Posted by Sarah
It’s a little disorienting to find Alex in Little Havana. He and Santo go into one of those places that looks like the cantina in Mos Eisley from Star Wars, by which I mean that everyone in it looks like they’re up to no good. Alex approaches a guy and says, “I know who you are and I know what you do. I want you to perform a service for me.” We flash to a hospital bed, where Henry lies all beat to a pulp. Huh?
24 hours earlier, the International Rum Awards are being held at Pancho’s. Pancho is absent, and Alex tells inquirers that he’s meeting prospective international clients, though he’s actually at the doctor’s office being told that his pills aren’t working. He needs chemo. When the doc says that chemo will make him lose his senses of smell and taste, Pancho refuses chemo — the scent of his wife and the taste of his rum are the most important things to him, and he won’t die without them.
Henry’s having issues with his investors at the club, because they keep taking the contents of his bar as a perk, leaving him with almost no profit every night.
Alice tells the P.I. to keep tailing Alex, because “there are two kinds of people in the world: One gets away with murder, thanks his lucky stars, and goes back to the straight and narrow. One thinks he can get away with it again.”
Pancho meets with Alex and Frank, and tells them that if they haven’t been thinking about finding his successor as master blender, they’re fired. Of course they have, but they didn’t want to be rude. Well, every blender in the business is in their backyard at this very moment, so Pancho gets out there and starts tasting away, trying to find his replacement.
Isabel, Jaime and Rebecca are planning the wedding … well, Isabel is, anyway. No input necessary from anyone else. This is a Cuban wedding and she’s in charge.
Henry approaches Dmitri, the chief investor in his club, and says he wants to get out of the deal they have. See, Dmitri funded Henry’s $500,000 VIP room in exchange for the right to sell ecstasy at the club. But Henry’s suffering financially because everyone’s buying drugs and not booze, which is the lifeblood of a club. Henry tells Dmitri to stop selling, and Dmitri informs him that there’s nothing he hates more than an ungrateful man. Uh-oh.
Pancho’s not having much luck finding a successor — all the rum he tastes ends up as plant food, until he finds a hot Australian blonde with mad blending skills. At the celebration dinner where the Rum Awards are presented (Duque wins, of course, for the fourth year in a row), Pancho points out his choice to his family, “Goldilocks over there.” Frank says, “She’s 12 years old!” Isabel says, “She’s Australian!” Pancho says, “She’s a genius is what she is, and I want her to be my replacement.”
Back at Henry’s club, a customer OD’s on E, and is taken out back by Dmitri’s men. Henry follows them out and decks one of them. Not smart. They sick their attack dog on him, and it ain’t pretty.
At the Pancho house, in the middle of the big dinner, Alex gets a call and leaves in a hurry, saying it’s business. He meets Henry’s ambulance at the hospital.
Rebecca pulls Jaime aside at the dinner and tells him she can’t marry his whole family and have no part in planning the wedding. She asks him to elope with her that night.
Alex calls Cop-voiced Cop and tells him what happened to Henry, but apparently the cops can’t touch Dmitri because the feds are building a bigger case against him. So Alex goes to the club and tells Dmitri that the arrangement with Henry is over. Dmitri’s not biting. Alex tells Dmitri to buy out Henry’s club, then. Dmitri agrees — for 2 cents on the dollar. Alex gets up, and we’re brought back to the start of the episode, with Alex meeting the guy. He’s got a Cuban gang tattoo on his hand, just like Santo, and we read the whole conversation in subtitles. Alex says he’s looking for justice. The thug says Alex has won his respect with his devotion to his family, and that he will do what Alex asks. On the way out of the club, Santo warns Alex that the guy’s going to want big things in return for such a favor.
Outside, the P.I. is on the phone with Alice, telling her all about Alex’s meeting. D’oh!
Jaime and Rebecca drive to Georgia and elope, with a minister who pronounces Jaime’s name “Hay-mee.” Rebecca says she’ll go through with the Cuban wedding as long as Jaime keeps this one a secret.
Frank and Alex have been researching Goldilocks, and they tell Pancho she’s a free agent who doesn’t like contracts, and who’s going back to Australia the next morning. Frank believes that Pancho’s the only person who can talk her into joining Duque.
Meanwhile, Isabel is pissed at Alex because he was supposed to spend the whole day with her and instead was at a “meeting,” to which he brought his gun. She confronts him about Quinonez, and Alex insists he had nothing to do with the murder. Alex makes Isabel tell him she trusts him, and she says she does, and both of them are trying so hard to hide their real feelings from each other that it’s painful to watch.
The thugs pay Dmitri and his men a visit, taking a baseball bat to one, a snake to the one in the pool, and they give Dmitri a whole throatful of his own ecstasy.
Goldilocks meets with Pancho, and when she’s offered the position of master blender, she refuses because she doesn’t think she can live up to the label or the legend. She does, however, guess Pancho’s secret blending techniques, and reveals that the blend that impressed Pancho so much came to her in a dream. Turns out that Pancho dreams about his blends, too, and now it’s impossible for her to turn down his offer. It’s a sweet little scene.
Isabel collapses in pain in her hallway while Alex is having a drink with the head thug, who tells him that they’re friends now. Alex tells Henry he’ll never let the family know what happened to him. When Alex gets home, he finds Isabel in bed, with Amalia keeping watch. “She’s lost the baby.” Alex climbs into bed with Isabel and they cry together, but they’re not touching.
Alex: “I wasn’t there for you. I’m sorry. But we’ll get through this.”
Isabel: “I’m not even sure I know you anymore.”
Alex: “I’m the same man I’ve always been. I’m your husband, and I love you.”
I think this is the best episode of the season so far. The writing was excellent, and there was a lot of character development. The Pancho/Goldilocks dynamic is great, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Alex can reconcile with Isabel while juggling his newfound Cuban gang commitments.
Apparently, Alicia Keys is going to guest star this season, so keep an eye out.