Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Telenovela Alborada, #30

This is a recap of the Univision telenovela Alborada. In order to read the whole post, you click "read the rest" at the bottom of this summary!

If you are new, please visit the recaps in ORDER - they are listed to the right under a picture of Doña Juana and Modesta. See the bottom of this post for more information.

Monday: Modesta reports the successful burning of Gasca's vocal chords and says she'll take the fall if necessary - nobody need know that Juana was involved. Juana is very moved as Modesta whispers: "I'll do anything for you." "How can I pay you back for so much affection and devotion?..."

In the dungeon Gasca chokes and chokes. The guard asks what's the matter but - much as when we are queried by our dentists when our mouths are full of tools - Gasca cannot answer. The guard asks, "Are you poisoned?" but still gets no response. "No matter, you'll die tomorrow one way or the other."

This guard, returning with the priest who's to give last rites to Gasca, thinks Gasca has been possessed by a demon. Bestial growls, gasps, and wild eyerolling lend weight to that hypothesis.


High above the hell of the dungeon, the placid and complacent Fray Alvaro orders a poisoning investigation. It comes to nothing: the wine and bread Modesta left behind are clean and she took her little poisoned water flask away when she left. It's therefore decided Gasca's problem was not poison, but possession by a demon.

Since Gasca couldn't talk, he couldn't confess his sins and receive absolution. (Not that he would have anyway.) Fray Alvaro says Fray Bartolomey (the Grand Inquisitor) will be happy to hear his brother's assassin died "condemned to eternal fire."

[The fake tonsures of these friars look like flesh-colored kippot. Guess they couldn't get these actors to actually shave the backs of their heads. -- Ed.]

Cut to the hooligan-guards who lounge outside Sara's hideout day and night. What a boring job. Within, Victoria and Sara are first of many to hear that Gasca is being executed. Victoria looks forward to being in the audience on that happy day.

Antonio and Andrés say goodbye, they're off to visit Diego's properties. Andrés says he's happy to go, even though his wedding is coming up, because "Antonio gave me work when I needed it most."

Now your tired recapper gets a rest, because there is nothing of note being said while Gasca is taken to the gallows, pelted by vegetables, remembering his crimes, etc. He dies.

Juana: "He didn't say anything?" Modesta: "No, he tried but [makes mocking imitations of Gasca's strangled utterances] ... " Diego kisses Modesta with jubilation and says he should put up a monument for her and giggles on his way out.

Felipe, who looks so excellent on a horse, rides into Luis's hideout, reporting that Gasca seemed to want to talk but couldn't. "Cristóbal thought it was nerves." [Insightful diagnosis, doctor - Ed.]

Marina tries on her wedding garb. Diego tries his on too and then falls down. Heh.

Catalina tells Cristóbal she spilled the beans about Luis being alive when her mother badgered her. Wincing, he reproves her: "I begged you not to ... I need to trust you enough to talk freely..." Later his forehead corrugates in worry as he puzzles over a story he remembers - about a gypsy woman who stole an aristocrat's son and put her own son in the gilded cradle. Catalina voices his hypothesis that Juana switched Diego and Luis.

Isabel and Marina have a tender scene. "Where will you live?" "Andrés will decide. I'm sorry to leave you - but I don't want to leave my mother alone either, after all her suffering." "It hurts to have you go, but we'll visit." Both cry. "Thanks for all you've done for me, and for your affection." "Just make me godmother of your first son." Both cry more.

Isabel tells Juana she's waited long enough to visit her brother's tomb. She then gets Juana to admit that Luis is a natural son to Carlos. "Why did you say you just plucked him out of the coach?" "To protect Carlos's honor."

At El Hampa hideout, Isabel and Sara wait for Marina and Victoria to get back from shopping. "They're so late, it's almost night." "They'll be back when the stores are closed." Higinio comes with news: the Godfather, Don Ignacio, is dead. Sara is ecstatic to be free of the mafia work she's been doing for decades. "He made me take care of his interests here in exchange for his protection from Juana's denunciation."

Isabel hits head with hand: "Caray, I forgot to tell you, Juana says she didn't denounce your family." "She herself told me!" "She lied so you would stay away and not notice the kids... She's bad, but not perverse. And you'd feel sorry for her if you saw her now - she's so weak and sick. You should confront her and ask for an explanation!" "I'd like that..."

Juana's getting made up by Modesta. "Give me more powder to hide the bags under my eyes." "You don't look that bad." "Don't lie." "How do you feel?" "I feel bad - hey, don't take the color off my cheeks." "It's an awful lot, it looks so red."

