Al Otro Lado del Muro Wednesday 4/11/18 #36


Ernesto sends Pastrana out for plastic bags. He’s pleased with himself for coming up with an alternative to exhumation. (And really, what would that have proved?)

Sofia, Richie, Patrick, and Joel are all frozen, giving each other panicked looks.

Paula suddenly realizes there’s another flaw in their plan. What lab will they use for the test? They’re going to want to know who the samples are from and why they want the results. She can’t ask Cummings for help because he told her to leave Alejandra alone. It would take too long to get results back from Mexico. She tasks Pastrana with finding the best lab in LA and forcing them to cooperate.

Pastrana promises Paula some results by tomorrow.

Richie calls whoever’s watching the consulate to tell them to follow Pastrana. Joel turns to Patrick to whine that he should be the one in charge. Richie and Joel get into another argument. Sofia can’t believe they’re acting like this!

Patrick backs her up and takes charge of the operation. He wants Joel to go with Richard’s agent to follow Pastrana. Richie says he’ll take Sofia home, since they’re probably following her as “Alejandra.”


Max swears he only spent the night at Jennifer’s because he was injured and the boys were there. The only family he’s interested in putting back together is his and Eliza’s.

He thinks it’s important they check on everybody’s immigration status (about damn time!). Eliza’s worried about how that’s going to work out, given the current climate. Max says they can prove they were married when Karina and Tomás were born. As for the bigamy (oh, so casual) he’s sure there must be some legal procedure to help them.

But what if doing this tips off the authorities that they’ve been here for years without “papers” and they get deported?

Then they’ll go back to Mexico.

And what about Charlie?

Max says he’ll bring Charlie. Maybe they’ll even find a better doctor in Mexico. He’s not taking “no” for an answer because their family never should have been separated. (And whose fault was that?)

Eliza accepts a few kisses and then tells him to get back to his “family” weekend with Jennifer.

Hey, Max is totally staying at a hotel tonight. Alone. Unless Eliza wants to come with him…? Or she could invite him to stay with her.

Uh, with her mom sleeping on a cot right next to her bed?

They can send her to Las Vegas! She can catch some shows! This gets Eliza laughing.


Sofia’s about to get out of the car when Richie tells her they were followed. Trejo’s sitting in the SUV behind them.

Inside, Richie checks for bugs while he tells “Alejandra” how great she did today and “Alejandra” complains about how much she dislikes events. Sure enough, there’s a bug behind the frame of a painting.

Richard puts on some Jazz to entertain Trejo while he explains to Alejandra, in her darkroom, that microphones were only placed in the living room and bedroom, and by someone who’s not terribly professional.

Rather than get rid of them, he wants to use them to convince Ernesto’s people that she really is Alejandra Miranda, happily married to Richard Garcia. (Dude, if you suggest sex, I’m going to deck you.) He reminds her she’s the one who wanted to do this, so yeah, they might have to sleep together. (Creeeeep!)


Karina notices Alondra tearing up over some photos online. Alondra’s remembering Alejandra’s presentation. Karina gets a look at the pictures and Alondra explains where they came from. She can’t help crying when she looks at them. Karina agrees, they’re moving–but Alo never cries.

Eliza comes in and asks them to come to dinner. She needs to tell them something important.

But first, Andres stops by to remind them baby Maria’s getting baptized tomorrow. He still can’t believe he’s a grandpa! (Me neither, honey. I mean…uh, he’s very well-preserved….) He and Eliza are going to be the godparents. After the ceremony they’ll all go back to his house and party.

Eliza asks him to stay and hear what she has to say. He’s part of the family too. Conveniently, Tommy gets home just then. Eliza asks him to sit down, even if he’s not hungry.

Carmen’s had about enough of the suspense. If Eliza’s going to say she got back together with that guy and he’s going to come live here, just get it over with!

Instead, Eliza talks about them not even being able to sit down to a meal at the same time. How are they going to stick together as a family? She goes on and on about how family is their biggest support and she knows everyone’s got feelings and she thinks they should share their fears.

This time it’s Tommy who asks if this family meeting is because she wants Max to move in.

Eliza asks if that’s really all that’s bothering him. Because she has a feeling it’s something else.

Tommy says they’ve all be thrown off by Max showing up again, and Ernesto coming to town.

Karina speaks for herself and Rodrigo–they’re happy Max is back and they’re glad they met Charlie.

Eliza reiterates that they’ve all reacted differently, but they have to keep in mind things can change quickly. That gang member could have killed Max. Ernesto’s attack could have been fatal. They shouldn’t judge each other, but support each other. Even she doesn’t know what’s going to happen with Max.

She knows Alondra has a lot of questions, but Sofia entrusted Alondra to her and she knows she’s raised her right. Alo will find her answers.

