Episode 48: La prueba de fuego
By now, they all know Manara has left the label and they’ve been paid a lot of money for her cancelled contract. Rafa snaps that Moisés accepted without anyone’s consent.
Moisés agrees, he sure did. And he thinks the money should have a “fair” destination. He wants to deposit it into an account in JC Junior’s name and guarantee his future. Gilda explains that Belinda would manage the trust until he comes of age.
Moisés wants to keep that money safe from any conflicts between them. He thinks it’s time to set aside the fights over Manara. Rafa put up all the money for Manara’s first single and he has every right to ask for the money, but being “noble” and a “gentleman,” Moisés is sure that deep down he’s willing to give up that money to secure a future for this baby.
Rafa thinks he’s doing this in front of Belinda and the baby to trap him. Moisés is mixing the personal and professional again. And Moisés admits it–that’s his style. While he’s still president, he’s begging Rafa to decide, to think about securing a decent future for this child who was left without a father.
But hey, if he’s not convinced and he wants time to think about it, Moisés understands. He can take his time and call the lawyer tomorrow if he wants.
Instead Rafa agrees to do it. He makes this fake speech about it being the least he can do for his ahijado, QEPD, because he loved him…and for Belinda, who’s raising this child alone, to not have to worry about money. Belinda gets up and thanks him and Gilda starts applauding. The lawyer smirks.
Moisés says they’ve got the paperwork right here and he can go ahead and sign it. Why waste time?
Rafa reads through the paperwork as Mateo remembers Davis asking if Rafa had something to do with JC’s death. The lawyer explains this next sheet is about handing over Manara’s contract penalty, but has nothing to do with her songs. Rafa agrees, that’s separate. And here’s the paperwork transferring the money directly to the child…. Rafa signs. Mateo remembers Davis telling him to get into Rafa’s circle, become his friend, and her people will do the dirty work.
Mateo and Gilda run downstairs for coffee and agree they’re surprised at what just happened. Gilda always thought Manara was the manzana de la discordia (the cause of the conflict) and he and Rafa got along before that. Mateo says their relationship wasn’t bad before, but that’s not the same as it being good. He never trusted Rafa. They both get a laugh at what their dad just pulled over on him.
When they get back upstairs, Belinda is signing. Moisés says they can talk about the albums now and the succession, but Rafa isn’t in the mood. Mateo says if he can’t get artists, they can just stop the competition, Moisés can give him the presidency, and things will be as they should be–with a Solar in charge.
Rafa can’t believe he just signed that paperwork and Mateo’s saying this to him.
Moisés begs him to stay. He’s sorry–he’s the one who has them competing against each other and Rafa just made this gesture of peace. He thanks him for that. And now he’s asking Mateo to be more respectful and considerate.
Mateo, completely insincerely for anyone who bothers paying attention to him, says his dad’s right, he’s sorry, his comment was out of line and he and Rafa should go have a drink and talk. The others don’t need them, right? As they walk out, the lawyer looks worried.
Julia warns Amado that if he’s here for her, he can forget it–she’s staying. Amado says he’s not just here so they can congratulate him, he’s here to understand what they’re up to. Manara says she’s here because she just got a contract and she’s starting to record and Julia’s here on vacation. But she does want to live here.
Well, Amado’s her legal guardian and she’s going to do as he says. Manara warns him if he intends to take Julia, it’s going to be by force.
Agustina brings Selva a pregnancy test so she can put her doubts to rest.
Amado gripes about not wanting to start his “mandate” with a family scandal. (How is it a scandal unless he makes it one? This guy!) He’s here to talk to Manara and the ones who contracted her.
‘Scuse you! He has nothing to discuss with them–she’s an adult and she can do what she wants. She doesn’t need him or his money.
But Amado has to take care of his image. People need to see him with his family.
That sounds like a pretext to Manara. He said when he was mayor, he’d leave them alone. So ok, then, “Mr. Mayor,” go enjoy your power and quit messing with them.
Amado says she did things quietly and quickly, so if she wasn’t doing anything wrong, why make it look bad? Tell Bianco he wants to talk to him “por las buenas.”
Cande’s looking over some photos of Manara with Bianco while they discuss her styling. Manara calls and he says her recording sounds sensational.
She tells him Amado’s here. He just showed up and wants to talk to him. Bianco has her hand over the phone and Amado starts right in on wanting his meeting with Ezequiel and how Bianco owes him. Bianco plays it cool, saying they’re meeting at his restaurant for lunch–why doesn’t Amado join them.