Catalina, Isabel, and all visit Luis's hideout, Hipólita being conspicuously absent! "She doesn't feel well." Luis asks Felipe how the petition to dissolve the partnership is faring. "They're dragging their feet - Diego's bribing somebody, and even if he doesn't have a lot of silver, he's still the Count and that influences them." Luis: "Is my money in danger?" "Not yet, at least not until Antonio takes over and starts making decisions. But it's time you went back." Cristóbal says Juana looks terrible and he'll try to find out from her doctor what's going on.

Hipólita is sick in bed, Ada tries to get her up. "Are you bored? You should have gone to the farm." "I worry Antonio will be back [Wait, I thought he was going to be gone a month. Has a lot of time elapsed without anybody telling us? - Ed.] and be suspicious." "We could go walk in the plaza, or visit your mother. Rafael hasn't been out in two days." That gets her up. She looks in the mirror and realizes, I guess, that she's pregnant.

Isabel tells Luis and company that Diego is marrying, in ten days, a "horror" who waddles when she walks and has a bad temper. She then says "I really want to visit my brother's tomb, even though it's a long trip." All decide to join her. "When?" Isabel: "Tomorrow - I want to be back in time for Marina's wedding."

Modesta sees Isabel return from her visit to Luis's hideout, and reports to Juana (who's beefing about the cost of Diego's wedding): "Isabel's been going on long trips and she doesn't use the Palace's coaches." Juana goes to visit Isabel's chambers, where Isabel and Marina have been squealing and cooing over precious little recently-purchased items. After various lies are lobbed back and forth, Juana asks for news of Luis and his business, but Isabel says she doesn't want to talk about it. Juana: "You know this will ruin Diego." And Isabel says:

Cada quien cava su tumba con sus propias manos: "Every man digs his grave with his own hands."

"You don't like [Diego]!" "That's right, in fact I despise him. The only reason I haven't run him off is my consideration for you." "Well in consideration of me, couldn't you ask Felipe to postpone the dissolution of the partnership until Luis's return?" How disingenuous! "No." "Why won't you help me?" "Because I don't feel like it. And your little tears aren't going to sway me this time." "It's going to be our ruin." And Isabel gets right up in Juana's face and says, "it's your own fault ...

Cria cuervos y te comeran los ojos: "Raise crows and they'll eat out your eyes."

Juana: "You're bad and vengeful." "Maybe. I will never forgive you for deceiving Luis and me." "I'm really sorry." "It's a bit late for that now, don't you think?"

At some point, since Gasca's execution, two months elapsed without my noticing.

Tuesday: Diego and his horrible fiancee are strolling. She doesn't seem to notice he is staggering and lurching as she asks where the honeymoon will be: Vienna? Paris? Rome? "Don't you like to travel?" Diego: "Boats make me queasy. I can't go now anyway; with Luis away there's too much work." "I suppose your cousin will return for the wedding." "I don't think so." "What, he'd snub us?" Her mouth opens wide enough for a full-sized potato to be inserted. "Luis doesn't care about these things." "It shows lack of respect. Anyway, hire a guy to do your work so you can travel! There are cures for seasickness. You're a Count and should live like one. It's not elegant to spend your time working, any old nobody can do that. Aristocrats travel to the world's best places and I expect nothing less from this marriage."

Asunción tells Hipólita she knows about Luis being alive, but that she wants Hipólita to forget about him. "Get resigned to being with your husband - I did!" "That was different - Luis loves me! Even if we never live together I won't stop thinking about him." "You'll be unhappy, then, until the day you die." "I don't think so - my good memories will comfort me."

Team Luis likes the switched-babies theory but Cristóbal still insists on keeping all this from Luis. Felipe says: When it all comes out Luis will be angry. Cris: "I'll take full responsibility." How to prove this cockamamie hypothesis? Marcos surges up, pointing out that according to Juana's story there should be a baby buried in Juana's husband's tomb (that's Isabel's brother), and if there isn't, Juana's been lying her a*s off.

Mirtha is perplexed to hear from Sara, La Poderosa, that Diego's leg was burned in the fire on the chulano, because her mistress (remember Esperanza?) had told Mirtha that LUIS had a scar on his leg from a fire...

Perla's friend asks why she looks so worried, did her protector leave? No, Perla thinks she's pregnant. "They don't like whores with kids ... what if [Antonio] thinks it's another's and dumps me? I'll get fat, I won't even be able to work." She doesn't want an abortion. The friend thinks Antonio will be happy about the baby.

