Mateo’s still trying to find the missing doctors. When he walks into town, the guys from the other community that he refused to help kidnap him, saying he left them no choice.
Over the radio, when he calls Santiago for help, Sidekick calls the men “Los Choles.” Santiago, of course, is busy watching the doctors’ meet El Niño.
He’s also busy trying to convince El Niño to leave these outsiders to him and warning him that they’re false prophets, which seems kind of arrogant to me. El Niño ignores his pleas, since he’s the one with the hotline to El Padre. He asks if Lucía has seen him before and she says she has, in the jungle. He denies ever having been there because either snakes in general or The Serpent is his enemy (OK, I’m going to have to back Lucía on this one–that sure looked like him chasing Silvino). She must have had a prophetic dream and he wonders why.
Lucía plays along, saying maybe it was so he could heal this sick man. Hm, no, only Agua Azul gets to benefit from miracles at El Niño’s hands. She asks if helping someone isn’t a show of greatness towards those who lack faith. El Niño is amused–doctors looking to faith to heal. Damian’s not on board and he doesn’t want El Niño touching him. In that case, El Niño walks.
Silvino wakes up to find Concha sitting next to him in the clinic. She wants his help getting Mateo back and asks him to take her to the camp. She knows she’s not supposed to go, but Mateo knows the way. She promises to protect him from Santiago, since he threatened to kill Silvino if he ever went back. Silvino agrees to help her if she helps him get El Niño’s help.
Change of plans
El Niño stands on the swing, swinging over the river, as the doctors are lined up in front of a short wall and Santiago gets ready to execute them. El Niño just keeps on swinging as he says people don’t get to just come and go from his sacred lands. In her desperation, Lucía gets on her knees and begs. She bows her head and El Niño jumps off the swing, looking around like he hears something.
He crouches and stares at Lucía, who stares right back. Santiago once again tries to sway El Niño, saying he should go back to his hut and let Santiago take care of them. Nope, sorry Santiago. El Padre told him to heal the doctor. Since Santiago doesn’t like this, of course it must be the work of The Serpent–not that he’s doubting El Niño or El Padre. He would never! Santiago tells him to remember “dead Juan” and says this is a mistake. In that case, El Niño wants him to shut up while he makes it.
El Niño tells Lucía her corrupt science has hurt his people, but he’s going to turn the other cheek.
As the ceremony gets underway, Lucía says this is “crazy.” Farca agrees, but what part of this hasn’t been? The Red-haired Woman starts her call and response, but Damian’s not playing along. Does he submit himself to the mercy of the saint? “Rot.” She struggles not to smile and goes on to asking if he believes in this that and the other. “Rot.” She repeats the “do you believe”s while someone brings a bottle of blue liquid and a tray full of cut glass to El Niño. He spits the liquid over Damian and cuts him with the glass, then he slurps at his face.
They put Damian on the swing, going out over the water as the chanting continues. He falls in and gets fished out.
Concha and sidekick blindfold themselves as Silvino gets them closer to the camp.
Damian’s fever is gone, the spots on his face and body are gone, and the cut El Niño made with the glass is gone, but he’s not waking up. Lucía asks if this is normal–why isn’t he waking up? El Niño looks confused and struggles to regain control. He commands Damian to wake up in the name of his Father. It takes a few repeats and Damian doesn’t wake up so much as jerk and start foaming at the mouth. Santiago looks at El Niño in horror.
Suddenly, El Niño starts foaming at the mouth and convulsing and Santiago tells the Red-haired Woman to get Dr. Radilla. Which, even with all the other weirdness going on strikes me as especially odd. He wants Dr. Drunk in the Trunk? Lucía and Farca are left to tend to Damian on their own as El Niño is carried into a hut.
Dr. Radilla hasn’t a clue what to do and says this is different. (From what? This has happened before? No que science is corrupt? What is up with these people?!) Santiago shoves Red at Dr. Radilla and I’m momentarily confused because I thought he said “hazlo tuyo” (“make him yours,” slang for “have sex with him”) but it was actually “haz lo tuyo” (“do your thing”).
Outside, Damian is no longer convulsing, but Lucía says his heart’s still beating rapidly. Farca suspects poisoning, maybe with that blue liquid? Santiago comes over to accuse them of staging this and ask what they did to his brother. Lucía accuses El Niño of being the one who got them both sick. Santiago backhands her, tells her to shut up, and calls her a bruja. (Ain’t that the way it always goes? A woman doesn’t bow down to a man and suddenly she’s a witch or a bitch. Or is that because she’s practicing that demon science? Either way, I send up a hearty one-finger salute to that guy and all his ilk.)
