Narco shows are filled with blood, guns, violence, and death but Queen of the South Season 4 Episode 9 proved that they can also be suffused with a lot of heart.
And sometimes, those hearts get broken.
With the threat of a witness giving testimony against her and her entire organization, Teresa had some difficult decisions to make.
She could pack up everything she's worked so hard to build in New Orleans and run to Belize with Tony in tow, or she could fight.
It was clear that Detective Green thought she wouldn't hesitate to kill Cheo's family and the way he said it irked me.
I’ll trust that you can keep Judge LaFayette’s honorable name out of your dirty little mouth.Det. Green
He and LaFayette look down on Teresa both because she's Mexican and she runs a drug empire, yet their hands are equally as dirty, maybe even more so.
Once upon a time, Teresa never would have considered going after someone's family, but that was before her own ended up in the crosshairs.
I will destroy your family to save mine.Teresa
Tony has changed things for Teresa. Perhaps she would have been quicker to make a run for it if she didn't feel guilty about making the kid uproot his entire life yet again.
That makes her consider more possibilities and some of them aren't pretty.
Teresa: This is like you coming after me, Brenda, and Tony.
Pote: That’s right. In this life, your family is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness.
In our exclusive interview with Hemky Madera, he said that Pote hasn't lost his killer instinct, and while that's true, he also has a caring side you wouldn't expect from a hit man.
As much as I don't doubt that he would have killed Luce and her son if Teresa ordered it, he wouldn't have taken any pleasure in it and was more than willing to do everything possible to avoid that outcome.
But even as Luce and her young son were able to walk away unharmed, there were still plenty of casualties in this installment.
One moment Manny was talking about running a bird store with his sister, and the next he was lying on the pavement with a bullet in his head.
What was most sad about his death was that we barely knew this character and just as we were getting insights that made him interesting, he was gone.
And then there was the loss of Emilia.
Does any suspect ever make it to the New Orleans police department or is there always a stop at the smokehouse first?
From the moment Emilia ended up in Randall Green's hands she never really had any chance of survival, but Davis gave me hope for a few fleeting moments.
Davis: You pretend to be this honorable man but you're a crook and a liar.
LaFayette: I’m sorry you feel that way, son, but know this, everything I’ve done, I’ve done to take care of you because you can’t take care of yourself.
Davis: That’s not true.
LaFayette: Now who’s lying, son?
LaFayette has no problem telling his son how little he thinks of him. Rene was more of a son to him than Davis, which shouldn't come as any surprise as LaFayette and Rene were both arrogant and cruel.
I'm honestly not sure if LaFayette looks down more on Davis because he has mental health issues or because he has a heart.
As much as I'd happily see Pote, Javier, or Teresa take out the good judge, there's a part of me that's hoping it's Davis who does in his father.
Speaking of Javier, will he or Boaz ever discover what really happened to Emilia?
With her body buried off the side of the road it seems unlikely unless Davis somehow leads them there.
Oddly enough, I felt a great deal of sympathy for Boaz. For all his faults, he loves Emilia and couldn't wait to have her back in his life. Thinking she lied to him and left him was breaking his heart.
"Los Pecados de los Padres" or Sins of the Father, had some wonderfully insightful conversations. One being between Javier and Teresa in this Queen of the South quote...
Teresa: Pote killed Tony’s father. He stole from Epifanio.
Javier: Well, those are the rules, you steal, you die.
Teresa: But that doesn’t make sense for a kid. His father will always be his hero.
Javier: That’s why he wants to be a sicario. It’s all he’s ever known. Like my family, like me.
Yes, there are certain rules to this life, but where the adults have chosen their path, Tony has not. He's still dealing with the consequences of his parents' choices and they will likely haunt him the rest of his life.
Teresa's idea to give Tony a day to be a regular teenager by giving him driving lessons seemed a perfect distraction before it all went horribly wrong.
The location of the old, abandoned amusement park was a striking backdrop. I found myself hoping these scenes would last longer just so we'd have more of an opportunity to explore the location.
As Tony shared that his disturbing sketches were of his nightmares, Teresa tried to show him that despite all of the challenges he's been faced with, he's still luckier than many in this world.
People die every day trying to come to this country hoping for a better life. You have options. You can be whoever you want to be. People have died for you to have that chance.Teresa
But the most touching moment was the one between Pote and Tony.
Even though he knows the boy has held a gun on him and contemplated killing him in his sleep, Pote didn't hesitate to make Tony a special meal to help him heal and tell him how proud he was of him.
Pote: I know you hate me, Tony, but I need to tell you something. You stood up for Teresa. It doesn’t matter the way it went down. You are a man.
Tony: I thought I could do it. You know, I wanted to do it but I just couldn’t.
Pote: A pistola doesn’t make you a man, sacrifice does, and you were willing to lose your life for her. You are a true soldier.
The hug wasn't something I expected, but other than Teresa, Tony only has Pote and Kelly Anne. They are his family and his protectors and Tony might just be willing to accept that.
Now that LaFayette is out to take down Teresa, will she be able to take the corrupt judge and his equally evil sidekick down, or will she have to change locations once again?
Do you want to see Teresa stick it out in New Orleans?
And will anyone ever know what happened to poor Emilia?
Check back for my review of Queen of the South Season 4 Episode 10 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.