Amado, who can’t resist an opportunity to be tacky, says if he doesn’t like the food he won’t pay. Bianco says it’s on the house, so don’t worry. It will be an honor to have Amado there.
Amado insists on Manara coming with him, even though she’s supposed to go record and Julia’s going with her. Nope, he insists Julia should stay there so he and Manara get a chance to catch up and speak “honestly.”
Since they’re not leaving for lunch right away, Julia goes to the gym.
Amado wants to know about Mateo’s visit. Manara knows Agustina told him–is he still manipulating her by using her child? Amado says he doesn’t need to–besides, it’s his son and he has rights. (Only if you want to be open about him being your son.)
Manara scoffs at his use of the word “rights.” Doesn’t he just sound like a mayor! And what about all the people he killed? Didn’t they have any rights? What’s the problem, Mr. Mayor? Afraid to end up in jail?
Amado asks if that’s what she wants.
Agustina comes to check on Selva and sure enough, she’s pregnant. But Selva’s not taking it well. She doesn’t want this now and she doesn’t understand how it happened since she’s been “taking care” (using birth control). Agustina tries to reassure her that she’ll come to realize that being pregnant is the time a woman is most plena (full, complete). (I glare.) Selva begs her not to tell anyone.
Manara wonders how much longer he’s going to keep lying to Selva, marrying her while he has a child with another woman.
Amado says that’s personal. So what did she tell Mateo?
What’s it to him? They talked about music, contracts, nothing that concerns him, she swears. But what’s he planning to do with Julia? Because Manara wants to be her guardian.
Amado laughs…and tells her she made him laugh. The only time Julia ever listened to her, she went to London, got pregnant, and had a miscarriage. She told Manara about that, right?
Yes, and that’s why Julia should be with her. She’s a woman. She can understand her better.
Well, if she’s going to stay, they’ll have to negotiate.
Is he talking negotiation or extortion.
Amado reminds her that even if she hates him, they’re siblings. They’re both famous now and they have to help each other or they’ll sink. If he goes down, she’s going with him. They head out to lunch.
At the restaurant, Amado praises Bianco’s good taste and tells Manara to get that look off her face. Bianco gives Amado an enthusiastic greeting and Amado says he can call him Amado and not “Mayor.”
Manara steps aside to take a call from Agustina. She swears she didn’t have a choice–she had to tell him about Mateo. Well, now Manara can’t trust her. Agustina begs her not to take it like that. And also, Selva’s pregnant. Amado doesn’t know and she doesn’t want to tell him. Manara’s always saying that Selva is his weak spot…they have to stay in touch. Agustina can help control him.
Manara sees Amado heading over and ends the call, telling him it was Cande. She’s taking Julia around to look at dance schools.
Amado starts in on how his sisters are “important” to him and Julia’s a minor and he’s the one in charge of her. Manara tells him he can leave Bianco out of that–Julia’s here because of her. Bianco offers, assuming the family decides Julia is staying, to have his people find a good school for her…but now suddenly Amado’s not interested in that.
Now he wants to know if Manara and Bianco are an item. The press says so…but is that just publicity? Ezequiel shows up and answers–they told him personally and gave him “proof” it’s not just publicity.
Ezequiel sits down and congratulates Amado on winning mayor. Bianco asks his permission to finish up their earlier topic and assure Amado that his sister is not only talented, but she stole his heart and they’re serious about each other. This time the kiss that’s supposed to act as “proof” comes off a little more fake, what with Manara darting her eyes over at Amado.
Manara excuses herself. The musicians are waiting for her to record. Amado tells her to stay–they’re with the guy who’s paying them. Let them wait.
Bianco backs up Manara–it’s true, the musicians charge by the hour. She can go. The “gentlemen” will stay here and talk. Ezequiel adds, “Unless you want to pay them…?” to Amado. He says he’ll see Manara at the hotel later.
Ezequiel says you give them fame and popularity but they have to work. Bianco agrees Manara will have to work a lot–he’s got a 100-city tour lined up for her in the first year. Sounds like a lot to Amado. Yes, well, she signed a contract and said yes to everything.
Amado’s glad to hear that. He demands a lot too, so he’s sure he and Ezequiel will understand each other. He’s mayor now, but he wants to be governor. If Ezequiel helps him with media, they can do lots of business together and he’ll help Ezequiel sink Rafa. He calls it a “negocio completo” (package deal?).
JC Records lounge
Mateo brings Rafa to the lounge so they can talk “sincerely.” It’s no secret Rafa supports Amado and helped promote him, but Mateo knows who he is. So is Rafa involved in his dirty businesses too?
