Teresa was on fire, almost literally, on Queen of the South Season 3 Episode 8 but that didn't stop her from taking on casualties.
I'm amazed at how invested I've become in not only Teresa but everyone on her crew.
I'm invested in Pote and James, as well as Kelly Anne, Little T, King George, and even his sidekick Bilal. I worry about losing all of them ... well, except Pote because we know from a flash forward that he survives.
This installment was both epic and exhausting.
Let's start with the epic.
The cars they used for the run on the Devil's Highway had me wanting to put the pedal down and take a drive. The A-team wished they had that van. Too bad it all went up in flames.
The other high points had to do with Teresa mending fences with James and Pote after being locked in the cellar.
Teresa handles her problems like an adult. She doesn't throw a tantrum or resort to violence the way Camila would. She doesn't hold a grudge, and she took the time to explain to Pote how she felt.
Pote: I know you’re still pissed about what happened yesterday.
Teresa: I’m not angry. I’m hurt. When you worked for Epifanio did you ever disagree with an order?
Pote: Of course.
Teresa: But you never locked him in a cellar. You would never disrespect a man like that.
She also took the time to acknowledge that her relationship with James has changed. I was relieved she didn't label their new intimacy as a mistake, but as Pote pointed out, the change could be dangerous.
But there's nothing about their lives that isn't dangerous. Even if James and Teresa hadn't slept together, they still have feelings for one another. Even without the sex, they'd still die for one another, so I'm not sure it makes a huge difference.
What's truly perilous is that Teresa and her crew are now surrounded by enemies. They've got Camila and Cortez to the south, and Pecas, La Comisión, and Sheriff Mayo in Arizona.
When Sheriff Mayo survived that bullet to the chest, I had little doubt he would turn up once again. He's far too intriguing a villain to be disposed of so quickly. And as much as I anxiously await Mayo getting the comeuppance he deserves, I'm always happy to see actor A Martinez.
Pecas, on the other hand, could disappear tomorrow, and I wouldn't care.
I had a bad feeling about Little T and Charger bringing the sample of the product to Pecas. The man's ego pushes him to use more violence than necessary to prove to himself and everyone else that he has power. This time, Charger and Little T paid the price.
As much as Teresa wants to do business a different way, she isn't naive. Pecas has become a problem that will need to be disposed of permanently.
Sheriff Mayo was a different matter. He's vicious, but he has no loyalty to anyone. He's willing to go to the highest bidder, and for now, Teresa can make that work.
While Little T lies unconscious, I'm distressed over what might be happening to King George and Bilal. We know they were attacked and beaten, but are they alive?
I'll be heartbroken if they've been killed. They are a part of Teresa's family, and as this Queen of the South quote makes clear, family means everything:
Teresa: We can never hide the truth from each other.
Pote: I made a mistake. Please don’t question my loyalty, cause I live and die with you, Teresita.
Teresa: We’re family. We live and die with each other.
Across the border, family means something different for Camila.
General Cortez clearly set Camila up but he didn't force her to break up Isabela and Kique, and he didn't force her to give the order to kidnap Boaz's son.
But Cortez took it a step further and killed the young man and is now using it to drive a wedge between Camila and her daughter.
Where Epifanio's death drew Camila and Isabela together, Kique's death will tear them apart once again, and Cortez is more than happy to use that to his advantage.
Isabela: I don’t understand.
Cortez: She blames you for Teresa’s escape. She can’t get past her anger. Her thirst for revenge is unquenchable. I’m sorry.
Isabel: You’re betraying my mother by telling me. Why?
Cortez: I know you think me a monster but even monsters have codes. Your mother, she crossed a line. Kique was an innocent and so are you.
Cortez used just enough of the truth to make his story believable. Camila's need for revenge knows no bounds, so why wouldn't Isabela believe she'd have her future husband killed to punish her?
I'm just not sure about Cortez's end game. He obviously needs Camila as a figurehead that he can control, but how does turning Isabela against her help him with that plan?
Camila's greatest weakness is that she doesn't inspire loyalty in anyone, not even her only child. Where Teresa has an entire crew willing to die for her, Camila has no one who won't turn their backs on her for their own gain.
And General Cortez's only concern is for himself and his own base of power.
The possible outcome that makes me curious is if Isabela realizes how Cortez has manipulated her and she and her mother team up to take him down.
Then again, the man has already been set on fire and come out alive. What more can they do?
So what do you think TV Fanatics?
Are King George and Bilal alive?
Will Teresa be able to take out Pecas?
How long will Sheriff Mayo remain loyal to his new deal?
Check back in for my review of Queen of the South Season 3 Episode 9, and until then, you can watch Queen of the South online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.