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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Alborada, telenovela recap, sixth installment

We open with the dim-witted sweetie-pie, young Marina, agreeing to let dim-witted, handsome Andrés use the familiar "tu" with her.

Evil henchman Gasco sneaks up behind Marina and says: "Count Diego says you can be his lover, and be wealthy." "I'm a virgin!" "Even better. Think about it, but not for long, Diego is not a patient man."

Luis thunders down the road on horseback while Martin trudges along on foot. They're in a macho race to nobly take the blame for killing a soldier in that nunnery-escape fracas.

Perla, furious with Hipólita for the botched escape and because Luis likes her better, calls her a whore and a dead fly.

Whiskey-voiced Doña Isabel shows us how justice is served in Mexico City - she takes chocolate with the society ladies, including the regidor's wife, and warbles that Luis is innocent and it's a pity he's in trouble with the law. They all agree he is a gentleman, handsome, and "one of us." The regidor's wife goes home and leans on her husband.

Asunción visits her daughter Catalina, the unwilling novice, at the nunnery. Catalina asks her mom why Cristóbal is a "religioso" and is pleased to hear he used to gad about with Luis just like a regular guy.

Catalina tells her mom that Cristóbal offered to spring her, and to provide her with a dowry so she could marry, but she turned him down because she was afraid her father, the brutal Francisco, would be angry.

Her mom sees Catalina is in love with Cristóbal and shudders, "Virgen del cielo!!"

Emerging from the hide-out, Luis goes home. He bursts in on his beloved aunt Isabel and rags her for telling Doña Juana he had a son. He then bursts in on Diego, who is in a drawing room swishing his sword around. "Why did you try to steal my son?" Diego denies it, Luis draws his sword. To protect Diego, Juana says it was her plan. She spins an unconvincing tale of wanting to raise young Rafael at the palace - "my own grandson!" ...

Boring wrap-up of the dead guard story: the regidor (the one in the wig) intervenes with the captain of the guard (the one in epaulets) and everybody is pardoned.

Luis finally meets his son Rafael! By now just about everybody but Hipólita and her mother knows Rafael is Luis's son! Luis keeps getting warned he better tell Hipólita before she finds out from somebody else!

He's afraid to - because "she doesn't have a very good opinion of the man who seduced her."

Juana fears her dead brother, the late Count Don Carlos, is cursing her from beyond the grave for her evil deeds. Her servant Modesta says that if she, Juana, does right by Rafael, grandson of the deceased, Juana will be forgiven in heaven.

The brutal Francisco seems to be planning his own kidnapping of Rafael! To get back in good with Diego!

On Thursday Cristóbal summons the brutal Francisco to his dispensary to say Catalina (Francisco's daughter) doesn't want to be at the nunnery.

Francisco: "I want her there." Cristóbal: "It's she who needs to have the vocation." Francisco: "I don't have money for a dowry." Cristóbal: "I'll provide the money." Francisco: "I'll never let her leave the convent!!!!"

Plots inch along. Diego still wants little Marina as his next conquest. Perla, the whore who formerly provided comfort to Luis and for whom he has bought a house, gets ever angrier and more jealous of Hipólita. Diego continues to ignore accountant-types who announce financial difficulties. Martin gets sulkier - Hipólita blows him off (nicely) and he suddenly discovers he's the only one who didn't know she had a son; he reels off, gritting his teeth, goes to a whorehouse, gets drunk, quits his job with Don Luis, and moves out of his parents' home.

Hipólita is reunited with her son Rafael. It's hard to warm up to little Rafael, who is much like a potato. He's well-dressed in his little sailor suit but my heart is not moved.

The boss monk has found out about the escape-from-the-nunnery fracas and expels Cristóbal from the seminary - "I've always doubted your vocation anyway." Cristóbal is sad and leaves, passing a circle of religiosos who are busy tearing up books and throwing the pages into a flaming wok.

Hipólita throws herself into Don Luis's arms and he vows, again, that even though each is married to another, he'll figure out a way for them to be together forever.

On Friday Hipólita, worrying about her future, frets in Luis's arms and says "My grandmother used to run a farm - women don't have to be useless."

Asuncion wants them all to go back to Las Tunas, not realizing that Count Diego, in a fit of pique against her brutal husband Francisco because of the failed kidnapping, has revoked their tenancy and they are homeless.

Cristóbal has the same conversation with everybody: "I've been expelled from the seminary, it was going to happen sooner or later, I'm very sad but God will find another use for me."

He says goodbye to Catalina, still imprisoned in the nunnery. She's still too afraid of her father, the brutal Francisco, to accept Cristóbal's offer to spring her and give her a dowry. She cries and asks him not to forget her. More goo-goo eyes.

Luis and his lawyer and friends wrestle with Hipólita's problem: she can't get an annulment of her marriage to Antonio unless (1) Antonio agrees to testify that they never had sex or (2) she is examined by multitudes and seen to be a virgin. Yech! (The kid, Rafael, makes the latter solution problematic.)

