Monday, February 27, 2006

There is a rule in telenovelas: the more dastardly the villain, the more extraordinary the demise. Why isn't life like this?

After watching a telenovela's villains get away with murder and more for months, we start yearning for their inevitably dreadful ends.

I am already happily fantasizing about the terrible things which will surely happen to the villains of Alborada.

To whet our appetites, I asked my readers to send in some examples of fondly-remembered celestial justice as executed in the telenovelas... Would that real life afforded the same reliable satisfaction.


Horrible deaths and satisfying comeuppances of villians - great idea. Here are the ones that come to mind:

Gata Salvaje: One evil character (I think her name was Eduarda) was eaten by alligators. The other villian, Patricio, tried to kill himself by jumping off a building but he didn't pick a high enough building. He survived but was completely paralyzed. It's not clear whether he is aware of what has happened to him but it is suggested that he is and they just end the novela with him that way being cared for as a penance by this mother who abandoned him as an infant on a beach.

Velo de Novia: This started out as a great telenovela that got totally messed up when they killed everyone off in the middle and basically started with a new cast. Azael, a doctor who was a homicidal maniac, is finally arrested. He tries to escape from prison by getting his evil daughter, Raquela, to give him a drug that makes him appear to be dead (shades of Romeo and Juliet here). She screws it up, gives him the wrong drug or something. She thinks he is actually dead and then he wakes up in his coffin unable to move or speak and I think he is cremated.

Raquela (who was extemely vain about her beauty and haughty about her social position) gets sent to prison with her aunt (who is currently playing Victoria in Alborada). Raquela is horribly burned and disfigured when trying to kill someone else in prison. She doesn't die but being hideous and in prison with common criminals is pretty bad.

Ricarda, the socially prominent mother of the male lead Jose Manuel, is so upset that her son is going to marry a mere costuera (seamstress) that she shoots and kills him at his wedding. She then goes insane, is put in a sanatorium, tries to kill another inmate by setting her room on fire and is burned to death when her room is set on fire in turn.

Of course, you've already done Entre el Amor y el Odio, which had two great deaths - the leper and and the horribly burned Napoleon impersonator.


Apuesta Por Un Amor: This had several "bad guys" but Álvaro was the worst. Álvaro - the rapist, murderer and drunk - got his come-uppance when, in the end, they all found out that he was behind all the evil that had been done and sent him to jail where he was rapped then had his eyes gouged out by a fellow inmate. Gross and disturbing but deserved, imho!

Amarte Es Mi Pecado: Isaura, who had her step-daughter's baby traded for a dead baby so she'd think it was dead and therefore Isaura could use her to make money (if you saw the scene of her with the dead baby you know what an awesome actriss Yadhira Carillo is, that was a really hard scene to watch). This was my first novella and I didn't understand much Spanish so I missed a lot of the plot. But in the end Isaura ended up stuck in the back of a semi-truck with all the money she stole and extorted, unable to get out and, though we didn't see her die, it is presumed that she died in the back of the truck... probably from the heat and maybe lack of oxygen.


AWFUL ENDINGS for villians--but in this case, not death--- brings to mind Rubi's fall from the top of the staircase resulting in her living out her days with a totally deformed, hard-to-look-at face and body. Because of her beguiling beauty, she had been able to bewitch everyone, good and bad, so the ending was pretty satisfying -- except, of course, for the fact that her daughter then carried out her evil doings many years later.

Second example was the fate of Efrain, villanous son of Rebecca in Inocente De Ti, who ends up a quadrapalegic and cannot speak, communicate, or move and must live in this state for the rest of his life -- this after unspeakable complicity in his Mom's crimes. His mom, Rebecca ends up in an insane asylum and her lovely roommates smother her to death with a pillow, which is the way she killed her sister, her servant and one other (?).

Oh- another good example was the death of Leonardo, the vilano horible in Clase 406 (2003?) who died in the middle of the desert--no food, no water, no one anywhere nor would there ever be anyone who could find him. He stumbles around for days, several episodes--and that was glorious to watch. Amazing how I can't remember what I went upstairs to retrieve, but I can remember how LEONARDO died in the desert 4 years ago in a telenovela!


El Maleficio: The main character, Enrique de Martino, practices the black arts and murders many, both through witchcraft and more traditional methods like hired hitmen and electrocution. He finally gets his come-uppance when his house literally burns down while he's trying to offer his new wife's son, a natural born medium, as an ally to the demon he serves. The boy is rescued by his dad and Enrique dies as his house implodes.

La Venganza: The main character, Maria, is poor and ends up marrying the guy from the big house. His sister-in-law disapproves of this and frames Maria by claiming she stole her bracelet, even though she herself dropped it into a mud pile on Maria's doorstep and told her she should "pick it up with her teeth so her hands wouldn't tarnish it." Maria goes to jail and her little hut is burned out with her grandfather in it. Maria eventually meets up with her birth father (who is, as is the case in many soaps with missing parents, a millionaire) and buys the big hacienda next door and buys off her former in-laws' old debts and then asks her old sister-in-law to lift the IOUs with HER teeth from a mud puddle she's had her gardner stirring all day! At the end she chickens out, but the look on the villainess' face is priceless.

