El Gran Estreno de Sangre De Mi Tierra 11/29/17 #1

Our story gets moving at quite a clip, promising to explain, as the title says, what the “accidente de la discordia” is that sets the plot in motion.

It’s harvest day at the Montiel winery and Aurora Castañeda’s first day back home after college and some time in France. Aurora didn’t care for how strict the French were about “innovation” so she’s happy to be home.

Juanjo Montiel, who was allegedly sooooo looking forward to this day is off in a shack somewhere sleeping off a bender. He grabs a shirt and keys and the camera lingers on a map where Ushuaia is circled as he heads for his truck.

At the vines, Montiel the elder thanks God for everything he’s given them before Crisanto Castañeda ceremonially cuts the first bunch of grapes for the year.

Juanjo shows up in the truck with some friend and goes to flirt with Aurora. I don’t know what HE thinks is going on between them, but her “You’re not the center of the universe anymore” makes her position clear. And she doesn’t approve of him using his old nickname for her, “greñuda.” (tangle? mop?) She goes over to cozy up with some guy who’s been glaring at them.

Glaring guy notices Juanjo’s friend and starts hassling him about a contract and “papers.” Natalia Montiel has to agree–they’re already at budget and they can’t take on more workers. Crisanto overrules her. He’s got a soft spot for Wilmer because of his own past–he wouldn’t be here if Natalia’s dad had never given him a job and a love of the grape. He says he’ll pay Wilmer’s salary for the day, and the rest of the harvest season.

Aurora notices the name on the side of the truck. Juanjo tells her he and Emilio bought it together. She remembers dancing around in the shack and Emilio asking if they should road trip to Corpus Christi or the East Coast somewhere. Ushuaia was Aurora’s pick. She’s angry, remembering it now–as if they could make it to Tijuana in that thing! They need an adult to just to get to the corner!

He follows her out to the warehouse, where she’s tasting a glass of wine with Luis. She’s talking about the color and the fruitiness and full expression and I’m like…clearly I’m more of a wine drinker than a wine appreciator. Luis gets called away for a phone call and Juan José makes his move. Again. Vocab: catar = taste. Again, Aurora shuts him down.

The work in the fields is done for the day. Natalia hands over some cash to have her husband get the workers a treat, at least for today.

In the warehouse, Juanjo’s pulling out all the stops and using the best seduction tips of juveniles everywhere. Teasing–check. Insisting she’s got a thing for him–check. Ignoring her “no”–check (and pro tip: no means no). And because this is a TV show and they’re “in love” it all works and they end up rolling around in the barrels. Also because this is TV the floor is clean and nobody has back problems.

Unfortunately, they hear her dad come looking for her, so Juanjo gets dressed quickly and fakes out her dad, saying he saw her down by the river…and ain’t it hot?

Aurora’s mom catches her climbing out the warehouse window and hissing to Emilio to come help her. Aurora and Emi wander back in and she attempts to continue her conversation with Luis about why she likes his wines (employee, family member? Which family?) Grumpy guy keeps “mi amor” -ing her and Aurora can’t help mentioning the heat. Isn’t anyone else hot?

It’s party time at Casa Castañeda. Grumpy guy gives Aurora flowers and proposes marriage. Aurora’s face: If I jump in the pool can I get out of this? She gives her family a freaked-out look and nods at grumpy guy. Nice rock.

Inside, Wilmer asks Juanjo for a light–the boss passed out cigars in honor of the upcoming wedding. Juanjo tells him not to light it up here.

Oh, grumpy guy’s name is Roberto and Aurora only told him “yes” to keep from embarrassing him. Why would he think she’d want to marry him. They talked marriage and a honeymoon cruise five MONTHS ago. And she doesn’t even like cruises! Marriage is a decision two people make together. She tries to give back the ring, but he wants her to think about it.

Wilmer couldn’t resist the sight of an unattended backpack in the office, apparently, and Anita catches him stealing it. Natalia cancels the credit cards and she’d already taken out the cash, but her tablet was still in it. Juanjo’s sure if he goes out there he can find Wilmer himself.

Instead, we skip to a scene of Juanjo and Emilio telling Crisanto they wanted to take that trip to Ushuaia. Instead, Crisanto gives Emilio 80 acres of good land near the highway. And he offers to help him set up his own warehouse. He’s sure Serena, Emilio’s girlfriend, will be happy to find out they’ve got their own land and their own house.

Juanjo complains to Aurora that Emi and Serena have backed out on the trip. The two of them should just go, now. Um, no, she’s got plans. He throws the proposal in her face, reminding her about how she couldn’t wait to rip his clothes off yesterday. (Uh, that’s not exactly how I remember it.) She’s pissed that he thinks all he has to do is show up and mention that and she’ll come running. People change. They grow up. Does he know what that means? It means not being afraid of commitment and love!

“You know I wasn’t born to be anyone’s husband.” Ah, is THAT their beef? She tells him to find some other girl, because she wants a life and a house…not to be following around after him, taking care of him, keeping him out of trouble, and occasionally sleeping with him. She’s not into that anymore.

