Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Telenovela Alborada, #11

If you are new to Alborada, please visit the recaps in ORDER - see the bottom of this post for information.

Monday: lots of people tell each other things they (and we) already know (I'll spare you). This episode is mainly about everybody finding out that Hipólita and Antonio are married and the two of them meeting for the first time since she escaped from Panama before the birth of her son Rafael. He wants her back; she's furious [recap for new people] because he was complicit in his demonic mother's throwing a political prisoner (Luis) into her bed in the dark in order to get her pregnant since Antonio himself couldn't do it. If that confuses you, go back and read the previous recaps!!

Hipólita delivers Martin's deathbed message to his mother. "He wanted me to tell you this: I love you with all my heart, and don't miss me, I'll be with you always." Carmela shrieks at Hipólita that Martin's death was her fault. Hipólita leaves in tears.

Doña Juana, true to her promise to the brutal Francisco, suggests to Cristóbal that he marry Catalina (Francisco's daughter). Cristóbal does love Catalina but had not been thinking of marrying just now.

One way or another everyone discovers that. Aunt Isabel thinks Luis should just kill Antonio - "that's how guys do it." Luis goes around telling everybody to deny that Rafael is Hipólita's son - if Antonio knows there is an heir, he will never give Hipólita a divorce.

Diego brings Antonio to Cristóbal's palace to see his wife Hipólita for the first time in three years. Diego is happily anticipating some fireworks but Luis denies him the satisfaction by throwing him out. The housekeeper, looking at Diego's backside as he leaves: "I don't know why that boy turned out so bad. His parents were so nice!"

Antonio and Luis recap to each other and agree Hipólita should get to decide whether she'll return to Panama with Antonio, isn't that grown-up of them? Luis denies that Rafael is Hipólita's son.

Antonio and Hipólita meet dramatically. They recap. The only interesting parts:
  • Antonio throws himself to his knees, blaming the "incident" (a strange man being tossed into her bed in the dark to get her pregnant) on his mother and screaming "I never had the guts to oppose my mother, you have no idea what hell she made my life ever since I was a child." This is the first Hipólita has heard that her demonic mother-in-law is dead.

  • Hipólita hears that Esperanza, her half-sister and wife of Luis, is pregnant.
Luis finds Hipólita standing stunned (TILT TILT TILT) in the living room alone and recaps his entire marriage: we were so young, another pregnancy would kill her, I haven't touched her in more than 3 years, etc. "Esperanza's a good person, but frivolous and not very smart. She took so many potions and herbs - maybe they damaged her brain. There was that thing about the Virgin..." Hipólita, indignant: "I believe in the Virgin!" Luis: "Yes, of course, but the Virgin isn't going to appear to a woman like Esperanza!"

Doña Juana and Esperanza see Fray Alvaro, who as head of the Inquisition is quite the micro-manager. He once again asks Esperanza if she's really "cohabited" with her husband. "Yes," she says. Juana rolls her eyes. "And are you really pregnant?" "Yes," she says. Juana rolls her eyes. "The Virgin promised me a son, and she came through!"

On the way home, Juana says: "Luis told me he never touched you, and he never lies." As they cross the square, we see more guys being tortured and strung on sticks etc. - perhaps they, like the guy in the barrel last week, are a reminder that Fray Alvaro is not a benevolent man if you lie to him.

Antonio tries to explain to his friend Rodrigo that none of what happened is Hipólita's fault, but as Antonio doesn't want to reveal his secrets, Rodrigo doesn't get it. Antonio: "It's all my fault." Rodrigo: "Oh, a few slaps on the face are no excuse. If she were my wife and put the horns on me, I'd denounce her for adultery and then divorce her!"

Diego is sitting at a table sucking down pink fluid as he tries to throw playing cards into a silver bowl. His aim is poor. When his mom, Juana, shows up, he finds out she already knew about Antonio, which spoils his happy surprise and causes him to screech: "You never tell me anything!"

Asunción pressures Hipólita to go back to Panama with her "legitimate husband." Asunción is tired of all the shame and gossip and scandal Hipólita has brought into their lives.

Hipólita had a very rough time in this episode. She ends up crying on her bed, at her wits' end. Ada gets her an infusion.

Tuesday: Caray! So much happened today! And, I'm tired of Hipólita getting so beat up! She needs some rest!

Esperanza is all atwitter, rubbing her pregnant belly nervously. She can't tell Luis it was a miracle that she's pregnant! Her maid Mirtha says: "What matters is not what Luis thinks, but what other people believe."