Cuna de Lobos: The Larios family is full of evil intrigue as led by the family matriarch who wears a patch on her eye to match all her outfits. We later find out she never really lost her eye, but just pretended - in order to keep her stepson (who had accidentally poked her in the eye with a top allegedly poking her eye out) racked with guilt and totally traumatized. The novela starts with the death of her husband (who she herself poisoned) and the will stating that her son cannot receive his inheritance until he produces a child. We then find out his wife, Vilma, is unable to conceive. He and mom plot to stage a fake wedding to an employee from their company, the one who found dad dead, and impregnating her, then having her killed by the nurse who helped deliver the baby. The woman survives, eventually marries the stepson and gets her baby back. The child was originally named "Edgar" after Vilma's dad (and they all call him "el pequeño Edgar" or Little Edgar), but when his mom got him back she named him "Braulio" after HER dad. At the very end, little Braulio and his younger half-brother are running through the mansion and sneak into grandma's old room. Braulio grabs one of her old patches and when his brother asks "Braulio, what are you doing," he turns to him wearing the eye patch and says "I am not Braulio, I am Little Edgar." It's pretty eerie.

As for Ruth's question about "bad guys winning," I can only think of some endings lefts as enigmas. In "El Maleficio," after the house implodes and burns down, the portrait of the evil ancestor who DeMartino uses to contact the demon survives the fire and its eyes light up in red, as he usually did when something evil was about to happen.


I missed most of La Virgen Esposa, but my husband and I caught the last few episodes. One of the villains is in a shoot-out with the hero and heroine. They are dangerously close to a sheer cliff. At one point (as nearly as we can remember) the bad guy either lost his own gun or threw it down melodramatically. He then picked up a ROCK, rather than the gun, staggered forward with murder in his eyes ... and fell over the cliff.

My husband's pet phrase for an act of sheer mindboggling stupidity is now "Bringing a rock to a gun fight."


This doesn't involve death of villians but is an example of the incredible silliness of "novelas" in death scenes. In her summary of Entre el Amor y el Odio, Melinama mentioned that even after being shot and falling off a tall building, characters could still speak their last words. Well, in Velo de Novia, the original plot involved a heart transplant. José Manuel, a popular bicycle racer, is engaged to the evil Raquela but falls in love with her saintly sister, Ángeles. Meanwhile, he is loved by afar by Andrea who is poor and has a heart condition. Ángeles is injured in an auto accident and is declared BRAIN DEAD.This enables her heart to be transplanted into Andrea. In the hospital, I don't think Ángeles even had a bandage on her head, only the tasteful nasal oxygen tube. In spite of being brain dead, she is nevertheless able to speak with José Manuel and bid him a tender farewell before sort of staring vacantly into space. It was moving but really silly.

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At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Sylvia said...

Oh my! What an amazing collection of just and diabolical demises. They are truly fabulous. Thanks for sharing everyone. Alborada is my first telenovela and my brain is simply spinning with what might transpire in the future. Diego and Gasco at the very least deserve the most extreme sort of humiliating end. And even though Juana shows inklings of remorse let's not forget that a family was burned alive at the stake, possibly because she turned a blind eye; could she have intervened? much to ponder. The motif of fire is strong in Alborada.
Cheerily, Sylvia

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One other good villian ending I liked was in Amor Real when Ramon got shot in the neck by Eves who had gone insanely mad and got put in jail with Marie who was pretending to be Marie de la Roquette. Ok, well not so good as the other ones but satisfying.

Another one was in El Manatial where the villian got shot by his wife Margarita (played by Daniela Romo who is Juana in Alborada) with a rifle gun when she found him trying to rape and kill his son's girlfriend (played by Adela Noriega).

Good stuff!!!!


At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Kate Perez said...

Excellent list! But please! you can't leave out Tia Bertha from Heridas de Amor who ended up kidnapped by her henchmen "El Guapo." He tied her up on some secluded island filled with broken dolls hanging from trees and cut off her finger then killed himself. She was left tied to a chair on scary-doll island, wounded and alone. Soooooo horrible! It gave me nightmares.

At 7:22 AM, Blogger melinama said...

Kate, I wish I'd seen that one! It came out, I think, after I'd made this list.

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous lia00027 said...

It Is not LA VENGANZA it's the story of MARIMAR, Angelica (the evil marimar ex-husband stepmother) whom so evil to asked Marimar took the gold bracelate from the mud and later put her on jail died od air-plane crush. This novela cast including Thalia as marimar and Chantel Andere as Angelica. Because of the wide popularity of this novela even Gata Salvaje took the main plot of the story.

About La venganza it's starred Gabriela Spanic and Jorge Angel Llamas as the main lead characters. THe story ended when Garcia (the villain) kidnapped the son then she died after the boat crush.


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