|“||It's not just a freeway. It's population control. You cut off the Chicanos with a barrier of concrete and steel. You put them in the ghetto. And then you put up another freeway around the coloreds and then the Jews and then the Chinese. They're not building roads. They're building walls. This is not the United States of America.||”|
|— Tiago to Lewis|
When sad news spreads through the Crimson Cat, Fly Rico tries to placate the volatile crowd while Rio argues for vengeance. Peter Craft, Elsa and the boys are trapped in their car amidst a riot as Tiago tries to help Mateo. Townsend celebrates the sudden rise of his political fortunes. Tiago and Molly face reality about their relationship and Molly confronts Miss Adelaide. Lewis and Tiago rush to protect Brian from the Nazis. The Vega family gathers for a moving Day of the Dead ceremony.
“When news gets out,” Michener says, “this place is gonna go ape.”
Thus the older detective took Molly with him, while Tiago rushed his family home. Alas, before Tiago could get Mateo out, word of Diego’s fate reached the establishment. Despite Rio’s best efforts to incite a riot, Fly Rico managed to talk the crowd down.
“We fight back now, what happens?” he asked. “You end up dead or in a cell for the rest of your life.”
Instead, he and the other Pachucos ended up walking together to take down Diego’s body from the pole on which he’d been hung and show the city what they really are: a familia.
When Rio gets near the car in which Peter was driving home his boys, along with Elsa and Frank, the two versions of Magda exchanged a glance, and out of nowhere, Frank screamed, startling Dr. Craft so badly that he hit the accelerator and accidentally pinned a mourner to the car in front of them!
“They’re running us down!” cries Rio. “They’re killing us!” With that, the funeral procession turns into a full-on riot on the streets of Los Angeles. Sailors spilled out of bars and entered the fray. Unfortunately, a shattered window glass ends up embedding a shard of glass in Tom’s forehead. During the confusion, Rio stole a moment alone with Rico, only to fatally stab him and say, “this isn’t the time for peacemakers, mi amor.”
Though Mateo witnessed the murder, he doesn’t seem too fussed about the fact that their throuple was now down a lover.
“The king is dead,” is what Magda as Rio says as she hands Mateo the knife and then continues by proclaiming that, “long live the king.”
When at last Tiago has caught up with his younger brother, the detective had to be saved from sailors beating him up for being a Chicano by Mateo and Rio, who went so far as to gouge out a sailor’s eyes. Then, before taking off with Rio, Mateo says goodbye to his brother with an air of finality in his voice.
The following day, as martial law was declared and tanks began rolling down the streets of Los Angeles, Molly tried to distract Tiago with anecdotes about how she’d always wanted a sister. That, and a bunk bed. In response, he chooses to pick a fight instead saying that they have no future. As if that wasn’t enough, he argued that if she didn’t believe that, then all they had to do was go outside his apartment and hold hands and that would show her.
“This town will never leave us alone.” He points out.
So she suggests that she can go somewhere else; anywhere else. Molly mentions how back at The Crimson Cat with his family, she’d felt for the first time like she’d managed to banish Sister Molly and be herself. What about all the good that came from her being Sister Molly? At the end of the day, she had to save herself, she sighed. The double life that she was living was killing her.
At last, he relented. “So we disappear,” he said, embracing her. She mentions how she simply can’t be both Molly and Sister Molly. That they hate each other now and she can’t endure the facade anymore.
Meanwhile, Charlton celebrates the riot and what it means for him; a goodbye to Belvedere Heights.Next, he vows to take out Bunker Hill, and doesn’t care if the African Americans riot.
“It only gets me more white votes,” he tells Alex, adding that he could already picture the word “mayor” in front of his name.
“When I’m in power, heads are gonna roll,” he declares and proceeds to say that, “newspapers we don’t like, we’ll freeze ‘em out or close ‘em down.”
