“I’m not like you.”
At the heart of the show, we’ve always had Marco and Sonya, two people with different ways of going about the world, but two people who work well together. Over the course of the season, we’ve seen them grow distant, tension simmering between them after Marco’s murder of the Juarez cops, but we’ve also seen them move toward each other again. In “Jubilex”, they will both be moving forward knowing the other has his or her back.
Several similarities in dialogue help further the connection between Marco and Sonya in this finale: 1) Sonya’s “I’m not like you” to Eleanor at the end paralleled with Marco telling Romina that she “doesn’t have to be like her father”, and 2) “I need your help”, the first coming from Marco as he’s calling from the station, and the second coming from Sonya after she kills Eleanor’s father. Simply put, the two need each other and complement each other and help each other, and their relationship is very different than the one we see with Eleanor and Fausto.
I bring up Eleanor and Fausto because season 2 deals with dualities, with Sonya’s and Eleanor’s similarities and with Fausto’s and Marco’s similarities. Two weeks ago, the interrogation scene highlighted the former, and this week, Fausto and Marco sitting next to each other in the cell highlights the latter. However, the differences arise when you look at choice, when you look at what direction each person ended up traveling in. These people went down very different paths that eventually converged, and what we see in season two is an exploration of what happens when different histories and ideologies clash.
“Jubilex” ultimately delivers a bit too pat of a resolution regarding these dualities, especially with regards to Eleanor’s scene with her father, and that’s the result of a diminishing presence that’s pretty swiftly brought to the forefront (conveniently around finale time). Eleanor simply hasn’t played as big a role as we thought she’d play, and as a character moment for her, the final scene doesn’t quite work; as a character moment for Sonya, however, it does. Her shooting Eleanor’s father illustrates her Marco-esque side, her willingness to venture into new territory and take action even if it’s not in line with her moral code, but her decision not to shoot Eleanor also distances herself from the decision made by Hank with Dobbs. Finally, this sets up an intriguing storyline for next year: her job may be in jeopardy now, due to the fact that she killed someone while in Mexico.
There’s also the question of how Fausto will be prosecuted, and it looks like the show will continue to explore the border politics of El Paso-Juarez within the context of a larger scope, as opposed to a revenge-driven serial killer. The gorgeous final shot of the season emphasizes this fact: the problems that permeate the border, that kill and perpetuate the cycle of violence I’ve written so much about this season, are never-ending. The two sides are so close, yet so far.
SEASON GRADE: B+
-This resolution is all a bit rushed, isn’t it? This episode probably needs an extra ten minutes.
-The most rewarding storyline of the season has to be Fausto-Marco, which is just wonderfully done throughout. There’s a nice example in here of duality and opposites: Fausto saw Marco’s father as a hero, and Marco saw him as merely a dope grower.
-I’m happy to see Linder alive, although I’m not sure exactly what role he’ll fill if there’s a season three. He seems to just be one of those characters who is an integral part of this unique environment, but remains on the outskirts. Off that note, people like Eva and Charlotte and Ray–pretty important last season–all got the short end of the stick this year.
-Fausto throwing up on his #2 is hilarious.
-Yay, Cesar’s still alive!
-What the ending would’ve been if not for FX intervention: “Marco gets Fausto, and then the Americans take him away; the other was Marco and Sonya get Fausto only to have the CIA agent Buckley kill Fausto”.
-It’s nice to see Frye and Adriana being able to write their story. If anyone deserves a happy ending–for now–it’s those two.
-I wanted to see a bit more of Alex Buckley. He was an interesting character.
-That does it for season 2, and possibly also for the series as a whole. The ratings are not pretty, so if FX renews the show, it’ll be because the network wants to keep it, not because it’s the next Sons of Anarchy ratings-wise. If the series is over, then it was truly a pleasure covering the show, and if the series is not over, the same applies, but I’ll be back next summer for season 3. Thanks for reading.
Photo credit: FX, The Bridge