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Queen of the South - Fantasmas - Advance Preview

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Seasons 1 through 4 – Overview

Back in June of 2016 Queen of the South premiered to mixed reviews. However through the course of its first 3 seasons it managed to gain a small but faithful audience. People connected to Teresa Mendoza’s plight as she was trying to navigate her way through the drug trafficking life, realizing that the way to survive is not so much to join them, but instead rule them. And in the first three seasons the show’s focus was exactly that: Teresa’s rise in the cartel ranks as she attempts to dethrone the reigning Queen, Camila Vargas. In the morally corrupt world of the show the audience connected with a variety of characters who like Teresa lived in the greys of the world and tried to retain whatever humanity they had left, and were rooting for the super-fun-over-the-top-and-scenery-chewing Machiavellian Antagonists without any true redeeming qualities, to finally get their comeuppance. It became fun ride of a show, knowing when not to take itself seriously and when to ground itself in the cruel realities of its universe. By the end of S3 the show found Teresa seemingly at the top of her game.

Then came S4... With a behind the scenes change in regime and some cast shake ups the show shifted quite a bit. A lot of narrative and creative decisions made the season more than a bit uneven and frustrating, but also disappointed the show’s core fanbase. What was supposed to be Teresa’s first year as the “One Queen” ended up being a story filled with erratic detours: there was the messing of the show’s established timeline. Wasting time on a couple of love stories that went nowhere, occasionally trying to draw meaningless parallels to character moments from S1 the show had well moved on from, or redundantly spending precious screen time to reinforce connections between characters the audience had been very effectively taking at face value for the past 3 years. All the while, characters and dynamics whose loss and/or absence should have been treated with more respect were negated. Not to mention the show suffered from the introduction of far too many new characters, a lot of which ended up being underserved, on top of the established character roster barely being able to handled gracefully.

Now after a dreadfully long hiatus and following what has been widely considered the show’s most criticized run, Queen of the South returns on April 7 th to kick off its fifth and final season.

5.01 – Fantasmas

In the Season 5 premiere, the show picks up not too long from where we left off in the S4 finale. A heavily wounded James has returned to warn Teresa she’s got someone on her trail. This puts Teresa and her crew in a tailspin, just as they thought themselves somewhat settled and ready to expand. Meanwhile Judge Cecil Lafayatte's troubled son Davis, after witnessing Javier's execution and finding out the truth about Emilia has taken his own life, his body having been discovered by his father.

Throughout the episode allegiances and alliances are tested, as old friends get reacquainted and new partnerships get established. All this while Teresa intends to expand her business to New York, even though the ground back in New Orleans is still shaky. Rest assured though Oskana and the Russians are still very much on the gameboard and are still invested in Teresa and her business. Though ever the savvy businesswoman, Teresa knows not to keep all her eggs in one basket, and doing so might just be her saving grace... or not...

More plot points from S4 are also being picked up and setting up bigger set pieces for the season. Without giving too much away, Boaz does not seem intent to let Javier’s surrender to Lafayette and subsequent execution, go unpunished. And if the whole Kique/Cortez situation has taught us anything is that things could very well turn bloody down the line. And speaking of Lafayette, someone we have grown to quite care about finds themselves in Cecil’s crosshairs. Never underestimate what this opportunistic and corrupt judge would be willing to do, especially as a knee jerk reaction of his own grief, while mourning his son.

While there still seems a certain level of misunderstanding of what exactly made the show work in the first 3 seasons, the S5 premiere does seem intent to want to address and fix all the problems which alienated the show’s fans. If the course correction indicated in this episode continues, then I dare say the show might indeed manage to bow out gracefully for its final run.

In any case, La Reina is about to return and mark the beginning to the end of her story; and I for one am curious to see where it will take us.
Tune in for a brand new episode of Queen of the South, April 7 th on the USA Network!

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