Hipólita is also worried about being pregnant; she hasn't menstruated in months and according to Ada her womb is showing (I didn't see anything). "It happened the day of Rafael's baptism, I thought I'd never go back to Antonio but would live with Luis as his lover..."

There's a knock on the door! It's Luis! He snuck into town by night to say he's upset she hasn't come to visit for so long. He tells her about the long tomb excursion to Camargo. He reiterates his feelings about her (positive) and about her being married (negative). She almost tells him she's pregnant but doesn't.

Cristóbal tells Catalina about the trip to Camargo and that the lads are planning to open Isabel's brother's tomb to see if there are baby bones in there too. He invites her to come along on this jolly grave-opening expedition, but she points out her brother's wedding is nigh and that she shouldn't leave Hipólita alone when Antonio is expected back from his business trip.

Hipo tells Catalina Luis visited her to say goodbye and is primly informed that wasn't the way things are done. Then she admits she's pregnant by Luis again! And that she didn't tell him because she thought it fair to tell Antonio first and perhaps, calmly, get him to agree to a divorce. [This is the stupidest thing I heard all night -- Ed.]

Ramon tells Arcadio they're never going back to Cristóbal: he made them beat rugs and dressed them up like monkeys! They visit Perla to find out what happened to Gasca, and then decide to go ask Diego for Gasca's job, since the position is now open. They're sure Gasca was responsible for the attempt on Luis's life - who else would dare?

They go to see Diego. Vincente is doubtful such ruffians will be received, but since they say they have news of Luis, Diego instantly lets them in.

Ramon recites their credentials: Gasca was our friend, we did little chores for him. They list their various misadventures, many commissioned by Diego himself, and then give Diego the electrifying news: two months previously they had dragged Luis's bloodied but still-breathing body to Cristóbal's house!

Egads! "Did Cristóbal save him?" "Dunno. Cristóbal told us to stay quiet, but [grandly] after a lot of thinking we decided our loyalty is to you!! ... We didn't tell you sooner because after what happened to Gasca we got scared and left town." Diego asks if anybody saw who did the dastardly deed (no) and asks again, "Was Luis very badly wounded?" "Yes!" "Could he have been saved?" "We can ask Cristóbal, but, by the way, we need work - empty bellies are not good for the brain." "I'll hire you after you find out about Luis." Diego tosses them a coin and after they leave he growls to himself: "That wretch surely couldn't still be alive??"

On the dusty road we see Antonio and Andrés (on their way home from investigating Diego's properties) cross paths with Luis, Cristobal, Marcos, Felipe, and Isabel (on their way out to Camargo to visit the tomb). I love these horse-and-wagon scenes! And all the dust!

Both groups do a little double take there in the road as they pass, nodding curtly to each other. Isabel is worried that Diego will now get the information that Luis is alive. They say, oh well, he was bound to find out eventually! Nevertheless, Luis and Cristóbal decide to go back to town. The others continue on to Camargo.

Drunk on the coin Diego tossed them, Ramon muses to Arcadio (the mute) that if they play their cards right and don't make the same mistakes Gasca did, they could maintain their employment with Diego forever.

So, as Diego requested, they go to Cristóbal's palace to ask about Luis.

Frostily, and with excellent posture, Catalina says: "Luis? Here? I don't know what you're talking about." "Remember? We brought Luis here half-dead?" "No, I don't remember. I haven't seen Luis for a long time. Have a nice day." They are ejected. Ramon muses to Arcadio: "If he'd died, all of Cuencas would know it! They're hiding him."

They go to ask Perla but she doesn't know anything. She pays them what they're owed and tells them to get lost forever as she massages her imperceptibly pregnant belly.

The regidor summons Juana, to tell her there's way too much gossip about her family; aristocrats should not comport themselves thus. She persuades him to put off the dissolution of the partnership until Luis returns. (Remember, she thinks Luis is dead, so this is like waiting for Godot.)

Leaving, the haggard Juana tells Modesta: Sooner or later we'll have to admit Luis is "no longer among us." Modesta suggests a visit to Rafael at Antonio's house; this revives Juana's spirits somewhat. As they are leaving after a session of dandling Rafael, Antonio gets back. He casually drops the bombshell: he just saw Luis on the road. Juana staggers.

He then greets Hipólita. After she hears that he's seen Luis, she tells him the story: that Gasca shot Luis on Diego's orders and that Luis was miraculously saved. He doesn't believe it.

