Life as everyone knew it changed forever thanks to one heck of a dinner party on The Baker and the Beauty Season 1 Episode 4.
Meeting the parents is always hard, and that's without the scorned ex-girlfriend, the sister coming out of the closet, and a slew of paparazzi waiting to snap the million-dollar photo into the mix.
Things were bound to get awkward for Noa and Daniel.
Much of the action took place in the Garcias' dining room, but that didn't stop it from being the most action-packed episode this season.
This is proof that the series doesn't need to charm audiences with beautiful islands or lavish parties -- if the writing is there and the cast is vibing, we're naturally hooked.
It was also the episode that pulled the most from a telenovela to bring all the juicy twists and drama.
Noa had no idea what she was getting into when she agreed to meet Daniel's family. She was excited to have dinner with a "real family," and boy, she got what she was looking for.
Daniel's family wanted to make a good impression, but they didn't pretend to be something they weren't to impress her -- Noa got the full Garcia family experience in one sitting.
For the most part, Daniel's family was excited to meet Noa. Rafael was skeptical and approached with caution. Rafael hasn't had a good experience with celebrities and harbors resentment for all of them collectively.
Rafael: We need to talk about the daily breakfast you been having these past few weeks.
Mateo: Yeah, more like daily sexfest.
However, Noa may be the one to change his mind. She was able to charm him, and by the end of the night, he even caved in and helped her after realizing that she's kind-hearted, down-to-earth, and truly cares about Daniel.
Noa shares Rafael's concerns about fame and celebrity being toxic and ruining people; she doesn't want that for Daniel.
That is why she has tried to keep their relationship in the "bubble" for so long. She knows what's waiting for him out there once the bubble pops.
But the bubble was inevitably going to pop.
They couldn't sneak around hiding in Noa's lavish hotel forever. What kind of life is that?
Sooner or later, they would have to face the music. And Noa was living in a fantasy if she thought she could sneak around and date a "normal" man without the media catching wind of it.
It's surprising how long it took the photo to leak following their trip to Puerto Rico. And once it did, why did the media struggle to identify Daniel? He was by Noa's side the whole night at the charity gala and even got tagged on her Instagram!
It shouldn't have been that difficult of a mystery to solve.
It was Lewis of all people who let deets of Noa's personal love life slip so carelessly. He's been so uptight about Noa being careful and expressing no-PDA with Daniel, and all it took was a few drinks during his date for everyone to know Noa's whereabouts.
Poor Lewis didn't even know that he was, unintentionally, the source of the leak.
The Garcia dinner party started pretty great as everyone enjoyed the food and each other's company.
Noa buttered up Mari and Rafael by asking how they met, and it seemed like she was going to make a good impression. Unfortunately, her tactic backfired when she asked "lovebirds" Natalie and Amy how they met.
Noa: Daniel, you have no idea. Fame is hard on a relationship.
Daniel: So, this is a relationship?
It's such a cliche phrase, but the room fell so quiet you could cut the silence with a knife.
At that moment, it was clear who knew about Natalie's secret, who was in denial, and who had no clue. But the bottom line is that nothing would be the same after this dinner.
Noa realized she overstepped, but she couldn't take it back. Amy tried to play it cool as Natalie freaked out and ran off to her room.
Outing someone before they're ready to come out is never cool. Coming out is a significant, life-changing choice, but in this case, it's also not fair to blame Noa because she didn't know any better.
Daniel seemingly warned her about most of his family members, including Mateo, but he never told her that his sister was still in the closet.
How could she have known?
It was also an honest mistake made by someone who has never navigated family-dynamics. Noa should have known better, but she's doesn't have anything to compare it to, nor does she know what's acceptable in the Garcia family.
While Noa instigated the conversation, Natalie made the sound decision to come out with Amy's help.
Vanessa, I do love you, but not like I used to. I think I felt this way for a while but didn’t realize it until you proposed. It’s not about Noa or some fantasy. You and I are not going to be happily ever after.Daniel
She could have lied to her parents, but Natalie realized what she wanted and who she wanted to be. It was her chance to be honest with her very Catholic parents finally. The band-aid was already halfway ripped off, why not rip it off entirely?
So, she marched back into the living room to declare "I'm gay" at the same time Noa declared "I'm trapped" after noticing the congregation of paparazzi outside the bakery.
Oh, and Vanessa stormed out of the room to inform everyone that she's leaving.
It may have singlehandedly been the best scene in television history.
Vanessa arrived at the dinner shortly after Natalie stormed off to give Mateo some soup since he canceled a gig she got him because he was "sick." When she found out he lied to have dinner with Noa Hamilton, she lost it and spilled soup again, this time on the other Garcia brother.
What did soup ever do to this girl?
Vanessa was also furious because Noa was replacing her. In her mind, helping Mateo meant getting Daniel back, but seeing Noa at the table was a harsh realization that their relationship was over, and his relationship with Noa was way more than just a fling.
After all, you don't just bring anyone home to meet the family.
