QUEEN OF THE SOUTH Review: “Esta ‘Cosa’ Que Es Nuestra”

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gears up for a narco war in “Esta ‘Cosa’ Que Es Nuestra.” There weren’t any shots fired this week but the wheels are in motion. Epifanio convinces Camila to return to Mexico for her own safety. The Jimemez cartel wants retribution for Camila’s botched attempt on Birdman Watson’s life. Epifanio wants her where can offer protection until he can smooth things over.

Initially, Camila plays a little with arguing about needing his protection, but she does return. It seemed part of her game plan all along. Epifanio’s election is just a few months away and he genuinely wants Camila back. They have an interesting scene where they lay their cards on the table. She admits she’s been growing her business and plans to continue and he admits he went out of his way to attack her product.

Epifanio has a campaign fundraiser scheduled and Camila stays long enough to attend and show support. A local bishop tells her Epifanio is on track to win the Governor’s seat as long as nothing drastic happens in the next few weeks. Epifanio contacts Jimenez, explains the situation, and asks him to forgive Camila for retaliating against Birdman Watson. Jimenez agrees, he has big ideas about Epifanio’s usefulness in the future. He tells Epifanio he’s been resourcing a machine of support for his campaign and needs to meet with him to discuss how he can help the cartel if he allows him to win the election. Epifanio doesn’t appreciate the tactic. He knows he’ll need to do some sort of favor, but he won’t be pushed or dictated.

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH -- "Esta 'Cosa' de los Nosotros" Episode 110 -- Pictured: Veronica Falcon as Camila -- (Photo by: Bill Matlock/USA Network)

Camila returns to Texas and tells James the war is over. Epifanio plans to double his shipments but he wants Birdman Watson left alone and Teresa delivered to him. Camila isn’t ready to give up Teresa and tells James it’s time to kill Birdman. If that move doesn’t renew the war with Epifanio, it should spark a new one with Jimenez. This is an exciting battle plan moving forward with three episodes left.

James never told Camila that Teresa was on the run. He’s been tasked with finding and killing the hotel witness, maid Maria. He sleuths the car Teresa drove to her border tunnel crossing and follows it back to Brenda’s hotel. She’s gone and her crew doesn’t know where she is. James calls her and tries to get information from, using her crew as leverage. Brenda doesn’t cave, she tells him nothing regardless of what he might do to her friends. They hear this decision and tell him the little they know.

James is an interesting character. He plans his freedom from Camila and for a while he feels like he can control Teresa. This week he learns the lesson that he can’t tell Teresa what to do. She won’t reveal where maid Maria is so he lies to Camila, reports the witness dead. This is leverage Teresa can use against James in the future. She knows he can be controlled, he’s a soldier not a general, and Teresa has insight into his plans and network. She knows whom he depends on and whom he cares about. His position in the war ahead will be interesting, both women need him for now, but he can only be loyal to one.

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH -- "Esta 'Cosa' de los Nosotros" Episode 110 -- Pictured: (l-r) Peter Gadiot as James Valdez, Veronica Falcon as Camila -- (Photo by: Bill Matlock/USA Network)

Teresa helps Maria and her loving son to freedom, but Maria’s brother attacks Teresa in Mexico. Maria’s father is former Federales and one of her brothers was tortured and killed by Vargas Cartel. Papa considers taking revenge on Teresa, he’s been praying for the opportunity to strike back at the cartel for years. Maria and her son help Teresa escape their home. She drives to the service station where she hid the book that has Epifanio so worried. Teresa doesn’t understand the information in the book, but she takes it back to Texas to see if Brenda can make sense of it. When Teresa returns to James, she’s empowered with leverage. People use leverage to move obstacles to their goals.

What exactly are Teresa’s goals? We know she wants revenge for the murder of her soul mate Guero. That is a short list, a couple of Vargas thugs and possibly Epifanio himself. It’s questionable whether or not Camila is on the list, she saved Teresa from Epifanio, but she’s no saint either. Camila may just be a fancy obstacle. Even if she gets revenge, then what? Teresa can never return to Mexico and she isn’t safe in Texas. She’s too small to fail. She’s committed crimes and killed people. Self defense or not, law enforcement either can’t be trusted to keep her safe or won’t see the value in her knowledge. We’ve seen Epifanio tip off the DEA, he’s a valuable resource to them, she’s a toxin.

Teresa also tries to protect people where she can. Protection requires power. We should see a drastic pivot from Teresa in the final episodes. The Narco world is her world and there is no escaping it. The goal for her place in the Narco world needs focus. On the other hand, good television requires Teresa face a steady and deadly stream of opposition no matter how much power she gains.


Season 1, Episode 10 (S01E10)
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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