Days pass. Aurora finds her dad bringing Roberto up to date on plant operations. He gives Roberto a copy of Aurora’s thesis to read and she’s livid. Isn’t her dad going to read it? Is he throwing Natalia over to bring in Roberto? And she supposes she’s now supposed to work for him full-time, while he gets paid two or three times her salary? “But you’re getting married. It’s all going to the same place.”

He pulls out a 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon to toast with and asks Aurora to get him the glasses. I’d say she gives him a petulant “You don’t understand anything,” but naw, sister, I feel ya. The Robster gets a “You understand even less!” Sing it!

By the time she gets home, the rest of the family are assembled and on their way to a wine awards thing and her mom’s complaining about feeling uncomfortable in her dress. Crisanto can’t figure out why Aurora’s upset, so Emi tries to explain that, you know, he just made her boyfriend/fiancée her boss. Mm, nope, he doesn’t get it. And Emi thinks she can manage the warehouse on her own. But when you’re living in Crisanto’s head, wine is a man’s world.

Emilio lets the others go on ahead while he convinces Aurora to go–their wine is being judged and she can’t miss that. Dad’s from a different century. She knows–he’ll never change. He doesn’t care about her work or her education. She’s just a woman to him. Maybe she should go work somewhere else, go back to France or something. Emilio says she belongs here.

The wine event is underway when Aurora arrives and asks to speak to Roberto NOW. He’s going to turn down the job, but she doesn’t care about that. And it’s not about the proposal. She tries an “It’s not you, it’s me” but he offers to wait for her for as long as he has to. She says she’s never getting married to him and it’s not to do with Juanjo–it’s nothing about anyone but her. She’s been thinking and she can’t see a future with Roberto. She gives back the engagement ring to a teary Roberto.

Vocabulary: enóloga = feminine form of enólogo, oenologist, wine expert. This is how Emi describes her as he explains that this blend is Aurora and Juanjo’s doing. Roberto goes off in a huff as everyone’s applauding them.

Roberto finds Crisanto the next morning and tells him Aurora broke up with him last night. Aurora’s mom is angry. She knew this would happen–that Aurora would go back to Juanjo. Crisanto’s face lights up like somehow he’d never realized Aurora and Juanjo had a thing and he’s pleased with the idea. This guy really is clueless.

Juanjo finds Aurora cleaning the floor of the vat room and apologizes, claiming that if she wants to get married, he’d marry her. He’d jump off the Golden Gate Bridge with her–parachute or no parachute, if that’s what she wants. *smoochies*

The kids get down at Party Central, aka The Shack. There’s lots of giggling and beer, but Emilio’s still not going on this trip with him. Everyone decides they want to go skinny-dipping, but Aurora’s worried about them driving drunk.

Come dawn, they’re still driving, still popping open beers, and now Emi pulls out a baggie of pot. In a freak accident involving a tractor, a ditch, and a parked car, Juanjo flips the truck and it sails through the window of the Castañedas’ wine store, dramatically splashing the whole place with red liquid and broken glass and traumatizing the woman who came to clean before opening.

The news starts to spread. Is it just me, or was it odd that Crisanto called for Emilio REPEATEDLY at the hospital and didn’t seem to give a rip that Aurora was sitting right there in a neck brace, arm sling, and covered in blood? The Sheriff arrives and calls Aurora’s mom “Mercedes” for which I am grateful. She’s Sheriff Susan and unlike Crisanto she actually DOES want to talk to Aurora…then Serena…and so far their stories seem to be lining up. Someone brings her a bloodwork report and she goes off in search of the boys.

She stops Natalia in the hallway to tell her that Juanjo was over the blood alcohol limit and he’d smoked some marijuana. Natalia pulls herself together and says “ok.”

Serena and Aurora are finally done with exams and seeing each other in the hallway. Roberto comes in to whine about how very worried he was. Natalia sees the three of them and hugs Aurora gently. She asks Roberto to do her a favor–find her lawyer, go over to the wine store, and find out how much the damages will be.

Crisanto pulls Aurora aside to ask since when she’s been “doing drugs.” Aurora objects that it sounds bad when he puts it like that. He doesn’t care–it’s what they were doing. Whatever happens to her brother now is her fault.

Mercedes struggles to reach Paloma and ends up having little brother Leo call her. Paloma’s off on a topless photo shoot, but Mercedes was right–she answers the phone for Leo.

Emi has made it out of surgery in reasonable shape. Juanjo’s got some internal injuries and is on his way into surgery. Aurora leans over his bed as he’s being wheeled by, unconscious, and tells him he’d BETTER not even THINK about dying on her! (I think she’s growing on me.)

A conversation between Natalia’s hubby and his dad calls into question the exact family relationships here. He’s Juanjo’s stepdad, but Juanjo never calls him that…but he will call hubby’s dad “grandpa.”

Roberto gets back from the wine store and tells Natalia it’s REALLY bad. He has no idea how any of them are even alive.

