up in the bathroom of the restaurant, chatting with a nice young man he just met, named Mercurio. Now, maybe this kind of thing doesn’t really happen to most guys in the men’s room, but this is Salomon we’re talking about–he’s a talker and he will talk to anyone, anywhere. He gives Mercurio his card and mentions that he’s in exports, but also happens to work for a bank, and that if Mercurio needs money moved fast, he should give him a call.

Jimena agrees to try dating Salomon again, but only if he swears he’s not working as an informant anymore. Oh, he swears. But later, she hears him talking to Rebeca and mostly gets that he’s telling her to be patient, he’ll be there waiting for her, they’ll be together soon. We’re not sure if she heard enough to think he’s informing again or she just cheating, but either way she thinks he’s the same old liar and she calls him on his BS. So much for reuniting.

He continues hassling Dylan for the reward money that was allegedly going to be released “right away,” but is now in bureaucratic limbo. He also might either be fired or on the verge of getting fired after all the time he spent in Mexico and his propensity to think he sets his own hours.


Rogelio throws a noisy party in the early morning hours at which he is already stumbling drunk and tries to rape Sofia. She escapes with the aid of a tequila bottle and leaves him passed out with the broken glass. When he finally comes to, all the other guys were also passed out and nobody has a clue where Sofia is.

She went to her friend Livia’s house and got in touch with Dylan to tell him she wants to help him catch Rogelio before he really takes over as the new head of the cartel and becomes “untouchable.” Domingo calls her from jail and he’s resigned to dying fairly soon. The other cartel guys are in another part of the prison, but he knows it’s only a matter of time. Sofia begs him not to give up on seeing her again.

Sofia makes a withdrawal of her savings from a bank located under the third palm tree down the path at some house or other. Before she can get back to Livia’s with the cash, Rogelio has already busted in and Livia doesn’t make it out the back door in time. Rogelio beats her and threatens to kill her if she doesn’t tell him where Sofia is, but Livia holds firm. (Domingo NEVER would have done something like that!) Sofia calls him and tells him that their problems are between the two of them and she’ll meet him, alone, at a place of her choosing, but if he hurts Livia the deal is off and she’ll disappear. Rogelio agrees, and Sofia calls Dylan to tell him about the meeting.

Meanwhile, Domingo gets knifed in the shower, but another prisoner finds him quickly enough that he gets taken to the hospital and survives. It’s possible that his dad paid off the prisoner to help protect him. The other cartel guys agree among themselves to step up their efforts at killing Domingo.

Sofia meets with Gavilán to tell him she’s going to turn over Rogelio and ask him to hold on to the money for her. Rebeca hears their conversation and hears Gavilán tell Sofia that Dylan is trustworthy, but those DEA guys are not.


After an unspecified number of days in New York, and then a few more back in Miami, Conchita gets arrested for stealing the company van. Her boss relents and drops the charges, but she’s fired. Tomás, ever the charmer, insists she has to get her job back. Conchita reminds him that nobody wants to hire 75 year old broads. If he wants her to continue looking like a valuable asset to the drug dealers he intends to bust because she has a delivery job that makes for a great cover, then HE has to get a job for her.

  • The technology just seems wrong. It’s outdated, too big, and not being used effectively. The continued use of wires WITH ACTUAL WIRES seems like a bad idea. The repeated requests to call with information seem pointless when they could just tap their informants’ phones instead. After all, it’s not like any of these narcos seem to care about people walking around with their phones constantly.
  • Bad infosec practices. The narcos shouldn’t have cell phones with batteries in them during their meetings. Cell phones have microphones, cameras, and GPS that doesn’t even actually have to be “on” in order to be tracked.
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Autora/ Author

Thanks, Kat! I think my favorite part of these summaries are the little assessments at the bottom.