|“||My family may be at the center of this chess game of yours. But we not pawns. We are kings and queens. And the blood of the Aztecs runs through us. The soldiers of the Revolución walk beside us. And as long as I draw breath from my lungs, I will claw through mud, I will climb hills, and I will fight you to the end of days. In the name of my children, whom God knit together in my womb, I banish you from this place.||”|
|— Maria to Magda|
Molly visits Tiago at his apartment as he wrestles with guilt over Diego’s confession. Dottie and Lewis confront Brian for lying about his dueling allegiances. Elsa and Frank move in with the Crafts, igniting fear in Tom and Maria. Alex and Townsend deliberate about how to defeat Councilwoman Beck. Josefina’s newfound faith puts her at odds with her family. Lewis enlists a reluctant Tiago to join his covert operations and Maria summons Santa Muerte, but an uninvited guest arrives with her.
Bright and early in the City of Angels, the Los Angeles Times publishes the story of Diego confessing to murders he didn’t commit. Meanwhile, Maria is on the bus as it stops by a cemetery and sees none other than Magda in her true form.
Meanwhile, Tiago is wrestling with the guilt of sending an innocent man to jail to protect his brother, Mateo. He nears his apartment to find Molly awaiting his arrival while reading a newspaper. He joins her on the stairs, and she remarks that Tiago is looking worse for wear and is in dire need of a shave. She then asks him if he’s not going to work. Tiago mentions that his captain gave him and Michener a week off for a job well done. His short fuse today causes him to blow up at Molly when she refers to Diego as a Mexican boy. Tiago is quick to point out that he's Chicano and the two terms are not one and the same. Molly quickly apologizes saying she didn’t mean anything bad by it. Tiago then asks her if they can talk about anything but work, as he’s not in the mood. Nevertheless, Molly persists as she says how James Hazlett was important to her, and all she really wants is to know what happened. Tiago lies to her and says that Diego killed him and that’s all there is to it. The two eventually go inside his apartment after Molly tells him she loves him.
Elsewhere, Richard Goss asks Brian to dare to imagine a future with him. This future would have no war and no poverty. They would consist of only the greatest minds and hearts walking side by side to live and flourish together. Goss continues by saying that at this place Brian shall find the destiny he so richly deserves. He mentions how Brian’s mind is an indispensable asset to their new Arden. Goss has Brian look out across a stretch of land and says that eventually, that will be the location for Brian’s very own laboratory. He will have all the state-of-the-art equipment at his disposal, and one days, Brian might just end up sharing his ideas with the Fuehrer himself. Goss explains that Los Angeles will be Hitler’s new eagle nest or in other words, his heart and home in the new world. He argues that the Nazis are builders, not destroyers. Unbeknownst to any of them, Lewis witnesses this secret meeting and takes pictures as proof from afar.
At the Craft residence, Peter tells Tom and Trevor that they will see their mother again but explains that she needs to get better first. Peter also goes on to say that sometimes things change in their lives. Tom is confused and, so Maria steps in using fairy tales as an analogy. She explains to the boys that sometimes things happen, and they think they are bad. But they turn out good, and use the story of Hansel and Gretel as an example. She says that while the siblings got lost in the woods, they found their way out again. But atom reminds Maria, that it was only after they killed the witch. When Frank and Elsa arrive to move in, Tom asks Peter how long they are staying. Peter states that he cannot say but that it’s good they’re here because Elsa can take care of Tom and Trevor. Tommy’s understandably angry as he tells his dad that he already has a mother and a brother.
In the kitchen, Elsa talks with Maria where she eventually mentions she wants Frank to move into Tom’s room. But further suggests that Trevor should have his own room. Maria realizes that in order for that to happen, she needs to give up her room. Elsa smiles as she explains that it is for the best that she knows how Maria often doesn’t spend the night. Instead, Maria could have the room by the garage. Peter quickly agrees to it and Maria goes to her room to move her things out.
