Monday 12/05/16 #93
AJ wants the whole story–is Chivis also in love with Manuel? Well, Stella hates to say it, but yes. Her evidence? Who would get rid of a car without having a new one? That’s good enough for AJ. Alrighty then, he’s going to help her get Manuel back. He starts explaining his plan.
AJ gets home, washes an apple he doesn’t eat, and shows off his new business contract to Chivis. Then he heads upstairs to rest, which I think is code for “To avoid giving Chivis the chance to say anything about her relationship with Manuel.”
When the guys get home, Stella’s celebrating with a beer. All she’ll tell them is that Toño Pepe is an angel, she’s getting Manuel back, and she wants them to help her pack.
It’s Chivis’ birthday tomorrow. AJ gathers the rest of the family for a top-secret meeting. They’re going to pretend they don’t remember it’s her birthday all day and then surprise her with dinner.
Ugh, this is going to hurt! Lupita usually brings Chivis breakfast in bed on her birthday, so when she knocks on the door in the morning, Chivis isn’t expecting her to hand the tray to Trini. Trini suddenly realizes she forgot to tell Chivis…Chivis gets all excited…that she had a terrible dream last night.
Chivis goes in to wake up the other two and Angie’s already up and heading for the shower. Oops, she forgot…her brush. Majo hugs her mom and says today is a special day…it’s the first day of her (Majo’s) new life. The girls celebrate their primo acting job while Chivis shuffles off to the kitchen to fix breakfast.
In the kitchen, AJ’s making himself a tray so he can eat upstairs, which means Chivis is going to have breakfast alone. Lupita and Angie had to rush off to school and Majo went back to sleep. She complains that if it’s to scold her nobody will leave her alone, but the minute she wants company….
AJ says he knows what this is really about…it’s that time of the month. (Adding that to my grudge list, AJ.)
Alone in the kitchen, Chivis toasts to her birthday with her sad little cup of coffee.
Chivis gets to work and pouts to Manuel. He can kind of understand the rest of the family barely knowing what day it is, what with all the drama. He still thinks they’ll remember later. Or maybe they’re planning a surprise?
But whatever, he’s going to take her out. Chivis doesn’t know how she’ll get out, but she’ll think of something. She promises next year they won’t have to sneak around.
Manuel has her leave the office and walk back in so he can wish her a happy birthday when she walks in. He’s so damn cute.
AJ finds Trini vacuuming the kitchen floor and tells her to cut that out and help him with Chivis’ surprise…or did she spill the beans already? Trini tells him how it broke her heart this morning to disappoint Chivis, but he says they’re going to make it up to her. He makes a call to someone about bringing some stuff over and then starts to tell Trini about his plan.
Angie tries to quiz Jorge on stuff for their biology test. ADN stands for ácido desoxirribonucleico which makes it sound even more hardcore than it does in English. And takes me on a five minute tangent about whether or not it’s realistic for their school and Lucha’s school to have all their classes in Spanish.
Um, anyway, Jorge tells Angie to give up on quizzing him because he’s just stupid. She thinks he’s lazy and not interested in biology. He brings up AJ’s return and wonders if they’ll go back to Coral Gables and whether she’ll break up with him. The answers are “I don’t know” and “no.”
Trini stops by the bakery to ask Benito for a boring birthday cake for Chivis. Chocolate. With nothing written on it. And she wants him to look her in the eyes one last time and see all the things she can’t say to him or some nonsense like that. Benito doesn’t get it. (Although at this point, I’m guessing that the thing she can’t say is that dinner isn’t the only surprise and they’re moving out today.)
Andres has just finished telling one of his buds that he’s turned the page, he’s flipped the switch, he’s not going to pine over a woman who didn’t love him. They make plans involving beers. And the next thing he knows, Majo is at his door.
She came to ask his forgiveness and he gives it to her so he can shut the door and get rid of her. But no, she keeps talking. She couldn’t marry him because she wasn’t sure she loved him. He yells at her that she had several opportunities to call it off, but she waited until the last minute. She’s a bad person.
