Jake and Louise join forces to rescue Julia from her ill-fated interview with El Toro
Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth
S1 E10
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It sure has been a minute since we last saw our reckless blonde duo, hasn’t it? I say reckless because, maybe you’ve forgotten in the two weeks Notorious has been off the air, but Julia and Louise CHOSE to ignore the sane pleading of pretty much everyone on planet Earth and go ahead with their very dangerous plan to seek out El Toro in Mexico. Did they not get the hint that maybe this wasn’t such a great idea when El Toro’s people machine gunned their electronics into oblivion?

As someone with a journalism background, I get it. You want the story! And you want it first, especially something as big a deal as this. But come on, we all saw this coming, didn’t we?

As I suspected, Julia’s kidnapping is all part of the plan. Only, El Toro’s crew meant to grab Louise instead of Julia (they switched rooms at the last minute) and so now we’ve got problems. Louise manages to contact Megan (where did this phone come from?), fills her in on their little trip, and begs for help in securing Julia’s safe return. Meanwhile, since Dana admitted she killed Johnny live on air (remember that story line?) she got the boot as anchor and was replaced with a new girl named Avery — but more on her later.

Back in Mexico, we get a glimpse at Julia’s final destination, El Toro’s safe house. El Toro informs her that he really wanted to kidnap Louise, and he’s none too pleased he’s stuck with a lousy producer (someone clearly doesn’t know how a news show works). He likes Louise’s interview style and thinks she can help sway public opinion in his favor. Soon, however, Julia learns she’s not the only one in his custody. She’s thrown into a barn, where she meets a presumed-dead journalist, Ignacio Rodriguez, who has been held for quite some time because he refused to legitimize El Toro and give him the interview platform he demanded. Ignacio says he’d rather stay in the barn until he died than give El Toro a positive interview, a plan Julia is none too thrilled to partake in.


Since Jake is, you know, in Mexico, Bradley and Ella visit Emilio in jail, only to realize very quickly that the kid wants to be in jail and fears El Toro will have him killed if he leaves. Well, that sure throws a wrench in the plans! Luckily, the visit is not for naught — Emilio reveals to them the exact location of El Toro’s safe house, which is information they then pass on to Jake, who has somehow found Louise outside of a random Mexican bar.

NEXT: Again, they get American cable in Mexico how?

Back at the safe house, El Toro has finally agreed to let Julia conduct the interview, and she’s even finagled a sweet deal into the mix that includes Ignacio’s freedom in exchange for airing the interview. The interview goes as smoothly as an interview can go when your interviewer is technically being held hostage. El Toro gets angry with Julia for asking any questions that may paint him in a bad light and, because he’s terrifying and actually might kill her if she doesn’t, she tosses her journalistic integrity to the wind and tosses him a few softball questions to keep him happy.

Of course, not all is well back in Los Angeles. Knowing full well El Toro is a fan of LHL and that he will most likely be watching, interim producer Megan decides to dedicate the entire episode to Julia and talk about how great and wonderful and kind she is, and how it would be best for everyone if she were released without harm. The whole thing is cheesy, but harmless — UNTIL Avery goes completely rogue and calls El Toro a coward and a liar and also pathetic live on air. This inevitably infuriates El Toro, who threatens to kill Ignacio if Julia doesn’t air the footage they’ve just shot with no edits.

Things get even crazier (hard to believe, right?) when Jake and Louise show up with the news that they could potentially free Emilio. Emilio’s father is overjoyed at possibly getting his son back, but El Toro is too busy realizing that Emilio sold out his location to enjoy the happy homecoming. Again, he’s furious and demands Jake be murdered. Please, someone get this guy a Xanax!

Louise attempts to scheme her way out of the situation by luring El Toro in with the promise of the interview he wanted in the first place, but things go awry when he catches her searching for a weapon. To quote Rizzo from Grease, “Some people are so touchy!” He chains her to a chair, and things aren’t looking so great for Louise… until El Toro’s brother (and Emilio’s father) steps in and shoots El Toro smack in the head. With his evil brother dead, he sets Louise free and makes her promise she’ll get Emilio out of jail. She’s like yeah, sure, whatever, let me get the hell out of your country.

The whole insane situation is tied with a neat little bow — Ignacio is freed and is now working for the LA Times, El Toro is dead, and Julia doesn’t have to sacrifice her journalistic integrity to please a homicidal psychopath.

They joy is short-lived, however, as police soon find Maya’s abandoned car on a bridge with a suicide note on the windshield. And that’s it! How’s that for a cliffhanger?

If this ends up being the series finale, it’s been fun. But I’ll always wonder who killed Johnny! And is Maya really dead?? These are the questions that will haunt me. I’ll also always wonder if Ella will ever move out of her hotel, and if Louise will ever be able to find love again. If anything, I thank the show for never forcing Jake and Julia together romantically, and I’m happy we won’t have to watch their relationship drag out into a painful will they or won’t they. Their friendship was fun to watch, and I appreciated that they didn’t make it unnecessarily sexual. Not saying any of my “just friends” would ever go to Mexico to save my ass but hey, they can’t all be as gallant as Jake Gregorian. So there’s that.

Episode grade: B+

Episode Recaps

ABC’s sexy new legal drama Notorious follows Julia George (Piper Perabo), a news show producer, and Jake Gregorian (Daniel Sunjata), a top-notch lawyer on their tag-team approach to creating news. The TV show — which is based on the real-life relationship between criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and Larry King Live news producer Wendy Walker — also stars Ryan Guzman and Aimee Teegarden.
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