When he realizes she's been seeing Luis these long months while he, Antonio, was on the road, he shakes her roughly and shouts at her and the whole scene escalates until she shouts: "I'm pregnant by Luis again." So much for the calm diplomatic approach.

New updates Wednesday and Saturday. The list of Alborada recaps is to the right - below the picture of Modesta and Doña Juana, just above the elephant. Click on the numbers in order!

You can buy (cheap) souvenir cards I painted in honor of our Alborada adventure
Amor Real
Entre el Amor y el Odio
"Telenovela villains meet lurid, dreadful deaths"

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At 8:20 AM, Blogger UniqueMonique said...

They sure are packing a lot into the final episodes... I've started taping them (why I didn't start sooner is beyond me) so when Luis withdrawl hits in two weeks, I'll have a few scraps to keep me going...

An observation: I've found a song will stick in my brain far longer then anything - remember School House Rock on Saturday mornings in the 70's? To this day, the only way I can recite the preamble to the constitution is by singing it. I've recently discovered a wonderful singer, Juanes and found that reading the lyrics online while listening to his songs has really given my Spanish a boost. Seeing the words and their spelling some how imprints it on my brain... Anyone else learning Spanish should give this method a try.

Thank you again for your hard work recapping Alborada!

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Jean said...

Hi Monique: I like Juanes too. One of his songs, Fotografia, was the theme of the US version of the novela, Velo de Novia. (A different theme was used in Mexico.) I loved the song and found out who sang it and got Juanes'album, Un Dia Normal. Velo de Novia also used his song, Mala Gente, whenever the evil Raquela was up to her tricks. I can sing the words to Fotografia.

At 8:55 AM, Blogger cristy said...

great recap, so how far along is Hipo?? At least 4 months because she said it happened on the day of Rafael's baptism and two months have lapse since Gascas death.

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Time passed".... There was a quick montage of scenes around where they did the sizing of wedding duds for Marina and Diego - there were scenes of various visits back and forth - out to the finca where Luis is hiding - back tot he palace to have Rafael play with Juana... etc. I figured this was the "time passed" sequence (I would have appreciated a note on the screen because I didn't find out until Tuesday night that it had now been two months since Gasca's execution - (I thought the Andres/Antonio trip was supposed to be ~1 month?)

I'm slightly disappointed by the "trickling" out of news of Luis' being alive - after a few episodes building up trying to keep the secret and saying that he would come to Diego 's wedding - I was hoping for a real surprise for Juana/Diego at the wedding - (fainting Juana/disintegrating Diego - shocked looks all around....) Unfortunately, although Diego is still not certain - the shock will be blunted...

And for the "no... let me talk to Antonio first..." approach - have they (Hipolita/Antonio) had a conversation in the last 20 episodes that hasn't devolved into shouting? I knew that would go "well" as always.

Anyway.... music is a good way to learn - Juanes is a good one to listen to as well - the vocals are more "out front" and are easier to hear.

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have an idea of how many weeks are left? I cant recall how many months it lasted in Mexico, and even if I did...didnt watch from the dont know what month started here. I am buying the DVD's as soon as they are out!!
I hate when I look at the clock and the 1 hr is up...I am too excited to see what will happen next!

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To UniqueMonique:

Where did you find lyrics online to spanish songs? I'd like to see them also.

I agree that it was very anticlimatic that Antonio and Luis would just pass each other on the road like that. They could have made a smashing scene at the wedding or some other occasion.

I hate to bring this up and maybe burst our aging bubbles about Luis, but I'm of an age where I remember Rock Hudson all too well. Crushed!!!! Surely Fernando Colunga couldn't be another "Rock"!

At 1:24 PM, Blogger UniqueMonique said...

The easiest way to find lyrics is just by doing a search on the artist. Here is a good one for Juanes:

Not sure what you meant by the Luis/Rock comment... But I don't think we have anything to worry about, Luis es muy macho.

At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is funny, about Fdo Colunga's being macho. What Luis is not, is careful. He knew exactly what he was going to do after the babtism of his son. He should have used a condom. They had condom in those days, made of lamb's gut. Another baby! Give me a brake. Now Luis would say: Hipolita is not just the two of us, or the three of us. It is FOUR. I believe I remember at the begining of the movie Luis said to Felipe, that he was very careful, not to have children al over the place. MTW

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Kay said...