Needless to say, Magda’s dowdy alter ego was delighted. At the Craft residence, Peter comforted Tom but made it clear that the boy shouldn’t hate anyone, even the person who’d hurt him.
“You let hatred into your heart, and it is like a hungry rat,” Peter begins to explain, “it devours everything else until there is no love for anything or anyone. And then… then you are lost.”
Downstairs, Elsa reminded Peter that he’ll have to make a statement from the Bund as to what his intentions moving forward will be.
“Don’t play the ingènue,” she all but hisses at her lover and Elsa is quick to say that they either “stand on the side of the Aryans, or we stand on the side of the mongrels.”
When Peter protests anew that he isn’t a Nazi, she plays him like a fiddle; thus spinning a yarn about how she’d whored herself out for food after the war.
“You taught me to raise my head, and laugh, and be proud,” she lied. “Peter Krupp, your country needs you. Your family needs you. I need you to be who you truly are.” And then, Elsa raises her arm and proudly says, “Heil Hitler.”
In Belvedere Heights, Tiago is perturbed to discover that Lewis had had Benny and his goons stash Brian at his family’s house.
“Are you planning on living here now, cooking for my mama?” the young detective asks the apron-clad mobster.
Benny explains that they’re here until Brian is driven to Mexico, then flown for safekeeping to New York, where “Mr. Lansky” would look after him.
“No one fucks with those mean Jews,” says Lewis.
At the same time, Kurt was suggesting to Goss that maybe the MIA college student had been hidden exactly where he was. He is then tasked by Goss to retrieve Brian alive, but is told that he can enjoy himself with the rest.
At the temple, Molly breaks it to her mother that she is planning on running away with Tiago after that evening’s show. Adelaide refuses to take her daughter’s resignation, and when guilt alone doesn’t change Molly’s mind, the dragon mother reveals that, when Hazlet had threatened his Molly’s reputation and that of the ministry, Adelaide had become “God’s righteous minister of death.”
Adelaide confesses to her daughter that she was responsible for the murders of the Hazlett family
“Oh child, I made him go away,” she tells a stricken Molly. “I had help, though. An old lady like me needs help.”
Beside herself, Molly waded into the baptism pool, where she was greeted by Santa Muerte. “Sister, do you want the top bunk or the bottom?” asked the deity. Molly tells her to choose. Santa hugs Molly and by the time Adelaide and her henchman found Molly, she was long dead, the pool as full of blood as water.
Elsewhere, Benny, Lewis and Tiago set off with Brian, who revealed that he was working on “something pretty slick” — an atomic bomb. Eventually, Lewis pulled over to pee, walked Brian out onto the beach and fired a shot that ended every apocalyptic thought in the kid’s twisted head. Kurt, who’d been tailing the gang, sees the flare from the gunfire.
Meanwhile, back at Craft residence, Peter privately takes out a German Iron Crosspin and, pained as he clearly was to do so, he looks at a picture of his sons and does the Nazi salute.
Later, while Tiago was gassing up the car, Lewis hears news of Molly’s death over the radio and breaks it to Tiago, who did his best not to crumble. Later, tears still wet in his eyes, he joined his family at his father’s grave to drink, dance and pray on the night of Día de Muertos. When everyone else had left, Magda appeared behind him to recite an abridged version of her vicious speech she had originally said to her sister.
“Are you ready, Tiago Vega?”she asked the middle child of the Vega family.
The next day, as Belvedere Heights began to get demolished, Lewis marveled that “all of this was about a damn freeway.”
“No, dude,” Tiago replied. “It’s not just a freeway. It’s population control. If you cut off the Chicanos with a barrier of concrete and steel, you put them in the ghetto. And then you put up another freeway around the coloreds and then the Jews and then the Chinese.” As if it wasn’t clear enough, Tiago added, “They’re not building roads, they’re building walls. This is not the United States of America.”
- Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in which family and friends gather to pray for and remember their loved ones who have passed away.