Episode 25: Bajo presión
We get a replay of Isaac stumbling into Mateo’s house, drunk. He remembers Julio César dying. In his anger, he knocks a vase off the table. Wouldn’t want to lose his booze bottle, now would he?
Leticia explains to Lucho that she found out from Isaac where Julio César would be without his guards and told him she was asking for her friends. She thinks Renzo could have killed JC because of Isaac’s debts or maybe he was told to kill him for some reason she doesn’t know about. And she can’t just ask him because it looks like he’s dead.
She’s sure there are going to be consequences. That’s why she needs Lucho’s help with the Zabalas. Her life is worth nothing!
Lucho tells her to chill and explain to him what happened with the Zabalas. He introduced her to Rafa, but who told her to get involved with Neto?! Well, Rafa introduced her to him…maybe he wanted to manipulate Neto or something? But Neto has been a gentleman…Lucho starts laughing. Does she think she can pull a Pretty Woman with the old man? Leticia says she needs a man to take care of her (Oh, Leti, we need to have a talk). Rafa’s going to ditch her any minute now.
Right, Rafa. Lucho thinks they’d better warn him. Isaac might go after him, the state he’s in. But Rafa’s not answering.
He’s too busy being interviewed along with everyone else in the lounge. Mateo approaches Manara and asks if she’s touring or honeymooning. Because she’s still with him right? Manara says they don’t have ataduras (ties).
So why didn’t she accept the extension on the contract with JC? He begs her to talk to him, but she says it’s just that the contract is also a tie and she doesn’t like them. She’s going to get back to talking to the press. Mateo tells her to check her email–he sent her a present. Maybe she can use it on her album. He gives her a kiss on the cheek.
Moisés announces he’s going to give everyone a little taste of some of their upcoming releases. He introduces Dylan, who plays Todo for them.
Diego makes a face until Rafa leans over and whispers something to him. They snicker. Valentín and Básico are getting down. Gilda’s having a good time too…well, it’s always nice when a cute boy writes a song for you 🙂 Mateo has this critical look on his face like he’s trying to analyze or starting to make plans.
Rafa goes out to the hallway to call Amado, who’s in bed with Agustina. Amado shares his plans for a party for Manara. Rafa asks if he’s ready for his public launch. Oh yeah, and he wants Rafa there…and Neto too. Neto can sing. They’ll celebrate Rafa’s first success as a producer. Rafa wants him to ask Neto himself and make sure he explains it’s a press thing.
He cuts off the call because he notices the call from Lucho coming in. Lucho tells him Isaac just left there, he threatened Lucho and Leticia, and he has Lucho’s gun. He should be careful. Rafa thanks him and ends the call…
And just then, Moisés comes up from the lounge (the geography of this place is so confusing, but I think ground level is the studio, downstairs is the lounge and maybe the dressing rooms?, and upstairs is the board room and the vending machine) to tell Rafa that Isaac wants to talk to them all in the board room right now. Rafa tries to avoid it and Chalino practically has to herd him up the stairs.
In the board room, Isaac remembers watching JC perform Fuego Cruzado, and then later at the house saying that Isaac always watched his back on the stage. He’s got the gun in his hand, but he hides it behind his back. Moisés asks what’s going on…and Rafa stands as close to the door as he can manage and avoids Isaac’s eyes.
Cristian calls Diego. Yeah, yeah, Diego’s seen all his texts and he doesn’t want to see any more. Cristian’s out there doing his thing and Diego wants Cristian to stay out of what’s going on here. Which, Cristian says he’s not calling about “any of that” and yet he wants to know what’s this about Diego and Dylan trying to kill each other. Did he really put a gun to Dylan’s head? Is he crazy?
Diego asks if he’s calling to throw it in face that Dylan’s getting a single before he is? Cristian says they all went out in search of their dreams together and he hasn’t forgotten that. So cut the drama–they’re doing this for the music. To grow and leave behind the life they had.