Two Days Later

Crisanto lays into the entire family about how the insurance won’t want to pay since they were all drunk. The winery’s going to the dogs, and they’ve completely ignored the harvest to deal with all this. Emi tells him to take it down a few notches.

Juanjo’s finally woken up. The nurse seems inordinately pleased at him remembering his name. She hasn’t even bothered trying to quiz him on what day of the week it is or who the other people in the room are.

Days Later

Between their four mobile devices, Emi, Serena, Juanjo, and Aurora watch the rest of the wine awards and the guys tease each other about looking like crap. Their blend won second prize. Crisanto accepts in honor of Emi and his family and says NOTHING about Aurora and Juanjo.

More time passes. Mercedes brings Emilio some soup. She’s fussing about him not telling Leo or he’ll get jealous. Suddenly Emilio starts choking.

Serena shows up at Emilio’s room just as a nurse is pushing Mercedes out. She calls Aurora nd interrupts snuggle time in Juanjo’s room. Aurora goes running out without an explanation. Little by little everyone’s gathering in the hallway outside Emilio’s room. Juanjo’s stepdad, Paco, tries to keep him from leaving the room, saying nothing’s going on.

Instead, Juanjo gets to the hallway just in time for Crisanto to arrive and the entire family to stare at him as Mercedes grabs her husband and sobs. Juanjo keeps asking how Emilio is as Paco tries to get him to go back to his room.

Down in the morgue, Crisanto identifies the body. He sobs alone in the bathroom. (Because crying in public isn’t manly or whatever. Come on, Cris, break the chains of the patriarchy. They’re holding you back, bro.)

In her office, Sheriff Susan talks through the case. Emilio was doing better. How’d they miss the injury to the bazo (spleen)? The DA says there’s no medical negligence, but he’s gotta charge someone here. Now, the driver, Juan José Montiel…Sherriff Susan says he’s a good person, Emilio’s BFF. “Yep, and drunk off his ass when he crashed the truck into the wine store.”

At the hospital, Juanjo’s been released and he wants to go to Emilio’s funeral. Paco reluctantly helps him into a wheelchair, but Sheriff Susan stops them–Juanjo’s under arrest for Emilio’s death.

At Casa Castañeda, Crisanto starts verbally beating the sensitivity out of his one remaining male child because, as he says, the womenfolk are going to need someone to lean on. Run away Leo. Run away.

He’s spared further BS by the arrival of the DA. Crisanto vaguely remembers picking grapes with him back in the day.

Sheriff Susan tries to read Juanjo his rights, but he keeps interrupting her and eventually says he did it, he killed Emilio. Exasperated, she says they’ll forget he said that and he won’t say ANYTHING else until they get him a LAWYER. She tells Paco they’ll need to get him a good criminal attorney.

At the house, Sheriff Susan explains that they’re going for involuntary manslaughter. And, um, she saw the DA being very buddy buddy with Crisanto. She’s risking her pension telling them this, but…she drops an envelope on the coffee table. Paco opens it to find the paperwork for Juanjo’s bail and says it’s ridiculously high. That’s what she’s been trying to explain. Friendship is one thing, but the pain of a father who just lost his son is something else.

On the way to the cemetery, Crisanto asks Mercedes if Paloma said who she was going over with. Nope, she just said she needed privacy. Mercedes happens to catch a glimpse of Paloma and her photographer walking outside his trailer. And she doesn’t look happy about this.

At the courthouse, everyone keeps telling Juanjo to just say what the lawyer tells him to say. In other words, “Not guilty.”

Paloma gets to the funeral late.

The judge goes through the procedures, explaining the charges and asking Juanjo how he pleads…


The rest of Juanjo’s family arrive at the funeral and Crisanto rushes over to make it clear they’re not welcome.

Series NavigationNext: Sangre De Mi Tierra 11/30/17 #2 >>

Author: 5ftLatina

Kat is 5ftLatina. She is really 5' tall (and probably shrinking) and Latina. She is not actually a cactus, but she is both prickly and cute. Mr. 5ft is actually married to Kat, but is not 5' tall or Latina. He is also not a form of plant life.

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Linda F.
Visita/ Guest
Linda F.

Fantastic recap–thank you so much for doing this! I just watched the second episode and think I have a clearer idea now of the Montiel family relations. From what I understand, Juanjo is Paco’s son and Natalia’s stepson. Juanjo’s mother abandoned him (as well as her husband Paco, I assume) and was supposedly a heroin addict. Joaquín is Natalia’s father, and he and his late wife helped Crisanto when he was young and needed work. I think that Luis is Natalia and Paco’s son, which would make him Juanjo’s half-brother.

Linda F.
Visita/ Guest
Linda F.

I forgot to mention that I loved episode 2 and may already be hooked on this thing!

By the way, what does Telemundo have against Daniel Elbittar? This is the second time I’ve seen him killed off in the initial episode of a novela. Wasn’t he the singer who died right away in “Guerra de ídolos”? Both times I thought he was the handsomest guy in the cast, and then *poof* . . . he’s gone!