Inside their room, Tom explains to Frank the lore behind Robin Hood. He excitedly shows Frank his pet hamster, but can’t help but continue to be creeped out by Frank.
At the Automat diner, Brian is hard at work in some calculations when Dottie sits down. Brian looks up and tells the older woman that he thought she wasn’t coming. Dottie sarcastically quips that she wouldn’t miss their usual Wednesday lunch. Dottie further jokes saying that this is the closest to a date she has had in fifty years. She proceeds to ask him if he has heard anything from their German friends. Brian lies and says he hasn’t heard anything from them. She prods further but Brian sticks with the lie. Lewis confronts him on the lie as he slides the surveillance image he took of Brian meeting with the Germans. Angry, Lewis asks Brian if he is a Nazi now and if he wants to build a rocket that can kill all the Jews. Brian denied this and said that what they told didn’t sound bad. He argued that they don’t want to take over the world, that it is just in the newspapers, that’s just politics, about which he doesn’t give a hoot.
Lewis gets angry and is about to yell at Brian, but Dottie stops him. She goes on to say that when she was his age, she didn’t have comic books. Instead, she had Yiddish theater. Her family had a troupe that performed in a tavern back East. While they didn’t have spaceships, they had King Lear and Faust. Unfortunately, not everyone loved their little Jewish theater so much. Thus, one night, they broke in and unfortunately her father was there. They kicked him and beat him so much he lost an eye. They also burned down the theater with all their plays inside. She finishes the story by saying that some men create, while some destroy. Realizing that he’s way in over his head, Brian asks Lewis to not let them hurt him. He promises to do just that, and let’s him know that Dottie will be taking Brian home with her. Lewis asks Dottie to make sure Brian doesn’t leave her right. She reminds him that they can’t keep him hidden forever. Lewis mentions that they won’t have to because she will take care of it.
In the women’s restroom, Councilwoman Beck runs into Alex and tells her how she knows she’s the brains behind Townsend. She asks Alex why she supports someone so utterly devoid of worth. To which Alex is quick to say that Townsend has potential. The councilwoman asks if Alex will be making Townsend mayor, but Alex corrects her by saying that she will be making him president. She is shocked and asks Alex if she really is about to make a racist demagogue without a single scruple the President of the United States. Alex further gloats that every angry man and woman who feels that the Councilwoman and Mr. Roosevelt has betrayed them. She smirks as she says how the Councilwoman might keep the support of the Jews and the coloreds, they’ll take everyone else. Councilwoman Beck mentions that no one seems to know anything about Alex. Like where she was born or where she went to school. It’s as if one day Alex just appeared out of thin air sitting on Townsend’s shoulder and whispering into his ear. Beverly lets Alex know how in politics secrets are currency and she will discover hers. Once Beverly leaves, an angry Alex smashes the nearby mirror.
Inside Charlton’s office, Alex informs her boss that she just got off the phone with the county elections office. It appears that Councilwoman Beck has filed a petition to have Townsend recalled. She apparently has support of every New Dealer on the Council. This inevitably means that they must go to war, and unfortunately their options are limited. Beverly has an unimpeachable reputation, a mountain of resources and decades of political capital she can use as she likes.
On the streets of Los Angeles, Josefina is walking home from school with some of her friends when Mateo calls out to her. She breaks away from the group and hugs her brother. She tells him to come home with her, but he can’t. He makes her promise to him that she loves him before revealing that he did something bad. Mateo tells Josefina that he did something bad. He quickly realizes that Josefina just wants him back to indoctrinate in the church that Sister Molly and her mother are running. He tells her that he doesn’t need to make believe, that right now he needs his sister, to which Josefina replies that she found her faith. With that, Mateo says his goodbye and tells her that he hopes the church makes her happy.