Yeah, yeah, The Demon brought them, whatever. Farca says it was an older woman who brought them. Santiago calls her “Euca,” but he has no time to deal with that because Flaco comes running up screaming that Los Choles are in the camp. Santiago orders the doctors locked up while he goes to deal with Los Choles.
In a storage hut, Farca blames this on Euca. Lucía blames herself.
Los Choles have Mateo down at the shoreline. He tells Santiago they want El Niño, but that he’s not important. I don’t know if his use of “brother” is literal (which would mean all three of them are brothers) or figurative. Los Choles are falling victim to the plague.
Santiago argues that El Niño was given to them because they’re the chosen ones. He can’t save these “pagans”! The leader threatens to shoot Mateo and end their peace if El Niño doesn’t heal his people.
Farca’s still thinking this was a poisoning, but the weird thing is that El Niño has done this ritual millions of times. Why would it go wrong this time? Lucía doesn’t know, but she wants to get Damian out of there and run some blood work. Farca gently tells her to look around. They’ve been captured by a fanatical sect and suspected of making their leader sick. They’re not getting out. Well, Lucía’s not giving up yet.
Damian jerks upright talking about the jaguar.
El Niño sits up and says “la doctora.”
Damian asks what happened and Farca gives him the short version. “They poisoned you.” Lucía backs it up and explains that he was sick, they tried the medicine they had in town, nothing was working, so they brought him to the healer. “And he healed me?” Damian feels fine, but disoriented. He gets suddenly modest and starts buttoning his shirt.
Things have changed
One of El Niño’s people comes to tell Lucía to come out–just her, but Damian and Farca walk out anyway. El Niño asks how Damian is doing and Lucía says he’s fine. She thanks El Niño and he listens to the birds and tells his people to take care of Damian and Farca.
But what happened? “Only God knows everything.” El Niño doesn’t understand it, but he says he needs Lucía. I hate to oversimplify things, but I think El Niño has a crush. I’m just saying, he seems extra-fascinated by her. He holds out his hand to her and they walk through the swamp.
He wants her to tell him if he’s well. He assumes that’s her task, since she dreamed of him. And he’s not asking her as a doctor.
Concha and Sidekick get dropped off on shore and she tells Silvino to stay behind. He gives her his gun.
Santiago tells the leader of Los Choles that the doctors made El Niño sick. He can’t heal anyone right now. The leader decides to test that by shooting Mateo in the leg.
Bad timing, because Concha got there just in time to see it. She puts a gun to the leader’s head and tells all the “pagans” to leave.
Bad timing again, because now El Niño has arrived, with Lucía on his arm. He tells them all to put their guns down.
It looks to the leader of Los Choles like Santiago lied to him. El Niño repeats Santiago’s line about how his mercy is only for his community. After the leader brought violence to his land and hurt his brother, why does he think God will help him?
The leader explains they were desperate and begs forgiveness. He gets on his knees and El Niño looks over at Lucía. He says he’ll heal the leader’s people, but they must never set foot on his land again. If he does, or if he hurts any of his brothers, his Father’s wrath will be terrible. He orders his people to prepare the sick.
Lucía rushes over to check on Mateo. Concha angrily tells her not to touch her husband and Mateo smiles up at her, saying his brother will heal him. Santiago thinks she should get away. El Niño snaps at him that she’s his guest. He tells Lucía to help him with the sick.
El Niño leans down to Mateo, who tells him not to worry–it’s only a scratch. (Ha!) Silvino lurks behind a tree and listens as Mateo asks why El Niño got sick. Is it because he broke the rule? And he’s still going to cure Los Choles after what happened? El Niño says they won’t come back and they’ll be in debt to them.
Mateo insists he shouldn’t cure outsiders, but El Niño says his Father has shown him things since la doctora arrived. He wasn’t sick, his Father just needed to talk to him. Santiago keeps pushing that if this seems like a blessing, it’s a trick. Those doctors made him sick, they brought Los Choles there, and got his brother shot. Mateo says he’s weak and so are his thoughts. His judgment is clouded. (I am just waiting for El Niño to give the two of them a “You’re not the boss of me!”)
Someone tells El Niño the sick are prepared and he tells his bros to keep pressure on that wound. He’s got to understand now more than ever, he mumbles to the red-haired woman.