She tells him to let it all out and he does. Mostly about how selfish she is. Sure, she can “imagine” how much it sucked to get left at the altar, but he was actually there. And she didn’t even show up herself to do it–she sent her dad. She whines that it would have been worse if she’d done it herself. Oh, sure, it would have been–for her. But it would have been less painful for him. Anyway, he’s done, he doesn’t want to see her anymore, and if she doesn’t want to run into his parents she’d better leave now.
Lupita. Pedrito. She’s rolling dough for something. He hopes they don’t give her mom a heart attack with her birthday surprise.
Manuel tries to shop for a birthday present for Chivis, but nothing in the shopping center is inspiring him. He gets an idea….
Whoa! When Stella said “pack” she meant everything. (I have this horrible feeling that AJ’s moving Chivis and the family out of the duplex and moving Stella in.) Dom’s anxious because she won’t tell him where they’re going, but Poncho’s more worried that Génesis isn’t answering his calls.
But they’ve got bigger worries, because Javito got out of his carrier! They play it cool and he reappears. From this point on, the role of Javito will be played by…a remote control car with a box on top of it. Te lo juro, that’s what it looks like.
We skip the part where they get him back into his carrier. Poncho and Stella do insulting impressions–he does Stella and she does Génesis–until Poncho goes to find the real Génesis in person.
Andres is back at school, drinking coffee and not booze. Lucía’s sure it’s the best thing for him. He complains that he feels like everyone’s staring at him and laughing. He mentions Majo’s visit–to get forgiveness or whatever it was she wanted. He doesn’t care. She’s dead to him.
Manuel sends Chivis a voice message, telling her to meet him at 3 at a restaurant near the market. Right after Chivis sends him one saying she’ll be there, Angie and Majo come to take her to her birthday dinner.
Manuel gets to the restaurant.
So does Chivis…to a completely different restaurant. Where AJ, Lupita, and Trini are waiting. Yeah, what a “nice” surprise.
Tuesday 12/06/16 #94
Ugh. Dinner. Chivis keeps checking her phone, but I guess she doesn’t want to risk texting Manuel in front of AJ. His “toast” for her birthday is threatening…”We’ll always be a family…I’ll always be here for you no matter where you are.” Creep.
Manuel waits so long he’s finished his beer and starts in on the michelada he ordered for Chivis. The server tries to make him feel better by agreeing that absolutely, women always make you wait, yep they take so much longer to get ready. He orders an appetizer so he’s not drunk when she gets there.
Chivis tries to check her messages, but everybody (except Angie) gives her a hard time. AJ looks menacing when Chivis says she might have messages about work. Angie swipes the phone before he can and says she’ll keep an eye on it. AJ says it’s time for them to go see his present for Chivis and she looks terrified.
Manuel tells the friendly server that he totally got his days mixed up. He’ll be back tomorrow for the real date. He orders a tequila and asks for the check. The present he ended up getting was a picture of them on the boat, with a frame that has seashells on it.
And AJ’s present? Their old house. Chivis is in shock as he says he’s giving back what he took from her. (Actually no, jerk! You’re taking away everything she did for herself.) Everyone else is happy, of course, and nobody seems to care how Chivis feels. Happy frickin’ birthday.
Manuel gets home in a bad mood already and having to help Pedrito with his homework doesn’t help. He’s supposed to figure out the state of matter of various things, including yogurt. (Dude…I…we just looked it up and I’m still not sure. Liquid? Solid?) Pedro can tell something’s up…is that present for Chivis? He heard it’s her birthday.
Some birthday. AJ got all their old stuff back plus the stuff from the duplex is in their rooms. Chivis seems to be the only one feeling the horror of AJ blithely demonstrating how much power he has over their lives.
Vicente finds Manuel in his room. Lucía and Andres are out back, he informs him. And also Pedrito says he’s upset, so spill.
Manuel tells him about everyone forgetting Chivis’ birthday, so he asked her out to dinner…and she stood him up. He’s been trying to call, but she’s not answering. He’s sure AJ must have done something. Vicente agrees AJ’s complicating everything.
Vicente is sure things are going to work out with Manuel and Chivis. Manuel’s starting to doubt it. He tells Vicente he’s really in love with Chivis. Vicente is impressed that he’s admitting it. Manuel’s laying it all out–he’s afraid Chivis is going to get back together with her husband. And he doesn’t think he can live without her.