Eliza’s here if they need to talk, or they just need a hug, or a back rub, or a game of Lotería. They’re family and nobody can compete with that because they love each other. Cue group hug. Except that Andres is still standing there wondering what he’s doing here.


Paula doesn’t like Trejo. She doesn’t know why, but she just doesn’t trust him. Ernesto thinks he’s loyal enough. And besides, all he has to do is record Alejandra and her husband’s conversations.

Paula’s not even sure he placed the microphones correctly.

Ernesto drinks and starts babbling about how alike Sofia and Alejandra are. He even thinks Alejandra smells like Sofia. And how long has she been married…two years. At three years the endorphins start coming down. Yep, Ernesto thinks he’s going to steal her away from Richard.

Paula tries to get his attention back on her, offering a little something-something…and Ernesto turns her down. (I know, Paula, I know…who the hell does this puppet think he is?!)


Joel checks in with Patrick. They’re in front of Pastrana’s hotel and so far, all they know is that he contacted a “Doctora Farias.” Patrick will track down all the potential doctoras Farias.

Lorena made a fancy dinner. She leaves a message for Joel, whining about wanting to make up with him and saying she made his favorite dinner. She tries to convince herself Joel’s not with Sofia.


Frida’s lying on the couch in the basement. Her unpleasant memories of Johnny are interrupted by a text from Tommy: We could be free. She puts the phone back down and cries.

Tommy heads to Eliza’s room for some comfort. She says she’ll take care of him. She’ll watch over his dreams, scare away his nightmares. And even if he’s far away, she’ll give him her blessing.


Rodrigo does some research on bone marrow donation and the sight of a huge needle getting stuck in someone’s hip freaks him out. He wakes up Charlie and says he was just watching a horror movie. With ghosts.

Charlie asks if he thinks people can come back from the dead to talk to their loved ones.

Rod thinks so. It’s happened.

Charlie asks what Rod’s afraid of.

His mom being angry.

But his mom’s so nice, so seriously–what’s he afraid of?

Something bad happening to people he loves.

Charlie says he used to be afraid of dying, but he’s not anymore. He has a brother and Tommy and Karina.

Rodrigo says he isn’t dying for a lot of years and the two of them will be together.


Julian’s practicing some English in front of the mirror for Karina. He says he’s a tiger…or rather, he’s a Tigger. Which is cool ’cause who doesn’t like Tigger?

Paula wanders in and says she can testify that he’s a beast. She’s hoping for a little something-something from him, but ooh she’s 0 for 2 tonight. Julian’s got a date. She grabs his cell phone and reels him in when he tries to take it back.

Afterwards, they joke about Julian having more to learn and Paula having more to teach him than…Karmina?


Paula remembers her as a skinny little kid. Julian says she’s still skinny, but she’s beautiful. He hasn’t told her who he is so it doesn’t ruin their romance.

Paula approves. She suggests if he wants to get her into bed he send her an email. Something that shows his weak side and makes her feel protective–isn’t that what angels want?

Julian doubts it will be that easy. She’s super smart.

Now Paula gets all excited–if she’s a nerd it will be even easier. (*scowl*) She dictates a soppy love letter to him about his nightmare being never seeing her again.

At the same time, Karina’s having her usual deportation nightmare. Alondra has to wake her up. Karina sobs that they’re going to get deported.

Consul’s house

Paula reminds Ernesto he’s making a speech later about human rights. Trejo reports that he listened to Alejandra and Richard all night and didn’t hear anything outside the usual husband and wife stuff. If Ernesto knows what he means.

Ernesto wants it spelled out for him, so Trejo plays the recording from the bedroom. “Kiss me! Like this?” It’s enough for Ernesto to decide that’s Sofia. And that’s enough to have him swigging from his flask again.

Julian comes to the table asking what’s for breakfast. He’s starved.


The talk at breakfast is about tamales. Alo notices Karina is glued to her phone again. She wants to see this guy she keeps messaging. Karina gets defensive–he’s not her boyfriend! He’s just a friend.

Carmen says he’s hot. What? Just because she’s middle-aged doesn’t mean she can’t say someone is handsome, or evaluate the quality of the melcocha (candy).


Joel reports to Patrick that they’re watching Pastrana walk Dr. Farias to his SUV. They assume he’s taking her to where she usually works, taking advantage of it being Sunday. Patrick says they’ll have what they need to get Joel and that other guy into the building in half an hour. In the meantime, they need to follow Pastrana.

Joel’s sneaking into the lab with the keys Patrick got for him. His disguise today is a fake ‘stache, fake teeth, glasses, a hearing aid, and a maintenance uniform. He’s supposed to place a transmitter as close as possible to the computer that Dr. Farias uses to run the test.

