Episode 21: Chantaje
Moisés reiterates that Itzel can stay, and she can stay in the house, but he wants Mateo to “respect” her and respect that she was married to Rafa. Hey, if it means Moisés will stomp on Rafa, Mateo will agree to anything. He teases his dad that he understands his concern–Moisés would go for her too.
On a slightly related note, Mateo knows he’s been distracted since Julio César’s death and that’s over. He’s going to focus on the family and the label. He’s proud of his dad for making this decision.
Rafa thinks Itzel’s doing everything to get to him. (You’re so vain…you probably think this chisme’s about you….) Neto thinks they should let Lucho spread the chisme and make her look like a “pervert.” Rafa thinks he’s the one who’d end up looking like a fool.
No, the way to get back at her and Mateo is with Manara’s single. Neto scoffs–theirs is música regional, which has a way bigger following than pop. Rafa whines that he does música urbana (for about the last minute and a half, yeah) and it’s not genre that’s important, it’s talent. Neto reminds him the Solar name is worth “less” than Zabala and if he doesn’t kick ass with this single the press is going to have a field day.
Elena has already started interviewing Amado. She plays a recording for Lorenzo while failing to keep the contemptuous smirk off her face. It’s Amado talking about how even in the orphanage he always stood up for the weaker kids. He wants to become mayor to help the needy.
She laughs that it’s all lies and cheap populism. But she’s got enough for a first chapter. And she has an appointment with the orphanage to look at their records. Lorenzo warns her to be careful. She shouldn’t underestimate him. Elena thinks Amado’s the one who shouldn’t underestimate her.
Anyway, she’s off to LA to interview Rafa Zabala’s ex. It’s a favor for someone…but she heard rumors. She met Amado at Julio César’s funeral and Amado was building the JC Records studio, and Rafa’s a partner at JC Records. Rafa probably recommended him. She doesn’t know if there are any other links between them, but who better than an angry ex to tell her?
He thinks he’s sooooo smart
Amado comes home to find his house has been invaded by Manara’s wardrobe. “Can’t you work at the record label?!” Rafa’s there, and so is Candelaria, the stylist Bianco recommended. She has pink hair in two upside-down Dutch braids ending in buns to show she’s both cool AND has good manual dexterity. She’s off to go take some measurements. Amado’s glad Rafa got Bianco to take an interest in Manara.
Amado and Rafa go upstairs, where Rafa brags that he’s working on getting that union support from his dad by doing what Amado did to him–baiting him with Leticia.
At the ranch…Leticia opted to sing Que Pase la Siguiente for her audition for Neto. With much pop styling. But Neto says it was good and asks where she learned to sing. Oh…the church choir. (You’re really overplaying it here, Leti.) “No wonder you sing like an angel.” She’s also in college. And she takes care of kids in her spare time. (Spoke too soon….) Neto jokes that maybe she could take care of Nico and Santi one of these days. Everybody laughs.
Anyway, she can sing something else if he wants. Neto quite openly looks at her chest as he turns her down and says he’ll give her a private audition some other time. He walks her out while the guys snicker. Santi thought it was funny how she was coming on to Neto, but then talking like she’s a nun. Nico thought she had her little something-something vocally, but…wow, yeah, dad and grandpa. What a pair of machos!
“If only they knew,” Santi adds. And then it gets awkward.
Casa Matamoros…Amado questions whether Neto would fall for it. Rafa says they’re both alike. Amado did it with him–using Manara as bait–and it totally worked. Amado asks if they’re together.
Almost. She’s staying away from Mateo. But Rafa thinks she’s hesitating because she feels like Amado pushed her into it. No, worries, though, he’s just throwing influential people at her–who can resist that? He’ll just sit around and wait and she’ll come to him. He laughs. (What a chump.)
Manara’s trying on a dress for Candelaria when Bianco calls. She thanks him for setting her up with Candelaria. He’ll be in LA soon to record. She hopes this means he’ll be coming to the presentation. He asks about Rafa, but he doesn’t want to talk to him…and she probably shouldn’t mention the call either. They should keep their relationship quiet.