Diego says all of them have a chance to write their own stories and isn’t that what they’re doing? Cristian agrees, he just wants him to keep the fighting with Dylan confined to the stage. If he keeps things up with all this other violence he’s going to end up alone. The mystery woman with Cristian asks what happened and he says it’s nothing. (Oh yeah, that’s gonna be convincing.)
Isaac tucks the gun in his pants to leave his hands free. He says he screwed up and he’s sorry. He asked them here to tell them that he’s quitting the board and the label. Rafa starts doing math in his head.
Julia finds Manara in the lounge to tell her about Amado’s party plans. Uh huh, Manara just bets he wants to celebrate. Julia asks if it’s ok if she gets up on stage with Nico to sing for the press. Manara tells her to go for it.
Diego catches up to Dylan on the way to the vending machine to congratulate him on the song. I think I’m about as suspicious as Dylan is, especially when Diego starts in on how he wrote the song with Mateo, Mateo’s producing him, hey looks like betting on Mateo worked out for him. Dylan accuses him of being bitter. Naw, he’s not bitter, or he wouldn’t be congratulating him, right?
Dylan means bitter because Diego stabbed him in the back and he could have been up on stage with him. Diego reminds him this race needs stamina, not speed. He should enjoy it while he’s ahead, because who knows how long it’s going to last.
Manara and Candelaria come up the stairs as Dylan heads down. Manara’s been trying to reach Bianco, but he’s not answering. Candelaria says he has a bunch of meetings at Megavisa. Manara asks her to tell him she needs to talk to him. Manara sees the email notification on her phone…Mateo Solar, file attached…she smiles.
Isaac’s quitting because he’s not up to the task. Mateo disagrees, he just needs to calm down. It just happened. He can’t make decisions like this.
“I’m the brother of the biggest figure in music and a complete unknown sold more singles than I did. What do you think, Rafa? Why do you think I lost?”
Rafa says you learn from your mistakes and Isaac has a good name and a good future. Maybe he’s got it in him.
Moisés asks them to give him and Isaac the room. Mateo comes over to give Isaac a hug and kiss and tells him to chill. Moisés says Isaac’s not quitting. He’s part of this company and he’d better pull his pants on and go mingle with the press and if any of them ask, he’s going to say he’s doing great and give them a killer smile, got it?
Isaac goes down to the lounge and congratulates Manara, saying she deserves her win. He wants to toast to her career and to JC Records and whatever comes next. He wishes her success. Now Rafa keeps trying to look at him out of the corner of his eye, probably wondering where he’s stashing the gun. But I think it’s Manara Isaac’s staring at.
Canseco meets Amado at the new warehouse, which is apparently the place where Renzo and Jiménez died? He has Leticia’s record, but he never says what she was in jail for. They traced the calls she made and she’s somewhere in Los Angeles. Amado wants her found.
What about Fernando? Canseco says Fernando Robinson is completely clean. Fierro’s been checking with the hospitals and polleros (guys who “help” people cross the border) and hasn’t found him either. Well, as long as Neto hasn’t found out anything, he’s good–he just needs him happy for the elections. He excuses himself to call Neto now.
Neto asks his band to play something a little slower and he wants to go over what he’s singing at the plaza de toros. Paulino brings him the phone when Amado’s call comes through.
Neto tells Amado the union leaders have decided to support him, but they have one condition–he can’t have Canseco as police chief. They have somebody in mind. Amado says he’s made him promises. Maybe they can discuss it tonight? He’s throwing a party for Manara and the press will be there. They’re celebrating Rafa and Manara’s success and he’d like Neto and Rafa to sing together. Neto says he’ll see if he can make it.
He complains to Paulino about the things you do for your kids. Anyway, maybe now he can rehearse…except that Daisy says someone’s here to see him.
Leticia’s waiting outside for him to hear if she’s in the band or not. Or is there more she needs to do?
Neto wonders what Leti thinks she has to do to get the job. Tell him the truth, for starters. She lied about singing in the church choir. She worked in a crappy casino and lived on the streets most of her life. She’s always dreamed of being a famous singer, but at some point she started doing things she’s ashamed of now.
