Queen of the South Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Piloto

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We know how she began, and we know how she ends, but it’s the journey from one to the other that begins in Queen of the South Season 1 Episode 1.

Teresa Mendoza is a poor woman in Mexico who falls in love with a drug runner who, for better or worse, changes her life. 

Teresa obviously believes that no matter what the price, it was for the better…

My name is Teresa Mendoza. I am from Mexico. I was born poor, not that that's bad but take it from me, I've been poor and I've been rich. Rich is better.


When Teresa falls for Guero, she falls hard, and it’s easy to see the love between them. It makes me wish Guero hadn’t ended up dead in the first episode, although since we never see his body, I can always hold out hope. 

But not much, considering the same men hunt down Chino and blow his brains out in his living room. 

As Brenda is sniffing more coke to deal with her panic, Teresa is driving their getaway vehicle trying to save their lives. Are Brenda and her son still alive after they have to split up?

It’s doubtful. Brenda doesn’t have the survival instinct, the backbone or the intelligence of Teresa, so I can’t imagine she’d be able to outrun the cartel and survive.

It’s Don Epifanio and his estranged wife Camila who are the wildcards in this story. Guero trusted Epifanio to save Teresa if the worst were to happen, but that trust was obviously misplaced. He’s more interested in his future as governor than in helping anyone other than himself. 

The glimpses of the future Teresa were a bit odd, but always occurred during extreme stress. I cheered when Teresa grabbed for the gun in her bag and shot her rapist, but leaving the other man alive was a huge mistake. 

It was that moment that made us understand that Teresa isn’t a killer, at least not yet.

There’s a goodness in her that may end up at war with her survival instincts. My guess is that survival will win out in the end, but only time will tell.

The notebook and her own tenaciousness appear to be Teresa’s only leverage, and it’s clear that Camila’s connection to her husband is tenuous at best. She’s the true power in that couple. If she weren’t, Teresa would already be dead.

One of my favorite moments was the old man at the gas station knocking his cigarette butts onto Teresa’s leg wound, even as he tried to clean it for her. Heaven forbid he take the cig out of his mouth! 

This pilot, although quite good, wasn’t the powerhouse that I expected, mostly because it felt like it barely scratched the surface of the story.

I thought it would end with Camila and Teresa coming to some sort of understanding, instead of a first meeting. That said, I’m definitely intrigued to find out more. 

Needless to say, the women are the reason to watch this show. Alice Braga as Teresa, and Veronica Falcón as Camila, own the screen with every scene, and that’s more than enough to have me tuning in for more.

Want to see more? You can watch Queen of the South online here at TV Fanatic.

Piloto Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (21 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Queen of the South Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

My name is Teresa Mendoza. I am from Mexico. I was born poor, not that that's bad but take it from me, I've been poor and I've been rich. Rich is better.


You could say that I am living proof that the American dream is alive and well.