Manara wants him to clarify what that means. Nothing. He knows she doesn’t like to owe favors and she doesn’t owe him anything. He just likes her and wants to help her. In that case, she looks forward to seeing him soon.
She hands the phone back to Candelaria and Bianco tells her to keep a close eye on Manara. She’s the one he’s been looking for.
Los hermanos Zabala
Nicolas and Santiago have some juice on the lawn. Nico asks about…him.
Santi says his name’s Fernando. He was one of the servers at the homenaje. Nicolas realizes that’s why he recognized him. He’s sure Neto didn’t, though. He was so preoccupied at the event. He asks Santiago for a ride somewhere.
It turns out to be Julia’s dance class. It’s the only place they leave her “alone.” She kind of laughs at that since she’s got all her classmates there.
He wanted to ask if she’ll record his song with him. Julia doesn’t think she’s professionally ready, but he suggests it’s a good way to spend more time alone together. (Again…with a crowd of people.)
Nico’s thinking of recording the song he sent Julia. He can get Santi to do the arranging and she can sing backup and dance. A little money wouldn’t hurt right now and his mom could use the help.
OK, Julia’s in. But it’s time for her to warm up with the class. He gives her a kiss on the cheek before he goes.
Santi stops by Mateo’s house to visit Itzel. She says the guys are all out at the studio, recording Isaac’s single. He asks how long she’s staying here. Just until she gets her advance and then she can go to a hotel or something.
Santiago thinks it’s inexcusable the way they threw her out. And now on top of all the other problems, they think she has a lover. Itzel doesn’t care what they think. It’s Santiago and Nicolas she cares about.
So, what’s going on with this boy? Why is he so worried? Santi says he’s afraid Fernando is dead. He’s not answering his phone and the last thing he said was that he had serious problems and Santiago should be careful because someone wants to hurt him. Not that he knows why. He asks Itzel what to do.
Moisés has Rafa meet him at the office. Rafa’s all excited to show him the designs Candelaria came up with for Manara.
Right. Designs. Speaking of designs, he asked Rafa here to talk about Itzel. He’s not firing her.
Rafa knows that Moisés is the one in charge of making decisions for the label, as its president–in that case Moisés wants Rafa to quit holding the threat of financial ruin over his head. Otherwise they’ll have to bring lawyers into this….
Rafa doesn’t want that. He says he’s just nervous about the divorce, which Moisés understands. But Rafa also needs to understand that Itzel is a recognized professional and he can’t interfere with Mateo’s decisions as a producer. He will say that Mateo’s going to treat Rafa with respect.
Uh huh. And Moisés would really put his hands in the fire for Mateo? Because they’re both trying to win here.
Moisés would put his hands in the fire for Mateo AND his talent. Mateo doesn’t need tricks to win this. Does Rafa?
Rafa didn’t want to make Moisés uncomfortable. He knows the values he raised his sons with and he knows they all have the talent to win. Moisés reminds Rafa that he has talent above all of them. Rafa thanks him for the compliment.
He’s gotta go–he’s recording with Manara in the morning. And he certainly didn’t want any trouble with Moisés. They’re friends first. Moisés says Rafa’s a gentleman. They hug it out. (Sooooooo much smoke!)
Amado calls Alexis and tells him to cancel Fernando’s trip to LA and keep watch on him. They might not have to blackmail Neto after all–if it works out, he wants Fernando killed. He knows too much.
Alexis assures him he’s keeping an eye on Fernando. Fierro can’t believe he just lied to the boss. “I had to!” Well, Fierro didn’t find Fernando either. Alexis whines for more time and offers Fierro money. Fierro accepts the cash he has on him, but it’s going to be $5K total and Alexis had better not try to screw him over or he knows what’s going to happen.
