How far will Thony go to protect her son?
The Cleaning Lady Season 1 Episode 1 explored the depths of a mother's love and how far she's willing to sink into the organized crime world to help her ailing son.
The Cleaning Lady also discussed many issues about immigration and DACA that haven't been covered recently. They even used Filipino representation throughout the storylines.
The show has shades of Freeform's Party of Five, but in reality, it's the first series that shows the decisions and dangers immigrant and undocumented single mothers struggle with.
The Cleaning Lady includes an impressive cast, including Adam Canto, Martha Millan, and Oliver Hudson. However, newcomers Elodie Yong and Sebastien, and Valentino LaSalle stole our hearts as the mother and son duo Thony and Luca De La Rosa.
She's a mother desperate to find a bone marrow match for her young son, who has a life-threatening immune disorder. Even though she was a successful doctor in the Philippines, she left her life and her husband for better treatments in the United States.
She is relatable since many women would do anything for their children, including leaving their old lives behind if it meant better medical treatments in another country.
She and her sister-in-law Fiona got jobs as cleaners. When another worker sexually harassed them, they were the ones that lost their jobs because they fought back. Women were expected to smile pretty and take it since some of the other clients could be difficult.
I said get off of me!Thony
For the first ten minutes, we saw how much Thony struggled. She raised her son without her husband, and Luca desperately missed his dad.
Apparently, in Filipino cultures, women often moved in together to help raise their families together, so that's why Fiona and her kids moved with Thony and Luca to the United States.
The series kept throwing more lousy luck at Thony and Luca so that she would become desperate. The clinic wouldn't even see them since her Visa expired.
Thony De La Rosa did not give up. Even when she accidentally witnessed a murder, Thony tried to use her skills so that the men wouldn't kill her.
I’m just the cleaning lady.Thony
She offered to help them clean up the crime scene and suggested different cleaners. The men, especially the boss, Arman, seemed impressed with her.
Thony was terrified since she started cleaning her home aggressively to get the stink of murder off of her.
While Thony was out the next day, one of Arman's men picked her up and brought her to Arman.
Like any mother, she got pissed that crime lords came around her son. She's also upset they want to pay her for cleaning up a murder since that's not who she is.
Arman tried to calm her down, reminding her that her son's health was the most important thing. Arman related to her that he was an immigrant as well.
You and I are outside a country that’s not our own. We’re not afforded the same privileges. Keeping your son alive isn’t about doing them the right way or the wrong way, but anyway you can.Arman
While Arman wanted to clean up the mess, he genuinely wanted to help her. I saw an instant connection that only strengthened throughout the series premiere.
He eventually convinced her to work for them and gave her their doctor's name for Luca.
While Thony was getting involved with organized crime, Fiona got involved with a different type of crime.
She wanted out of their cleaning lady jobs and a better life for their children just as much as Thony did, so she got them a job interview as servers at an exclusive club.
There was a catch. They had to sell ecstasy to get the job.
Thony: You have no idea who this guy is.
Fiona: I’m not an idiot.
Thony: Then how can you do this?
They acted like real sisters and exchanged some harsh words. Thony was concerned about her niece and nephew finding their mom deported or worse. Both of them are in over their heads.
Thony was not used to performing these jobs for Arman, whether she was dressed up or in her cleaning lady outfit.
She was always told never to speak to any guests so that no one would suspect anything, but that never worked out.
Arman learned that the cops found the body and needed Tony to scrub the police. Unfortunately, Eric, one of the other guys, set a bomb to blow up the evidence and didn't care that a cleaner was inside.
This is when we see how much Arman valued Thony. He rushed back as she was breaking through the glass. They fell to the ground as the bomb went off.
Arman was injured, and Thony needed to cauterize him immediately.
Thony: Do you trust me?
These two have a fire already. She was pissed that he didn't warn her about the bomb, but he did risk his life to save her. Only Luca mattered to her, so she made Arman swear to protect both her and Luca.
Arman comes through once again, and they can see the particular doctor the following week.
Thony decided to listen to Arman's advice and have some fun, so she planned a special day for Luca, where he could be a kid and let loose.
That young kid has so many dreams that hopefully, we'll see him accomplish them.
In the end, the Feds showed up and watched Thony leave with organized crime.
Over to you, TV Fanatics. What did you think of the series premiere of The Cleaning Lady?
What do you think the FBI wants with Thony?
Do you love the chemistry between Arman and Thony? Chime in below in the comments.
Remember, if you missed the episode, you can watch The Cleaning Lady online right here via TV Fanatic.
The Cleaning Lady airs at 9/8c on Mondays on FOX.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on X.