Back at the Craft residence, Peter once again tells Maria that this move is only temporary; until Frank is more comfortable in the house. Maria continues to pack her things and tells Peter he doesn’t have to explain himself to her. Once she’s off the clock, Maria offers him a cigarette. He mentions that back home in Germany, what he just did would be a disgrace. Maria comforts him by saying that all families have their secrets. She reminds him that there’s a reason windows have curtains. Peter says that he will need her help now more than ever and mentions how his boys love her a lot . She promises to not be going anywhere after Peter says she is part of the family.
Back at his home, Lewis calls Tiago over and informs him of his investigation into the Third Reich. Lewis shows Tiago a picture of his two friends and mentions how because they were acting as his agents, they wound up getting killed by the Nazis. He points to a surveillance image he took of Richard Goss, who he assumes is the leader and is highly connected in Berlin. He then shows him Brian, whom he describes as a brilliant young scientist with a lot of dangerous ideas in his noggin. Lewis eventually says that he is collecting on the favor he did for Tiago. He mentions that Tiago can either help him with this investigation or walk outta here and they’ll be done. Dottie walks in not too long after and Lewis introduces her to Tiago. At Tiago’s look, Dottie is quick to let him know that she ran guns at the Cubans during the Spanish-American war.
At home, Raul is listening to a baseball game between the Padres and the Angels on the radio. Once Maria walks in, he asks for la bendición, which she does as she tells him that may God bless him. She asks her eldest son if Josefina is around and he tells her that she is in her room. In the kitchen, she starts cooking and sets the table for three and even takes out their fancy utensils. However, she hears that Josefina is going out to Bible study at The Temple. Josefina calls it her church, but Maria is quick to say that place is no church. Josefina defends it, saying her mother knows nothing about it. Maria says she knows enough, and tries to get Raul to intervene. She tells her daughter to wash up because they’re having dinner, but Josefina is persistent as she says she is going to the Temple. Maria angrily asks her daughter if she’s even catholic anymore, to which Josefina throws if her mother even is one. She mentions how in her time of need, Maria doesn’t go see Father Núñez, instead she goes to the garage to light candles for Santa Muerte.
After she leaves, Maria turns to Raul and yells at him that he used to fight for his family and now all he does is sit and not say anything. She goes outside and lights a cigarette as dogs bark in the distance. She sees the table where she and her children had celebrated Tiago’s promotion to detective. Eventually, she makes her way to her altar for Santa Muerte and lights her candles.
At the Craft residence, Peter and Elsa are in bed as she thanks him for all he had done for her. Elsa brings up to Peter if the mixing of cultures under the same roof is good for the boys. She brings up how Maria makes her people’s food for them, and has taught Tom and Trevor Spanish words too. She mentions how such things wouldn’t happen in Germany. Peter mentions that they’re not in Germany, and that such things happen in a place like Pasadena. Undeterred, Elsa mentions that if the boys are to learn a language other than English, rather than Spanish it should be Germany. Peter, for his part, brings up that Maria has known his kids since they were babies and is a good woman. Before she kisses him, Elsa promises Peter that he will be a strong man for his family, an important man, and that the world will watch.
Later that night, Frank asks Tom how he can sleep with the wheel squeaking all night. Tom mentions that he likes to know his pet hamster is there because he makes him feel safe. Franks tells Tom that he is scared and missed his father. He then asks if he can get in bed with Tom, who begrudgingly agrees. Franks asks Tom if he misses his mother and if he thinks she still loves him. Tom says yes to both. Frank asks a scared Tom to say he loves him now that the two of them are brothers. Tom does as he’s asked but a few seconds later, his hamster stops moving and lays there in his wheel.