Amado finds Manara dancing in the living room. He offers the “future star” a gift. A pair of earrings. Manara says he can’t buy her like he does Julia. Amado smarmily insists these are for luck, because she’s recording tomorrow. He’s so proud of her.
Manara says she already said she’d help him, so can he quit with the pressure? Amado says she doesn’t listen to him. She really pricked Rafa’s ego and somehow that got him all hopeful that she’s going to give in to him. But Rafa’s not stupid. She’d better be ready to go into action when he says so. Yeah, yeah, she’s got it.
He agrees–she understands now that either they both win or they both fall. He leaves the earrings.
Down in the studio, the guys get ready to record. Isaac complains that he’s a little hoarse. Mateo explains they’re replacing Valentín’s voice with some extra guitar. While Isaac and Valentín go get some water, Mateo wants Básico to have a listen and see if he can add some bass to it.
At the vending machine, Isaac and Valentín are crowing about how great this recording’s gonna be. Rafa walks up and asks to speak to Isaac in private.
Isaac tells him they made the changes he asked for, it’s just going to be him on vocals. He just wanted Rafa to know. And now they’ll all see who Isaac is.
Rafa calls that bullshit. He knows Isaac pirated the single. He knows he’s a gambler and he sold Belinda’s ultrasound to the tabloids not even caring that his mom could have died. And he has proof.
He wants Isaac to lose this competition. Go in there to record and sing badly. Sing badly when they do the live presentation. Do whatever he can to lose or Rafa will talk. He’ll destroy his career and his life.
Isaac says this isn’t a boxing match. He can’t just throw it! Rafa tells him to just sing worse than he already does.
But this is a team effort! They all rehearsed–
Does Isaac want him to talk to the reporters? Because Rafa’s not going to stop until he’s dead.
Itzel brings them beers and starts to analyze. Who is Fernando? What does he do and who does he work for?
Santi says they met him at the homenaje. He’s a server, but he wants to be an actor. “So he knows exactly who your father and grandfather are.” Santi tells her Neto even drank with him, but he didn’t recognize him from the picture. Itzel knows a lot of people out there are just looking for their five minutes of fame….
Santiago says Fernando’s different! He’s honest. What they had was unique. Itzel gives him a sad smile. Is he in love? She’s not laughing! She would never laugh at him!
Santiago’s not worried about her–he’s worried about reporters. Well, Itzel doesn’t care about them–she cares about him. He shouldn’t be ashamed of having feelings. She wants him to promise he won’t ever let anyone make him feel bad. Santi promises. Itzel tells him she loves him and they toast with their beer bottles.
Mateo’s still waiting for Isaac. Valentín says he’s outside talking to Rafa about who knows what.
Básico mentions that he tried on his outfit and it was a little big. Could they maybe talk to Itzel about taking some proper measurements? (*roll eyes*) He and Valentín start talking about how hot she is. Valentín had a dream about her. She was naked, taking a bath. It was terrible.
Mateo doesn’t get it.
Well, she kept calling him, telling him to come over…and he was a poodle and she gave him a bath. Terrible!
Mateo laughs for a second and then tells the guys they’ve gotta show more respect for Itzel. When she’s around they need to be less…. “Well, less you.” Valentín says that’s going to be quite a challenge.
Outside, Rafa tells Isaac to quit whining and just get it done. He’s got no sympathy for Isaac complaining that it’s blackmail. They messed with his marriage and they’re trying to turn their dad against him.
Mateo comes out of the studio and Rafa leaves. Isaac says Rafa’s just…worried about them beating him. OK, then. Isaac just needs to concentrate. He tells him to come inside and rehearse.
The guys finally start recording Ángel con Colmillos. Isaac doesn’t sound too different than usual? Maybe a little bit off, but it’ll probably be enough.
Agustina brings Amado his nighttime tequila shot. He says it’s been a tough couple of weeks. She offers to help him relax and starts rubbing his shoulders but he snaps at her that he’s tired.