Before they talk Amado and businesses and insinuations, Rafa wants to know just what Mateo’s concept of “sincere” is, because he’s always breaking his word.
Mateo says they started out fighting over a woman. She’s now kicked them BOTH to the curb and gone off with another guy. So maybe now is a good time to fix their relationship and be sincere with each other–but both of them, not just Mateo.
If he’s just bringing up Manara to make Rafa mad and get him to talk about Amado, he’s not interested.
No, they’re talking business–like what does he want the label for? To be a front, with all the dances?
Rafa scoffs that if he wanted to launder money, he could create his own label for that–without all the fuss and without having to put his own money in. He’s just fighting for what’s his. Amado’s not part of it.
But Mateo knows that if he creates a label and uses it to launder money, then the blame will fall on him. That’s why he’s trying to use one that’s already established, and by a dead idol. That would work. Look, they’re not going to be friends…but maybe they can be partners. That way if he’s involved in this crooked business with Amado, they can all benefit.
Rafa says there is no “crooked business,” he’s just helping Amado line up artists and do promotions.
But now what’s going to happen? Everyone knows about his beef with Megavisa. So where’s he going to get artists from?
Rafa says that’s his problem.
But this is business, and Mateo can help him get artists. He can get him Valentín–people like Valentín.
Rafa doesn’t get it. Is Mateo trying to push him out so he can keep the business with Amado?
No, Mateo doesn’t want anything from Amado. He doesn’t even want Amado knowing he’s involved. He’ll stay in Rafa’s shadow and Rafa can shine. He’s realized his family’s fortune has always been tied to Rafa and he’s starting to think it always will be. With what Rafa did today, the least Mateo can do is give it some serious thought.
Selva sounds like she’s doing something shady. She tells someone on the phone to send her the single, but she won’t be able to play it much because her programming is full and the rankings for next week are all sold. So it’s that or nothing.
Lorenzo comes in and starts looking for bugs–of course, he doesn’t look under the table that actually has one.
As soon as Selva’s off the phone he asks what’s up.
And for some bizarre reason his response is “So quickly?”
Uh, yeah, she just found out. And no she doesn’t want his congratulations–she’s not even sure she wants to have it. What does he mean, “Why?” Every day she spends with Amado she feels like she knows him even less. Maybe this is just hormones talking or the recent trauma of all the crap going on with Lorenzo, but she doesn’t know if she wants a wedding. She’s not sure about the wedding and she’s not sure about the baby.
Plans, plans, and more plans
Davis chats with El Diplomático over the phone and tells him that Amado killed Mateo’s brother…yes, Julio César Solar…well, yes, that’s a good point…of course…it would be a bomb for the press…OK, it’ll be as he says.
Cafre asks what that face is about.
El D doesn’t want to kill Amado. He’s a politician now, so he’s worth more alive than dead. If they threaten to expose him, he’s got a lot to lose. Especially if it gets out that he killed Julio César.
Cafre sums it up as “He’d rather betray Mateo and threaten Amado with a scandal.”
Davis calls Mateo to tell him she talked to El D and he’s going to live up to his end of the bargain and put a bullet in Amado’s head. So come over and they’ll plan this thing. Mateo, still in the lounge with Rafa, says he’ll call later to confirm a time…he’s talking to someone “important” right now.
Rafa thanks Mateo for the offer, but he’s not interested right now, especially not when they’re in conflict over the presidency. Mateo would rather they not mix things up–he doesn’t want to fall into the same trap his dad does. But Rafa can’t see how this isn’t personal–Mateo just hired his son and his ex-wife!
Yeah, and Moisés is giving Rafa the chance to take over the label that bears his brother’s name. They’re all in the same boat here and life can change.
Rafa says he’ll think about it and leaves. Chalino walks in.
Mateo wants to tell him something, but he doesn’t want Chalino to criticize him.
Oh, please, since when has he? Spill it.
Victoria didn’t kill JC. It was Amado and Gabriel Treviño. Because of Selva, because he left her at the altar. Manara told him.
Chalino asks what he’s going to do about it.
Pay him back “con la misma moneda” (with the same coin; in kind).
Chalino assumes that means shooting him, but Mateo says he won’t. He wants Chalino to come with him to see Davis.
Chalino says Mateo writes corridos with Davis! He doesn’t plan assassinations! He’s going to be marked forever with that woman.
Mateo says there’s no going back now. El Diplomático does the killing and he writes corridos. Maybe he can get some justice for his brother. So is he coming or not?
