What would have happened if Miguel de Cervantes had never published Don Quijote de la Mancha? Half the terms used in the Spanish language wouldn’t exist, for starters. But let’s not worry too much, because thankfully we have a ministry that solves this kind of problems!
Here’s what’s happened: Cervantes has written El Quijote, but he is not too excited about it, because writing novels back in the early 17th century didn’t exactly pay off, so he sells the manuscript to some “English fellas” (one of them Walcott, who works for the American time travel company Darrow mentioned in season 1).
Our team’s job is to travel to 1604 and sabotage Cervantes’s stage plays, so that he goes back to writing El Quijote. To be honest, these rehearsal scenes were some of the best of the episode, and allowed us to see a more comical side of Amelia, but I’m afraid both Alonso and Pacino stole the show once more, thanks to their inability to understand each other: Alonso with his polite 15th century speaking, and Pacino with his pop culture references from the eighties and terms as Spanish as “Efectivie Wonder” (which is a way of saying effectively, and which leaves Alonso dumbfounded).
In the middle of this, of course, we see the return of Lope de Vega, who is also going to meet the English to sell them a manuscript (just so that you know, all the American dude wants is to sell these manuscripts in the 21th century for God knows how much money). Since Amelia and Alonso already met Lope 15 years earlier but it’s only been a year for the two of them, it is agreed that Pacino, who is playing the role of the cop, will visit Lope to find information. Lope is going to meet the Englishmen the next day, and when Amelia finds out that Lope is going to be used as bait, she goes and visits him to prevent him from attending the meeting, thus totally ruining the plan, because the English run away when Lope doesn’t show up.
But out of the laughs come the tears, because as a result of the sabotage of Cervantes’s play, the man gets extremely depressed and tries to commit suicide. Luckily, our team rescues him, but they fear he might try again, so they bring him to the present day, ala Vincent and the Doctor, and show him how important he and El Quijote are in Spain and in the whole world.
Needless to say, they play this out like it’s a dream, so Cervantes never knows he’s actually visited the future, and that’s when he decides to rewrite El Quijote –although, this time, he can’t remember the place of La Mancha where the story takes place, and chooses not to.
Oh, in the meantime, back in the ministry, Irene is still working with Susana, and for some reason goes to 1054’s Huesca to rescue Lola Mendieta from her prison, only to hand her in to Susana. I don’t know what is happening there, but I’ll tell you this: it is time we could have spent with Julián. Just a flashback would have been more interesting.
-This episode saw the return of Lope de Vega (Victor Clavijo, who played Francisco de Borja in Carlos, Rey Emperador) and the introduction of Miguel de Cervantes (Pere Ponce, who played Gutierre de Cárdenas in Isabel). Fun fact: Lope and Cervantes hated each other, probably because Lope was quite the vain man and Cervantes was more down to earth.
-Next week, Alonso and Pacino start living together, and it promises to be hilarious.
-Amelia talked of Julián like she is in love with him. Show, I do NOT approve of this. We don’t need them to have anything beyond a friendship. Please, don’t ruin it.
-We saw the make-up department for the first time! My bet is that it was actually the show’s make-up department.
-What can be better than Cervantes describing someone, with the way with words he has, and Velázquez drawing the photofit portrait?
-“Alonso doesn’t know El Quijote because he lives 35 years before its publication. You, on the other hand, have probably read it several times, right?” “Mmmm, yes. Well, I’ve started reading it. Several times.”
-“Lope is Lope. Don’t be offended, but who in this world knows who Miguel de Cervantes is?”
-“So you’re using Lope de Vega as bait?” “There needs to be a victim.” “And it has to be the most important playwright in the History of Spain?” “We usually get a junkie for this, but now it’s his turn, I can’t do anything about it.”
-Learn everything about the time of Cervantes and Lope de Vega in The Ministry’s Files!