Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Telenovela Alborada, #18

This is one in a series of recaps of the Univision telenovela Alborada.
In order to read the whole post, you must now click "read the rest" at the bottom of this summary! If you are new, please visit the recaps in ORDER - see the bottom of this post for information.


1. My VCR did not record the show tonight (Tuesday night), so I missed it. Could one of you please send along a summary for me to post? (UPDATE:I have added the summary which Sylvia put into the comments into the main body of the post. Thanks!)

2. Soon I will be posting a list of villains who met with terrible ends in telenovelas. If you have one leave it in the comments, or email it to me at, and I will include it!

3. I will be traveling and unable to watch Alborada in early March! I'll post the recap for March 1 and then will probably be out of commission until March 13. I will try to watch sometimes while I'm gone, and I will try to leave my VCR programmed to tape the episodes I miss - if it succeeds, I'll post my recaps later. But if the power goes out, I'll have nothing. If YOU would like to do a guest recap or two, leave your contact info in the comments section or email me at

Monday: Anytime you see something I have not written about, the people are having one of two conversations:

1. "How's Cristóbal?" "Very bad."
2. "Luis is taking the rescue money later, to get his son Rafael back."

Diego is making friends right and left after his decision to shoot Cristóbal. He prances along on his toes with a happy look on his face. He tells Gasca: "You should have followed my order to kill Luis. Now we've lost a good chance." Gasca says: "There'll be other opportunities. Killing Luis just then would have been a mistake in front of the world. By the way, I'll be gone for a day, picking up Modesta from her little village." "No way you're going. She can get back on a burro." "Well you tell Doña Juana then, I'm between a rock and a hard place." "You work for me!" Diego mentions that zaftig widow again. I wonder what he'd think if he knew she was a Pirate Queen?

Juana is droopy and despondent. When Diego busts in to her chambers squealing: "Gasca works for ME NOT YOU!" she slaps him in slow motion (I bet that's hard). She shows every single tooth in her head (nice teeth) as she yells about the shame he is bringing on the family. Diego's response: "It's not my fault Cristóbal is an imbecile!" She throws him out. Gasca gives her rescue note #2 saying Rafael is in a mountain town about a day's ride distant. Juana: "Bring Rafael to me first, have Modesta hang out in an inn for a few hours before she comes back."

As Cristóbal is carried past them on the stretcher, drenched in blood (a guy did manage to dig the bullet out of him with a finger, no anesthetic), Antonio explains to his friend Rodrigo (who has just asked: "How could Diego do such a thing?") that Diego has emotional problems. Very twentieth century!! Hipólita wants to know WHAT emotional problems, Antonio says he'll explain later.

I think Antonio wants to start a "Wretched Sons of Awful Mothers Club" with himself and Diego as the founding members.

Esperanza wants to ask Antonio what his "intentions" are concerning Hipólita.

Francisco and his wife Asuncion are waiting at Cristóbal's palace, wondering about the outcome of the duel. With his customary beady eye on the most important aspect of any situation, Francisco frets: "If Diego dies, Juana won't want to keep paying me blackmail money." His wife just blubbers. In my opinion Francisco is our most infuriating character and I could SO do without that whimpering Asunción.

Perla and Catalina are also waiting. Perla muses that she's never seen a duel, duels are only for the gentry. "In the village, guys just whip out their knives and go at it." She pries and Catalina gets annoyed and says: "I don't talk to whores." "I may be a whore but I'm also a child of God - do only the well-born deserve your attention?" "It's not that - it's that you're a bad person."

Isabel, unimpressed by Hipólita's religious platitudes, says: "In this world, if you're a sheep you're food for the wolves."

Ramon and his sidekick see the duel aftermath. They report to Higinio, who reports to Sara. Again she says: "Diego intrigues me. His dad was a right guy and his mother was an angel, how did he turn out so bad?" Higinio says he doesn't believe Rafael was kidnapped for money.

Antonio and Hipólita continue to have discussions about whether she should stay at the Guevara's or go to a hostel with him. She feels strongly it would be improper to let him pay for her room at the hostel. He lets slip that he was with her when she was mugged.

Then she sees Diego's children; that triggers something in her foggy foggy mind and she starts to cry. Of course then she has to ask: "Why am I crying?" See how tiresome that is?

Luis doesn't want Cristóbal to get Extreme Unction. "You're my only brother, don't abandon me, fight!"

