(If you haven’t yet watched the final episode of Queen of the South, turn back now. This review tells all. Consider yourself warned.)
Zihuatanejo. That’s what I was hoping to see, and that’s what Queen of the South Season 5 Episode 10 gave me in the end.
And if you’ve never seen The Shawshank Redemption, watch it now. It’s a great movie. Not only will you thank me, but you’ll also understand the reference to Zihuatanejo.
This last installment belonged to Pote, and Hemky Madera carried it like the master he is from beginning to end.
He stayed in there guarding her body until they took it away. That was when I knew Teresa Mendoza was dead.
The sounds of Pote reacting to Teresa getting shot were heartbreaking. Poor Samara already lost her mother, and then she watched the woman, who just took her in as family, get gunned down in their new home.
Samara was having a rough week. Hopefully, she’ll put that bag of cash Pote handed her to good use building a new life for herself.
But for the entire hour, fans were left wondering if Teresa was truly dead or if this had been some ruse to fool Devon Finch and the CIA.
When Devon says you’re done, he means you’re dead, which meant that Teresa and everyone in her inner circle had to be eliminated, even James.
James didn’t deserve that. James left Teresa in Arizona to come work for the CIA when they gave the order. He agreed to kill Teresa. He appeared to have done everything that was asked of him, but Devon wasn’t about to let James walk away any more than he would Teresa.
In some ways, Devon got what he deserved. He got Boaz.
Devon: It wasn’t enough to buy her house, now you’re selling your own Tequila?
Boaz: It’s a message, like the house. There’s a new king in town.
Devon: Sleeping in Teresa’s bed isn’t the same as filling her shoes.
Boaz: Teresa’s shoes led her to the grave. Now I find my own path.
Devon: Teresa was successful because she knew how to fly under the radar.
Boaz: But she didn’t fly low enough to dodge your bullet.
Devon quickly learned that Boaz was no Teresa. Teresa was smart. She calculated every move. She listened more than she spoke. She observed thought things through before she acted.
Boaz has none of those qualities. He’s not a stupid man, but he relishes the bravado that comes from taking over Teresa’s business. Knowing that someone else killed Teresa and not him probably bothered his ego more than he’d ever admit.
In some ways, Boaz only tolerated Teresa as the boss when he had to and made his move to oust her as soon as he was able.
Boaz has always been a brutal hothead, and he’s lost a lot. His son was killed. Emilia, the love of his life, was murdered. But some small bit of loyalty he held for Teresa snapped when she turned Javier over to Lafayette to be killed.
Yes, Javier beat Lafayette’s nephew, Rene, to death, and Boaz helped him cover it up. However, I doubt Boaz takes any responsibility for his role in keeping that information from Teresa. If she had known sooner, she likely would have been able to avoid having to sacrifice Javier.
Boaz needed others to view him as king, whereas Teresa was happy to wield her power quietly. It’s clear which kingpin Devon preferred.
Devon: It’s clear you have no intentions of running the business like Teresa but at least try to be discreet.
Boaz: I was discreet. I cut out his tongue so the neighbors wouldn’t hear him scream.
Perhaps someone should point out to Boaz that a man can’t tell you what he knows once you’ve cut out his tongue or that he looked like a slob and a fool as he spoke to Devon with the blow still stuck to his nose.
But while Devon was trying to wrangle Boaz, Pote and Kelly Anne were trying to make their escape.
Pote: They know where you are, Kelly Anne. You need to run, leave everything. Go now!
Kelly Anne: Oh my God.
Pote: We’re going to be at the Sunset Motel just off the I-10. If we’re not there by 3 am you need to disappear. Do not look back.
Kelly Anne fleeing the house had my heart pounding, and I felt horrible for Mike and Heidi. Mike seemed like a good guy, and now Heidi will be raising their three children on her own.
You never know who your neighbors really are or what they’re into.
Then we were left hanging, not knowing what happened to Kelly Anne as 3 am came, Pote was nowhere to be found, and the CIA closed in on her motel room.
If I had to watch Kelly Anne be killed, I don’t think I would have gotten over that.
But it was Pote who took the brunt of the hits, both literally and figuratively.
