El Primer Beso
Rafael drops Manara off at home, all giddy about how great she was in the studio, how professional. So, like a professional, Manara says they need to discuss his percentage.
Rafael treats that like a come-on. “The more distant you are, the more I like you.” Ew. He says they’ll discuss percentages later.
Julia’s excited to hear how it went in the studio. With Mateo. Manara tells her to drop it–she was busy recording.
Julia wants to celebrate. She invited a stylist over with a bunch of outfits so Manara can pick out what she’s wearing to Ernesto’s shindig. And, um…Manara doesn’t mind if she picks something for herself, right?
Belinda’s in the kitchen, crying, when Isaac comes home. She heard him slamming the door, what’s up? He claims the car was acting up and asks where his mom is. Belinda explains that Gilda sent her to go rest because her blood pressure was up.
“Gilda overreacts,” Isaac gripes (dude…DOCTOR). In his opinion, the only thing wrong with his mom is that she misses her son. He thinks it would be good for her to find out about the baby. “But Gilda says….” He’s tired of talking about Gilda. He suggests they go get breakfast.
Isaac takes Belinda to get an ultrasound. Um…that’s not breakfast. The tech says everything looks normal, but it’s going to be a few weeks before they know if it’s a boy or a girl. (You mean, before there might be visible genitalia and you can start pushing your child into a gender role that may or may not suit them. Just saying.)
Moisés checks out the studio/offices, bragging to Mateo that Isaac got the construction company to give them more time to pay. Speaking of Matamoros, Mateo fills him in on his plans for Manara and the single. But they need a name for the label before they can put out a single. He was thinking “JC Records.”
Moisés likes that idea. He mentions that sales for Julio César’s albums are five times higher since he died. Mateo breaks it to him that they’re going to be splitting the royalties with one more person. He didn’t want to mention it around mom, but Belinda’s pregnant.
Isaac pays off the ultrasound tech for an extra copy of the results and for sneaking them in on short notice. Belinda comes out of the exam room with her copy, crying. She misses Julio César. They talked about having a family and now she’s going to be raising this baby alone. Isaac assures her that this baby is a Solar. He’s going to take care of them both.
He says he’s going to send her home in a car while he runs errands and when he gets back, they can tell Celestina together. But he’d rather she not say anything to Gilda.
Mateo knows it wasn’t right to keep this from his dad, but since he was always with their mom…. Plus, Gilda wanted to get some tests run first.
Moisés suddenly realizes that if Isaac hasn’t been told and the press leaks it first, this is going to divide the family. Um, no, HE’s the one who divides the family by putting Isaac first. Moisés insists he’s just trying to push Isaac out of Mateo and Julio César’s shadow. So he’ll take the leap.
The what?! If Moisés is thinking about Isaac taking Julio César’s place, Mateo’s gotta tell him, as a producer, that’s not going to happen. Moisés tells Mateo he’d better change his mind, fast–when they open this label, it’s his job to make it happen. Moisés has already decided. Mateo gives a bitter “si señor.”
Isaac visits Leticia with the results. He’s determined to sell this story to Lucho to pay off his debts. It’s a few hours before her meeting with Lucho. She’ll try to get more money out of him, but she also suggests she help Isaac relax (*roll eyes*).
Gilda checks on Celestina’s blood pressure and tells her she really needs to quit worrying about everyone else. “I’m a mom. It’s my job.”
She wonders who she heard coming home and Gilda says it was Belinda. She’s in Julio César’s room. Celestina feels bad for her, but when she’s in there, Celestina can’t be in there and…she’s nice enough, but the only thing that connects her to Celestina is his memory.
Belinda looks at the test results and cries, remembering her last night with Julio César. He told the baby he loved them and their mother. She told him she hoped the baby was a girl, to pay him back for all the stuff he’d done.
Nicolas and Santiago are rehearsing Hasta el Mariachi Va a Llorar in grandpa’s practice room. Ernesto wanders in, all proud…until Santiago’s traditional rendition with slight touches of pop vocals gives way to Nicolas’ syncopated, vaguely tropical version.
Ernesto throws a fit about the greats turning in their graves. Nicolas says he’s just adding his personal style is all. Ernesto says it’s his party and HIS is the only style that matters. He puts Santiago in charge of making sure his brother sticks to tradition. Nicolas sarcastically does a bass-strum-bass-strum just to prove he can.
Itzel’s still frantically searching The Closet, to the dismay of her assistant, and finds a little velvet box inside a pair of boots. (Ew. Stinky.) She’s confused…Rafael was going to give her an anniversary ring? The assistant reluctantly says it looks more like an engagement ring.
Rafa gets home and Ernesto asks how it went with Mateo–did the call convince him? Rafa says he’s suspicious, but they’ll see. Ernesto scoffs–Mateo’s just a producer. What’s he going to do?