In the midst of all this disaster, Victoria the Pirate Queen is pressing on with her own agenda. She asks Marina: "Wouldn't you like to go with me and see Paris, Vienna, Rome?" Marina really would rather stay with Isabel. Victoria presses and presses and is finally allowed to see Isabel, who is devastated by Cristóbal's condition - she's known him since he was a kid.

Victoria tells Isabel: "There's somebody with stuff to tell you, I can't tell you who it is or what she has to tell, but you know her." She just nags and nags and nags and finally Isabel says ok, noon tomorrow.

Perla wants to talk to Luis but the reverse is not true. He says he never wants to see her again. She throws herself on her knees and begs for pardon. He says he'll never pardon her but she can keep the house.

The Regidor spins some bureaucratic whatever about Antonio's papers. Antonio would have to go to Mexico City to start taking care of this - no notary public will be acceptable. He says he doesn't want to leave Cuencas. Then the regidor squints at him and says; "Luis was in here yesterday, he says that kid you were taking to Panama is his. You said the kid was the servant's! I'd like to see this clarified." Antonio plays with his hair.

Luis tells Esperanza that if she'd grant him a divorce, she could marry the father of her child! She takes this suggestion to Diego, who says: "I'd never marry a woman who'd put the horns on her husband, especially not with his cousin! Anyway, you're going to miscarry that baby just like all the others." She goes back and rants to Mirtha about the humiliation: "He treated me like a whore! I'm going to go rat him out to Fray Alvaro [of the Inquisition]." Her sensible servant Mirtha suggests this is a very bad idea.

Finally, Doña Juana comes up with a solution for Hipólita's quandary about imposing on the Guevara hospitality: "Would you like a job? You can be the nanny for this little boy that will be here soon." Hipólita likes this idea and Isabel thinks it's pretty keen also.

Tuesday: I missed this one but Sylvia wrote the following:

Hippólita accepts Juana's offer to be Rafael's nanny and runs off to tell Adalgisa. Isabel, always the pragmatist, wonders if Hippólita won't regain her memory upon seeing Rafael. Juana is optimistic, saying "she hasn't remembered anyone else, why her son?" Isabel points out "a son is a son and blood will tell." Juana, battling her own internal demons about family, says something like "Nah."

Sor Teresa shows up at Cristóbal's bedside as last rites are being given. (What is that music they are playing?) A lot of time will be spent on last rites. Then Carmela shows ups. Francisco is obnoxious and can't decide whether he is annoyed at the visitors or pleased to be "in charge" while Cristóbal dies. He's smug and it's irritating and he keeps ordering the help to straighten up.

Sara's minion Higinio arrives to update her on current events regarding the duel and Cristóbal's condition. Interestingly Victoria (the PIRATE) goes off on "rules of honor" regarding Diego shooting Cristóbal. Sara wonders, "Gee, and his parents were such good people." Higinio mentions Gasca, a scar, and Victoria starts to figure out he might be Gascon, the man who killed her husband, stole her daughter and ruined her life. If it's the last thing she does she will avenge the destruction of her life! (I would love to see her get in a swordfight with Gasca!)

Mirtha sees Antonio at the Guevara palace and asks him to come inside for a bit to talk to Esperanza. I'm not sure but I think she's trying to get allies on Esperanza's side. Of course Esperanza blows the opportunity and goes all bipolar, first losing it and then sweetly lying to Antonio that Luis is her baby's father and he should tell Hippólita the truth. Mirtha reminds her afterward that she already told everybody that Andres impregnated her. Oops, Esperanza forgot. Sheez.

All the women in black arrive at the DeLara palace to join the others, Juana, Isabel, Hippólita, Ada, Marina. Asuncion talks to Juana (amazing!) and wonders what's going to happen when Rafael calls Hippólita Mama. Juana is on an optimistic roll..."We'll think of something." Prayer time ensues. Luis hates to leave Cristóbal's side but he has to retrieve his kidnapped child (what a pipe dream). Off he goes past the praying women, saying goodbye to Juana and Isabel and making deep eye contact with Hippólita.

Hoorah!!! Perla packs her bags and moves out, of course she can't resist making eyes at the young serving men on her way out. Boy is she ever peeved when she gets home and sees the mess that some intruders made of her house. Just wait...

Flash to scene of Luis waiting for the Rafael hand off.