Hipólita is terrified that Antonio (right) will find her and take Rafael away - only an heir will secure Antonio's inheritance and as an efeminado he's not likely to procure one in the usual way.

Don Luis decides to have Rafael baptised as his son, "mother unknown" - "just pretend you forgot who the mother is." Cristóbal foreshadows balefully: "Lies are never good."

Juana finds out how gravely the Guevara fortunes have been compromised. Between the closed silver mine and the litigation over adulterated cochinilla (a commenter told me this is crushed bugs used to dye clothes) Diego is virtually broke.

Luis's advisors tell him to pull his dough from all joint ventures with Diego. Juana is trying to wheedle him out of it.

Diego still refuses to hear about business troubles. He justs wants to drink and screw.

Juana is furious with her inept son and wails: "I've created a monster." He blames her: "It's your fault, you falsely made me Count of Guevara."

The crushed-bug contract is turning out to be important: Rodrigo, the businessman who's coming from Panama to discuss the bugs, is actually a good friend of Hipólita's husband Antonio and surely tell him where she is and that she has a son.

Luis tells his ex-whore Perla he'll pay her a monthly sum but won't be coming for any more, uh, comfort. Furious, she stamps around and breaks things after his departure. She enlists lowlife companions to wreak vengeance - perhaps by ensuring the "horned" husband Antonio takes Hipólita back to Panama.

Martin continues to sulk in a socialist fashion. "The rich get everything." Well, he's right.

Luis still hasn't told Hipólita he's the man who seduced her in the dark and got her pregnant back in Panama! Everybody else knows! Even Andrés, her half-brother! Isabel has little Marina run around and tell the servants not to tell! How ineffective!

When Marina meets Andrés with the don't-tell message, he takes the opportunity to wheedle her into coming to his room some night - "just to talk a little."

Diego makes Andrés his personal attendant - and invites him to a bordello - as recompense for taking his home away. (Andrés is the dim but handsome son of wimpy Asuncion and the brutal Francisco who just got evicted from Las Tunas.)

Lastly - Cristobal's house-sitter suggests that Cristóbal, no longer a "religioso," find a wife.

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

Amor Real
Entre el Amor y el Odio

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At 6:23 PM, Blogger Faith said...

Hi! I'm a 3rd Grade teacher who has somehow become addicted to these telenovelas. I speak no spanish! I used to piece the story together as best I could. I have even resorted to asking my Mexican students for translation help. Thank you so much for posting these recaps. You have made my life so much easier!

At 7:00 AM, Blogger Craig said...

They show them here in the Philippines off and on, but I don't watch them. Very few Filipinos still speak Spanish, but they were popular here. The last time I watched soap operas at all was nearly twenty years ago when I was supposed to be writing a thesis.

At 8:26 PM, Blogger Jean said...

I think it is interesting that on Thursday when Andres confronts Marina and she confirms that Gasco has propositioned her on behalf of the Count, she says, "I was raised for this." Andres protests that he loves her, etc. So Marina the orphan has been placed among the rich to make her fortune as a rich man's mistress. She's obviously not too happy about this career choice and Andres has other plans for her as well.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger Jean said...

Someone asked earlier what Dona Isabel's relation is to Don Luis and Dona Juana. I've been trying to figure this out. Marina said once that Dona Isabel is always annoyed with her sister in law (Dona Juana). When she goes to have chocolate with the regidor's wife, she is introduced as Dona Isabel Manrique de (something I couldn't hear). Manrique is the surname of Dona Juana's late husband. So Isabel presumably is a sister of Dona Juana's husband. She was also married to someone who apparently is dead. I recall Dona Juana saying that Isabel & her husband were in Spain when the fire and baby switch occurred.

At 1:00 AM, Blogger Sun Girl said...

Your re-caps are hysterical!! I was looking for the plot for Alborada and came across your blog--true comedy! I am a telenovela fan as well, but I must admit to liking Telemundo productions better than Univision! I watch the show and then come to your site just to get your take on it. Thanks for the laughs! Alouise

At 11:13 PM, Blogger mariana said...

Alborada is one THE ALL TIME Best telenovelas I have seen (and I have seen many!).
Tonight I read online that show has 160 chapters and would take 4 months to air.
( article is here:
I thought most telenovelas go close to 6 months and have 100 chapters. Does anyone know about when Alborada will be finished---I hope not for a very long time!!

At 11:43 PM, Blogger melinama said...

njmotmot wrote: "Here's a news flash from the official Alborada website. The novela is being shown in Mexico and is about a month & half ahead of us. The final episode was scheduled to air there on Feb. 10 but the finale has been extended another two weeks that they are going to achieve not by changing the plot but by extending the scenes of what they've already filmed. In other words, they are going to pad the episodes with material that otherwise would have ended up on the cutting room floor. More recapitulations and reactions I assume. I confess though that I go to the web site to see what is going to happen in the novela. I alway peek at the end of books too. I don't like to be surprised."


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