Vicente reminds Manuel that he didn’t know how he was going to survive after Vicente’s mom died, but he did it. This should be easy in comparison. If Chivis says she loves him, then he needs to trust in that.
AJ finds Chivis in her old room. She lets him have it–he took everything away from her again. (Called it!) He’s doing this to manipulate her. (Called that one too!) She’s not some piece of furniture he can just move from one house to another. He should have talked to her about this. He’s making all the same mistakes all over again. (Sing it, Chivis!)
AJ points out that none of his things are here because he’s “respecting” her decision and he’s not going to live in the house. She’ll see. In a few days she’ll be happy.
And what about his “nocturnal house arrest”? Oh, his new lawyer got that removed. They’re arguing about what happened to Chivis’ house–AJ insists it wasn’t her house–when the rest of the family comes in. Everyone but Angie praises AJ while I glare at them. Seriously, Chivis busted her butt to support them and they were never this lovey with her, but AJ runs another scam (because I’m sure his “business deal” isn’t legit) and he’s a “saint.”
Stella still doesn’t tell the guys where they’re going, but she does tell them that when AJ was over they realized there’s a problem with the house’s foundation and it could all come down on them at any second. So she found them someplace else to live until they get the money together the fix the house.
Majo shrieks and brings Angie running. It’s nothing bad–AJ just got her a new elliptical machine. Angie thinks this is all…weird. Lupita, shrieking about her new comforter that’s not a Barbie one, agrees with Majo. Everything’s perfect, their dad is the best, blah blah blah, Angie should be happy. Lupita hopes their parents aren’t getting divorced after all. Majo sobers up and looks over at Angie.
That creep Marge comes over to Jorge’s to gloat. How’s he doing now that the neighbors are gone? What, he didn’t know? There was a truck outside earlier–everyone is talking about it.
Jorge calls Angie and she says it’s true, her dad moved them all back to Coral Gables, to their old house, as a surprise. Of course nobody’s separating them! They’re going to stay together because the love each other. She can visit him, he can visit her. And they’ll see each other in school tomorrow.
Gosh, Marge is sorry to break it to him but…does he really think Angie’s going to keep coming to their school?
AJ makes a big production of leaving. He doesn’t even care that Lupita is in tears, since he’s more concerned with sticking it to Chivis. She and Majo shoot daggers at Chivis after he’s gone. I vote Chivis moves out and leaves them with AJ, bunch of ungrateful creeps!
She asks Angie for her cell phone and Angie says it’s upstairs and Manuel has called 100 times. Trini tells Chivis she hopes she’s not going to waste her second chance and she’s going to forget about fish and fishermen. And then she tells Angie “Be careful.” The what?!
Lucha and Andres are having wine and cheese and bread and fruit out in the back yard. They talk about the food, the election…and then Andres downs the rest of his glass. Lucha reminds him he’s gotten drunk the last few days in a row. Andres gives her a bunch of crap for getting after him and then admits he feels better when he drinks and it helps him forget that he’s sad.
Manuel and Vicente come outside, where Jorge’s trying the gate and Marge is still gloating. Manuel and Vicente get the news–the neighbors moved out and no one know about it but AJ.
Wednesday 12/07/16 #95
The guys agree, it must have been a surprise. Majo didn’t say anything to Vicente. Jorge thinks it had something to do with Chivis’ birthday. Manuel knew AJ was a schemer, but he wasn’t expecting this. No wonder Chivis wasn’t answering her phone.
Marge laughs and asks why he’s calling her so much and Jorge and I explode at pretty much the same time. Jorge reminds her that’s his dad and tells her to have some respect. I said something considerably ruder.
The wall appliqué on Lupita’s wall reads “Every day I love you more/today more than yesterday/and much less than tomorrow.” I dig the foil hearts.
And I’m trying to cut her some slack because she’s a kid and she doesn’t understand why things are happening and nobody ever bothers to tell her the truth, so she has to make things up for herself. In this case, it’s that their parents were only getting a divorce because her dad had gone away. Majo tries to convince her to trust that their parents are going to make the best decision for them.
I have to give Majo props for convincing Lupita if she wants to pray for something, to pray for their parents to be happy, not “together.” Because she doesn’t want them together, but fighting all the time and yelling at each other and stuff, right?