Mateo tells Santiago they have to get the doctors out of there. Concha tells Mateo he has to talk to Silvino. Santiago reminds her HE’S the one who speaks in the camp (like, division of labor? Mateo’s the voice in town, he’s the one in the camp?). WTF is she doing anyway? Concha says Silvino was the only one who helped them. Los Choles had already grabbed Mateo. Santiago insists if she weren’t his brother’s wife, he’d punish her. (Yeah, this one definitely has issues with women. Sexist POS.)
Santiago tells Silvino that El Niño isn’t going to help him or any of his people and he doesn’t have to explain it. (Uh, I’m sure he will if El Niño hears about this.)
The ritual starts back at the camp and El Niño keeps looking back at Lucía as he does his thing with the watermelon and the blue liquid and the glass.
Concha walks Silvino back to his boat and says she did what she could. He keeps insisting she’s going to help him. He takes his gun back from her and starts up the boat. He cruises on by the shore where El Niño is praying over the sick from Los Choles.
Damian and Farca hang out in an open hut. Damian feels better, but he also feels a strange energy in him. He’s convinced El Niño has power. He can feel it. It’s not something medicine can explain. Farca says it’s a side effect of what he was given.
Lucía arrives to check on them and starts to tell them that she just saw El Niño do something…. And there he is. El Niño tells Damian he healed him. How does he feel? “Don’t you know?” El Niño grins–of course he knows. It’s hard for science to accept the lessons of faith. He advises Damian to stick around for a while. He’ll feel weak and he needs to rest–these lands are good for that.
Lucía disagrees. She wants to get him checked out after those convulsions. El Niño interrupts her. He wants her to join him at tonight’s ceremony. “The little doctor” can keep an eye on Damian. They can leave tomorrow. Mateo will guard her. He keeps staring at her as he says he has to rest now. He asks them to respect the sanctity of his house.
As soon as he’s gone, Lucía tells them about the healing of Los Choles. Damian’s all blissed out, telling Lucía not to be afraid.
Damian rests while Farca watches over him and munches on watermelon. He watches the goings-on in camp and casually walks over to a hut that Dr. Radilla and Santiago just walked out of. He finds a bottle of blue liquid at an altar and replaces it with another. Before he can leave with his stolen bottle, he hears a woman sighing behind a curtain.
There are two people behind the curtain, lying on cots, hooked up to IVs. Santiago comes up behind Farca and takes the bottle away.
Mateo takes Lucía somewhere she can get a cell signal. She asks about his leg, but he just tells her not to worry about him.
Dr. Romero is furious with Lucía when he hears that Damian is cured. The way she described his symptoms indicated a need to step up efforts in that area. He’s sending a helicopter. She tells him there’s no need to do that and he says this had better be her last mistake. She agrees it’s the last one she’ll allow herself.
Mateo thanks her for not exposing the community. Lucía says she couldn’t very well say anything–they’d think she was “crazy.” But why is it so important that word not get out? Mateo says El Niño took a vow not to go into the world. “Do you think you can hide him his whole life?” God always helps them.
In town, Lucía sees Euca and asks her why she took them to the camp. “You asked.” But anyway, how’s her friend? Lucía says he’s cured. “What kind of doctor are you? If you think he’s cured, I wouldn’t allow you to attend me.”
Mateo tells Lucía to ignore Euca. She’s not right in the head. Lucía wonders how she knew where to find El Niño. Mateo doesn’t answer. He just says she’s suffered a lot and she’s alone. El Niño asked them to leave her alone. He watches out for everyone, without exception. (Uh huh.)
Santiago puts Farca in a sack and dangles him over the water while interrogating him. (As if HE’S not the one who needs to be answering some questions! Like who the hell were those people and what’s in the IV bags?) This time El Niño’s on Santiago’s side. Not so much with the “You were trying to hurt us with your witchcraft!” accusations, but he thinks Farca’s been disrespectful after everything he’s done. He scoffs at the idea that science could analyze his reliquia and find anything.
Farca insists that’s what science does–observes, knows. El Niño takes offense, pointing out to his followers that he’s talking about science the way they talk about the Father, as if science is God. But science isn’t God because science wants to hurt the Father’s children. Can his medicine see the eyes of God? Farca says, “Of course not.” Then doesn’t God exist? Nope, not for Farca.
Santiago tells him to shut up and quit contaminating their youth with his immorality. El Niño asks the “prophet of science” if his science can save him from the crocodile. Farca thinks so, but not hanging like this. Could it save him in the water, then? Farca tells them to stop this–there are people who know where he is. The crowd starts cheering for him to be lowered into the water. A passing crocodile looks up at Farca.