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The Cleaning Lady - Bahala Na - Review

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Stakes and emotions were running high in episode 4: Bahala Na. And let me tell you right now - I enjoyed every second of it!

Warning: spoilers.

Lovers special.
After getting back the money an old man owed Kamdar, Arman just seems more and more tired of having to do the dirty work - he may be a criminal, but he surely doesn't appreciate the violent side of his lifestyle. And by the looks of it, the bruising on his hand is only going to get worse…In an attempt to cut their weekly vig, Arman offers to become Robert's personal debt collector. Kamdar was impressed by his performance in last week’s episode but he also knows it won’t always go that ‘smoothly ’ (okay. it didn’t go smoothly at all, but at least he got the money without killing anyone...?) so he accepts on one condition: that Nadia joins him at Fastlane to use her charms and expertise to influence his customer's bets. 

Arman tried to keep his wife out of it - and it looks like he's getting a bit jealous - but Nadia knew that her presence would make things easier because of the influence she has on the loan shark. I have to say, I'm full on Thony and Arman (hardcore Armony shipper right here), but the way Nadia keeps supporting him - insisting they do it together and making it clear to Robert that she's on her husband's side - makes me feel even worse for her knowing that she’ll only get hurt. The show did an amazing job building her strong and fierce character - making us care and love someone who is, to some extent, an obstacle to the couple we all crave to see. This episode finally explored a part of Nadia's past - through Robert and later Arman, we find out that she was running bets in a back-street bar in Argentina. Robert got under her spell, brought her to the States - and she inspired him enough for him to be where he is today.

The next person on Arman’s list wasn’t as easy to threaten in plain sight, and the man ended up running away. Robert has eyes everywhere and knew Arman tried to get the money but failed and disappeared after that. Nadia wasn’t happy to find out that Thony was the reason why he ignored Kamdar's calls. She already tried to make him cut ties with their new business partner earlier in the episode, pointing out that her ethical methods won't make them enough money. But her husband making Thony a priority when they should be focusing on working together to get out from under Kamdar's thumb, only pushes her further into her ex's arms. 

Whatever happens, happens. Picking up a little after where we left off last week, we find Fiona and Thony trying to figure out how to deal with the motel manager/blackmailer Fi knocked out. I felt for Fiona throughout the episode - she just wanted it to be over, and was once again ready to take the blame on herself for Marco’s death to keep her son from going to prison. From there, Thony quickly takes over and decides to tie the man up before he wakes up. Fi tried to follow as best she could, and slowly realized that her sister-in-law knew exactly how to proceed. Thony works best under pressure, she already proved it countless times - but it was the first time Fiona really witnessed it. From the get-go, Thony knew that they’d have to call Arman in, but with Fi being so reluctant, she did her best to try and respect her friend’s wishes. 

I already touched on the subject last week, but once again, Fiona reiterates that this is their business, their family - and Arman isn’t a part of it. She doesn't understand how, or why, a stranger would drop everything and go to such lengths to help them. I’d like to think that she may have changed her perspective on him at the end of the episode. She was definitely more comfortable around him than I expected her to be, and he sure made an impression on her - so much so that she almost forgot her name! The second he entered the room, everything felt calmer, and he filled it with a serene and protective energy. Fi got to witness just how eager he was to help - something Thony pointed out many times, explaining that he has never let her down. Thony noticed that Arman wasn't doing all that well either - spotting his bruised knuckles and the dirt on his boots, she understood that he dropped his problems to help her solve hers. As she apologizes for calling him and causing trouble between him and Nadia, Arman reassures her in front of Fiona and further proves her point - she’s never an inconvenience nor a burden, and he’ll always be there for her.

What struck Fiona most was how comfortable and different Thony was with Arman, blindly trusting him with their lives. She knows Arman has always been there for Luca and Thony, but she never realized how deeply he cares. As soon as Thony involved him, he made it personal - and their problems became his. Knowing what it’s like to be under someone’s thumb, there was no way on earth he’d let them be blackmailed. When he came in, Arman promised to help - and he gently reminded Fi of that promise when they came to the realization that, despite their efforts, the only choice they had left was to kill him.

Arman took it all on himself - darkening his soul to keep theirs as pure as possible and protect them. That little pause Thony made before leaving Arman to deal with the motel manager was one filled with guilt and apologies for dragging him into this, forcing him to once again put more blood on his hands. Fiona didn't want to involve him because they didn't 'need to have more blood on their hands ', but he made it clear the second he came in - they didn't have to do anything, he'll make the issue disappear, take that weight off their shoulders so they wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore. And he did.

Since the season started, Arman has mostly just been trying to survive. He has been so nervous and anxious lately, but it was almost as if time stopped at the motel. Thony’s call gave him some kind of escape - and the little smile on his face when he heard her ask for his help said it all. Granted, it wasn’t exactly an invitation to a party - stakes and emotions were running high - but next to Thony and Fi, he had a purpose, one that has meaning. There, he felt useful for good reasons and focused on the only thing that mattered: protecting Thony and the people she loves. 

