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The Cleaning Lady - El Diablo Que Conoces - Review

Moving on from Hayak's storyline, "El Diablo Que Conoces" is building up the conflict between Robert and Arman - which forced him to team up with Thony who has her own idea on how to make money.

WARNING: spoilers.

For the first time since Marco’s death, we got to see Thony get emotional when she broke down trying to comfort her son - with her being a little too numb lately, I feel like this scene was needed. The little boy didn’t understand why his daddy wouldn’t take his calls, and so she explained that even though he won't be able to see him, his father is still with them - watching over them and keeping them safe. This was also a nice nod to Marco telling his son in 1x08 that they'll always be connected, and that he'll always be there - in his heart. 

Still struggling to come to terms with the loss of his father, Luca now also has to deal with jaundice as his body is in need of the medicine that’ll prevent it from rejecting his new liver. Poor kid just can’t catch a break, and it's heartbreaking for this strong little boy to have to go through so much. Thony’s supplier, Vinny, isn’t only unable to deliver her the immunosuppressants Luca needs, but also highlights another problem - he’s just a seller and doesn’t have the knowledge to deliver medical advice - which explains why Samentha almost fell into a diabetic coma as she hasn’t been given the right kind of insulin. 

Finally free…right? Arman is relieved to be home and safe, but the debt he has towards Robert looms over him and Nadia. I expected Robert to have a history with Arman, but we actually witnessed their first encounter - which was tense and filled with very calm and polite threats. With still $1.6 million to pay off, they have no choice but to either partner up with him on the gun business or make sacrifices if they don’t want to have to deal with a weekly vig of $320.000. Choosing the latter, they sell all their valuables - the car, Arman's presidential Rolex, Nadia’s jewelry...but for a so far unknown reason, one thing Arman refuses to give up is Nadia’s ring, as he knows how much it means to her. I probably already said that here at some point, but Nadia’s backstory is more than ever something we need to explore. Through interviews, Eva revealed that her character comes from the streets of Argentina and has had a hard past - which is definitely something that you can feel through her reactions, but we need to hear more about it to get a better understanding of her character, and her relationship with Arman.

Nadia was ready to make sacrifices, no questions asked, to get out of this tricky situation, but she was also terrified of losing it all with no guarantee of building it back. Arman tried to reassure her; they came from nothing and made it (almost) to the top, and they could do it again. He was mostly responsible for its success, but Robert made a point, it’s by relying on Hayak’s already established business that he made it this far. Building everything from scratch is something that he doesn’t seem to be comfortable with at first, more so if it concerns products he knows nothing about. But with the word going around that his every move is being watched by the FBI - and Garrett knocking at his door to make sure he doesn’t forget about it - no one is willing to take the risk of making a deal with him...and he has to find another way to make money.

One door closes, another one opens...Thony turns to Arman for help to get Luca and Samentha's medicine - which is stuck in Mexico - across the border, and offers a solution to both their problems. By selling medicine that could bring a 90% profit, it should give them enough money to be free of Robert. But unlike Nadia and Arman, Thony's first goal isn’t to make money - it’s to help people by making sure they get access to meds with the guidance that has to come with it. She tried to rally Arman to her cause, reminding him that he wanted to get out of this life and do better, but he was unsure at first. 

Thony stood her ground while meeting with the couple, making it clear she won’t make money on drug-addicts. She knows how to please everyone, and this had to be done on her terms - and in this scene, she was asking for Arman’s trust and respect as a business partner. Let’s be honest though, the meeting wasn’t really necessary to convince Arman, but Nadia - and after some tension, even though she still isn't fully convinced her plan will work, it feels like she was impressed by Thony. Nadia has always seen her as a threat to her marriage, so I'm sure we'll get to see some interesting dynamics now that they're all on the same level.