Another way to get the lyrics of songs is in the CDs. Spanish language CDs generally come with the lyrics (in Spanish). Translating them is a good way to improve your language skills. I started to study Spanish because I loved latin music and wanted to know what they were singing about. So, in addition to taking classes and watching telenovelas,I translated lyrics. I started with Luis Miguel, who has specialized in singing all those really great Mexican love songs. Then I branched out to the other popular singers of that day, Selena (before she died), Ricky Martin (before his crossover), Chayanne (my favorite guapo) and others. I also translated the lyrics of people in Alborada -- Daniela Romo and Lucero -- and Mijares (Lucero's husband). These days I love to dance salsa, so I am into that kind of music, and especially Cuban music, like Los Van Van, Sierra Maestra and The Buena Vista Social Club. If you love music, this is a great way to improve your Spanish skills. Kay

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Mary D said...

I love these recaps and comments. Does anyone know where I can order Amor Real without the English subtitles? I began watching Alborada to improve my Spanish, and now I'm obsessed!

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary D-
I also started watching Alborada in order to improve my spanish and am now addicted. But I still rely heavily on the closed caption text and this wonderful website. So I have hunted for Amor Real on DVD with closed captioning in spanish but have had no luck. I ordered the version with english subtitling from Amazon, and you can in fact turn it off if that helps. My plan (when after Alborada finishes) is to run a segment without the subtitles and catch what I can, then re-run the same bit with subtitles if I need to. I figure it's not going to hurt me to have to look at Fernando twice.

BTW, have you guys read the historical essays on the Alborada section on the Univision's website? I'm so happy somebody did that.


At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Di4pips said...

Lillian wrote: BTW, have you guys read the historical essays on the Alborada section on the Univision's website? I'm so happy somebody did that.

Yep, I have Lillian and I too am glad someone posted that info. Although Alborada is fiction, the historical element is a very important part and I appreciate (actually, love) any insight into that time and place. -Di

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous di4pips said...

Antonio’s hair: This seems to change and then change back. I guess this is because of the nature of filming. Scenes are filmed out of sequence, therefore events that to the audience may be months apart are actually filmed on the same day.

Adalgisa’s girth: Well now, sometimes her stomach seems to be much larger in some scenes than in others. She actually look as if she’s pregnant rather than just a hefty woman. I guess this is due to the same reason’s stated above.

C & C: I appreciate the writers taking a little time showing us how this couple are getting to know each other and their boundaries. Cat kept something from Cris ( she told her mom about Luis still being alive) and then had to confess. Afterwards, Cris kept his knowledge of Hipolita’s pregnancy from Luis partly because of his promise to Cat who then told him he should have said something!! Heh-heh. Love how Catalina is growing more and more self-assured.

Andres: Ok, I think they stretched out his refusal to marry Marina for way too long. It got to the point where I agreed with Aunt Isabel and yelled at my TV, “Forget that egotistical, full-of-himself boy and marry Marcos!”

Felipe: There’s a term often used her in NYC, “Titere”. I don’t know where it comes from or whether or not it’s slang, but it means hoodlum or thug. That’s my pet name for Felipe. He’s ready to go for the throat whenever circumstances warrant (well, in his opinion anyway)

The 3 Musketeers: Luis, Cristobal, and Felipe. Of course, Marcos is D’Artangean (spelling?). Felipe is what’s his name, the one who always ready for a fight. And yes, they all look great on horses!

Language: One of the reason’s I love historical soaps is because of the purity of the language: there is no spanglish or modern slang. BUT I did hear Cristobal say “ok” when Luis, while lying wounded in bed, asked Cristobal to remove Luis’ shirt beginning with the other shoulder first.

Shades of gray: so many, these characters are not black and white. Our hero, Luis, (love that guy) is an adulterer. Antonio is both arrogant and kind and still battling demons re: his sexuality. Doña Juana sincerely cried over Luis (evil woman has a heart too???) Esperanza really got on my nerves but she did not deserve such horror in pain in her life. She is truly a tragic figure here. Felipe, one of my faves, is short of patience at times with a wife he obviously adores. Yet, he too has visited prostitutes. That surprised me as he was in my “perfect husband” column. Perla, well, I still can’t figure her out although I’m getting a bit tired of her saying “it’s not my fault, I was thown away in a pile of garbage as a child.”

Ok, I’ve taken up plenty of space. What do you guys think?

At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Bob Gill said...

di4pips, titere is a puppet on strings. Another word is marionetta. Listen to Vicente Fernandez' "La Marionetta" to get a sense of the other meaning of these terms.


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