Love is in the air. First Andres (who is hating Diego with renewed vigor) has second thoughts about rejecting Marina simply because she is used goods. Then, in an interesting turn of events, Cristóbal wakes and announces he wishes to marry Catalina to restore (or secure?) her honor. Wow, everyone jumps into action to make this happen. They go on and on about "matrimonio in extremis." (Anyone ever heard this term?) Catalina loves Cristóbal but is in torment 1) about the "in extremis" part and 2) she is still guilt-ridden about the duel. Nevertheless she is persuaded to marry by Francisco (big surprise) and Ascuncion. The ladies in black agree to witness the ceremony but furrow their brows and shoot meaningful glances around the room. Cataline cries at the impossibility of it all, but Hippólita pulls some white lilies out of a vase, hands them to Catalina and urges her to smile because "there are no impossibles." Optimistic music swells in the background.

Flash to scene of Luis STILL waiting for the Rafael handoff.

Antonio and Rodrigo are back at the pub eating pipian. They both feel guilty about Cristóbal and their involvement with Diego. Antonio is still in kindred spirit mode, "Diego has emotional probelms, I feel sorry for him." That is until Diego shows up drunk, drinks Antonio's glass of wine, starts blabbing about "that idiot Cristóbal" and admits he's the one who slept with Esperanza. OK, Antonio and Rodrigo hate him now.

The bad guys Ramon and the mute Arcadio see that Perla is home and bust in. They argue about the money she owes. She doesn't have it, just go away please. Ramon tells her she'd better start working hard and to hurry up about it. They settle in comfortably, I don't think they intend to leave anytime soon.

The bedside wedding! It's actually kind of sweet except for Francisco's ugly smug mug which ruins the mood (for me). Luckily Catalina and Cristóbal seem truly in love and can't take their eyes off each other. They exchange rings and are pronounced husband and wife! Musical crescendo...

Cheers, Sylvia

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 10:15 PM, Blogger melinama said...

Nobody wrote to me! Nobody told me what happened yesterday! The only summary I could find online was:

Perla found her house occupied. Esperanza talked with Antonio, she asked him to feed her information. Luis went on the road to pay the ransom.

Diego, drunk, made an important confession to Antonio and Rodrigo at the hostel.

Ramón and Arcadio refuse to leave Perla's house until she pays them. Juana sends a note to Cristóbal's Palace about "the arrival" of a new ransom note.

I miss you all!

At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Melinama,

I have begun reading your novela updates only recently. I think they are great, and I often laugh at your witty observations.

Just want to say that I wish Lucero would share the secret of how she keeps her hair so lovely. Or do you think they are just extensions?

At 11:14 PM, Blogger melinama said...

Thanks for writing!

I think Lucero's trick is, she has a bevy of hairstylists who are waiting for her just off-camera. When the director yells CUT! these helpers rush in and arrange her ringlets.

At 3:42 AM, Anonymous Teka said...

Unfortunately, my Spanish isn't reliable enough, and I wasn't paying close enough attention, to be able to give a proper synopsis (and I just taped over Tuesday's episode in order to get today's. Mea culpa.)

What I can say was that this episode was fairly slow-moving. Everyone was terribly sad about Cristóbal--"How's he doing?" "Very badly." Luis skulked around a campfire toward the end of the episode and spent most of his time in transit through the usual wheat fields (I think). Francisco seemed to be the only one not completely miserable, besides the insufferably bouncy Diego.

The biggest plot development was that Cristóbal regained consciousness long enough to tell Sor Teresa that he wanted a deathbed marriage (Matrimonio in Extremis?), a phrase that was soberly retold all along the grapevine. Catalina flipped out and sobbed "I don't want to get married like THIS!" much to the disgust of her loving father, who of course wants to get her married off as soon as possible (she'll be a widow and he gets the cash, right?) Eventually Catalina consents and toddles in, clutching a bouquet of lilies (ah, symbolism). Cristóbal received last rites earlier, but has rallied enough to smile wanly yet heroically at his beloved Catalina. They exchange vows and rings (no kiss) and smile beatifically into each other's eyes while everyone sniffles happily.

Oh yes, and Hipólita is happy-happy about Doña Juana asking her to be "nana" to Rafael, assuming they ever find him again. Ada cries her eyes out at Our Heroine's innocence, but refuses to say why.

