El Ministerio del Tiempo has always dealt with how you’re not supposed to go back in time to save someone you love (something that both Julián and Pacino blatantly ignored), but what if what you want to save is a bunch of paintings? That was the main theme of ‘Oil on Time’. That, and some of the best lines of dialogue of the season. This episode was what you’d get if Dangerous Liaisons met Mission Impossible.
Here’s the historical fact: in 1734, during the reign of Felipe V, the first Bourbon king, the Royal Alcazar of Madrid caught fire and most of the paintings inside were lost, including many of Velázquez’s paintings. Now, our favourite portraitist finds out that some of his supposedly lost paintings had been sold on auctions, so Salvador sends Irene to 1734 with Velázquez (not that Salvador trusts the clumsy painter, though).
What is happening in 1734? Well, besides the fact that the king is bipolar and schizophrenic and sometimes thinks he’s a frog and that night shirts are trying to kill him, Irene and Velázquez find out that the American company Darrow is behind the theft, and are replacing the real paintings with forgeries, which of course, is something Velázquez actually likes, because this means his paintings won’t be lost. But that’s not why they’re there, though –they have to find the real paintings so that they can get burned.
Of course, they end up needing extra help for the Ethan Hunt bits, so Julián, Amelia and Alonso travel to the 18th century as well. While Amelia and Irene get to know the queen, Isabel de Farnesio, better (the one who truly ruled), Julián becomes the king’s physician and gives him painkillers and antipsychotics.
In the end, so that you understand what happens, the team finds the paintings and brings them back to 2016, the Alcazar still burns down, probably because the king hated it, and the queen burned it to keep him happy, and…
…well, and Lola Mendieta finds out that, like my beloved Desmond Hume in Lost, the time travel that Darrow provides causes radiation, killing all its agents. Not that the boss cares, but Lola does, so before meeting her likely death, she promises Salvador she’ll deal with Darrow if he doesn’t destroy the original Alcazar paintings. He agrees, she kills the Darrow boss. Yikes.
-I didn’t mention it in the recap, but more things happened to our guys: Alonso finally took one step forward and made out with his wife’s doppelganger, while Amelia was caught by her maid wearing trousers, and then she caught the maid stealing silver. Just so that you know, the maid will play a big part in the next episode.
-So many movie references! I caught at least five: “All this effort and talent will be lost, like tears in rain” “If you need me, whistle” “I’ll make you an offer you won’t be able to refuse” “I’ll be back” “Nobody is perfect”
-“I’m going to quit.” “Again?” “No, this time for real. I want to visit Italy again.” “You can’t, you won’t go back to Italy for another 12 years.”
-“Google warns me whenever there’s something new about me online.”
-I loved how obsessed Velázquez was with bringing parmesan cheese to the queen instead of one of his paintings. Also love how much he loves it when others praise him.
-“The king suffers from melancholic vapours that break his spirit.” “I hope my painting will cheer him up. THE painting, I mean! Our painting, our family’s painting…”
-“You don’t have a lot of books, but the ones you have are all from the Spanish Golden Age.” “It’s my time… my favourite time, I mean.”
-“His Catholic King is not feeling very…” “…Catholic?”
–(the king mutters) “Not even Ozores in Un, Dos, Tres.” This is impossible for non-Spaniards to get, but it was the funniest joke. Antonio Ozores was a Spanish actor who spoke very fast and muttered all the time (my sister would call me Ozores when I was little if I spoke very fast without articulating), and Un, Dos, Tres was a very popular game show that was a bit chaotic.
-“I only need two things: a Bible and a woman.” “And a Palace of Versailles.”
-“Do you know the story behind this painting?” “No, but I’m afraid you’re about to tell me about it.” “Don’t worry, I’ll be brief.” “If only…”
-“Am I to stay here locked up, no thrill, no adventure, like, like a useless thing, like… Goya’s Puppet?”
-“This is Velázquez. Have they taken any Velázquez?”
-“I’ll be back.” “I’m sure of it, I’ve never met anyone so tiresome in my entire life.”
-Oh! And something great happened to me this week! I’d like to thank the people behind MdT, because I won one of their contests! Amazing prize, by the way: ten books, including books about Isabel, Lope de Vega, a brand new novel based on MdT and much more!