Before I get to the review, I’d like to take a moment to have a little heart-to-heart conversation with Daniel and Adriana. Guys, I’d like you to live. You’re my favorite characters on the show. I keep hoping you’ll get your own spin-off but that’s not going to happen if you’re both dead, is it? No, it’s not. So I need you to stay out of trouble and stop trying to chase the Millie Quintana money. Thanks ever so.
Okay, I know that’s not going to happen, but I’m worried about those two. “The Acorn” found Daniel and Adriana questioning local bank branch manager Mr. DeLarge – the same one we met in the season premiere. This is when it’s really wonderful to have a seasoned actor like John Billingsley in a small role. He did so much with his brief scenes where he conveyed a man who had tragically become way too enmeshed in the cartel and saw no way out.
After Daniel and Adriana confront him with ATM slips showing the cartel is using small transactions to launder money, he commits suicide, but not before asking poor, one-eared Timmy to get rid of his cell phones and advising him to move back to Pennsylvania. But Timmy does none of those things. He tells Sonya about the mobile phones and it pretty much seems like Timmy (or Tim as he apparently likes to be called) will be losing a lot more than an ear during his next interaction with the cartel.
The suicide finally allows Marco and Sonya to intersect with Daniel and Adriana. Marco tries to talk to Daniel, who he hasn’t seen since he saved his life. Daniel is grateful but not so grateful that he’ll tell Marco why they were at the bank and what information they have. He can read their cover story in the El Paso Times just like everyone else.
Aberlado is pressuring Marco to help him bring down the corruption in the Juarez police department. He needs someone on the inside. Marco offers up Eva and tells Aberlado that once they get Captain Robles, they can think about getting Fausto Galvan. Marco is playing a dangerous game. Fausto Galvan thinks Marco is working for him but he’s also helping out Aberlado all while investigating the cartel and Eleanor Nacht. He’s definitely acting like a man who has nothing left to live for.
The cell phones lead Marco and Sonya to a prosperous Mexican business where they are greeted by the CEO Sebastian Cerisola, the same guy who is Fausto’s business man. He tells Marco that Eleanor Nacht is back with Fausto and doesn’t seem all that concerned that the police are looking for her or that she killed a child.
Eleanor is revealed to be more cuckoo than we previously thought. At the start of the episode she takes time to bury a dead armadillo she finds on the side of the road. Kyle she stuck in a barrel, but the armadillo she buried with care. Eleanor also is leaving a trail of destruction in her wake. She killed Kyle, cut off Timmy’s ear and slaughtered all of those people in the model home. When she finally comes face to face with Fausto, she asks, “Is it safe?” “I’m not going to hurt you Eleanor,” he tells her. “I need you.”
Given the risk she’s posing to his business, I’m not sure why he’s letting Eleanor live, but we do know why she’s staying. “I have something you want that means I have you,” he tells her, and then the show goes all American Horror Story on us. There’s some kind of creature (man?) being stored in the dungeon that Eleanor is feeding acorns to. It was very strange and disturbing. Not sure the show needed to go there but I’ll reserve judgment until we see how it plays out.
Jim Dobbs dies with his brother Jack by his side. Jack fails to call Sonya to tell her. All Sonya ever wanted was a chance to tell Jim how much she loved her sister. Jack and Sonya have one more disturbing tryst (this time with Jack strangling her during sex) and while she’s sleeping Jack takes one of his brother’s pictures off Sonya’s refrigerator.
As amusing as I found the Ray and Charlotte scenes – I love Ray’s vision of the future of the pair living in Alaska – their scenes play out like they’re part of a different series all together. We need these two to converge with the larger story line soon.
Other thoughts on “The Acorn:”
• Fun fact: Sebastian Cerisola is played by Bruno Bichir, the brother of Demian Birchir, who plays Marco. Pause on the profile as the two men are talking to each other and you can totally see they have the same nose.
• Lots of religious overtones this season. The man who killed Raul last week tells his friend he saw Jesus. Eleanor hums a religious tune to her driver (who wants to listen to Taylor Swift). And that same tune is hummed by whomever she is holding captive.
• “Do you even care that he’s dead?” “Oh my God, no.” How can you not love Daniel?
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Amy Amatangelo is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and a regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Twitter or her blog.