Lupita suddenly realizes she’s going to miss sleeping in the same room with her sisters. And Pedrito! And isn’t Majo going to miss Vicente? The phone dings on cue and Majo hides the screen from Lupita.
Lucha reminds Andres that alcohol’s not going to solve his problems. She suggests they switch to soft drinks, which they both get a laugh out of because they’re…let’s say lacking in any health benefits. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
Chivis locks herself in her bedroom with the TV going and tries to call Manuel, but now he won’t pick up. Angie comes to see her. Chivis’ bedroom is the size of that entire duplex. I swear, it takes her a week to get to the door and let Angie in.
Anyway, Angie understands that this is upsetting her and she can see what her dad is trying to do, but she doesn’t think they have to go along with it. She’s certainly not going to break up with Jorge and she doesn’t think her mom should give up Manuel if she loves him. In fact, she thinks now is a good time to date him and think about what it is she wants. Her dad’s not even living there, so now she’s really separated and all she has to do is finalize the divorce.
Majo hangs out in her room remembering the day Vicente was listening in on her phone call to Andres and gave her the long, convoluted instructions for how to get to Coral Gables from the duplex. She calls and finds out Vicente’s whole family knows already. She makes sure to tell him it was a big surprise for all of them. She does miss having him right next door. Vicente whines about wanting to see her right now, but she says they’ll have to wait. The important thing, though, is that she calls him “mi amor.”
AJ gets moved into his new digs, which look suspiciously like his old digs–hideout hotel 1? 2? AJ’s fussing to Esteban about how Chivis didn’t immediately love the new living arrangements. He likes the way Esteban supports him without knowing the whole story and he gets an idea that maybe Esteban needs to know more…as in, Esteban needs to spy on the family for him. Esteban’s all for it, as long as he gets paid.
Yep, Stella and the boys are moving in to the duplex. Dom’s terrified that she killed Chivis and her family and buried them out back. Stella says things just worked out…Chivis moved back to Coral Gables like Stella always knew she would, AJ was renting the house, and since their house needed repairs he offered to let her live there. Poncho knows what’s really going on–that schemer AJ set this up so Stella could try to snag Manuel again. Stella angrily admits it’s true, and so what?
Lucha kicks Andres out so she can study and possibly get some sleep so she doesn’t look so tired when they count votes tomorrow for Med School Student Body President. He tries to kiss her, but…I think she’d rather he not be drunk and/or heartbroken.
Casa Stella 2.0. Unpacking. Bickering. I ignore them.
Marge comes home and happily announces that the fresas are gone! Yeah, that’s not happy news for Benito. Since Marge doesn’t care, it’s Juanito who has to try to comfort Benito.
On top of all her other problems, Lupita comes to sleep in Chivis’ bed and talks non-stop about her parents getting back together.
Manuel comes out to his balcony and learns the horrible truth–he’s stuck with Stella for a neighbor. When she’s done gloating, she goes back inside.
Manuel says to the empty balcony “Good night, Chivis. Don’t forget that I love you.” On her balcony in Coral Gables, Chivis says the same thing to Manuel.
In the morning, Chivis reminds Angie and Lupita they’re going to have to get up a lot earlier to make it to school on time. And they’ll have to figure out how they’re getting there and back. Lupita is sure her dad has everything worked out. Speaking of AJ, in he walks. Of course he has the keys. It’s “his” house. (GRRRRR!) At least he agrees the girls won’t have to change schools. They head for the car while Chivis asks him where her van is.
Lucía doesn’t win the election. Andres comes over to console her while Mauro goes to make sure the votes were counted properly.
Yes, AJ, she still wants to work. He says he sent the van to the market for her…and look, here’s Esteban, their new chauffeur.
Thursday 12/08/16 #96
Lucía may have lost the election, but she still wants to work on getting the med students more involved in social causes and volunteering at the hospital.
Trini’s back in her element and Benito is missing her something fierce. She chirps happily to him about being back where she belongs and mocks him for saying he misses her when it hasn’t even been a day. When he asks to come see her, she pretends her phone is getting interference and hangs up on him.
Chivis gets to Manuel’s office and starts the explanations…and excuses…and the promises that she’s not going to forget him, even if they live on opposite poles. She gets him thinking about when they met and cracking his bad jokes and kissing and it looks like it’s all going to be ok…and Stella wanders by those open office blinds and takes a picture.