Now, while it may be easy to blame Vanessa and call her actions crazy or obsessive, the truth is, Daniel played a massive role in her outburst because he wasn't upfront with her.
Vanessa confronted him on The Baker and the Beauty Season 1 Episode 2 and tried to define their relationship moving forward. During that scene, she made it pretty clear to Daniel that she wasn't ready to throw away a four-year relationship.
He bailed to spend time with Noa during her birthday party an then got caught up in his whirlwind romance and never gave Vanessa the closure she needed to move on herself.
The least he can give her now is some honesty.
Vanessa still believed that this was a phase for Daniel, but when he finally told her that his desire to no longer be with her wasn't because of Noa or some "fantasy," that's when she understood that it was over.
Instead of accepting defeat, Vanessa stuck around and tried to escalate the situation.
At this point, she simply looks stupid and needs to let it go. There's no competition between her and Noa because she's not even in the running.
And yes, it's painful to see someone get better treatment than you ever did, but that should be eye-opening for Vanessa and help her realize that she was never the girl for Daniel. And, in turn, he was never the man for her.
I still firmly stand by my belief that Vanessa is going to find love with Mateo.
The series is toying with the idea, and while Mateo is very silly, he's everything she's looking for in a man.
He recognizes that she's beautiful, powerful, and deserves better than to be second-best. I can see their hate-love relationship turning into just love.
But first, Vanessa needs to get over her hangup including the image of the "perfect relationship" that she's envisioned.
I'm so glad she listened to Mateo and didn't go through with outing Noa's to the paparazzi.
While she made a point that being with Daniel was something she's always been proud of, she didn't understand the gravity of what would happen if the paparazzi found out.
Noa wasn't hiding Daniel because she was embarrassed to be with a normal guy, she was hiding him because she was protecting his privacy, his family's privacy, and their relationship; she was protecting her relationship with a normal guy.
The media are vultures -- if they smell blood, they circle. Once it goes public, there's no going back.
We've seen countless celebrity couples who we truly believed in break up because of media scrutiny. It's not just their relationship anymore -- it's the public's relationship.
Vanessa has stooped to some low places, and both times, they've involved soup, but outing Noa and Daniel would've been her lowest point. It's good to know she still has morals.
Noa and Daniel did their best to avoid the paparazzi, and admittedly, Lewis and Rafael's plan was brilliant, but those photographers are persistent and clever. Their livelihood depends on snagging the phot, so they always find a way.
Admittedly, Daniel should've checked the alley before rushing out from the underground tunnels.
Once the picture of the "baker and the beauty" was out there, it was time to face the music.
And there's no turning back now -- Daniel is officially the Noa Hamilton's boyfriend.
Seeing how mature Daniel and Noa are going into the relationship, I think they have a good chance of surviving it.
They spent a decent amount of time establishing a relationship where the foundation was friendship and trust.
Everything me and your mother do in this life is for you and your brothers. There is nothing that you can do or be that will make us love you any less.Rafael
Noa knows how the media operates, so she likely won't get swept up in all of it, and Daniel seems confident that he won't let it get to him either, especially since he has a real family to keep him grounded. It'll be a struggle, but they seem well-equipped to handle whatever life throws their way.
One of the most significant issues I foresee is Daniel's lack of passion for pursuing a career outside of what his parents want for him.
Maybe being pushed out of his comfort zone will encourage him to push the boundaries (Noa even mentioned a cooking show), but that might not sit well with his father. Daniel doesn't seem excited to take over the family business, but at the same time, he doesn't want to disappoint his father.
However, it's unfair to ask your son to live out your dream. Both Mari and Raf had dreams of opening a bakery and restaurant, but if Daniel wants something else, he should be able to pursue that without the guilt of destroying the family business.
Raf gives off the impression that he's intimidating, but we saw his sweeter side come out in this episode by helping Noa and comforting Natalie.
While Natalie's evening ended on an explosive note, her father assured her that nothing she could ever do would make her parents love her any less.
It was beautiful to see Raf put aside his beliefs and notions and be there for his daughter, who was scared, vulnerable, and confused.
And he's right -- Mari will eventually come around, but for now, her whole reality has gotten shaken. What she envisioned for her daughter's future is no longer happening, and she needs time to adjust and make sense of it.
It doesn't excuse her reaction, but she's also going through a time of change just like Natalie.
And finally, Lewis's secret was exposed in what was possibly the biggest revelation of this wild hour. A scene showed him at the doctor's office after pushing his date away.
At first, it didn't make sense why Lewis was so closed to love, but now, knowing his health issues are at play, we start to understand his character's actions a bit more.
The doctor used the term "latency period," which may be referring to a time before the initial exposure of a cancer-causing substitute and the diagnosis.
If this is true, it's not surprising that he hasn't been upfront with Noa. This news will devastate her and shake her world. Lewis is one of the only people she considers to be family, and the idea of a life without him is likely terrifying for her.
The episode was flawless and incorporated everyone in a natural way while progressing Daniel and Noa's relationship.
Their budding relationship is escapist television at its finest.
Be sure to watch The Baker and the Beauty online to catch up on episodes.
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