Chalino reminds him that “Diplomático” and “justice” don’t rhyme (in either language) and he’ll never leave Mateo alone. (Anyone else wanting a Chalino and Lupita corrido?)
Canseco, Ramon, and some other guy are listening to the audio from Selva’s office. How rude! And they all hear her saying she’s not sure she wants this baby. Canseco reaches for his cell phone.
Ezequiel says the Treviño’s media company helped a lot with his campaign. So when’s the wedding with Selva? He says once it happens, Amado will be a media mogul like him.
Amado recalls that Ezequiel has stations in LA too.
Yes, and Selva has stolen a lot of their advertisers since she took over. She seems to be doing well.
Amado admits she is good. But why are they competing when they should be allies? He can talk to Selva about that, because he’s interested in Ezequiel’s support in LA and in Mexico City.
Ezequiel wants to know what Amado’s going to do with Rafa. Because Ez wants his head. And it would be a show of Amado’s good faith. It’s simple–is Amado with him or against him.
Amado asks if Ezequiel is threatening him. Because he’s already got his sister, trapped by that “absurd” contract he “made” her sign…but hold on, he needs to take this call from the Chief of Police, who’s on his side. Be right back.
Bianco mocks him for his remark about the Chief of Police. He’s less subtle than Ezequiel–he’d better be careful. Amado’s a killer.
Ezequiel says that filth likes to show he has power but he’d better show some humility. If he wants Ezequiel’s support he can win it or he can go to hell.
Canseco tells Amado he has a recording of his mujer. It’s…something personal. He’ll send it to Amado in email so he can hear it for himself.
And the other thing Amado asked him to do?
They’re on their way with Vidal. They’ll be waiting for him.
Amado goes back to the table and says he has something to resolve before going home. Now that he understands Ezequiel’s posture, he’ll be hearing from him soon.
Mateo and Chalino are listening to Valentín’s version of Si Me Dejes Te Dejo. And Nico’s on his way soon. And then they’ll go see Davis.
Moisés walks in and asks who Davis is. And what is Mateo planning now. Behold Mateo’s supremely guilty face.
In the board room, Moisés says this competition lit quite a fire under Mateo. He’s stealing Rafa’s artists, even his son, and he’s got Rafa trapped. So who’s Davis?
Mateo tells part of the truth. She’s a manager and she’s helping him find new artists. His only “plan” is to be president so this place keeps being run by a Solar. Moisés is testing him and he’s trying to rise to the challenge.
Moisés has to admit that he likes that Mateo’s messing with Rafa.
Yeah, speaking of that…How did he get him to give all of Manara’s buyout money to Junior?
For a minute there, Moisés thought he’d lost, but then Rafa signed…. He wants to tell Mateo that he was wrong. He idealized Isaac and trusted him too much and it was a mistake. He wants Mateo to show him he was wrong about him too.
Oh, no, he wasn’t wrong–he underestimated him.
Yes, that’s true. But Mateo has one big defect–he’s impulsive. They’ve had problems because of it. Moisés needs him to show that he’s matured and can control his impulses.
Mateo says he’s only impulsive when he sees unfairness.
Well, life isn’t fair. He has to learn to live with that. Anyway…he’s off to Houston. They found a buyer for the house and he and Celestina are going to go sign the paperwork and go on vacation.
Mateo tells him to go ahead–he’s waiting here for Nico so they can record his song. Moisés blesses Mateo. Mateo wishes him a good trip.
Rafa’s driving in the rain, listening to the radio. The announcer calls Neto “El Rey” and starts playing Hasta el Mariachi Va a Llorar. Rafa starts to get choked up, remembering Neto telling him he has cancer. He tries not to cry.
Neto’s at the doctor’s. He remembers Lorenzo encouraging him to have a drink so he could pass him a note. Neto reads the note now…
Lorenzo says he’s being watched, even in his own house. He’s not sure how long it will go on, but he’s grateful to Neto for making him understand he can’t leave his sister alone. Maybe Mateo will be the one to finish off Amado without either of them dirtying their hands and without Rafa going to jail.
The doctor comes in, his face serious, asking if Neto’s ready for this.
No. He’s been trying to leave things in order, but the more he gets into the problems, the deeper he realizes they are.
The doctor says this treatment will be tough. Neto’s going to need all his energy focused on himself and on surviving.
Neto knows. He’s done everything he can. It’s time for him to look out for himself. They walk out of the exam room and Neto throws the note away.
Amado calls Rafa while he’s still in the car. He’s talked to Bianco and Ezequiel and they want to destroy Rafa.
Rafa suggests Amado try to join them somehow….