Doña Juana sat down at her spinning wheel at one point, but didn't do any actual work.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger melinama said...

Thank you Teka and Sylvia! Sylvia, I'm moving your (longer) summary up into the main post. Wanna guest post one or two for me while I'm traveling?

At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sylvia and Teka have saved the day! I don't know how I'd navigate this telenovela without language help. Their support is a reminder of the community we all are somehow, helping each other out to get the job done.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger UniqueMonique said...

Thank you to everyone for getting the recap posted!!! I only get about 80% of what is being said and often miss crucial bits and pieces.

Oh, what tangled webs they weave...

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Teka said...

Wow, Sylvia, that was great! Thank you.

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Sylvia said...

Thanks Teka, your description of the deathbed wedding (Matrimonio In Extremis) was very colorful! I haven't watched Wednesday's episode yet, but I suppose that Cristóbal will have to recover to further complicate matters, right? I've done a little snooping around about M.I.E. and apparently it has been a pretty common practice in a number of cultures. Robert Louis Stevenson did it, but then ended up living 14 more years. Seems like there was (is?) even a tradition in Chinese culture whereby the family of a dead heir could "marry" him (the dead guy) to someone, she could adopt, and the adopted child could carry on the lineage. Pretty convenient if you ask me.

At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Teka and Sylvia.
I could not begin to explain it half as well as you both did and I understand the language reasonably well. I think you're really astute.
Please fill in for Melinama while she's away. I so look forward to these recaps.

At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I found this site, I thought I was the only one crazy for Telenovelas till I found this blog. I would love to hear from anyone as nuts as I am, my email is and my name is Lesa. I've dvd'd Amor Real and now Alborada my spanish is pretty good and I have alot of stuff on Fernando Colunga. Alborada finished filming this week in Mexico and the finale will be aired there this Friday, I've seen some advance scenes and it almost made me cry. I read someone say Fernando is in his 30's, auctually he will turn 40 on March 3rd. I'll give updates for any episode you need just ask. Love what your doing with this blog. Keep up the good work.

At 3:53 PM, Anonymous ruth said...

You almost cried??? OMG, what could possibly happen to these poor people??? NO, don't tell me... I know, it's a soap opera, anything could happen, but... *aaarrrgh* You're killin' me!

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Rosie said...


I haven't been reading the blog (too many student papers to grade) so I didn't know that this week's summary was a bit disjointed. Thursday's episode was cancelled here (New England) because Univision was running some music awards program. Did any of you see it? (Did it run anywhere?)

Fernando will be 40 on my granddaughter's birthday!

The last I saw, Perla was coming on to Antonio and he was nervously playing with his hair.

In response to someone who wrote about the lack of strong women, I know what you mean but I guess soap operas aren't the place to look for them. I think the actress who plays Juana is magnificent but #%&!! --she's a villian. I really like Tia Isabel, and of course, Hipolita who is just stunning. Isabel is a bit of a disappointment; I liked her better when she was pissed at being stuck in the convent.

One thing about the women: I was in Guatemala last month, my first visit there in 30 years. Because my coursin was going to be out of town over New Years, so my girlfriend and I went to Antigua for a few days and
then to my cousin' afterwards. Well,
when my aunt found out that we'd stayed in a posada for a few days, she said, "If I'd know that you were travelling around alone--just two women--me muero!" (I would have died!) I laughed it off and said that she shouldn't worry, that we'd travelled all over just the two of us. Well, she gave me a very disapproving look. My aunt is 59 years old! Only four years my senior! When we went out with them, we were four generations everywhere we went. Apparently that's the way that they always function. So much togetherness would drive me nuts if I had to live with it on a daily basis.

I cannot wait to see what happens tonight. Then the weekend is here--and I used to look forward to the weekend coming!

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous ruth said...

I just hope Hipólita gets her memory back tonight. I'm tired of the amnesia bit.

At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Elizabeth said...

We are up to your recap #17 in Toronto. I know the series has ended for you but please keep these recaps posted for a few more months. I am watching the novela to improve my Spanish (and because it's a lot of fun too). I read the recaps before each episode; this really helps me to understand. The novela is not subtitled here. I also love your sense of humour (that's how we spell it in Canada).

You are right about the amnesia thing taking over and slowing everything down. I missed two episodes and barely noticed... but the duel has just happened at the end of the last episode so I must hasten to view the next!


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