Aunt Isabel, bustling down the hall in search of more gossip, encounters Diego. He says: "I told you to leave!" "According to Juana, you apologized to me!" "Not true, get out!"

Nobody can find Perla - she disappeared after setting the Hipólita-kidnapping scheme into motion, the scheme that ended in Martin's death. Luis wants to help Felipe find Martin's murderer; they plan to go back to the beach settlement in a few days "after I've taken care of this problem with Hipólita's husband."

All agree that the authorities, if asked, will force Hipólita to go back to Panama with her husband Antonio. But Antonio has told his friend Rodrigo, "If she's to come back with me, it'll have to be voluntary."

Hipólita tells Aunt Isabel her fear: if Luis's wife Esperanza gives birth, Luis will lose interest in Rafael. "No, he loves you! He only tolerates Esperanza because he's a good man."

Marina tells Catalina that Don Diego hasn't asked for her again. Catalina: "Our lives are ugly, aren't they? Others decide for us and we have to comply." Marina: "You're lucky, your parents will find you a decent husband." Catalina: "But I want love." She figures out that Marina loves her (Catalina's) brother Andrés.

The midwife shows up, summoned to ascertain whether Esperanza is actually pregnant. "What took you so long?" "I had a (touchy delivery - a primapara)." "But didn't you realize Doña Juana wanted you?" "What, is Doña Juana pregnant?" [What, was that actually a joke? A JOKE? In THIS show? -- Ed.]

There was an interesting exhange between Luis (advocating for Catalina, as Juana did the previous day) and Cristóbal. "You told me things would be better for you when you left the seminary." "But it hurt me to be thrown out - it wasn't because of the guard getting shot, it was because they don't want criollos in the church." [Criollo is a term for people of Spanish descent who were born in Mexico; the Spaniards looked down on them.] Anyway, I don't see myself with wife and kids." Luis: "But when we were young, we talked about having families - and I know you like Catalina, so what's the problem?!" "Maybe I'm afraid. I never had a family. My parents died when I was a kid, my sister went into the convent when she was fifteen years old. I don't know how to do this (romance stuff), I'm not prepared."

Luis has a civil conversation with his mother! Doña Juana is, unbelievably, actually spinning yarn in this scene, can you believe it? Doing something useful? Shows she's really nervous! She doesn't smoke so spinning is next best in relieving stress.

She agrees to help Luis with the Antonio - and Rafael - problem. Luis: "This is the first time you've been on my side." Juana: "I would always protect anyone who carries our blood."

Santiago, Esperanza's brother, who is very nice except for his greasy strands of hair, tells Luis he's working on repairing one of the family's houses in town, Luis offers to help, Santiago queries: "My sister says you have a child with another woman." "Yes, and I'm going to separate from Esperanza." "You can't, she's pregnant!" "No, no. Sorry, but she's not right in the head - not being able to have children has affected her. I have a right to have an heir, that's the way it is."

The midwife announces that Esperanza is, in fact, pregnant! Juana drops her spinning apparatus in shock!

Juana is absolutely magnificent in this entire episode!

She barges into Esperanza's boudoir and shouts "Who's the father?" Esperanza tries: "Don Luis?" "NO!" Juana shouts and slaps her till she tells the truth: "It was Don Diego! He said he was sent by the Virgin to give me a miracle." Juana can't take it: "I can't believe it, my son is losing his mind."

In the plaza, Diego is pumping Antonio's friend Rodrigo for intimate information, and sharing dirty gossip in exchange. Do men really do this? Diego asks what kind of man Antonio is - "he seems kind of reserved ... and he doesn't seem to care for women..." "I knew him in Portobello when he was at military school. His dad died when he was young, he lived with his mother, a very dominating woman." Diego: "All mothers are terrible." Rodrigo continues: "Then he married Hipólita, she disappeared, they said gypsies took her ... Something happened between them for which he feels guilty." Diego: "Maybe we can help him get her back..."

Luis and Hipólita have a disheartening conversation. She is exhausted by all her travails. It's news to her that she and Antonio are divorced! (Antonio told this to Juana and Juana told lots of people.)

Luis points out that if Agustín (father of Hipólita and Esperanza) had been a decent man and had married Hipólita's mother Asunción, then he, Luis, would have married her, Hipólita, instead of Esperanza. "That would have been nice," she says sadly. "It still can be. I love you (blah blah blah)."

Juana goes on being magnificent, despairing over her son Diego. "I did everything for him, I educated him like a prince. But we didn't notice we were raising a scorpion! A foolish scorpion!" Modesta: "Scorpions aren't foolish - they use their instinct to survive." Juana thinks Diego's survival instinct failed him this time, because if Luis finds out Diego is father of Esperanza's fetus, Diego is a goner.

