QUEEN OF THE SOUTH Review: “Cuarenta Minutos”

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races to get her drugs through airport security in 40 minutes or less in “Cuarenta Minutos.” Teresa wakes up in one of Camila’s distribution centers. The nasty foreman won’t allow her to speak with Camila who is attending her goddaughter’s quinceanera. The other women on site perform various tasks, prepping narcotics for transportation. One girl briefly befriends Teresa but dies when some of the drug packets she mules in her body dissolves into her system.

The head of transportation wastes no time trying to save the girl, he puts her on a table, cuts her body open and saves as many of the packets as he can. Now, there is a ticking clock on getting the rest to their contact at the airport. The surgery is a gruesome sight but Teresa uses the confusion to escape. She makes it out of the building, but not out of the compound. Camila returns when she gets a text about Teresa’s run.

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH -- "Caurenta Minutos" Episode 102 -- Pictured:  (l-r) Alice Braga as Teresa Mendoza, Juan Filipe Barrientos as The Charger, Veronica Falcon as Camila Vargas -- (Photo by: Bill Matlock/USA Network)

— “Caurenta Minutos” Episode 102 — Pictured: (l-r) Alice Braga as Teresa Mendoza, Juan Filipe Barrientos as The Charger, Veronica Falcon as Camila Vargas — (Photo by: Bill Matlock/USA Network)

Camila has big plans for her near future and she’s prepping for war against her husband, Governor Vargas. She doesn’t know why Teresa is so important to him, but she figures it’s more than just money. She takes a calculated risk holding on to Teresa. Teresa claims she was nothing more than the pilot’s girlfriend. Camila commands her men to drug her up and rent her out, but Teresa makes a sound argument that she would serve Camila better by taking the dead girl’s place.

She swallows twenty packets of their new deadly mix and races off with a sympathetic driver, Patrick. He doesn’t think she has enough time to get to the airport before the drugs kill her. He pleads with her to vomit them up but Teresa refuses. She’d rather die trying to deliver the drugs.

Patrick has a lot of tricks for dealing with traffic and roadwork but he gets t-boned by an SUV. Teresa runs on foot, they both get into line on time and pass airport security. She hacks up the first 17 bags in time on her own, but Patrick has to help soap out the last three. She makes her first run successfully against extraordinary odds. Brenda and Tony are also safe for the moment, but Vargas sends henchman, Cesar, to kill her.

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH -- "Caurenta Minutos" Episode 102 -- Pictured:  Veronica Falcon as Camila Vargas -- (Photo by: Bill Matlock/USA Network)

— “Caurenta Minutos” Episode 102 — Pictured: Veronica Falcon as Camila Vargas — (Photo by: Bill Matlock/USA Network)

Camila hires a new financial manager, Teo, to move all her Central and South American assets into less profitable shipping streams. Teo is clever about keeping business legal but he values his freedom. He isn’t afraid of Camila’s business, he likes a challenge, but he does want to make sure they form a partnership. He’s not interested in performing a risky, one time financial maneuver. Camila was successful in building the first Vargas cartel and she applies all her wisdom, leadership and expertise to this new hub in Texas. Teresa is smart enough to know she can learn a lot from Camila but she also needs to protect herself from the current Queen of the South. If she gives up her book of Vargas secrets too soon, they won’t need her at all. Vargas wants her taken alive, but he’ll settle for dead.

Part of the great set up of Queen of the South is this war between Vargas and Camila. The Governor vs. The Goddess, with little Teresa caught in the middle. Sometimes trying to survive, but always trying to move forward. The other women at the distribution center don’t like her and Camila only tolerates her as long as she thinks Teresa is some sort of secret virus weakening Vargas. She needs to make allies soon.

TB-TV-Grade-A
Season 1, Episode 2 (S01E02)
Queen of the South airs Thursdays at 10PM on USA

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Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
Twitter: @Etom2012

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