Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Alborada, telenovela recap, seventh installment

  • Lots of people stood around telling each other things we already know.

  • My commentor Catalina pointed out that Martin was educated in Spain and picked up revolutionary notions there. He rejects the Mexican way: "Born a servant? Obey. Born a gentleman? Give orders."

  • The brutal Francisco protests his eviction from Las Tunas. Diego tells his mother Juana that he'll sell Las Tunas to pay debts.

    Diego also says he'll solve one of his problems - lack of a son - by making an heir with Marina (the sweetie-pie virgin who's under the protection of Doña Isabel). Juana asks why he doesn't marry. He says: "Nice women bore me, I prefer whores."

  • Catalina has a hissy fit at the convent when she realizes Hipolita is (1) no longer a fugitive; (2) dressed in nice clothes; (3) living in luxury at Cristóbal's palace. She screams GET ME OUT OF HERE!!

  • Don Luis sends Marcos and Marcos's sister Margarita to his ex-whore Perla's house. Marcos's sister is a seamstress and Luis has the idiotic idea that Perla will learn to sew and support herself.

    As we all know, Perla knows a perfectly good way to support herself already.

    Perla answers the door drunk in her corset. She sends Margarita away, so much for an honest day's work. Later she takes Margarita on as a maid and bosses her around.

  • Carmela is shocked that her son Martin is trying to find work. "Work?" she asks in astonishment. His search doesn't go well - the jobs he's offered pay poorly. He shares Marcos's room at a rough inn. He seethes and flexes the little knotted muscles in his jaw.

  • Cristóbal make a deal with the now homeless Francisco: Francisco and his wife Asunción can come live at Cristóbal's palace for free if Francisco will let his daughter Catalina leave the convent. Francisco sullenly agrees. Catalina is ecstatic. The Reverend Mother sees Catalina mooning over her home-made portrait of Cristóbal.

  • Two lowlifes walk in the mud with a bunch of sheep. They're friends of Perla and are visiting La Poderosa (the Powerful One) on Perla's behalf. Perla told them La Poderosa would know how to spirit Hipólita out of Mexico.

    They are admitted to La Poderosa's house by a dwarf. La Poderosa is dreaming of a scene she witnessed as a young girl: the execution of a Jewish family by the Inquisition. They were burned at the stake for "following the laws of Moses, eating unleavened bread, bathing the bodies of their dead and burying them in virgin ground ... " She sobs in her sleep. The dwarf wakes her up. She cynically listens to the lowlifes' story. "Rivals in love!?" cackles La Poderosa.

    She says there is a little settlement, near the water, of people who are fleeing the law, "and sometimes a boat comes." It's a pirate ship. The captain must be paid in advance.

  • Luis tells Doña Juana he will keep the family businesses afloat only on the condition that Diego keep his hands off everything. Furious, Diego doesn't want to be "on the margin." The notion makes him lift his cup many times.

    Juana persuades Diego it's the only way to avoid ruin and that it will be temporary. "So why don't you have a good time with your friends? Organize a hunting party." Juana to her maid: "He needs a distraction." The maid suggests the sweet young Marina.

  • Luis plans the baptism for the morrow - he will give his "apellido" (last name) to baby Rafael, with "mother unknown" ("just say you forgot who the mother was" ???).

    Hipólita STILL doesn't know Luis is Rafael's true father.

  • Luis does the stupidest thing yet - he tells the entire story (Panama, the dark bedroom, etc.) to Martin, the young man who is entirely unhinged by jealousy already! And tells Martin Hipólita doesn't know!

  • Perla strolls with Martin, counseling him to get vengeance against Don Luis for co-opting Hipólita. Her lowlife companions (Ramon and a mute guy who looks like Frankenstein) come to visit. They want to know who their proposed abductee is. They point out that Don Luis is smart and they don't want to get bagged.

    Perla says she has a plan she'll reveal later. She calls Hippólita "insipid." They discuss getting Hipólita's husband to pay for the abduction.

  • And speaking of Hipólita's husband Antonio... In a brief scene set in Santa Rita, Panama, an old dude says to a younger dude: "I'm glad to see you here, you've saved me a trip. I have a card from Mexico for Doña Carlota, rest her soul, please get it to her son Antonio." "That will be a while, because he's gone to Mexico with his buddy."

    Doña Carlota, the demonic mother-in-law Hipólita fears so much, has been dead quite a while, but Hipólita doesn't know it.

    UPDATE:Commenter njmotmot says:
    One tiny correction, Carlota is Hippólita's dead grandmother. Hipólita's whip-wielding and also dead mother-in-law was Adelaida (not to be confused with her maid, Adalgisa)
    njmotmot then looked at her TIVO and we figured it out. This letter is the famous letter Asuncion sent to her mother, Doña Carlota, after Hipólita had left town and couldn't intercept it. But Antonio has ALREADY left for Mexico, without having received the letter meant for his deceased mother-in-law, so he doesn't know where Hipólita is. This makes not a bit of difference as he "coincidentally" sees her not fifteen seconds after getting out of his carriage in Mexico City.

  • There's a lot of fussing with baptism clothes. Doña Isabel has bought lots of lacy stuff; Juana sees it and gets suspicious. The maid Modesta figures out it's Rafael who's getting baptized. I don't know why this matters so much to Juana, or why Luis has been trying to hide it from her.