I absolutely loved how he made it a point to explain things softly - careful not to scare Fiona and slowly making her realize that there was no other choice left. I’m sure she still has some doubts about him, especially after seeing how dark her sister-in-law can get when she's near him, but those two seemed to get along immediately - and one can only hope we’ll get to see them interact more throughout the season!

I'd do anything for our family [...] but how we do it is not always the way we want.

If, like me, you absolutely love parallels and references to earlier episodes - this one had PLENTY. Once again, we are brought back to the pilot and to Arman’s words (sorry not sorry, I can’t help it - I love this quote). Throughout season 1, Thony has learned that you can't always have it all - and that some lines need to be crossed if you want to survive. She has always fought to find better ways around every hard situation - but in the end, the choice is rather simple: it's either her or them. In this episode, it was Fiona's turn to face this hard truth. Stepping back, Thony let her make the final decision to save her son - she knew it had to be done, but it didn't make it easier - and Martha Millan's performance broke my heart as Fiona struggled to come to terms with what the motel manager forced them to do. It's not about doing things the right way or the wrong way, but any way you can. Thony's (and Arman's) words made their way to her - and they left, trusting Arman to finish the job.

Arman has always respected Thony, letting her make her own decisions - providing help and guidance if needed but never forcing himself into her life. This episode was no exception - he came, assisted them, but not once did it try to take over - always giving them the time and space they needed. He knew right away there was only one way to really put an end to the situation, but Thony had another plan. As they reminisce about the first time they met, she reminds him that even though she was also a witness, he never intended on killing her.

That’s because you were different. It wasn’t the answer she expected but he was right - she was. Unlike the man tied up in the bathtub, she never wanted to cause trouble - she just wanted to survive. For her family, for her son who desperately needed her to fight for him. But that’s probably not what he was thinking saying those words. It was more than that - they had established a connection, she touched the vulnerable and human part in him - bringing back up pieces of who he was before he chose to work for Hayak - and ultimately, reminding him that just under the surface, there's a good man.

Thony reminded Arman that fear made her stay silent, but only because she had everything to lose. She had to be there for her son, or he wouldn’t have made it - and this has always been the driving force behind her decisions. The motel manager, on the other hand, has absolutely nothing to lose - which made Arman’s job of threatening him harder. When the criminal and his gun became powerless, Thony stepped in, and combined her own knowledge and experiences with Arman's methods to terrify the man. She showed just how badass she is in what turned out to be a stunning scene, while Arman quietly watched her, proud and impressed by her. She may have learned a few things working alongside him, but she always had it in her. When push comes to shove, you better not get in her way because Mama Bear will do whatever it takes - even threatening to slowly take all your organs...and peel your skin off. 

Smoke signals. After spending a lot of time in his boss’s office in season 1, Garrett now just casually keeps strolling into Jefferson’s. So far, I love their dynamic and given how different they seem to be, they might very well make a great team balancing each other out to put the pieces back together. The only way for him to have a chance to get back on the case though, is to bring valuable information to the table - and Thony is still in possession of the precious cloned phone. Maya's black eye is getting Garrett more and more concerned for her safety when she shows up unexpectedly at his apartment - which also gave us a little more details on his past as he mentioned that his mother had been a victim of domestic violence. 

She was angry at him for sending Thony to check on her, but she should probably know better and suspect that there was more to it though. Garrett offers her a way out with witness protection, but Maya knows she won’t be safe nor free - they have eyes everywhere. By the looks of it, Cort├ęs might not be the person that should be in the middle of that investigation board - he sure seems to have power, but not enough to not fear the new player in town she mentions. We all probably suspect it to be Robert Kamdar as Maya already mentioned him last week when she confronted Thony - and it makes sense now that we know that he funds half of the criminal organizations in Vegas. And by the way, Thony was intrigued enough to also start gathering information on him by asking questions to Arman. Slowly but surely, she will be the one to bring the pieces together - and she will have the keys in her hands to help everyone. 

I just didn't want to look at myself. Chris is slowly drowning and I’m not going to lie - Sean Lew’s performance made me tear up. So far, no one managed to get through to him - he built his walls up high - the constant self blaming for killing someone and the burden that comes with it makes him hate himself. He didn’t only smash a mirror at his school, which could have gotten him into even more trouble - but also almost threw himself under a truck. The poor kid has a lot going on and I can only begin to imagine what made him change his mind at the last second. Was it Luca looking up to him and not wanting to cause him more pain? Was it the thought of his mother losing her son? The hope that it'll get better? 

His mother is trying to help, and only has good intentions but is unfortunately only putting more pressure on him. He needs to talk to someone trustworthy, who he can, to some extent, relate to - and help him overcome, or at least ease, the pain he feels. (*cough* Arman *cough*) The end of the episode made him see some light though when Nina gave birth to her son. Chris was so gentle with this precious and fragile glimmer of hope that came unexpected in the middle of the darkness. And the combination of Thony and Fiona helping to bring a new and pure life into the world while Arman took one, was just stunning.

Alright, we'll be back next week - and until then, I'll leave you with Fiona - call me whatever you want - De La Rosa. 

What did you think of this episode? 
Let me know in the comments!

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