‘Queen of the South’ S3 recap: Where are our faves?
Sun’s out, guns out! The high-octane Queen of the South returned to USA with its fourth season this summer. Let’s take a look back at the preview and catch up with the story at the point of the end of the third season.
Loosely based on a true story and adapted from Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s best-selling novel of the same name, the show stars Alice Braga as Teresa Mendoza: a woman forced to run from a Mexican cartel and seek refuge in America. As she fights for survival, she strikes out as a drug smuggler and works her way up the drug cartel ladder while racking up a string of dangerous & powerful enemies along the way.
If you’re not already obsessed with the show, we pity you. It’s been compared to numerous preceding crime dramas – from Breaking Bad to Narcos to MacGyver – but none of the comparisons do it any justice. We think Queen of the South offers its audience so much more: not only is Teresa is one of the most badass bossbitches we’ve ever seen on TV, but she heads up a found family of lovable rogues you can’t help rooting for.
To mark the release of Queen of the South season four, we wanted to remind you of where we left our cast of crooks at the explosive finale of S3.
General Alberto Cortez (Yancey Arias)
For three seasons, Yancey Arias has portrayed the oilesque military general with sycophantic charm. Since S1, this dude has managed to lie, cheat, force and cajole his way into power. We honestly can’t believe he made it through three seasons alive.
Towards the end of S3, Cortez managed to capture Camila Vargas to do God knows what with her, but he should have known not to mess with Teresa Mendoza. Of course, Teresa and Camila had hatched a plot (via ever faithful boytoy James) that would lead Teresa to Cortez.
The General was last seen with a chainsaw to the groin in a room full of angry, vengeful psychopaths (Boaz Jimenez and King George, to name just two). While we didn’t see him die on screen, we did get verbal confirmation he was no longer with us in the final scene of S3.
We’ll miss you, Alberto. The scene of you coming back from the dead dressed in a clown costume from S2 still haunts our dreams.
Bóaz Jiménez (Joseph T. Campos)
Talking of our favorite psycho, Boaz Jimenez remains alive and at large. The Jimenez cartel and Teresa’s gang of misfits joined forces to take down Cortez and snag control of the Phoenix corridor.
Boaz is still pissed as hell about the murder of his son Kique (who was so pure and good we knew he’d be murdered from the first moment we set eyes on him in S1), and he’s still a raging nutjob – so we’re betting S4 will be his last. He’s simply too chaotic to stay alive in Teresa’s world for much longer. It wouldn’t surprise us at all if she spells his end in capital letters, either.
King George (Ryan O’Nan)
King George is still his charming anarchic self even after the lobotomization (by Cortez) of his first mate, brother-in-arms (and maybe between the sheets too), Bilal. After reconstructing Cortez’s anatomy, we last saw King George doing what he does best with Teresa and her crew: plotting smuggling routes and toasting to their future successes.
Camila Vargas (Verónica Falcón)
Oh Camila, how we love you – let us count the ways. You’re an unstoppable power-hungry diva who won’t stop till she gets what she wants; you’re a skilled operator who knows how to play the game. The only thing that caused your undoing is your constant need for vengeance.
Things were looking bad for Camila throughout S3 as most of her allies turned against her and she drove even her daughter away by making a series of terrible decisions based purely on emotion. It looked like it might be curtains for Camila at the end of S3, until James organized a heroic rescue with the Jiménez cartel and she was whisked back to Teresa for her punishment.
Being the level-headed leader that we know she is, Teresa used her smarts rather than violence to hamstring Camila. We last saw Mrs. Vargas sent to exile (somewhere outside Mexico – we’re not sure where yet), told in no uncertain terms that if she makes any moves against Teresa or the gang, Isabela (Camila’s petulant teen daughter) is toast.
We imagine Camila being driven to an undisclosed location smoking one of those vile cigarillos she so adores. We’re betting this bitch is back in S4 – and we’d put money on she & Teresa needing to team up again.
Isabela Vargas (Idalia Valles)
Does anyone care, though?
Galvez Pote (Hemky Madera)
The loyal, sage sicario has protected Teresa Mendoza since we first met him back in S1. In the S3 finale we saw him protecting Teresa from Cortez’s henchmen. We were stoked to notice his hand, injured in S3E1, is finally on the mend. We last saw Pote refusing a pillow on a flight sitting next to Teresa destined for who-knows-where.
Dude, take the pillow. Y’all need some rest.
James Valdez (Peter Gadiot)
Like the drug wars depicted in the show (but not as violent), there’s been a small ‘ship war going down about who Teresa should be with: #TeamGüero vs. #TeamJames. When Güero actually kicked the bucket back at the end of S2, we knew it wouldn’t be long before James & Teresa became a thing.
While we didn’t love the way their romance played out this season, we dug seeing James become more human in the name of love. We last saw James handing himself over to the CIA (Devon Finch? We knew you were a double agent.) to protect Teresa. We’re guessing he’s going to be using all his chivalry in S4 to protect her from afar.
Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga)
If you’re familiar with the Queen of the South book or the Telemundo telenovela that came before the US adaptation, you’re probably not used to seeing this hardscrabble version of Teresa Mendoza. We’ve now had three seasons of Teresa literally running for her life. We’re guessing in S4 we’ll finally see the polished version of Teresa that has dominated the flash-forwards in the show.
When we last saw Teresa, she was finally coming into the Queen of the South prophecy: she controls the Phoenix corridor, she’s got partnerships with Jiménez and the Colombians, and she has a loyal team member (and a potential CIA mole) ready to take her business to the next level. Teresa is no longer the principesa of yore – she’s Queen of the South. Chócala!