Juana: "We should never have done it! [Switched the babies.] It's DIVINE JUSTICE! We should never have done it, it was a REALLY BAD MISTAKE. I thought Diego would have the nobility of my brother, but I was wrong - Luis has it!" But then, instead of reforming, Juana goes to Esperanza: "Listen, you stupid whore. If you tell anyone Diego got you pregnant I myself will turn you in to the Inquisition. Say it was Gasco, Vicente, the coachman, I don't care - just don't mention Diego's name. You too, Mirtha, I'll kill you."

Andrés meets his sister Catalina outside Cristóbal's palace. He intends to ask for work, but Catalina says: "Cristóbal's done enough for our family already - he's maintaining all of us!" "But I'm desperate, I'm only being offered menial jobs, and We Are Descendants of Nobility!" "But now we're Nothing, get used to it." Marcos comes along, hears Andrés's tale of woe, offers him his sandwich, takes him to get a drink; Andrés tells him the place he's staying is a pigsty full of insects and drunks, so Marcos offers him room at his own place. On the cot Martin vacated by dying, no doubt.

Catalina is humiliated yet again when her dad Francisco comes barging into her innocent and brief little conversation with Cristóbal. What a boor! Francisco says: "You're doing so much for our family, for which I'm of course grateful, but you know how people talk, they say you're doing it because you want Catalina. We're being embarrassed, so what are you going to do about it?" "Do you mean marriage?" "Yes!"

Francisco returns to Asunción and announces, as if Catalina weren't standing right there listening: "No, he won't marry her, but he says he'll help find her an adequate husband, and will give her a dowry." Catalina leaves crying. Asunción: "Well, that's not bad." "Yes, it is - after the Manriques and the Guevaras he's one of the richest men in the province. If he were my son-in-law I'd get respect and lots of loot." Catalina cries, holding her crucifix.

Finally Luis finds out - the midwife certifies that Esperanza is indeed pregnant! He blows! "I haven't touched her for years! Maybe the Devil himself did it, but it wasn't me!" He barges into Esperanza's boudoir and asks who did it. Esperanza: "You?" Luis: "I haven't touched you for three years!" Esperanza: "It was a miracle? - or, maybe it was that one time... you were so drunk you don't remember..." Luis chops furniture with his sword. "I've never been so drunk I wouldn't remember something like that! WHO WAS IT?"

After he leaves, Mirtha and Esperanza wrack their brains [wrack or rack?] trying to think of somebody other than Diego to blame for Esperanza's condition.

Juana barges into Diego's boudoir and pulls the covers off his long-johned sleeping form. "Esperanza says you told her you were sent to her by the Virgin!" He giggles. "Diego, if you open your mouth, I'll reveal your secret - your lucky run as Count will end!" "You wouldn't dare!" "Don't try me! How could you do it?" "Because I hate him! ... Does Luis know?" "No, and Esperanza won't dare talk. But you better keep quiet - not one joke or insinuation, especially when you're drunk, or being Count is over. People won't forgive perversity - and you are perverse."

I post the new update every Wednesday and Saturday morning. All Alborada recaps are now listed in the sidebar to the right - below the small picture of Modesta and Doña Juana, just above the elephant. Click on the numbers (ONE TWO THREE ... ETC) to find them!

Amor Real
Entre el Amor y el Odio

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At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Have been reading the summaries for the last week and a half. This is a GREAT forum. Here in Puerto Rico "Alborada" started Jan. 9 and every day there is something new and interesting. In PR, Luis just found out Hipolita had a son from the bad man who entered her alcoba, of course, we all know- Luis. I believe the scenes we see as background of the men being tortured, near the friars castle or in the plaza, are only to depict the cruelty or castigos the Inquisition used in those times. Also, I think, La Poderosa may be involved in the fire that killed Luis's parents because she implies that right after the fire, she was burnt, between life/death, her parents were accused of being jews by Juana and was also threatened by Juana, and we all know Juana is "de armas tomadas". This is me just wondering about future episodes, don't take it as a fact.-- This is a fact, Luis Roberto Guzman, "Diego" is from Puerto Rico, since there is no production of telenovelas in Puerto Rico, he moved to Mejico, entered the Televisa school and has been appearing in their telenovelas. This is his first important antagonist character. Another thing, the expression "medio pelo" was used to describe or imply that a person was not "de alcurnia" or born with family lineage or noble. Anyway, for all of you that need help with your spanish, maybe I can help. Melinama, thank you for your summaries. Giselle

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Jean said...

