Devious Maids / Screen

‘Devious Maids’: Episode 103 ‘Wiping Away the Past’ Review

This episode really took the soapy drama up a notch so I enjoyed it a lot more than previous episodes.  If I’m going to have to watch this slightly imbalanced storytelling, in which the maids keep sliding toward the supporting cast end of the spectrum, I want to get some ridiculous drama out of it.  Though the relationships between maid and employer are very intertwined, in trying to balance them the women fall to the wayside.  We know more about the bosses than we do the maids so it was especially nice to see Zoila get some back story, even if it was tied to Genevieve because it provided perspective on Zoila’s anti-Remi views.

With Genevieve’s help, Valentina got to work on Remi, and they had a really cute scene together where she sewed up one of his torn shirts and called him out on his subtle privilege before proceeding to compliment his bare abs.  Girl’s got game.  Remi, however, doesn’t.  I can’t tell if his dialogue is badly written or if he’s supposed to talk like he’s sixty-five and his only contact with the outside world comesin the form of  black-and-white movies, but Valentina and I have the same appreciation of his abdominal muscles so I can ignore his questionable vocabulary as long as his shirt’s off.

When Zoila found out about Genevieve’s meddling, she was pissed, and her and Valentina took a “vacation” until Genevieve can get on board with making sure Remi and Valentina don’t happen.  Being together for over twenty years has given Zoila and Genevieve a candor the other maids don’t have with their bosses. Though Zoila works for Genevieve, they don’t interact as maid and boss. They’re very casual with one another, and they can laugh together, but they can also argue.  During none of their exchanges is Zoila’s job ever used against her, and there’s no threat of losing it if Zoila speaks her mind to Genevieve.  Also, it was nice to see Genevieve being the one to make amends with Zoila after realizing she’s been overstepping plus trying to make up for the part she played in the failure of Zoila’s relationship with her brother Henri.

The momentary tension between Zoila and Genevieve halted Remi and Valentina’s flirtation. It’s sweet to be concerned about his mom’s friendship with Zoila, but I’m rolling my eyes at Remi’s reasoning for toning it down with Valentina.  First of all, they weren’t doing anything except chatting every once in awhile and seeing each other at movies once.  It wasn’t like they were running around making out in coat closets (which I hope will happen at some point) so cooling it down is the same as not having any contact with each other at all.

More employers heavily featured were the Powells and the Stappords.  Though the Stappord involvement in the central mystery gives them a pass, the development being heaped onto the Powells can be better served elsewhere. The visit of Evelyn’s friend also tied in to the greater reveal, but knowing so many details about him and Evelyn’s feelings for him, slowed down the episode.  We could have gotten all the details from Taylor without having to devote screen time to a guest character.  Also confusing me is the recurring presence of Michael’s ex, Olivia.  I’m hoping she ends up having had something to do with Flora’s murder or else her popping up makes no sense.

The problem with the focus on the employers is that it takes valuable time away from the maids.  They only got one scene together, and Carmen wasn’t there for it.  The show works well when having the women together, and in Marc Cherry’s Desperate Housewives that was a highlight throughout the show. The lack of attention being paid to the women’s relationships with one another makes it hard to see them as friends.   Still it was the funniest scene in the entire episode as Zoila and Marisol advised Rosie on how to proceed with Spence after his erection during their hug.

Spence’s inappropriate reaction came on the heels of Rosie’s argument with Peri after Rosie asked for a loan to pay the lawyer helping her get her son to the states.  Peri’s refusal, even when she thought Rosie was blackmailing her, led to Spence offering Rosie the money instead which cued a hug, and Spence eventually admitting that he has more than professional feelings for her.  So the affair storyline is definitely a go.

Carmen’s story is shaping up to be the worst. Though Alejandro is hardly ever seen, all the attention is given to Odessa and Sam. It’s official that the show’s  trying to make Sam into a love interest for her, but he’s a bad one.  After Carmen’s dalliance with her new producer, Sam revokes his dinner invitation as if Carmen wanted to have dinner with him and his change of heart was a huge punishment for her.  She was obviously uncomfortable with the decision she’d made to sleep with Benny Soto, but I’m not taking Sam’s judgmental passive-aggressiveness as an indication of his rightness for Carmen.

Speaking of men who should stop being themselves, Adrian’s just as creepy as we all thought.  His voyeuristic operation in which he hires women to sleep with his oblivious friends is so weird.  He doesn’t appear to make any money off of this, though the women do so it appears to just be a means for him to enjoy himself.  This news does flesh out what may have happened with Flora.  As one of the women working for Adrian, she could have been raped by one of his friends.  Knowing that he watched the whole thing unfold and did nothing to help her would certainly count as as a betrayal of trust, especially considering their romantic relationship.

Speaking of their romance, Adrian’s feelings for Flora are appearing to have been somewhat genuine.  It doesn’t seem like he ever slept with the women he hired until Flora.  The crossing of that line could account for Evelyn’s anger which she doesn’t display when it comes to the Adrian’s voyeurism and hiring out women for sex, even women they know such as Taylor who met Michael that way.

The show might improve once all the women are on the same page regarding Flora’s murder.  Right now Marisol’s the only one involved, but once the other women find out, there can be more group scenes. That being said, I think it could be improved upon even without making them all partners in figuring out the truth. It shows a lack of creativity.  

If you have any thoughts, leave them in the comments.

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