Ernesto’s about to take him in to hear Nicolas and Santiago when Itzel comes in ranting about the $60K ring Rafael bought. Who was he planning to give it to? Ernesto tells them to leave him out of this and argue about it in private. Itzel doesn’t intend to let this stuff stay “private.” She says Rafa and Ernesto may fight, but they’re the same trash and storms out.
Ernesto sighs. If Rafa won’t put his wife in her place, he’ll have to. No, he’s not talking about killing–that’s not his style. But if she keeps threatening them with the press… Rafa asks if he’s going to colgarle un milagrito (“attribute a miracle to her”; make her look responsible for something she isn’t). Well, sure. Something awful enough no one will ever believe her again.
Rafa isn’t sure he could do that to Itzel since he stays married to her because of the kids. Ernesto mocks him–he’s with Itzel, but he’s constantly cheating…and doing it badly, too, leaving evidence lying around like a n00b. He chuckles, asking who the current one is, is it this girl he wants to present at the party?
His smile fades when Rafa starts talking about what a great singer “Manara” is. He can’t believe that Amado offered up his sister in exchange for support on his campaign and Rafa fell for it. He rants that Amado is a human trafficker and obviously he doesn’t even care about selling his own sister to get what he wants.
Rafa gives him a bunch of bull about it being a “partnership” and wanting to grow. Yeah, and Ernesto doesn’t think you grow by attaching yourself to a politician carroñero (like a vulture). What he needs are huevos (balls) and to quit being manipulated by his wife and by that girl who’s going to have him surrounded by criminals. ¡Carajo! (fuck!) (I agree with the non-sexist version of what he’s saying, which is that Rafa needs to stop letting anybody manipulate him and be more independent if he wants to grow.)
Amado and Fierro watch a truck coming in. Fierro explains these particular victims of their human trafficking operation are from Central America, therefore they’re farther from home, more tired, and easier to catch. Amado praises him for the great job he’s doing. Fierro just wants to be worthy of this opportunity–it’s an honor to be working for Amado. (Die. Horribly. Both of you.)
And on to Fierro’s other job–spying on Manara. He tells Amado about the rehearsal/recording session earlier and how she’s planning to go to Ernesto’s homenaje. He wouldn’t advise it, considering what’s likely to go down. Bullets don’t discriminate. Amado will try to keep her away, but she’s stubborn. (Wow. Fierro. Really vying for that Hench of the Year award. Oddly I just don’t like him as much as I usually like a good competent hench. Maybe it’s the human trafficking thing.)
Mateo’s listening to Manara’s track on the new version of Fuego Cruzado when Chalino comes in. He just dropped Moisés off at the airport. He can tell something’s up with Mateo.
Mateo tells him about Valentín and Básico’s revenge plans and how he’s going to deliver Gabriel Treviño to them. Chalino says that’s premeditation–Mateo’s not a criminal! Mateo doesn’t know what else to do. No, he’s not a criminal, but it’s his fault Tito was killed. And right now Valentín and Básico are down there trying to get his body back. This whole thing keeps snowballing and he doesn’t know how to make it stop. All Chalino can offer him is “You’re not alone.”
Outside the morgue, Valentín and Básico are waiting on a shift change. Poor Básico’s so hurt he can’t even duck very well when a patrol car pulls up. But three guys came out and none went in. Valentín thinks it’s time to make his move. He tells Básico if anything goes wrong, just leave him.
Inside, the one remaining officer and two morgue attendants are talking about these being the last of the bodies that are being burned. Valentín comes in and holds them at gunpoint while he looks for Tito’s body. He has them put the body on a stretcher and start wheeling it out of the morgue and into the coroner’s van.
Outside, a truck pulls up and Básico recognizes the guys from the bus stop, including the one who gave the orders. As Valentín speeds out of the parking lot in the van, the truck starts chasing it, but the head guy stays behind on the morgue lawn. Basico takes his chance–he drives over, accuses the guy of killing his cousin, and shoots him. Then he gets out of the truck and shoots him again.
Memo bursts into Treviño’s office with the news. His brother just died. It was one of Mateo’s people. They stole a body, too, and the video cameras got it all. Treviño tells him to review the video and if it really was them then they’re going after Mateo.
Básico makes it to the meeting spot and explains why it took him so long to get there. Valentín’s pissed. There are cameras all over! Básico plays Mateo’s “But he died right next to me! What did you want me to do?!” card.
Mateo’s on his way out of the studio when Chalino comes running up to give him the news. So much for the “truce” with Treviño. Chalino suggests calling Rafa, but Mateo’s had it with that liar and he’s not going to do like his dad and kiss their asses just because they’re the Zabalas. He’s going to go deal with this himself, and in a way that doesn’t risk anyone’s life but his.