Thony and Fiona teamed up to sell the medicine Bosco smuggled across the border and asked for Vinny’s list of buyers - who was also given a 10% cut. Thony had everything she wanted - Luca’s meds, insulin for Samentha, a way to make money - and she got to do her job as a doctor. Despite their efforts, Arman was still short of $58.000. After Nadia tried to convince him they’re doing everything they can, even giving up her ring (which means that he also knows the story behind it, otherwise why would he even care) - Robert agreed to let it go for the week if Arman managed to bring him the money another one of his clients is late to pay. Arman never enjoyed violence but is left with no choice when the son of the man he had to pay a visit to attacks him. With the money in his hands, Arman gets back to retrieve his wife - who was held as collateral by Robert, and who used the opportunity to reminisce her of their good times. 

Garrett is still desperately trying to get back on the Cort├ęs case - and by visiting his former office, stole evidence that made him turn to Thony for help a little later. Adding yet another character, we meet Special Agent Tyler Jefferson, and we got to see the two throw stones at each other...I'm not sure who won the argument, but I have to admit it - I like those little scenes with Garrett.

Garrett knows Fiona and Thony were the ones that withdrew the money from Hayak's crypto-wallet, and wasted no time to use that information. I wish we could have seen him watching Maya, noticing her black eye - maybe his feelings and reaction in those scenes could have made it "easier" to explain why he forced Thony's hand by threatening her. I would have appreciated a reminder that this isn't just a case for him - but more of a way of maybe redeeming himself. Maya is definitely in some deep trouble that we now know Robert is involved in. Thony did a great job infiltrating the bar she deals at to clone her phone, but Garrett's former CI immediately figured out that she was either working for him…or Kamdar. Garrett still has was he asked for, which should buy Thony and Fi some time until he plays that card again.

More trouble...Fiona was on an emotional roller-coaster this episode. She finally quits her job when Samentha’s health issues once again showed how poorly they’re being treated by their boss Alonzo. Thony followed her, and so did the rest of the girls - and we slowly got introduced to their new cleaning business. Fi may have taken the decision to quit on a (not so) sudden impulse and freaked out a little when she realized she really pushed through it this time and dragged everyone with her - but she was ecstatic to be able to project herself into their new adventure, trying to find clients and promoting it with stickers on their van. But then the hotel manager showed up to blackmail her with evidence that shows their involvement in Marco's death...

Thony being out on Garrett’s orders and unable to make it back in time, Fiona saw no other option but to meet the hotel manager alone and hand over the $10.000 she and Thony had saved from selling the meds. Deep down, she knew this wouldn’t be a one-time payment and that the issue wouldn’t disappear with the money, so she tried to locate the footage to delete it. Unfortunately, she got caught and he wasn't going to let her go after she threatened to call the police for his pervy videos of motel guests - which was almost an idle threat as it also would have exposed her and her family. She ends up smashing a snow globe on his head, leaving him unconscious on the floor as she realizes that she's only getting into deeper trouble.

Our family...Our business...I'm sure I'll get the chance to dive deeper into all of this next week as Fiona finally meets Arman so I won't go too much into details - but I still wanted to point it out as it was an interesting little scene. So let's rewind and go back to Fiona telling Thony that they were being blackmailed - Fiona made it clear that she doesn't want Arman to be involved with this issue - and she already tried to "convince" Thony to cut ties with the mobster a couple times now. This isn't just about the motel manager, but also about their cleaning business. Fiona doesn't want to have to depend on Arman - a man she has never met, doesn't trust and only knows little about - and maybe also blames for the events that led to her brother's death...But I think it’s safe to say Thony considers Arman as family - they are both willing to go through whatever is thrown at them to help each other. Thony dropped (almost) everything to help him in the first two episodes, and so does Arman in this one - much to Nadia’s disapproval…hell, even Bosco pointed it out! Though we didn’t get to see it, the man sure must have heard the urgency in Arman’s voice when he called, or he wouldn’t have taken the risk of getting involved in this side hustle. 

Alright, that's all for now - we'll be back next week with Arman now having to pay the weekly vig to Robert and Fiona having to clean up the mess she made!

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


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