Don Jonas shows up at the market, trying to talk to Poncho, but Dom and Vicente keep trying to distract Don J and help Poncho out. Dom keeps joking about his octopus being in “50 Most Beautiful” in Pulpol en Español *snort* and then Vicente mentions some bad sci-fi movie with an octopus ripping apart a ship and frozen vampires and it turns out Don Jonas is a bad sci-fi movie fan…but he will not be distracted!
All this just to give Poncho a “don’t mess with my daughter” warning. Poncho assures him that the “wife and three kids” story is a lie. Well, Don J hopes so because he doesn’t want to have to settle things some other way…like with the gun he’s carting around with him.
AJ goes by the school to tell the Vice Principal he’s pulling Lupita out of school. She knows it’s up to him, but she cautions him that so many changes could be traumatic to Lupita and affect her education. AJ smarms that this isn’t just any change, she’s going back to the school she’s been in since Kindergarten.
And what about Angie? She’s on the verge of taking the state exams and graduating. AJ gives her a big fake grin and says he gets it–she’s worried that losing a student like Angie is going to affect the school’s overall average.
At least he’s leaving Angie, but he keeps being a jerk about how her school’s going to get to keep its funding. And then he asks her to keep it a secret and asks for info on the PTA and now I get it–he’s letting Angie stay here so he has a way to get to Manuel. And also, IMO, because he knows Angie isn’t going to put up with being taken out of school and since she’s 18 she could take off on him.
Chivis and Manuel keep talking and joking and she tells him about her balcony–it’s bigger, but it has way less history and there’s certainly no neighbor to talk to. In fact she doesn’t even know her neighbors out there! As for AJ…he’s not staying at the house, so she’s officially separated.
Manuel starts asking all the questions I’ve been annoyed no one is asking–What’s going on with the court case? Where did the money come from? What scam is AJ working now? And my additional question: Why does Chivis believe him when he says he’s got it all under control?
Chivis is still hesitant about dating Manuel openly, even though she likes the idea. And now Manuel is getting insecure because she keeps putting him off. But a little more mushiness from Chivis and he gets over it.
He gives her her birthday present, with the picture from the Key West trip that I forgot he was supposed to have erased. He says he only saved this one picture in his email so the grandkids could see how hot their grandparents were.
Poncho interrupts–he needs to talk to both of them. He didn’t have anything to do with them moving into Chivis’ old house. Oh…right…Chivis didn’t know. Poncho hates to bring it up but he’s sure AJ had something to do with it. Now Manuel’s incensed again and sees this as a sign that AJ and Stella are working together.
Jorge and Angie are having a perfectly lovely reunion after classes are over when Marge comes over to start trouble again. Jorge and Angie blow her off and make plans to go over to Angie’s.
Out by the pool, Majo runs into Trini. Majo can tell she’s missing Benito. And she admits that she’s missing Vicente and that he’s the reason she didn’t marry Andres. I notice the bolsters on the lounge chairs and the side tables are actually rolled-up towels. I like it!
Trini hits a new low, telling Majo she has no future with Vicente because it would be like a fancy French poodle mating with a mutt. At least Majo’s not buying that classist crap anymore and she’s pissed that Trini is calling her love “enthusiasm.” Majo’s following her heart, so there!
The maid announces there’s a young man here to see Miss Maria José…it’s Vicente!
Friday 12/09/16 #97
Majo and Vicente are so happy to see each other they don’t even let Trini and her complaining about their kisses get them down. What does get them down is when she tries to throw Vicente out and points out how big the house is to illustrate that he should be able to tell he doesn’t belong here. Still, Vicente jokes that the size of the house explains why Trini’s in such good shape.
Trini just keeps getting uglier from there, talking about money and hair color. Majo gets angrier and angrier and Vicente keeps defending himself and not letting Trini get the upper hand. She eventually flees since Vicente won’t back down.
Now it’s just Majo and Vicente and she brags about the juice he’s drinking. She made it herself. From a powder. Hey, this is a really big step for her! He should be proud! (I admit, that was funny.) Trini watches from the balcony and seethes because they’re being all loud and happy and flirty. (*roll eyes*)
Lucha and Andres come back to her house after spending some time volunteering at the hospital. They joke around about when they met and how she couldn’t stand fresas and she accidentally mentions Majo. There goes the mood, but some more joking from Andres and they get back to that flirty place.