Dr. Farias knows what Pastrana’s asking her to do is illegal, but he came prepared for that. He’s got men stationed at her ex’s house where her sons are spending the weekend. She says it’s going to take at least 12 hours. Pastrana says he’ll be back…but she’d better not do anything stupid.

Pastrana runs into Joel in the hallway and tells him to go home–it’s Sunday. Joel just babbles about trying to clean the offices and make it a nice environment…. Pastrana gives up.

He goes back to the lab, sees Dr. Farias fiddling with her phone, and says the only person she needs to call is maintenance, to tell them not to clean the lab today.

Ernesto asks Paula if she’s heard from Pastrana. Paula says he’s at the lab with the doctor. It’s going to take a while to get the results, but he won’t leave until he has them.

Tommy & Frida

Tommy’s waiting for Frida at the karaoke bar, but she’s in the studio with Johnny. He tells her this is expensive, so she needs to get it done in one take. And then they’ll go out and keep planning her future.

Tommy gives up on waiting for her.

Julian & Karina

Julian’s phone keeps beeping and it’s annoying Ernesto. Paula says Julian’s got a new girlfriend and wait until Ernesto finds out who it is.

Karina turns down Julian’s brunch invitation since she’s going to Maria’s baptism. Eliza tells her to put down the phone. She’s stressing about being late. They still have to go pick up Rodrigo. She can’t wait for Tommy.


Richard’s getting the couch back to its usual state when Sofia comes in and asks if he wants coffee. He calls her “mi amor” and tells her she’s beautiful. For the sake of the bugs, of course.

Later he puts on the fútbol game and sneaks into the darkroom with her to tell her Joel’s in the lab. She’s worried about the woman Pastrana kidnapped. She can’t just sit here pretending they’re married and having a nice Sunday together when Joel’s out there risking his life for her!

Richard says Joel’s just doing his job, like everyone else. And it’s not just for her, it’s for the job.

Well, Sofia can’t just sit here!

Richard complains that he can’t understand why she cares so much about a guy who hates her and wants to send her back to jail. Sooner or later, he’s going to go back to blaming her for his sister’s death.

Richard says he can offer her something real. He loves her.

Sofia’s not interested in romance right now.

Richard keeps pushing–why won’t she give herself the chance to be with someone who really loves her.

“Because I don’t feel anything for you.” (Hey, dude–you asked.)


Andres and Santiago are impatiently waiting for Raquel to finish getting ready. Santiago’s as nervous as the day he got married.

Raquel finally emerges from the bedroom with the baby and Santiago thinks she looks like a movie star. They pass the baby around a little, talking about how cute she is and how it would have meant so much to Maria to have little Maria wear the same outfit she wore at her baptism.

Raquel wishes her family could be here. Andres says it’s hard to be away from family, in a new country with different customs. Santiago says the important thing is being able to give their families a better life.

Raquel agrees–Maria will grow up in a better environment than she did. She’ll be in the best schools and have the best doctors and the best education and she’ll be whatever she wants to be. And if for some reason, she and Santiago can’t raise her, she’ll have the best godparents. (Oh, I wish she hadn’t said that!)


The test is taking forever, as promised. Dr. Farias is pissed off that Pastrana’s telling her not to let her hands shake when he’s threatening her kids! No, she can’t speed it up!

Pastrana insists they have to be out of here before people start showing up for work on Monday.

Joel pulls out his fake teeth and complains to Patrick that he can’t get into the lab. He asks if they have the doctor’s phone number.

Patrick and the guy whose name I can’t remember are listening in on the lab using a “directional mic” (I tried looking up directional vs. parabolic but I didn’t understand the explanation). When they hear Pastrana on the phone to Paula, they send Dr. Farias a message.

She tells Pastrana the test is running and asks if she can go to the bathroom.

At the house, Ernesto whines about not being sure he wants Julian with Karina. Alondra said she wanted to go to a really expensive university. And hey, how come Paula and Julian are so chummy that he told her about Karina?

Pastrana walks Dr. Farias to the bathroom and takes her phone. Yeah, he saw her stick it in her lab coat pocket. She still insists on privacy and shuts the door in his face. Joel emerges from the last stall and she gasps. Pastrana swings the door back open again. What part of “privacy” did he not understand?

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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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“At the same time, Karina’s having her usual deportation nightmare. ”

THIS. This scene was just a gut punch. To think that this is common. That ICE agent throwing her down and cuffing her was not hyperbole. I spend a lot of time angry that we treat humans like this.


Thanks for the recap, Kat. Sorry I got on my little soapbox there.

For some reason Custodian!Joel grumbling at Pastrana reminded me of that Tim Conway Old Man character. Not one of Joel’s better disguises, but I guess they were short on time.

Did the actress playing Dr. Farias look familiar to you?


Oh! And…get this recorded in one take?

I feel so bad for Frida. Her storyline is so sad to me.