A faith healer gets a crowd all riled up in his tent, talking about Satan. He calls a man up to be healed of his cataracts and a few people in the crowd get video.
Outside, Santini and Cervantes check out the merch tables. Cervantes buys a little bottle of oil that’s supposed to come from the Santo Sepulcro (Jesus’ tomb). Even she doesn’t look convinced.
They peek into the tent after a lot of the crowd have left and see a woman in a wheelchair handing over an envelope. Santini’s wearing his disapproval all over his face. Bautista, the healer, knows Santini by his reputation.
Santini keeps sneering as he and Cervantes ask him questions about things like how he got started, how he does the healing, how many people he’s cured (500). Santini cracks and asks how he does it, aside from charlatanería (charlatanism).
Bautista angrily ends the interview.
Cervantes gripes at him for acting like a child and making it impossible to investigate this guy.
Cervantes meets with her psychiatrist. She’s been having the feeling that someone’s behind her and hasn’t slept in four days. She just didn’t say anything because she didn’t think it was “that bad.” OK, and also she’s having panic attacks and dizziness and feeling disoriented, but no hallucinations. She can’t have her job finding out about this.
The psychiatrist reminds her that the trigger for her last time was what happened to her mother.
Yeah, she’s not talking about her mother again–she just wants him to change the prescription.
He refuses. She’s just started these and they need to monitor how she reacts to them.
Santini followed the man with the cured cataracts, Everardo, home. His daughter explains he starting having problems with his vision last year and the oil really is miraculous. He’s been taking it (I never could figure out if it was topical or ingested) for about six months and he took a trip to Tlacote. She had to borrow money from her tios to afford that trip.
But he heard God and he’s got his sight back and it’s a miracle.
Everardo joins them in the kitchen and tries to avoid talking to Santini, who they think works for a magazine. Everardo confirms everything his daughter said.
Again, Santini cracks. There’s an operation that can cure cataracts and it’s entirely possible he had that done just so they can pretend there was a miracle today. Bautista’s just taking people’s money. Santini wants to end his lies.
Everardo tells him he has no idea what kind of people he’s messing with. He should stop looking now, before it’s too late.
In the morning, Santini gripes at Cervantes for not answering her phone last night. He’s blaming his bad mood on that. Well, that and he’s not getting a different story from anyone–they all say they saw God.
As for Everardo, he seemed scared, like he’d been threatened.
Cervantes wonders if the oil could be a placebo. She’s not willing to say it is until they prove it. But she did dig up that Bautista cleared 10 million pesos in donations last year.
They go to Alvares who says this isn’t enough to arrest Bautista. If people handed over donations, he doesn’t have to justify that. They’d have to catch him in the act.
Cervantes punches Santini in the arm, presumably for losing them the chance to do that. Alvares refuses to do Santini any more favors without some decent proof. And he’s lucky he’s with Cervantes because he wouldn’t have let Santini in without her.
The guys from the institute call Santini and he asks Alvares to turn on the news. A reporter, Mónica Sánchez, is reporting on the miraculous healing of Maria Esquivel. Bautista’s inviting everyone to join him tonight.
At the institute, Julio (the guy with hair) and Rafa (the guy without) have been analyzing the oil and the only thing in it that might help explain things is a pupil dilator. Santini says that’s not enough for them to have the reactions they’re having. Could he be drugging them? Santini looks at the video and notices something up Bautista’s sleeve.
If it’s something like a topical hallucinogen they’ve got him, but how will they prove it?
Santini’s confined to the surveillance van this time, while Julio, Rafa, and Cervantes are wearing wires and cameras. Santini tells them to look for anything suspicious.
Outside, Bautista’s assistant meets with people who want cures. She tells a man with lymphatic cancer that today’s not his day, but he’s invited to a special meeting later tonight.
She approaches the woman in the wheelchair they saw before and tells her today IS her day. But she can’t forget the oil. And did she bring her donation? The woman hands over another envelope of cash.
Bautista and Cervantes go over to the woman’s house and explain that Bautista’s defrauding people and taking advantage of their desperation. They can’t let him keep hurting people. Santini says he’ll pay all her medical bills if she just helps unmask Bautista. Elena agrees to help.
Back at the tents, Bautista gets started with a man named Enrique. Julio and Rafa are inside the tent filming, but Santini can’t see his hands. Bautista pulls a glob of something out of Enrique’s side.
Santini’s got Cervantes heading for the campers to find out who’s feeding Bautista information. Occasionally the signal from that cuts in on their equipment. They hear something about stopping drinking.
Cervantes gets stopped by a security guy and pretends she’s just been looking for the bathroom. She drops her earbud on the ground so Santini can keep listening in on the signal.
In the tent, Bautista cures a man who thinks his inability to walk was sent by God so he’d stop drinking. Bautista does his thing and the man drops his crutches. Santini runs facial recognition and finds out he was one of Bautista’s helpers at the previous event.
But now Elena’s jumping the gun. She’s asking Bautista why he lied. He notices the mic on her shirt, but she swears she’ll follow him to the end. Bautista’s helper hands him something–a crucifix on a chain?–and he presses it to Elena’s forehead.
Cervantes arrives in time to try and hold Santini back, but it’s too late. He’s already in there swearing to God that he’s going to unmask Bautista. Which Bautista finds funny because Santini doesn’t believe in God. He leans closer and whispers that Santini has no proof.
Bautista asks Elena to tell everyone about her experience.
Well, she saw a light and she can breathe now and she has a feeling of peace.
Santini’s almost sobbing in frustration. Bautista asks what difference it makes if he’s a scam artist or not. These people all have faith–who is he to take it from them?
Julio and Rafa haven’t found anything on the video to help explain things. Cervantes remembers Bautista touching Santini on the shoulder and suggests they test his jacket.
Julio announces that Velasquez (aka, the guy in the bar) is in the office and wants to talk to them.
Velasquez is there with Mónica Sánchez. She’s apparently his pet reporter and helps them out when things are less clear-cut. Santini and Cervantes aren’t having it. What’s in it for her anyway?
Money and viewers. People love a scandal. Half truths become whole ones on TV.
She starts talking about her vision for the report–she’ll make them look like heroes, they’ll give the details of the case….
Oh no, they are NOT going on camera. If she wants the details…they usher her into an office with piles of research all over the place.
Julio and Rafa didn’t find anything on Santini’s jacket. Whatever Bautista used must evaporate quickly.
Santini insists on visiting Elena again. She’s having difficulty breathing. Bautista’s still willing to pay for her treatment if she’ll just help them.
Elena doesn’t see the point. The only thing some of those people have is faith. Who is she to take it from them.
And anyway, she doesn’t want to die in a hospital. So her daughters will take her on this trip and maybe she’ll see the ocean.
Unfortunately my recording cut off just as Santini and Cervantes were leaving, so unless something happened in the last few seconds, it looks like this case goes in the “unsolved” pile.
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