Excellent job as usual, Melina.
The following are some totally meaningless thoughts about two plot developments.
In Monday's episode, Juana says: "Luis told me he never touched you, and he never lies." Luis' relations with Hipólita would strain this statement. If we leave out his actions in her bedroom in Santa Rita, Luis did give Hipólita a false name (a lie) when he sees her at the inn on route from Veracruz. Luis used others to actually lie to Hipólita. He asks Marcos or Martin, I forget which, to say, if asked, that he, Luis, had not been in Panama 3 years ago. Adalgisa does ask this and is given the lie. Finally, he didn't actually lie to Hipólita about being the father of her child - he knew, he knew that she was seeking this information and he told everyone but her. A sin of ommission. So Luis'conduct is not irreprochable when it comes to dealing with Hipólita but of course,the plots of soap operas and novelas depend on such failures to communicate.

I think my favorite character is Juana. Daniela Romo is such a good actress and for a villain, her character has a lot of depth.

Is anyone old enough to remember the soap opera, Dark Shadows? Santiago's hair reminds me of Barnabas Collins - similar thingys plastered down on the forehead.

Concerning the frequent parades of sinners through the square, I wonder whether one of our bad guys will end up there? Diego maybe? That would be just desserts.

At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Gabby said...

Hey njmotmot,
That's what I think too!!!! One of the bad guys will end up in the parades of sinners through the square sometime. I posted a blog last night about this but for some reason it's not showing. Maybe this one will!!!!
And you're right!!! Daniela Romo is a wonderful actress!!!!!!
Gabby :)

At 9:17 PM, Blogger melinama said...

I think I proposed this last time - that one of our cast might end up in a barrel...

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous carole said...

Have to start previewing before publishing. Sorry- BARREL

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous carole said...

MY PREVIOUS comment didn't come through. What I had said was :How about Dona Juana and Diego sharing a barrel. I like that image. (Then I realized I had made a typo so wrote back to apologize.)

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Jean said...

Hi Melinama: My post was responding to this in summary #10:

"Then a lot of screen time is lavished on a guy in the plaza, wearing only a barrel, being pulled along by soldiers and pelted with produce by an angry crowd. Is this significant?"

If you suggested elsewhere that a similar fate might await the evil doers in the novela, I missed it. Sorry.
In the barrel scene, someone says that the unfortunate barrel wearer is a "tramposo" - a swindler or a cheat.

At 6:53 PM, Anonymous beverly said...

I love the fact that you translate the novela.... i am not a novela kind of person but my co worker got me hooked on this one and i love spanish is not all that good and you do me a great service.. i wnat them to hurry and get Diego and give him the barrel..What a baby...

At 11:48 PM, Anonymous carole said...

Hippolita's baby gets either a benedryl or a rum and coke before his appearances. Now way he could witness all that screaming and yelling without strong reactions.
Still a little confused about who Victoria is visiting in Mexico--ex husband? Is La Poderosa bad or a victim of circumstances---I need a little help with this.

At 10:57 AM, Blogger Jean said...

Carole: We are getting ahead of Melinama's summaries here but speculating on this new plot development is fun. On Wed., Gasco's incompetant henchman, Rodrigo, identified Victoria in a crowd and said she was the daughter of Sara, the Jew. (So now we know that La Poderosa's name is Sara). Anyway, Gasco has a flashback. Somebody (his father?) says to a young Gasco, 'Do you know who you killed? It was the brother of the Chief Inquisitor.'Gasco says 'How was I supposed to know that? He lived in a crummy house.'The other guy says,'He married Victoria, the daughter of Sara, the Jew.'This was a disgrace, I guess.
On Thurs, we see Victoria heading off to the capital to see Don Ignacio [I think] who presumably is the Chief Inquisitor and maybe has been protecting the family because of his brother? Something happened when Victoria's husband was murdered that forced her to spend 20 years on the beach as the Pirate Queen and Juana was involved. There was also a child and here we get into pure speculation. I'm guessing the missing child is, in fact, Marina and maybe, just maybe, Gasco is more than the murderer. Could he be the father??. Remember, that he appeared to affected by Marina's distress after Diego raped her. I don't think he knows this. In soap operas, blood tells and people often feel a connection to their 'real'parents or children without knowing why. Of course, I could be completely wrong about all this.
I watched the the burning at the stake sequence again. I'm guessing that the child was Victoria and the older woman was La Poderosa.
So presumably, this was earlier than the Gasco incident. Anyway,
I think La Poderosa is a victim who may have done some bad things because of what has happened to her and her family.
We'll see how it turns out.