AJ comes over to visit Stella and chokes on the multiple air fresheners she’s spraying to deal with the smell of the onions she just chopped. She’s looking forward to getting Manuel back and AJ’s sure she can do it. Esteban comes knocking on the door to talk to AJ and once they get a look at each other AJ can tell they know each other.
They air out all their dirty laundry in front of him and AJ gets tired of listening to it. He sends Esteban back to the car and seems angry…as if he’s worried Stella’s going to lose sight of Manuel as her objective.
Majo decides Vicente should go before her dad gets back. They kiss goodbye in the driveway, but she’s worried about that too. And her concerns aren’t entirely unfounded because Steve gets home with Angie and Lupita. And Lupita, the little chismosa, makes sure to tell Steve why it’s so interesting that Majo’s over there macking on their former neighbor.
Lupita goes over to pick on them and ask Vicente not to say anything to Pedrito about the house so it’ll be a total surprise when he sees it. The girls go inside and Steve takes it upon himself, as AJ’s “right hand,” to start hassling Vicente and throw him off the property.
Stella comes over to borrow some plastic wrap from Manuel and suggest they start carpooling to work. He’s more interested in how she ended up living next door…and he’s pretty sure it has something to do with Antonio José. He moves his whole family out without even talking to them about it and suddenly Stella moves in–it doesn’t take much to figure out who was behind it.
She keeps up with her stupid story about this all being a big coincidence. Then she tries to get him to kiss her to prove to him that he can’t resist. Um, no.
Jorge makes his way to the house on foot and gets intercepted by AJ. While AJ starts working on making it clear Jorge’s not welcome, Angie’s inside worrying about what to wear and teasing Majo about kissing Vicente in the driveway. And naïve Lupita thinks her dad wouldn’t mind Majo dating Vicente because he doesn’t mind Angie dating Jorge.
AJ is tired of his hints not being understood comes right out and tells Jorge to go home, never come back, and never see his daughter again. Jorge doesn’t get it. He and Angie are doing fine, they haven’t talked about breaking up, and they certainly aren’t going to just because she moved. AJ tells him to wise up–he’s never going to be able to give Angie the life she deserves. (I wish her were recording this conversation because AJ’s sure to spin it once Angie hears.)
AJ tells Jorge not to breathe a word of this to Angie. He pushes Jorge toward the gate and tells him to leave.
Dom stops by Benito’s for his first trip ever and walks out with one of everything. On credit.
Marge sees Benito moping in the living room and gives him a hard time about it, but he’s made up his mind. He’s in love with Trini and she’d better get used to the idea because he’s determined to get her back.
Since she’s already pissed off one granddaughter, Trini gets to work on the other two. She disses their school, disses their uniforms, disses Jorge, disses Jorge’s potentially huge salary as a fútbol player as “common” money. When Chivis gets home, Angie tells her that grandma’s being annoying.
Trini makes a big deal out of Vicente’s visit and Chivis takes Majo off to talk about it in private. In the meantime, Angie and Lupita both tell Trini she’s being way out of line. Trini agrees, she doesn’t know what’s gotten into her. She considers it might be the whiskey, but…nah.
Javito’s been depressed since they moved into the new house. Dom tries coaxing him out with some pastries from Benito’s, which doesn’t work. He bites Dom, though, so that’s normal, right?
Lucha gets home from somewhere or other and it’s the first time Manuel’s seen her today. She has to break it to him that she didn’t win the election. He, of course, thinks she will next time.
Poncho and Dom have a little talk about whether Poncho’s still in love with Stella or not. He is, but he’s given up. If he’s learned anything from watching her chase Manuel it’s that you can’t force love. Javito whines in solidarity.
The big talk Chivis wanted to have with Majo was to scold her about sneaking around with Vicente and getting back into the same old habits where she’s lying again. If what Majo wants is a relationship with Vicente, she needs to be honest about it and talk to her dad. And BTW, Chivis supports her. “What?!” (Why is she surprised? When did Chivis ever not support her?)