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Fantasy Island - Once Upon a Time in Havana: Review



I rather enjoyed this episode. There was only one fantasy granted. The rest of the episode focused on Elena and Ruby.

Elena, showing more of a willingness to connect with her co-workers, set about trying to help Ruby connect to her new life on The Island. She left Ruby with a list of tasks designed to facilitate Ruby getting out of her suite and meeting people.

We met the grounds keeper and the doctor. (Although, I'm not sure whether The Island had anything to do with Ruby spraining her ankle.)

The doctor, Gina Delgado, feels like Ruby’s second friend (I’m counting Elena as Ruby’s first friend) and possibly her first island love interest?

What is beginning to frustrate me, though, is the way they’re teasing the process of us getting to know Elena. This episode, in particular,  frustrated me because, over several scenes between Elena and Oscar, we got no new information about who Elena is.

We’ve already learned that she considers her job important enough to put it before her own needs.

This sequence seemed like the perfect opportunity to give us more. She was away from her co-workers and with someone she’s had a relationship with; someone she should be able to talk to more freely.

I recognize that Oscar’s advice about “want versus need” seemed like a set up for Elena getting a story line soon, but it wasn’t enough for me.

I was really disappointed with this aspect of the episode.

Guests:  Alma Garcia
Fantasy:  To be free of her family for a couple of days.

So, of course, The Island drops her in the middle of her family history. This was the only fantasy for the episode.

I like the careful usage of language to answer Alma’s question about where she was being sent. “...where your family, as you know it, doesn’t exist.”

I knew that we were going to learn the truth behind the family story; that her grandfather was an adulterous murderer. There weren’t any surprises for me in the story, but, because of some very engaging characters, I was drawn in.

Alma didn’t just discover the truth about the murder and affair, she was given the opportunity to understand her mother and grandmother’s point of view.

For example, why it was important to her grandmother to teach her the family recipes.

The moment with Alma and her grandmother in the kitchen made me consider how important communication is to all of our relationships.

I couldn’t help but think that Alma’s future relationship with her grandmother would improve when the fantasy ends.

It also brought to mind a moment where communication made my connection with my mother stronger. I believe that’s the way stories should affect our world, not by preaching at us.

What did sadden me was the realization that her family would likely never know the truth. (Unless Raul leaves the information behind with his will.)

When Alma told Tino about the future, I really wanted to believe that what we were watching actually happened and that Tino would at least know his dreams for his family came true.

I was slightly disappointed with Elena’s story, but Alma’s story really worked for me. The writing there does leave me believing that, when we do get around to learning Elena’s story it will be worth it.

What did you think of the episode?

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