  • Juana tries to get Isabel to give little Marina to Diego for his pleasures. Isabel rejects this proposal indignantly, and calls Diego a "golpeador" (a woman-beater) which Juana denies indignantly. Then Isabel is indignant that Juana defends Diego - Juana barely lifted a finger to save her own "son" Luis from jail!

  • Francisco, Asunción's brutal husband, is a pain. He's moping at Cristobal's palace; he thinks he's been installed in a maid's room. Asunción wishes he'd rent them their own place, even if small, but he likes the free room and board.

    He's dreaming about marrying his daughter Catalina, newly sprung from the convent, to Cristóbal, newly sprung from the seminary. Catalina is in love with Cristóbal, but she is of a much lower social caste and has no dowry. Francisco would never have to lift a finger again (I'm not sure he's ever lifted a finger yet, actuallly) if he procured a rich son-in-law.

  • Little Marina sneaks down to handsome dimwitted Andrés' room in the dead of night. He tells her he loves her, but she says I'm an orphan and a maid, your family will never accept me.

    On her way back to Isabel's, Marina is intercepted by Gasco. He tells her to hold herself ready for Count Diego's summoning. She says: Isabel will protect me, Gasco says: Diego can have you thrown out on the street.

  • Catalina finally gets out of the convent! Now she can wear a stupid bonnet covered with fake fruit just like her mother! She has abandoned her grudge against her half-sister Hipólita, they giggle together now.

  • Diego tells Gasco - I'll be wanting that little Marina this very night!

  • We see pumpkins and goats. We see a boot step out of a carriage. It is Hipólita's impotent husband Antonio, who with his friend Rodrigo (the businessman who is involved in buying the crushed bugs Diego adulterated) has finally arrived in a dusty suburb of Mexico City!

  • Asuncion, like Adalgisa before her, thinks it a big mistake to let Luis baptize Rafael as his son, "mother unknown." She says Doña Juana will be able to take Rafael, that Hipólita will have no rights. (Doña Juana makes these very same points later.) She says Hipólita will be shouting with grief to the sky.

  • Luis visits Cristóbal at the dispensary and asks him to come along to the mines the next day after the baptism - "you're good at calming people down." (A lot of miners died because Diego was such a crummy uncaring boss.) The trip will distract Cristóbal from his woes, so he says yes, and Felipe will go too.

  • Everybody's been teasing Cristóbal about all the people he's lodging right now. Luis says he'd like to rent a house for Hipólita, Rafael, and as many of her family as want to go there. Later, though, smooching Hipólita, he tells her what he'd really like would be to run away with her and Rafael, to disappear so nobody could find them.

    I think it's really weighing on him that one of these days he must tell her it was HE who screwed her in the dark and left her pregnant!

  • Martin takes a job which will require him to go live in Spain. Perla goes back to prostitution. La Poderosa reminds the lowlifes that payment in advance is required when you intend to drag somebody onto a ship and send them to another country.

  • Hipólita tells her half-sister Catalina that when she was having sex with the mysterious stranger, she was the happiest woman in the world - thinking it was her husband, finally "making a woman" out of her - but when she found out the truth, she was full of rage. And she used to want to find that unknown man, to make him face what he'd done and give his name to her baby, but now she hopes never to encounter him.

All Alborada recaps are now listed in the sidebar to the right, just above the elephant.

Amor Real
Entre el Amor y el Odio

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At 10:56 AM, Blogger Jean said...

Very amusing summary as usual, Melinama. One tiny correction, Carlota is Hippólita's dead grandmother. Hippólita's whip-weilding and also dead mother in law was named Adelaida (not to be confused with her maid, Adalgisa)

It is nice to see Catalina in civies (even with the bonnet). Nun's habits with the face-framing wimple are usually quite flattering (Sor Teresa is lovely in hers with the sheer black veil) but the glorified headscarves that novices wear didn't do anything for Catalina.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Jean said...

TiVo to the rescue. TiVo or similar device and the close captioning are godsends for watching something in a foreign language. You can just pop back in 8 second intervals and see/hear something you weren't sure you got over and over. I also am keeping all the episodes until I run out of disk space.
Anyway, I checked and the old geezer said, referring to the letter, "Se las dan a Don Antonio?" which I would translate as as, "would you give it to Don Antonio?"

At 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 9:28 AM, Anonymous aguila from Puerto Rico said...

Thank you so much for your recaps. In this chapter Luis wants to register Rafael as his son at the Church. Since Hipolita is married, she cannot appear as the mother, otherwise it will be an admission of adultery, that's why he says that the mother is "desconocida". Also another reason to hide that Hipolita is the real mother is because Antonio as her legitimate husband could come and take Rafael.

At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have this telenovela on the latin channel in the Toronto area of Ontario. We don't have any sub-titles, in English or Spanish. I use my Tivo to replay anything I don't hear the first time.

Does anyone agree that the background sounds, like running water from waterfalls or fountains, often overpowers the dialog completely?

Who trained the sound technicians for these telenovelas?

I can only listen to the dialog, as mentioned above, but this has allowed me to improve my listening and understanding of Spanish immensely. I can now evesdrop on real-life conversations in Spanish and know just what's going on. lol


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