If the first two episodes of Queen of the South told us anything, it’s that life for women in the world of expansive drug cartels is difficult, what with it being run by men with huge egos and all — hey, it’s like so many other businesses! They’ve also told us that one day in the future, Teresa is going to overcome the odds and cement her place as a huge force in the world of drug trafficking. We may know the destination, but the journey remains a mystery, and the show’s job from here on out is to make sure the journey is compelling even when we know where it’s all headed.
Sure enough, “Estrategia de Entrada” can be labeled as the season’s most compelling hour thus far. It doesn’t have the feverish pace of the pilot, but it also doesn’t have to rely as heavily on exposition. Teresa is in the thick of it now, and we get to sit back and watch her ascent. Sure, it probably won’t be smooth sailing, but this episode proves it will be engaging.
With the drug run from last week’s episode complete, Teresa is holed up in the basement of the warehouse awaiting her next gig. While Camila is gathering more information about her, trying to piece together why her husband might want this woman so badly, Teresa is finally able to check her phone, having been promoted to new sleeping arrangements with the rest of the mules.
When she does, she hears all the panicked messages from Brenda. Not wanting to have her phone tracked, Teresa borrows a phone from another mule and calls Brenda. She tells her to destroy her phone, buy a burner, and then head to the “crazy green place.” It takes Brenda a minute, but she deciphers the code — it means head to the nail salon where she gets her nails painted a crazy shade of green — and hangs up just in time to escape the men coming after her and her son.
Then, when Teresa tries to get out on another job with James, he gives her a little advice. He tells her to keep her head down and just do small jobs, because it’ll be harder for her to get out if she makes herself too known or valuable. It’s solid advice, but it doesn’t seem to matter — Camila has other plans for Teresa. Watching from a number of surveillance cameras, she tells James to take Teresa on his next job, because she needs Teresa to trust him.
WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.
That leads to an absolutely thrilling sequence. James, Teresa, and two other mules hop in a truck and head to the Savings Club — basically Costco, but with workers willing to be middlemen for drug trafficking — to pick up a shipment. Teresa’s left in the car to keep watch, and while James is in the warehouse loading up the coke, she’s snagged by the DEA. They throw her into the back of a van and scream questions at her about Camila Vargas.
Despite the pressure, Teresa doesn’t snitch, and it’s a good thing. When she comes out of the van, Camila is standing there with some of her men. It was all a test to see if Teresa could be trusted or if she would inform on her boss the second she got captured. Teresa passed the first test when she successfully transported the drugs through the airport, and now she’s passed the second.
NEXT: Pottery Barn, but you know, for drugs