Nah, he’s a politician. He can’t get involved. So, Rafa’s in charge of the inauguration, but Amado doesn’t think he should sing. It would make their partnership too obvious.
Rafa tells him to chill. Everything’s under control.
Well, Amado wants something…for the people. Popular artists. If Rafa can’t get them, he’ll tell Alexis to do it. Alexis is dying to have the job.
Rafa angrily says Alexis should stick to doing his job and let him deal with everything else.
Nicolas records Despertar. It’s a little too fast for me. Mateo remembers Rafa singing it at JC’s memorial. (And every time they show JC in that coffin it looks so uncomfortably narrow.)
Mateo’s happy with the recording, the band is happy with it. Mateo declares it better than Rafa’s version.
Nico knows it’s going to seem like he’s trying to provoke his father, but he just wants people to see that he has a different style from the rest of his family.
Isaac wanders in and sees the suitcases waiting for Moisés and Celestina. His mom says they’ll be gone for a few days. And where was he? What was he doing?
Stuff. They’ll find out later.
Moisés takes the suitcases out to the taxi while Celestina tells Isaac to come give her a kiss. She hugs him and tells him to behave himself. Isaac says he’s going upstairs. He wishes his dad luck.
Celestina doesn’t like leaving Belinda alone with him. She’s sure he’s betting again (yeah, ’cause “stuff” wasn’t at all subtle). Now that Belinda has money, she can’t give him anything.
Belinda tells her not to worry. Just go and relax. Mateo and Gilda are still here and she can call them if she needs to.
Manara gets back to her hotel room to find Amado waiting with a couple of guys in suits. He says Julia’s coming with him and Manara pushes Julia behind her. He’s got an order from a judge.
Manara reads it, but insists Julia’s not going.
Amado ushers them out onto the balcony, where he says they can all go if Manara wants. They can terminate her contract, but her boss seems like a slave driver, so it’ll probably be the end of her career. There’s room on the plane. Behind Manara, Julia shakes her head.
Again, Manara repeats that Julia’s not leaving and neither is she! He’ll have to have her thrown in jail.
Amado sighs that she planned this all well, but she failed in one little thing. She’s going to be very busy and he’s got the law on his side.
Oh, he wants to talk “law”? Law favors justice. Is he ready to face justice.
Amado asks Vidal (aka, Elena’s killer…I mean seriously, how do you trust a guy like that to be within a mile of a person you claim to love?) to take Julia outside with the others. He just wants them to be able to talk alone–no one’s leaving by force.
Manara insists on walking Julia to the door and makes her promise not to go anywhere with them.
Alone with Amado, she warns him if he takes Julia he’ll have to sew her mouth shut to keep her from talking. Either he leaves Julia here or she talks. He’s the only one with anything to lose.
Amado slams her against the wall by her throat and says he’s the only one who’s going to win. He has custody, so if she plays nice Julia gets to stay on vacation and Manara gets to keep being a singer. Otherwise he’ll take Julia with him and have Manara beat so badly she ends up paralyzed.
Manara says she’s not afraid of him, but Amado just laughs and says he’s even less afraid of her. He has them let Julia back in and leaves. Julia hugs Manara. (And of all the scary things about Amado, this is the one I imagine to be one of the worst–you never know what to expect from him. Every five minutes he’s changing his mind. Or threatening to do it and then he does something entirely different. How do you live with someone like that?)
El Diplomático doesn’t like risks. He said it would be better to carry out the assassination in a public place, like Amado’s inauguration.
Mateo doesn’t want that. People will get hurt.
Well, that’s where he wants to do it and it’s his job, so it’s not like Mateo can give him orders. Would he like to be told how to produce?
Mateo tells her not to compare.
She’s not. Each one does their own thing. Speaking of which, El Diplomático wants a few more corridos written under a pseudonym for some people in Juarez.
Mateo’s phone buzzes. Sorry he didn’t call sooner, he was in the studio. Rafa’s been thinking about what they talked about, seeing things coldly, and he wants to accept. So who else can they get for the inauguration besides Valentín?
Mateo offers to confirm Valentín and then they can talk about the others. Rafa agrees. They hang up and he throws his glass at the fireplace.
Mateo explains that Rafa wants Valentín for the inauguration. He’s going to get information from Rafa.
Ah, so he listened to her. If he thinks Rafa had something to do with JC’s death, she can take them both out for the same price.
Mateo would rather deal with Rafa on his own. He’s not going to do anything to him…he wants him in jail, not dead. He wants him to live for years so he can watch the press humiliate him, watch his family suffer, watch people forget him.