She asks if he was with Selva. Amado says it was just a few kisses. Why? Does it bother her. Agustina says it does…but it won’t soon. She starts trying to unbutton his shirt and he tells her to cut it out with the jealousy. Soon Selva’s going to be living there and Agustina will be working for her.
Rafa shows up the next day. Amado’s up in his office ordering 300 German cuernos de chiva (“goat horns”; AK47s) and telling someone to go get more people from Nuevo Laredo.
Rafa comes in all cranky, complaining that sharing the label with the Solars isn’t working out for him anymore. No, he doesn’t want to start his own and give up all the royalties. He wants what he deserves! He wants Amado to get rid of Moisés.
Oh, so he means por las malas. What does he want…a theft? An accident?
Rafa’s real problem with Moisés is that he’s acting like the boss. He disobeyed an order from Rafa. But Rafa wants to do this all legally. Amado’s ok with that–the label is perfect for money laundering.
Rafa gripes about the income from Julio César’s royalties. And if he recorded a single with Manara it would put the label at #1. That’s why HE has to be in charge!
Uh, is he sure he’s not just angry because his ex is with Mateo? Rafa swears he’s not. He’s angry at that viejo igualado (old man who thinks he’s Rafa’s equal). He wants to hurt him. He wants one of his sons to break his heart. That’s why he keeps pushing Isaac. Amado’s surprised–Rafa’s getting to be more like him every day.
Manara’s ready to go record. Rafa talks about this being her consagración (consecration; baptism?). He brags about how she’s nearly got as many followers as Isaac, thanks to all the great press she got from hanging out with him. Amado adds that she sings better than Isaac too…well, Isaac doesn’t even sing! Ja ja ja!
Manara tells them to quit talking about her like she’s not there. What’s important is the single and that she’s ready to record.
Join the club
Moisés calls home. He tells Celestina what a good idea this competition was. It’s got the press talking…but uff, all the problems! She insists the first launch has to be a Solar.
He asks to speak to Gilda. He wants her to quit and come to work for him. OK, well, not quit-quit, but maybe get a transfer to LA? She can help him with the finances. Gilda looks worried.
Gilda likes the idea of the transfer. She’s got so many bad memories at that hospital. But LA? Belinda says it’s got pretty beaches. And stores! Celestina thinks it will be good for her to help the label because her dad and brothers are terrible with money. Isn’t this what she wanted? Celestina picks up the phone and starts calling Moisés so Gilda can tell him she’ll do it.
Dylan and Diego run into each other. Other than both referring to each other as boot lickers, I don’t catch many of the insults. Diego heard about the trip to Houston and that Mateo’s recording his single. That was his plan, right? Be friends with Mateo so he’d support Dylan? And he’s practically a member of the family now. Dylan said Diego doesn’t know anything about friends or family. More insults follow.
Dylan calls Cristian. Hey, what’s this about Dylan being in jail?
Um, no, what’s this about Cristian being a gossip? Did he tell Diego about Mateo recording his single?
Well, yeah, because he thought it was good news. But getting back to this jail business….
Dylan asks him, as a favor, not to talk to Diego about him. Cristian insists he’s friends with both of them. Uh huh, so did Diego tell him about putting a gun to Dylan’s head? Looks like he didn’t. Dylan says he can’t be friends with everyone. When people are good to him, he’s good to them, but if they’re not…Cristian knows what happens.
Dylan wanders into the studio, where the guys are listening to Isaac’s rendition of Ángel con Colmillos. There’s an awkward silence after. Mateo thinks Isaac sounded nervous. He needs to relax and remember that he’s been dreaming about this for years and now his moment has arrived.
Dylan quips that it sounds like someone ran out of batteries. Oh, Isaac agrees, he’s tired. They all chime in saying it happens to all of them. Isaac remembers Rafa threatening him. Mateo tells him to go get some rest, have a shower, get some sleep, and then they can do another take.
With Isaac out of the room, Mateo says they have to get real. Isaac’s down, but this song sucks without Valentín. And Manara’s a good singer. Mateo can’t work miracles. Dylan offers to go see what he can do to motivate Isaac.