Neto thanks her for her honesty, but he kind of knew. Leti kind of knew that he knew, but he made her feel like a lady and she’d never felt that way before. Neto has no doubt she is a lady. He invites her to come to a “family” event today as a part of the band. Sort of a final audition, to see how she does with the public. And then they’ll talk. In her enthusiasm, Leti kisses him. She apologizes for that, but yes, she accepts. Where’s the event? At the house of the future mayor of Los Angeles. (*gulp*)
Amado and Fierro discuss moving some stuff around, but Canseco advises them to leave it where it is. It’s in territory he controls. Once Amado is mayor, he’ll be able to move it wherever he wants to. Amado tells him the union leaders don’t want him as chief of police. But no worries…he’s not going to let a bunch of 4th rate gangsters tell him what to do. Despite his assurance, Canseco doesn’t look happy.
Nicolas, Santi, and Julia sing an acoustic version of No Es Normal with Julia doing harmonies. That was really sweet. Rafa comes up there trying to take credit, talking about how these are his sons and Julia’s Manara’s sister, so clearly beauty and talent run in the family.
And then he invites Bianco up on stage with him and Manara’s face is like “What the hell is going on here?” Bianco congratulates Rafa on the single and his discovery of Manara. Rafa asks him to help convince Manara to accept the contract extension and let the lawyers hash out the details later. Bianco says he doesn’t know why she wouldn’t. Rafa agrees. (How about, because NO! Damn, dudes!) So now Manara’s gotta drag her feet and get up on stage again and Gilda grabs her dad and tells him to get up there–he’s the president!
Instead, it’s Bianco, who doesn’t have a damn thing to do with this, who holds up the mic for her and asks what she says. And she accepts, because what else can she do? Mateo decides it’s time he and his posse get out of there for a while. During the applause, they make their exit and Moisés struggles to get to the stage.
Mateo blames himself for this. He gave Manara everything and she took advantage. Dylan says the competition wasn’t exactly fair either. Not because of Isaac, but because of Mateo. His brother just died. Rafa didn’t have to deal with that–he could be cold, take advantage of the family’s grief, get the label up and running, and now he’s doing all this press trying to win people over. Valentín thinks Rafa wants to label for himself.
Moisés finally makes it to the stage and welcomes Bianco. He asks if Bianco will sing for them and he agrees–if Manara will do it with him.
And now here’s Isaac’s chance. He puts the gun to Rafa’s back and tells him to come with him if he doesn’t want to die in front of the press. Isaac reminds Rafa that he (Isaac) doesn’t have anything to lose.
Bianco opts for Pasa La Página. Is this his idea of an apology? Let me help you forget about that other guy and turn the page?
Isaac takes Rafa to the studio. He says he should be out there telling the press what Rafa did or shooting him. Rafa ruined his life. And after everything Rafa did, he thinks he can get away with “I know how you feel…let me help you like I helped Julio César and Manara.” (Well, one’s dead and the other’s a hostage, so….) Isaac knows he just doesn’t want to die. He wants solutions!
Rafa says accepting the truth is a solution. His family feels sorry for him, they don’t respect him even though he’s the oldest. He can either become independent or he can keep being a puppet for this company that’s falling apart without Julio César. Again Rafa says he can help him out of this hell he’s living in. Damn…Isaac looks like he’s falling for it.
Isaac can’t believe he thinks he can blackmail him, show up with Leticia and ruin his performance, and then he thinks Isaac’s going to stab his family in the back?! Rafa swears he wants to make peace. If Leticia’s a problem they can just make sure she never gets into the industry. Isaac doesn’t care about Leticia–he cares about Rafa ruining his career! How’s Rafa going to fix that? Because he doesn’t have a lot of time.
Bianco wraps up an interview and pulls Manara aside to explain. In the background, I swear Básico just wandered off to a dark corner with the reporter who was interviewing Bianco.
