While Camila aims to prove she's back in business, Teresa tries to save two innocent lives
Credit: Bill Matlock/USA Network

There have been a lot of moments throughout Queen of the South‘s first season that have served to introduce Teresa to the horrors of the drug-trafficking world. The season kicked off with an act of horrific sexual violence, and the next few episodes put Teresa through one test of toughness and resilience after another. In “Coge Todo lo Que Puede Llevar,” she faces her most challenging realization yet: She’s killed a man, and she may be responsible for the deaths of other innocent people.

See, “Coge Todo lo Que Puede Llevar” jumps right back into the consequences of last week’s high-stakes robbery and subsequent luchador-masked highway shootout. Camila’s man was shot and is currently dying in the basement as James tries to perform some amateur surgery before a real doctor arrives. Meanwhile, the highway shooting is all over the news, drawing unwanted heat to the drug trade. Teresa isn’t thinking about any of this, though. She’s in the washroom trying to scrub the literal and figurative blood from her hands. If only it were as simple as a wash and a rinse.

Camila, playing her part, tries some tough comfort — that’s not the same as tough love, FYI — with Teresa. She tells her there’s no way she would have made it out of that hotel room alive if she hadn’t shot first. Slowly, Camila’s trying to get Teresa to realize this is her new reality. Gone are the days of morality and careful pondering of decisions. Teresa’s life is kill or be killed now, and there might not be any going back.

Even if Teresa can accept that she had no choice but to kill the man, there’s another wrinkle here that presents a big moral dilemma for her. With the highway shootout all over the news and the body still in the hotel room, James and Camila know the cops are going to press hard to find someone to charge with murder. For the most part, they’ve covered their tracks, but there is one variable: Maria, the maid.

James tells Teresa they have to find her — she’s the only one who can identify her. Teresa wants no part of getting an innocent woman killed, so she lies about knowing the woman’s identity and having the picture of her ID on her phone. She may have killed someone, but she’s not about to deliver a death sentence to a woman who’s done no wrong.

Unfortunately, Teresa may not have a choice. After James fields a call from a fuming Leon (the brother of the Florida men who were killed), during which he plays dumb, he takes off to look for the maid. He calls a cop Camila has in her pocket in the hopes he can track down her whereabouts.

NEXT: A wait-and-see thing

As James heads out to meet with the cop and Teresa rushes to Maria’s apartment, Camila works to put her clients at ease with her newly stolen coke. She, along with two badass-looking bodyguards, meets with Alan at his store. She shows him she’s back in business, and after Alan gives the coke a try, he’s happy to order from her again. There’s only one problem: Eric’s about to show up with his own shipment.

This is Camila Vargas, though, and she doesn’t see this as a problem at all. In fact, she relishes in the moment when Eric shows up and realizes Camila is back in business. She laughs at him, at his “little birdbrain doing its little birdbrain calculations.” I haven’t been shy about praising Veronica Falcon’s performance in these recaps, but MY GOD, she is something else in this episode. Just a total force.

Anyway, the cop has found Maria Sanchez and given her address to James, but Teresa’s a few steps ahead. She shows up at the apartment and after talking down Maria’s son — who holds a box cutter to her throat — she tells them to flee, that she can organize a route for them back to Mexico. This is Teresa helping in the only way she can, but it’s hardly comfort to Maria. She breaks down. She fled Mexico to get away from this lifestyle, and she was building a life for her and her son. Now, it’s all gone, and all because Teresa found her maid cart first.

Before James can get to Maria’s apartment, Leon demands a meeting with him. He says his brother mentioned that a man from the Jimenez cartel threatened them in the hotel before the deal went down. James, still playing dumb, isn’t so sure the Jimenez cartel would do this, but he’s willing to look into it. The two part ways and James heads to Maria’s apartment.

Of course, Maria is long gone at this point, so James points a gun at the superintendent’s head and convinces him to show him security footage. Sure enough, he sees Teresa leading Maria and her son away. Thankfully, for James at least, Camila has GPS trackers on all of her cars. James syncs up and starts to chase them down.

Meanwhile, Camila meets with Simon and settles her debt, also revealing she knows everything about Epifanio’s attempts to destroy her operation. Camila is determined to come back bigger and better than ever, telling Simon she’ll be doubling her order in no time. “Men have been underestimating me my whole life,” she tells him. “I’m used to it.” Man, I love Camila Vargas so much.

With Maria and her son in tow, Teresa turns to Father Ramon. He’s hesitant to help, but he can tell Teresa is serious and that this is urgent. He gives them directions to a site that boasts a tunnel for people fleeing Mexico. But James is right on their tail, weaving in and out of highway traffic on the highway to catch up with their vehicle. He makes a lane change, pulling up right behind Teresa’s car…being towed by a tow truck. Teresa, again, is one step ahead. She knew about the tracker and made sure to ditch her car.

NEXT: Like pulling teeth

We cut to Teresa sitting in the passenger seat of Brenda’s car, with Brenda at the wheel. What are friends for if not helping you smuggle people you almost got killed across the border? Teresa’s ignoring calls from James, focusing strictly on getting Maria and her son to safety.

Back at the club, Camila meets with Leon and, executing the next part of her plan, tells him it was Eric Watson who called for the hit on his brothers. She sends him on his way to kill her rival, knowing she can’t do it herself. Again, Falcon is great in this scene, especially when she laughs and dismissively mentions that everyone calls Eric “The Birdman.” She can hardly contain her complete lack of respect for him. It’s delightful.

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Unfortunately, Leon is not as capable as he seems — or maybe it’s that Eric is more capable than he seems. We don’t get to see it, but Eric apparently gets the upper hand on Leon, later surprising Camila when he shows up at her club. He walks right into her office and pours the contents of a pill bottle on her desk. It’s Leon’s teeth. It’s the only threat he needs to make. He knows he’s got Camila backed into a corner, so he leaves, and an even bigger, more violent confrontation looms.

That’s not the only showdown brewing. Soon enough, Camila will have to deal with Teresa, assuming James tells her about this whole ordeal with Maria. That’s for another episode, though: This one ends with Teresa getting Maria and her son to safety, telling James she’s not coming back, and then heading to Mexico herself to secure the notebook she hid in that bathroom way back when.

Something tells me she’s not going to be so welcome in Mexico — or, for that matter, when she returns to Texas.

Episode Recaps

Queen of the South
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