At a restaurant, with Dottie watching them from a nearby table, Kurt tells Goss that Townsend’s house is very modern; that it’s much more expensive than he can afford on a councilman’s salary. Goss mentions that that comes from family money and asks if he has anything else of value to share about Townsend. Kurt makes fun of the fact that Townsend bought a new tie to impress him. Goss asks if Townsend ever talks about his father, but Kurt says that Townsend never does. He won’t even drive down Townsend Boulevard. Goss congratulates Kurt on a job well done since thanks to him, he has Townsend in his corner. He goes on to say that try as Townsend might, he can’t escape his bloodline. Goss then asks Kurt if he is going soft on him and has potentially fallen in love with Townsend. Before Kurt can answer though, Goss reminds him that Kurt is only of use to him if he has a frozen heart. Otherwise, he is one more unnecessary American.
Outside, Lewis tells Tiago of how the Nazis killed his cousin Manny back in Germany. That because he was Jewish and queer they hung him up on a meet hook, where likely suffered for hours. But even more gruesome, was the fact they gleefully filmed it and sent it to Berlin. All so that Adolf could have a good laugh over his distant cousin’s suffering. Lewis then asks Tiago if he’s with him and Tiago accepts. The two take out their guns, as Lewis explains how they will follow Goss and Kurt and eventually shoot them. However, they end up seeing them inside, the two men are joined by Alex and Charlton. Then even more shocking, is when Adelaide joins the others for dinner. Which leads Lewis to the revelation that the Nazis currently have City Hall and the biggest radio church in L.A. in their pockets. He also brings up that if Adelaide is hear, it's likely that Molly is wrap up in dealigns with the Third Reich.
Maria prays to Santa Muerte. She asks the deity what Magda wants with her and her family and why she is attacking them. Santa Muerte tells Maria that she thinks too highly of herself. But Maria brings up how her children are being taken from her one by one. She further says that she smells her, the beast in the air. That she feels her on her neck too. Uninterested, Santa Muerte rhetorically asks if she meant to also show Old Coyote how to take better care of her cubs. Maria gets closer to Santa Muerte as she says how she has waited and waited, only for Santa to do nothing. All the while her family is at the battleground of a war that she doesn’t understand. Surprisingly, Magda appears. She taunts her sister to tell Maria the truth as to why she torments the Vegas. She continues by saying that she knows what it’s like to be loved by Santa Muerte, only to eventually be rejected. She asks Santa Muerte if she remembers how it was when her sister turned from her. If she remembers that agony. But Santa Muerte tells Magda that she has made her choice, and she has suffered for it. She even sheds a tear. Magda tells her sister to weep in darkness and forever. Santa Muerte lowers her head and disappears into the darkness.
Magda remains and asks Maria when Santa Muerte began to call her Old Coyote. Maria explains that it’s her spirit guide. Magda lets Maria know she can give her a better guide like a raven, a bat or a tigress. But Maria states that she is a dog and that is her strength, and that Magda isn’t allowed in her home. She tells the demoness that this is the Lord’s house, which makes Magda laugh. She asks Maria to spare her the invocations of a dusty faith Maria no longer believes in. She brings up how her shrine to Santa Muerte is also nothing more than wicked idolatry. That Santa is nothing more than the icy finger of death, and yet, Maria embraces her. Magda brings up how she gives mankind what it wants, and yet is hated for it. Magda then breaks one of the statues and says how all life comes from death. Maria tells Magda that the demoness knows nothing about life. She on the other hand, has created life and nurtured it inside her. But all Magda has ever done is hunt and kill. Magda says to Maria that she has the power to end Maria’s suffering and bring her family back to her. Maria calls her a hateful old cunt and that she won’t be tempted by Magda’s lies. Magda persists in trying to sway Maria to her side, but Maria is too smart for it and tells Magda that her family are Kings and queens, not some pawns in whatever chess game she and Santa are playing and banishes Magda from her home.
- This episode title refers to Maria and Magda.
- Maria has, as of this episode, met three versions of Magda, including her "true" form. She does not appear to recognize Elsa or Rio as Magda. Maria demonstrated awareness of Magda's existence and her connection to Santa Muerte as far back as the series premiere.