Rafa tells Isaac he has plans and business stuff and he needs Isaac. Needs him? For what?! Scrambling, Rafa tries offering him $20K in credit at The Palace in Las Vegas. His friend owns it…. Isaac’s angry that Rafa would try to buy him for $20K. Rafa says he needs to relax–and he can make it $40K if Isaac wants. Isaac doesn’t reply.
Rafa turns around and starts making the call to his “friend” but I don’t buy it…Isaac doesn’t buy it either. He tells Rafa to put the phone down. Rafa offers $50K. Isaac pulls back the hammer. Rafa looks scared. I sneer in his general direction.
Bianco says it was all just an act. Well, it sure felt to Manara like getting stabbed in the back. He says Manara won, her single’s going to get lots of radio play, the tour will get her lots of exposure, the contract is going to bring in money for her. Manara says if she signs, she’s selling her soul to the devil.
Bianco plans to tell Rafa to put in an exit clause with a fee for breaking the contract. If she does well with the public, Megavisa will pay it. They can get her out of the contract before she records her album. If she believes in herself she needs to sign that contract and get out there and show everyone that she has what it takes to be number one.
The guy from Davis pulls up outside JC with a van.
Inside, the party has calmed down somewhat. Básico and Valentín play Ángel con Colmillos for Gilda, Mateo, and Dylan mostly. Gilda tells them not to disappear next time they do this–everyone played but them! Mateo says it was Manara’s moment, and Dylan’s. They’ll have theirs.
Celestina invites them back to the house for dinner. “Since when do the Solars celebrate defeat?!” Mateo gripes. He complains about his mom hitting him with her purse for saying that. Nope, the guys are staying here to celebrate on their own. Moisés says that’s more for them, then. Celestina gives him a kiss goodbye and he teases her about not drinking anymore. “Me?! You!” He says she drinks and takes her pills and then she gets sick. Celestina says he’s making her look bad.
Outside, the Davis guy and his driver watch Celestina, Moisés, and Gilda get into the SUV and he says they’ll just wait for the others to come out.
And here they come, walking right past Chalino, who tells them to behave. He doesn’t want to have to take La Lupita (his gun) to get them out of trouble. Davis’ guy and his henches come up to say Davis wants to meet them. Mateo explains again that they do all their own managing and promotions in-house and he’s got the guy’s card, so he can call him later.
Davis wants to meet them NOW. One of the henches pulls his gun out. But no, it’s all chill, right? Hey, isn’t this guy the one who sang on the video? He sings good! Valentín says he knows. Mateo asks them to leave before it gets ugly, but the Davis guy says things aren’t going to get ugly unless they won’t go. Why don’t they just come with him, meet Davis, have some drinks, like bros. Mateo shoots a nervous look at Básico, who looks a little nervous himself.
Selva’s at the house again. Amado sends Agustina to get her a glass of champagne. Agustina lurks outside the doorway as Selva says Elena’s coming over to cover the event. She says something about using it to launch him online. Amado says Neto’s going to sing. Selva thinks it’s going to be good if Neto and Rafa both support him. Does he always have his life this well-planned out?
Amado says this is his finest moment. He has to take advantage of it. He kisses her.
Amado and Selva are hitting the champagne when Manara gets home. She accepts their congratulations and goes up to change before the guests start arriving.
Upstairs, she stalls, looking out the window and remembers she’s got that email from Mateo. She goes outside with her guitar to start learning the song, Sobrenatural.
While she plays it, Isaac remembers JC dying again, and Leticia saying he’s an accomplice. He’s got his bag packed and he tells Belinda he’s off to Las Vegas for a few days. He needs to relax and what better way than cards. He invites her along and she says no way does she want to go! And he shouldn’t either–it’s not good for him. Isaac says it’ll help him think. He’s going to “arrasar con todo” (clean them out, win) so no worries. And don’t tell the family where he’s gone–he’ll call them later. He tries to move in for another kiss, but Belinda gives him a look and backs away.
Rafa’s a jerk to Elena when she shows up, talking about her switching sides. She didn’t realize there were sides. Oh, he just means because he beat the Solars today. (Somebody needs to get him to shut up or quit drinking.) Uh huh, does he know where Manara is? Rafa’s sure she’s still getting ready.