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous carole said...

Wow njmotmot. I am impressed. Thank you for your explanation/speculation. Sounds right.
This telenovela certainy has its fair share of complicated subplots and the usual high and incredible dose of kinship connections within one small geographical area and, in this case between countries! María Zarattini, the author of Alborada script, is amazing.
Re: Gasco. That scene of him sitting in the chair while Marina is running out of Diego's bedroom sobbing was particularly interesting to me: That he was able to display such an infinitesimal amount of feeling, almost beyond what he could muster in that impossibly brutal heart of his. It seemed like less than a nanosecond of quivering in the bottom lip- almost imperceptible.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous carole said...

Another question. Maybe this was mentioned in earlier recaps (which I have not read)...but wondering when in the 1800's this telenovela takes place. The active Inquisition era, when people were actually burned at the stake was over in 1821, so can we assume 1840's-1850's? The scene of the people burning at the stake had to have been at least 20 years prior, no?

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Jean said...

Carole: Based on the costumes, the novela takes place sometime between 1795 and 1820, thus within the "stake burning period." In fact, several characters have mentioned the "hoguera" as a consequence of doing something, so presumably it was still going on.

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Ruth said...

When Victoria and La Poderosa "Sara" mentioned Victoria's child I thought it might me Marina, too...

Just an aside, two of my favorite sayings are Don Luis saying "Si, si" then the other which is very endearing to me for some reason is Doña Isabel always saying "Caray, caray."

Ok, gotta question. On Wednesday Victoria and La Poderosa were having dinner and talking about Victoria going back to the capital... Victoria was talking about her daughter and La Poderosa say's maybe the daughter died. Then Victoria says, "Entonces, que me lo diga de una vez." Can anyone translate that for me? Any translation I come up with doesn't make sense... thanks!! :)

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous carole said...

I believe she's saying---Well, that them tell me that once and for all! (subjunctive :)
She needs closure, if you will---live with the reality of whatever happened.

At 3:24 PM, Anonymous carole said...

Oy- sorry -- typo again. I meant "Well, LET THEM TELL ME THAT THEN, ONCE AND FOR ALL."

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous carole said...

Thanks again, njmotmot for answering my endless questions!
I'm amazed at the beauty of the dresses and earrings they wear--even more so than AMOR REAL and other epic pieces. The dresses and earring worn by Hippolita, Catalina, Marina are so feminine, flattering---
For me, delighting in these costumes and jewelry is one of the many pleasures of watching this fascinating telenovela.

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous ruth said...

Thanks carole! That makes sense. I always get confused when some kind of "que" structure is involved. "lo que" "que me lo" and the like just confuse me profundamente!

I agree, the costumes are so beautiful! The other thing I've noted is the quality of the production. Unlike Contra Viento y Marea (which I love but seems cheeply made), scenes like the one where Hipólita remembers her conversation with Luis about the three of them (Luis, Hipólita y Rafael) being involved in the probelm, seem really really well done. I am enjoying this novela emensely.

I know it would involve a lot of discs but I think the producers/distributors would be remiss in not selling the entire series. It would probably cost 3 times the normal cost of a tv series but I think people would pay... I would buy one for myself AND one for my mother-in-law... what an awesome regalo para Navidad, verdad!

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Jean said...

I agree that the ladies' jewelry is gorgeous. I don't think that the style of gown where the waist is right under the bosom is that attractive on women with large busts. In my experience, most actresses in novelas have large busts, natural or otherwise and that makes for a lot of heaving bosoms in these gowns but it is a pretty, simple style.
I like some of the exterior shots. It looks like some of it was filmed in or outside old buidings. They built a set of the whole town in Amor Real and I'm sure the town of Cuencas is also a set as well as the interiors in the Palacio Guevara but there have been some other scenes that seem to have been set in real buildings. I look forward to the "making of Alborada" program like they had for Amor Real.

At 11:32 PM, Anonymous carole said...

njmotmot; I think it was ALL ABOUT what made the men happy and huge heaving bosoms, made even more huge by those higher cut waists, leaving little to the imagination, was apparently just what the 18th and 19th century men wanted.
The moda of latin women has always surprised me a little in that (at least up till the last few years) they seem to show more than american women but don't give it as readily???
Well, who knows about that! Just a comment. What surprises me is that the latin men are so exquisitely protective of their women and yet don't have a problem with them dressing in a very provocative manner---or maybe that is the idea.? "see what I've got?! --you'll never have it!" eough rambling.....


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