Isaac goes into one of the offices and tries calling Elena, but the last thing she wants to do is talk to him. She saw those pictures of him online with those girls–why doesn’t he call one of them. He whines about being drunk and missing her. Yeah, well first he dumps her and now he wants her to listen? She tells him to grow up.
Dylan comes in and tells Isaac he can talk to him. Gilda already told him everything–the gambling, the debts, the fact that she got knifed because of him. So what’s going on and how can Dylan help? (And I wrote that way more friendly than he said it.)
Isaac gets defensive. He doesn’t know why Gilda’s telling Dylan this stuff…. Dylan says it’s because he loves her and supports her and she can’t deal with it alone.
So come on–he wants to help. He’s had addiction problems. Isaac asks what he’s talking about, advises Dylan not to say anything, and says Gilda hates him. That’s why she’s making up gossip.
Dylan informs him the only reason he’s not beating Isaac’s face in right now is because of Gilda. She’s covering for Isaac and trying to give him another chance. Isaac doesn’t seem to be listening–he thinks Dylan wants money.
Dylan gives up. He just wants Isaac to know that he takes care of Gilda. If anyone touches her again, he’s telling Mateo what’s going on, PLUS Isaac will have to deal with him.
Elena’s photographer gets some shots of Itzel before she starts the interview. She asks her to talk about Mirta’s death, but Itzel thinks Mirta’s family has been hurt enough. Plus her trial is still pending.
What about the divorce, then? Itzel says she’d rather talk about her career as a designer and her new job working for JC Records. Elena says Rafa’s a partner–did he help get her to job to support her while she’s dealing with her addiction problem?
Itzel testily says she doesn’t have one. Those were lies used to discredit her. And Rafa didn’t hire her, Mateo did. He also said Itzel could trust Elena. Can she?
Elena dismisses whoever’s left in the room and tells Itzel she can.
In that case–Rafa is accusing her of being an addict and a murderer. She’s broke and she doesn’t even have the money to get through her trial. He wants her out on the street and she’s just trying to survive. So what does she need to tell Elena so she can clear her name?
Isaac does another take. It’s better, I think, but that “con” in the last “ángel con colmillos” is still way out of tune. Mateo asks Dylan to help mix it.
But right now, they’ve got to vacate the studio, as Chalino informs them. Rafa and his team are here. Mateo sarcastically asks if Rafa even knows how to work the console. He and Dylan walk out. (He’s nicer than I am. I would’ve pushed the one button that makes everything mysteriously not work. Of course, I don’t know how to work that thing either, so….)
Rafa’s team are in the hallway. Moisés welcomes them and asks to speak to Rafa, Mateo, and Isaac while they get settled. Mateo throws back a “No fighting!” as they go up to the board room. Dylan and Diego glare at each other.
Moisés informs the guys he’s made some decisions. Isaac will be working with Mateo, first off. And the other thing is he wants to bring Gilda on board as administrator. Rafa scoffs that she’s a doctor, but Mateo reminds him she’s got a degree, unlike anyone sitting at that table. Moisés wants her to be a part of the board, with the same voting rights. He and Mateo are in, obviously, but he needs Isaac and Rafa to vote.
Isaac wants to hear Rafa’s opinion before he votes. Rafa says Gilda is smart, so ok, he’s in favor. Isaac agrees and so is he. Moisés is surprised they got one thing done with no yelling. He’ll inform the investors.
Rafa leaves, saying Manara’s waiting for him. Mateo downs the rest of his drink and suggests they toast. While he’s pouring, Moisés notices Isaac, but he says he’s just tired. Isaac gets a text from Rafa.
In the office downstairs, Rafa complains that Isaac should have voted against Gilda.
What? That’s “crazy”! And Isaac’s not going to do what Rafa’s asking him to do. Rafa threatens him again, saying he’ll lose his career if he doesn’t.