But first, he’s going to go have some fun. He facetiously asks Chalino if he knows Matamoros’ address.
Somehow, Memo recognizes Básico from the tiny, low-quality surveillance footage. He wants to go after him now, but Gabriel says they’re not going to behave like Mateo did after his brother was killed. No, they’ll wait for the homenaje and get Amado and Mateo both.
At the event venue, Gabriel shows his henches where the party will be. And presumably where they will NOT be, because he’s designated the parking lot as the place where everyone’s getting filled with lead.
Amado goes to Manara’s room while she’s in the middle of changing. (Does he have some kind of creep radar for that? Oh, no, I just skeeved myself out…he has cameras in her room, doesn’t he?) He starts trying to talk her out of going to the concert, saying it could be dangerous.
Manara tells him to deal with his own business and stay out of hers, but Amado insists there’s no separation. OK, look, is he seriously asking her to NOT have her professional debut at the side of the guy he used her to entice, singing a song in honor of the idol of the moment, who just died? How often does he think this chance is going to happen?
So her answer is–she’s going unless he locks her in and swallows the key. Before Amado can respond, Agustina tells him Mateo just arrived. Something about a payment? Amado remembers that’s the other thing Manara didn’t mention–Mateo’s producing the single.
He saunters out, telling her to get pretty–the payment thing is just a pretext. Mateo’s here to see her. (I hate that he’s right.)
Downstairs, Mateo hands Amado a suitcase. He knows Isaac arranged to delay the payments, but the project is going so well, Mateo wanted to do something nice for Amado. They move into the study while Amado pours drinks and brings up Manara. Yeah, Mateo thinks the homage is going to be a good opportunity for her. And oh, look, there she is.
Manara greets Mateo and Amado makes himself scarce after saying he’s so happy he and Mateo are forging this business and artistic partnership. Mateo tosses off a barely believable “It’s nice that your brother supports you.” Manara gives an even less believable “Yeah, right?”
Mateo suggests they go out. He does this with all his artists. To get to know them outside the studio. She could show him LA.
Fierro reports that Manara went out with Mateo. He offers to follow them. Amado tells him to go for it.
Leticia goes up to meet with Lucho while Isaac waits in the parking garage. She hands over the folder full of medical exams, which she assures him no one else has seen. Lucho is pleased. He can use this to start speculation about whether it’s really Julio César’s baby.
Leticia also has the ultrasound video on a USB drive. Lucho offers her double, but only if she spends the night with him.
Ooh, no can do. Not tonight. She has a counteroffer, though. Isaac Solar is the one who gave her all this and he’s waiting downstairs for her. She can keep giving him good information–for which he will pay–and when Isaac launches her career, Lucho can help her out there too. She could be an endless source of front-page gossip.
Gilda finds Belinda sleeping in Julio César’s bed. And the folder of test results. Belinda wakes up and Gilda asks if Isaac put her up to this.
Leticia gets back to the car with the good news–she got him fifteen instead of five. Isaac says it’s not much, but it’s better than nothing. He wants to go celebrate at a hotel, but Leticia has to get to work.
Work? But he’s going to make her famous! She asks how much longer that’s going to take. Because until then she has to work. “Oh, ye of little faith.” He says he’s going to be making great strides, both onstage and off.
Ernesto joins his grandsons on Hasta el Mariachi Va a Llorar. He doesn’t seem to mind Nicolas chiming in with a grito while Santiago sings a few lines. And he also doesn’t seem to mind the sweet pop sound Nicolas has when it’s his turn to sing.
I wish we could hear more of the harmony when all three start singing the chorus, but Rafa interrupts to talk to Ernesto. First, though, Ernesto wants to know what Rafa’s planning to do about the fact that the publicist is going to be promoting this duet with Manara at the event. Does Itzel know? Rafa tells him to worry about the publicity and he’ll worry about Itzel.
Whatever Rafa wanted to say to him gets lost. Instead, Ernesto leaves and says he’ll be right back–they should go on without him. But the boys would rather confront their dad about how their mom’s been locked in her room crying. Rafa doesn’t appreciate them getting into his business, but Nicolas says until he starts respecting their mother, things are not going to be OK between them. Can’t he act like a man? Santiago pulls them apart as Rafa’s cell starts buzzing.
Insult to injury…it’s Amaro calling to gloat that he warned Rafa Mateo was going to steal Manara away. Hey, women have caused wars, mi rey! He’s got a chaperone on them, though. It’s up to Rafa–does he want Mateo killed? It would be a risk for Amaro, but hey, he promised he’d help him.