I’ll admit that I rolled my eyes when the cops drove over and insisted on helping Pote change that tire. No offense meant to police officers, but I’ve been in that position and been specifically told that changing tires is not what they do. Maybe it’s different in Texas.
Pote was smart enough to stay polite and calm, even as they were arresting him. All Chicho could do was watch from the crowd.
When Pote said he was taking a plea deal of five years in prison for the carjacking, my heart sank. I understand why he’d take the deal. Federal carjacking charges can lead to up to a 15-year sentence. With Teresa’s network now gone, there was no hope of breaking out or some high-priced attorney cutting him a better deal.
Unbeknownst to Pote, Devon appeared to gift him something for his loyalty. He had him protected in prison and told Boaz to stand down.
But Pote had to do the time and survive…and hope that Kelly Anne had somehow survived as well.
Forty-seven months is a long time to live in a box, but if anyone could endure it, it’s Pote. It was good to see Chicho waiting for him when he got out and surprisingly satisfying to know that Marcel was working with them to finally take out Boaz.
I thought that Chicho was a dead man inside that trailer. How any of them made it out amidst that much gunfire is a mystery.
It was heartening to see that Chicho was still alive and that Pote was willing to throw himself to the wolves in a last-ditch effort to take out Boaz and save his loyal friend and fellow soldier.
Having one of Boaz’s own men call him out for not taking Pote’s challenge was when I knew I was finally going to see what I’d been waiting for since Boaz killed George.
Boaz would never have agreed to a knife fight with Pote if he could have avoided it But not doing so would have meant humiliation and a loss of respect from his own men. Underneath all of that bluster, I wonder if Boaz knew he was screwed.
Watching Pote stab him for George and Kelly Anne and the final kill stroke for Teresa as he glared directly into Boaz’s eyes was a highly rewarding moment that I’ve watched more than once.
Then Pote was set to disappear but not before setting things right in New Orleans.
Marcel: What is it?
Pote: It’s a gift and a reminder. After what you and Teresa went through she still considered you family.
Chicho got back the bar that Boaz had stolen from him, and Marcel got the waterfront property and enough money to complete the project.
After years of fighting for respect and recognition, Teresa had gifted him the means to acquire both. Even better, it appeared that he and Chicho would be working on it together.
But what happened to James and Kelly Anne?
That leads us to Zihuatanejo or the Queen of the South version of it.
When I saw Pote walking on that beach, I couldn’t help but smile, and that smile grew until the credits rolled.
The first person Pote came across was his young daughter building a sandcastle.
That’s a pretty castle. You know what your castle needs? A little soldier to protect it.
Seeing Kelly Anne alive and her elation over Pote’s return was everything I could have hoped for from this finale, but it only got better.
James was there, as was Teresa, very much alive.
Pote said she looked different, probably because she was smiling. Her old life didn’t allow for much of that.
Their plan had worked perfectly, except for Pote’s arrest, but even Pote admitted that if any part of it had to go wrong, he was the one best equipped to withstand such a delay.
Devon believed Teresa was dead, and Teresa Mendoza, the drug kingpin, was. What was reborn was a contented woman who was cooking for her friends, her family.
We’re never told where they are in the world, but the house is gorgeous, and it’s clear they have enough money to keep them safe, sequestered, and happy.
My only letdown in this ending, and it is slight, is that we never again saw Camila Vargas after Teresa sent her into exile. Camila was such a huge part of the first several seasons that I’m surprised her story ended there.
Maybe an ending as happy as this is unrealistic, and, given this is a narco show, I’m surprised this is how the series was wrapped up.
But I’m not disappointed. If anyone had the money, resources, and cleverness to be able to disappear completely, it was Teresa. Plus, Teresa always planned several steps ahead, so it’s not a shock that she’d have a boat and a captain on standby for two years, just in case she needed to run.
In the end, I’ve enjoyed Queen of the South from the first episode to the last, and there aren’t many shows I can say that about. It stayed true to its characters and its concept from the pilot to the finale. As much as I don’t want to see it go, I’m happy it’s ending on such a high note.
Teresa and her crew deserve it.
Now it’s your turn, Queen of the South fans! Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below to share what you loved and hated about this series finale.
Then check back with us for a Queen of the South series wrap-up. And don’t forget, you can watch Queen of the South online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.