Hahaha, nope! She’s working on the song. Agustina comes in and listens for a while. (I notice she’s looking a lot more casual than earlier. Not coming to the party?) She likes it–did Manara write it? Manara says Mateo sent it to her. He knows her so well. All this time she’s been pushing him away and he knows just how to get to her. Agustina knows Manara’s going to get what she wants because she’s a strong woman…but right now she needs to go deal with the press, and Rafa, and Amado.
Manara tells her not to worry–she’s going to handle them. “What are you thinking of?” “My revenge.” Agustina gives her an approving smile.
Elena introduces herself to Manara and asks for an interview. Manara agrees–she’ll come find Elena in a sec. Amado zooms right over–yes, dude she’s going to talk about you. What? Hasn’t she done everything he asked?
Speaking of…there’s the rest of his support, complete with guitars. She goes off to talk to Elena as Amado greets Neto and appears not to notice or recognize Leticia at all. (Which would be funny if she escaped death just because Amado assumes she’s nobody important and is ignoring her…but I’m sure Fierro won’t be making that mistake.) He tells Neto that Rafa’s in his office making a phone call. Neto tells him to go get Rafa–he’ll sing for a while, for photos, and then they can talk.
He gets up on stage and Leti stands there with no idea where to put her purse, thinking that she’s about to have the greatest moment of her life. (Oh yeah, Fierro noticed her. Better make it a damn good performance, Leti.)
The infamous Davis
The get to Davis’ place and Mateo hopes he’s more friendly than the guy who came to get them.
Um, her, actually. (Yep, my bad too, I assumed it was a guy.) They write corridos, so what did they expect? That she’d send them a carroza (carriage) of flowers to get them here? She introduces herself as Daniela Davis. She recognizes Mateo. He says he was expecting someone…well, shorter and fatter like the guy she sent. No offense, just most of the promoters are. Davis laughs–she’s a promoter, a manager, and an intermediary. “Uh, congratulations? And us?”
She says they wrote a corrido a client of hers really liked. He’s a little caprichoso (capricious) and he’s decided he wants them, and only them, to write his corrido. He’s got a few ideas he wants to plasmar (express). It’s urgent. So, what do they think?
“Do we have a choice?” Honestly, no. She tells Mateo and Valentín to come with her and Básico and Dylan to have a tequila.
In her office/rehearsal space, Mateo says she could have just called and saved them the trouble. She says it’s a style thing. She asks Valentín’s name and says when she saw the video, she said to herself that she had to be the first to have them. Corridos are “in” right now and there’s a lot of competition. Right…but…they ARE the competition, as Mateo explains. They represent their artists, produce new ones…and they’re not looking for promoters.
Well, they’ll have to work something out because her client is very insistent. When the song is ready, they can get it major exposure–both the song and the singer.
So who’s the client? “El Diplomático.” Valentín’s heard of him, but he refers to him as “the mafioso from Juárez.” That’s the one. He wants people to hear more about him and he wants them to make a hit song to spread his name. He’s involved in a struggle for territory right now.
So, do they get the plan? Mateo’s eyes roll all around and he raises his eyebrows and shoots Valentín a look that cracks me up. I mean, the situation is completely serious, but Mateo’s reaction is like “How did I even get here?! Am I in the middle of a weird dream? I knew I shouldn’t have eaten those beans!” Valentín gives him a tiny eyebrow raise in return.
So, how long do they have to write the song? Tonight. Yes, she knows it’s not much time, but there’s a shipment in a few days and her client wants to distract his competitors. Like she said–he’s fighting for territory. There’s good money in it for them.
Mateo agrees to do it, but just him. He wants her to let the guys go. Valentín insists on staying, but Mateo says he can handle it. As long as he can negotiate with Davis. She smiles and calls her hench in, telling him to take Valentín and the guys wherever they tell him to. Valentín gives Mateo one last glare before walking out.