The next day, Julia shows up at Mariana’s bearing groceries and good news. The good news is that Isadora (Mercedes’ daughter) is out of the hospital.
Julia: She came out without an appendix but happy.
Mariana: Take me to the hospital.
Julia: What? You too? Do you feel sick or what?
Mariana: I want to see if I come out without Hernan but happy.
The topic shifts to Mariana’s mother, whom Mariana was supposed to talk to about Hernan’s return. But Mariana says that once she heard her mother’s voice she couldn’t bring herself to raise the topic.
Mariana says Hernan checked into a motel, and Julia thinks that might be a good thing, to have him around but sort of far away at the same time, but Mariana looks undecided. But before the conversation can continue, the phone rings.
Every time Julia’s phone rings, a piece of Mariana’s soul shrivels up and dies. Or maybe it’s just my soul.
Anyway, we already know who it is because Mariana and Julia aren’t allowed to exchange more than three lines of dialogue without what’s his face interrupting. So we’re not at all surprised when Julia moves away into the terrace to answer the phone.
Armando has fallen butt-first into the Pit of Despair because he’s been kicked off the soccer team and Bad Stuff Is Happening To Him. And Julia’s like, “What happened?” But Armando doesn’t go into details, just says, “DON’T BELIEVE WHAT THEY SAY! IT IS ALL LIES! LIES!”
But really what this scene is about is to warn us that ARMANDO IS COMING BACK TO RUIN MARIANA’S ONE AND A HALF SECONDS OF HAPPINESS. My theory is that Mariana is secretly the female version of Angel and we’re not supposed to know this yet.
But there’s no chance of Mariana losing her soul quite yet because she’s not happy at all about Julia answering Armando’s call. Julia apologizes but the bigger issue – for Mariana – is that Julia didn’t tell him about their relationship. Julia says it’s because whatever’s between them isn’t very clear yet and he’s in a crisis.
Mariana: You didn’t tell him in order to protect him. To take care of him. Whatever it is that’s happening between us you didn’t want to tell him about in order to protect your boy. So instead, why don’t you just take care of me?
Julia: Okay, I’m just going to shut up. I’m sorry.
Mariana: You know it’s like that guy never left. He’s still standing right here between us. Just like Hernan.
Later on, at Casa Aparicio, the family – and Hernan – are having a meal together and Hernan is talking about why he left. Essentially it was because he wanted to fight for a better world and it’s hard to be a revolutionary while being a part of the system. Ileana says that he left to do all those things he claimed to want to do and because those things didn’t work out now he was back. She tells him he should take responsibility for his actions and for Mariana’s feelings.
Hernan is totally in agreement and says that kids should not be responsible for their parents’ mistakes. And starts to say that when he was younger they believed in utopias like equality and liberty.
And then Mariana shows up to call b.s. on his whole Utopian fantasy excuse.
After what I’m sure was a very pleasant meal, Mariana and Hernan retire to the living room, where Mariana tells him that when she was little her mother’s friends had a nickname for him: Utopio. She hadn’t understood the nickname until now.
Hernan asks Mariana about the letters he’d write to her but Mariana says she never saw them. He says in the letters he tried to explain himself but that it doesn’t matter now. And that it’s even more of a reason for her to listen to him.
Mariana: I have to listen to you. For what? So you feel better? To relieve your guilt? I don’t have to do anything for you, Hernan.
Hernan: Don’t do it for me. Do it so you understand what happened in your own story.
Score 1 for Hernan.
Later on, Hernan shows up at Mariana’s because Mariana called him. She’s still not happy about any of it and says her life is really complicated and he’s shown up and ruined everything. But she still wants to know his story, so that she’s not left with the uncertainty of it.
Over at the Aparicio household, Ileana and Julia are watching sports news to find out what’s going on with Armando. Because sports people speak an entirely different language, neither Ileana nor Julia know what’s going on with Armando’s situation. Alma suggests maybe Julia talk to Armando, but Julia starts to hyperventilate because talking to Armando will lead him to ask about her life and she can’t possibly tell him she’s with Mariana now. That would be like … having to be honest about her feelings and making her decision official and coming out to her ex-boyfriend. It’s TOO HARD.
At which point Sue Sylvester pops in to yell, “You think this is hard? I’m passing a gallstone as we speak! That’s hard!”
But back at Mariana’s, Hernan is narrating his life story and Mariana’s eyes are all teary as she listens to him talk about how he wanted to make the world a better place for her. He left at first as a volunteer doctor and all the misery that he saw convinced him to make a bigger sacrifice and take on those responsibilities with everything he had.
Mariana: And one of those responsibilities you had was falling in love with that woman…
Hernan doesn’t have a ready-made answer for that one, so we let Aurelia start up her closing narration, as we move on to episode 44.
It turns out that Alma, on top of being a doctor, mathematician, astronaut, marine biologist, neurologist, gallery owner, and escort service leader, is also a witch. Or so claims Ileana when Mercedes pops in to see what her sisters are up to. Alma explains that they’re playing Tell Me, Wax, Tell Me; a game of mystery, magick and candle wax.
Mercedes is familiar with the game and sits down to play.
Essentially, you ask the candle wax a question, pour some into a bowl of water, and then whatever it does in the water is your answer.
The conversation between Mariana and Hernan is still going on. Hernan confesses that while he didn’t leave because of that woman, he did stay because of her. He explains that what she gave him was something beyond the physical. They both shared a passion for the work they were doing.
Hernan: Mariana, when you’re there, in the jungle, in the fight, you’re very lonely. You have a lot of people around you that would give their life for you, but you’re alone. And she was there. Of course I fell in love. But I also fell in love with her clarity and her intelligence, for her passion for the fight. There was no way to separate one thing from the other. She revealed to me the reasons for why I was there…
Mariana asks what happened to her and Hernan says it ended, like everything does.
Las Aparicio are still playing the candle wax game and I’m not sure that anyone has gotten a particularly mind-blowing answer to anything. Though that doesn’t stop them from using the game to tease Mercedes about when she’ll stop being stupid and sleep with Claudio.
Back at Mariana’s, the conversation continues and they discuss why Hernan came back. Mariana asks if he came back because he’d finished things off with the woman and he says he came back because he’d realized that he’d given his life for everyone but for his own family. Mariana tells him that he doesn’t even know her and he agrees but that given the chance, he’d love to know more about her.
Mariana’s not up for talking about herself (a.k.a. coming out), but she tells Hernan that he can crash on her couch.
The next day, Hernan is looking through Mariana’s bookshelves and opens a book to find a picture of Mariana and Dany stuck between the pages. Wasn’t that picture framed a few episodes back when he broke into her apartment?
He says her friend looks like Julia, which I think just means Hernan has a functioning gaydar because other than their both loving Mariana, I don’t think they have much in common. Hernan then apologizes for looking through her stuff and says he just wants to know more about her.
But Mariana’s still not up for the big revelation about her sexuality, which is really what talking about herself would entail, so she shoots off some quick answers to his questions about what she loves and what moves her and sends him on his merry way.