QUEEN OF THE SOUTH -- "No Te Pierdas La Cabeza" Episode 503 -- Pictured in this: Alice Braga as Teresa Mendoza -- (Photo by: USA Network)

‘Queen of the South’ 5×03: Between a rock and a hard place

6 mins read

The “Queen of the South” characters got a closer look into the minds and hearts of their loved ones in the latest episode. While some managed to grow closer because of it, others weren’t so lucky.

Season five, episode three, “No Te Pierdas La Cabeza” (“Don’t Lose Your Mind” in Spanish) was all about how we respond when we feel trapped. Life throws a bunch of things our way, and the characters were forced to decide how to react when it aired Wednesday, April 21.

Do you seek help with strangers or loved ones? Do you push people away and carry the brunt of tough decisions on your own shoulders? Do you stand up for the people you care about or let them slip from your grasp?

5×03 was intense and action-packed as the characters all felt desperate to get out of the trap they were in. I was stressed out once again and thoroughly enjoyed the complexities of the human heart playing out on my screen.

Here is my star rating for “Queen of the South” 5×03:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Spoiler alert warning:


Image by USA Network

The episode started with Pote consoling Kelly Anne that he’s excited for the baby since he was too anxious in the last episode to say anything.

“I don’t want you to think that I’m not happy, because I am,” Pote told her.

He wanted to tell Teresa the news, but Kelly Anne stopped him saying she wanted to wait a little longer. Then Kelly Anne left suspiciously to take care of some business she had.

The scene then cut to the main driving force of the episode: Boaz Jimenez. Teresa was looking for him since he wasn’t in Miami like he said he would be. She got her answers right away when he showed up with Judge Lafayette’s head cut off in a box. This ruined any chance she had at eliminating the bounty on Dumas’ head, and the botched press conference upped Dumas’ bounty to $2 million.

James decided to drive Dumas away from New Orleans and out of state lines to get him on a flight out of the country. However, Dumas is weary since he’s never met James before and is worried he’s going to betray him. Before he leaves the city for good though, Dumas insists on stopping to see his father figure Lucien. Once the newfound duo hit the road again, they get trailed and chased down. 

They managed to escape and arrive at a safe house where James essentially said “I told you so.” He believed that Lucien gave up the license plates, so he could take over Dumas’ business if he goes to prison. Then Dumas found out on the news that the Judge is dead and put James at gunpoint, thinking Teresa had something to do with it. James stood up for her though and said she would never put Boaz above her loyalty to him.

On the other side of things, Teresa struggled with what to do with Boaz after she locked him up. Does she kill him, freeing Dumas, but eventually losing her business in Mexico and endangering her entire cartel? Does she let Boaz go but sacrifice Dumas to the authorities in order to keep her business alright? She decided on the latter. She let Boaz go and gave Dumas to the police.

Pote followed Kelly Anne after she acted suspiciously earlier in the episode and barged in on her in a narcotics anonymous meeting. They had a heart-to-heart where she told him she’s scared to have a child because of her past with addiction and doesn’t want to be a bad mother. Pote soothed her though and reminded her of her self worth.

The push

Image by USA Network

I think this episode can be described in two different phrases: 1) “between a rock and a hard place;” and 2) “the push and the pull.”

Each character felt trapped in different ways. Boaz was physically trapped in a cell. Dumas was trapped with James on the run from the police. Teresa was trapped with a tough decision choosing between Boaz and Dumas. Kelly Anne was trapped in her fear of her past haunting her motherhood. James was trapped in his feelings for Teresa, and Pote was trapped in his feelings for Kelly Anne.

Some of them chose to push others away because of this suffocating feeling and others chose to push themselves closer to their loved ones.

James and Teresa were definitely “the push” in the above phrase. 

James stood up for Teresa when Dumas came after her loyalty.

James: “She is all about loyalty, right? Since the first day we met, I’ve seen her risk her life again and again for people in need –– complete strangers. I wasn’t just overseas this past year. I was out. I could’ve stayed gone and never looked back. Maybe that would’ve been the smart thing to do. But I came back because it’s what she would do, not just for me but for you. I think you know that. Deep down you know you can trust her. … It’s hard leaving your people behind. That’s why I came back.”

Dumas: “You came back because you’re in love with her.”

I love to see my heart-eyed man called out for loving Teresa. It makes my heart warm.

However, things changed when Teresa made the choice to hand Dumas over to the police. James looked heartbroken when she walked into the safe house with the cops. He spent the majority of the episode standing up for the woman he’s in love with. However, she’s not that woman. I don’t know if she’s ever really been that woman. He painted her out as this flawless person who always does the right thing, but she’s a person who makes mistakes and has flaws like everyone else.

That being said, I don’t think Teresa made a bad decision with this. She made the smart one for her business and that’s what her motives have turned into. Teresa’s lost so much that she feels she and her loved ones can only truly be safe when she’s at the top.

I think both James and Teresa need to reconcile that she’s changed and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Until they get to that point though, they’re pushing each other away.

The pull

Image by USA Network

If James and Teresa were “the push,” then Pote and Kelly Anne were definitely “the pull.” These two only got closer in this episode.

Kelly Anne originally pushed Pote away at the beginning, but everything changed when he sought her out to make sure she wasn’t in trouble. He wasn’t about to let her widen the gap between them.

He barged into her NA meeting, knocking over coffee cups with all eyes on him as he frantically tried to pick everything up. It was a brilliant, comedic, light-hearted spot in an episode that was nearly anything but. 

The couple left the meeting to have a much-needed conversation outside to air out how this pregnancy really has them feeling. Kelly Anne is terrified that her past addiction will make her a bad mom.

Kelly Anne: “I’m worse than the cartel. I’m a hundred times worse. … I’m completely unfit to be a mother. I’m an addict, and I’m a rat, and I’m a liar, and I killed my husband. You don’t even trust me. You followed me here. You were ready to shoot me!”

Pote: “Shoot you? I was not gonna shoot you, Kelly Anne! … I thought you were in trouble! … I thought you were having cold feet.”

Kelly Anne: “I am! My feet are freezing! What if I ruin this child’s life? What if I can’t handle it and I start using again? I’m sober now, but I will always be an addict.”

Pote: “Kelly Anne, why you’re only thinking of the bad stuff, huh? How ‘bout all the good that you do? … When Tony needed you, you came and saved his life without for one moment thinking about what could happen to you. That is what a mother does. … You’re the kindest, most generous woman that I’ve ever known, with so much love in your heart that you have no idea what to do with it. And our baby –– our baby’s gonna love you as much as I love you.”

I loved this scene. These actors had so much power and the writing was perfect. None of this is related to the cartel. This is all about how Kelly Anne doesn’t trust herself, which I think many people can relate to and need to hear. Everyone could use a Pote in their lives to remind them of how great they are.

Our past doesn’t dictate our future as long as we learn from it, and people’s addictions don’t make them unfit people. It’s a disease like anything else that can be conquered.

I love how this real, raw, emotional scene strengthened one of the healthiest relationships on the show. Communication has the power to bring anyone closer to each other.

Brianna Taggart

Brianna Taggart gets way too emotionally invested in TV shows and loves to bring her love of stories and writing to her work in journalism. She has two degrees in journalism and communication from the University of Minnesota Duluth and works full time at a weekly newspaper in Minnesota. When she’s not covering community news, she’s covering entertainment for Bri’s Binge right here on the Daily Planet.

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