QUEEN OF THE SOUTH Review: “El Engano Como la Regla”

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delivers another great episode about business and customer satisfaction in “El Engano Como la Regla.” USA has a knack for making dangerous situations fun and entertaining. I mean that in the best way. Queen of the South is set in the deadly and depressing world of narcotics trafficking from the point of view of a foot soldier. If it was too gritty, nobody would watch. If it was too shiny, nobody would care. They nail the perfect tone to engage the audience.

“El Engano Como la Regla” opens with one of my favorite show elements. Teresa has a conversation with one of the other mules she lives in her cage with, and gets educated by that white-suited future version of herself. I love that bit. Teresa is cool to begin with, but this judgmental, mentor figure/goal from the future is fantastic. Every time I see her I wonder where my future slick-apparition is? I may not have problems with my Mexican or Columbian suppliers, but I have issues with Internet and Time Warner or Dish from time to time.

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH -- "Engano, Como Una Regla" Episode 106 -- Pictured: Alice Braga as Teresa Mendoza -- (Photo by: Bill Matlock/USA Network)

Danger is the main difference. Camila’s customers and sellers need their fix and her product is under attack. Vargas lies about trouble on his end to extend her discomfort and he rats out her Columbian shipment to the DEA. When James and Teresa go to pay for the product, Federal Shooters descend on the parking garage, kill the Columbians, and seize the product. That’s some rough business. Teresa and James barely escape.

James runs off to warn his love interest Kim about the trouble and send her to a safe house. Teresa goes to find Tony and Brenda. Tony misses and mourns his father. He’s going through that stage of grief where he’s a dick to his mom. Brenda misses him too but she digs into work, cutting and selling drugs with her compliant buddy from the motel.

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH -- "Engano, Como Una Regla" Episode 106 -- Pictured: Oscar Contreras as Ricardo -- (Photo by: Bill Matlock/USA Network)

As much as I love seeing Teresa navigate the perils of her situation, I always look forward to seeing Brenda manage her day-to-day operations. She’s a much more primal-doer type. My guess is she doesn’t have a slick apparition guiding her either. There really needs to be an app for this sort of thing. We could trade; the narcos could give us their guidance ghosts and we’d give them a convention. Narco-Con. Cartel Kingpins could release the best mules in the business from their cages for a few days to meet with their most hooked customers.

Battles and war. Camila knew she was going to war with Vargas, but she also faces a battle with her rival cartel’s enforcer, Eric “Birdman” Watson. I’m not sure she expected this, but she’s highly intelligent when it comes to identifying weapons and assets. Right now, he’s bad for her business. It will be interesting to see how she deals with him, we know James wants him dead. In the mean time, one of Camila’s men suggests selling Teresa to Vargas to make up for the total loss of Columbian product, $5 million. We’re about half way through the first season, due for a major reversal or shakeup.

TB-TV-Grade-A
Season 1, Episode 6 (S01E06)
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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