Rafa says there are other ways to settle things. Amado disagrees–this is their last chance before Manara really gets hooked on Mateo. They could always make it look like a robbery. So, what does he say?
Itzel finds Rafa in their bedroom looking stressed out and actually seems concerned. He’s worried about “his” stuff. She remembers when it used to be theirs. When he used to want her all the time.
Rafa reminds her it’s “used to.” Not anymore. He doesn’t want to be with her, trying to keep this family together, putting up with her jealous tantrums.
Itzel keeps from throwing one of those tantrums and says he can have a divorce in exchange for half his assets. Rafa laughs. “Nothing is in my name!” Except…Julio César’s royalties and the partnership with the Solars. She wants that in exchange for keeping her mouth shut.
Itzel remembers the look on Rafael’s face when he heard Julio César got shot. He wasn’t surprised or upset…he was relieved. (I didn’t realize she was there.) She’s sure Rafael had him killed to get him out of the way. His music would sell better and Rafa would be able to get the money to get free of his father. He killed two birds with one stone.
Fine. If she wants money, he’ll give her money, but she’d better leave him alone. “And get dressed, because I’m not touching you.” Itzel says he’s going to be sorry. She hates him!
Ernesto, Santiago, and Nicolas are rehearsing again…or still…. They hear Itzel’s car leaving and Nicolas says he’s had enough. He’s going to go break his dad’s face in. Ernesto tells them both to stay out of it–this is a relationship problem. She may be their mother, but she’s also a grown woman.
And then he cracks a joke, saying this is why he never got married or wanted a partner. But he’s going to bring one home one of these days–one their age, so they can see their grandpa’s still got it. (Nicolas doesn’t look like he thinks it’s funny. I’m with him.)
Rafa’s in The Closet. Ernesto comes in, all sarcastic, asking what’s wrong. Did he tell Itzel he’s leaving her? Or is he having trouble snagging Manara?
Rafa says he’s sick of Ernesto acting like he knows everything. He’s going to get free of him, get out on his own, change his genre, whatever it takes to get away from his “dynasty.” Ernesto says if he weren’t a Zabala he’d be nobody. No matter where he goes, Ernesto’s going to defend his good name to the death–and he doesn’t mean that as a figure of speech.
Rafa can do whatever he wants to, but he’d better get his wife under control or Ernesto will have to do it himself.
Yeah, Mateo lied about not knowing LA. He wants to take Manara somewhere…inspirational.
At a scenic overlook, they marvel at the lights and the city. Julio César always said if you conquer LA, you conquer the world. Manara says he did. “Yeah, and it killed him.”
He’s sorry, he just…misses his brother. He doesn’t know how to live without him.
From his car, Fierro watches. He puts his gun up on the dashboard. Because he likes to be prepared.
Manara talks about how Julia was young when their mom died. Having to take care of her gave Manara strength. Mateo gets that. He’s got a lot of people he loves who love him, and the strength is there, but…how do you fight the way you feel?
You don’t. You cling to the things that nurture you, to music. My mother always said songs were always feelings that were sung and heard. That that’s why people can’t live without music.
Mateo tells her that after he heard her the other day and now she’s in front of him and he can touch her, he can only think of one thing–he doesn’t want to let her go.
They share a very cinematic kiss. I think Fierro gets a little misty-eyed, watching them. But then Manara starts getting creeped out and thinks she heard a noise. Mateo jokes that it could be a polar bear or a naked Chinese guy–this is LA, after all. He’ll go check it out and if he screams “RUN” she should run.
Hey, what happened to not letting her go? They get back to kissing and somehow doesn’t see Fierro at all. Fierro enjoys the show. I think he’s a Matnara ‘shipper.
Fierro calls Amado to tell him things are getting hot and heavy out here. Does Amado want him to do something about it?
I find Amado’s answer a bit confusing. He says someone is still upset over Julio César’s death and if he kills Mateo “he’ll” open his mouth and that won’t do him (Amado) any good. But go ahead and scare his (Amado’s) sister, so she’ll behave herself.
Amado finds Julia asleep on the couch. She was waiting for Manara to come home. Is it true she went out with Mateo like Agustina said?
Amado says Agustina’s a chismosa. And he doesn’t know who she went out with…but he does know he’s going to need a list of everything they bought today and what it cost. Julia pouts that she would have bought all of it, but what’s the point? She can’t even go to Monterrey.
Ah, but he’s decided that because of her good grades she can buy everything she wants AND he’s taking her with him to see Manara perform. (Wow. Really risking things, aren’t you?)
Manara breaks off another long kiss just at about the time someone stops in the entrance to this parking lot or whatever it is and starts flashing their lights. Mateo’s annoyed and wants to go over and see what the guy’s problem is. Manara watches, worried, as the car starts playing chicken with Mateo.