El Ministerio del Tiempo 3×04 Review: Time of the Enlightened

What an interesting history Spain has, so full of world-wide known celebrated characters. We know painters like Goya through their works, but there is much more behind the canvas, and that is the sort of thing we get to learn with El Ministerio del Tiempo.

On this occasion, the team travels to 1799. Why? Because Goya has been attacked, causing the Maja Desnuda to suddenly appear slashed in El Prado in 2017.

So of course, Salvador sends our team to 1799 with a mission: find out who destroyed the painting, and get Goya to do it again. Which might prove difficult, because the team is not sure about who the model was: Pepita Tudó or the Duchess of Alba.

And off they go. On the pretext of buying some of his sketches, the team meets Goya, but their meeting is cut short by the arrival of Manuel Godoy, favourite of King Carlos IV -he was also screwing the Queen, by the way. As it turns out, Godoy had hired Goya to paint the Maja as a present to his lover Pepita, but Goya won’t paint it again, because he used the Duchess of Alba as the body model, and he really hates her now (it’s a love/hate situation), so he’d rather die than paint her again.

In the meantime, Salvador is in the present scheming a Plan B, which involves Velázquez painting a new Maja, just in case things go wrong. But the Andalusian artist feels uninspired and all he wants to do is meet Goya to get an idea of how to paint it. With some help from Angustias, he sneaks to 1799. But as we learn, it was all part of Salvador’s plan, who is always one step ahead.

And to make things more complicated, the team ends up having two more missions.

The first mission involves the Inclusa, an orphanage run by the Duchess of Osuna. You see, because Godoy is bitter after Goya’s refusal to repaint the Maja, he decides to stop the orphanage from receiving any funding -that is, unless Osuna convinces Goya to paint again. But this problem is quickly solved when the team suggests moving the children to an unused palace, so it’s all easy there.

The second unexpected mission is more of a problem, especially because it’s Alonso’s fault. It all starts when Alonso tries to flirt with the Duchess of Alba so she meets him later (a meeting to which they’d also invite Goya, so the two enemies would be forced to talk to each other). Problem is, Alonso is forced to play blind man’s bluff, and he gets so exasperated that he ends up attacking one of the men playing. Still filled with rage, he spots a young man breaking into the palace’s grounds, and grabs him and embarrasses him in front of the girl the boy likes. But as it turns out, the boy is Simón Bolívar, and the girl is Teresa del Toro, his future wife and whose fate would change Bolívar’s life forever, so now the team must make sure these two marry, because thanks to Alonso, things are not looking up!

But no problem here, because thanks to some Back to the Future shenanigans (inspired by Lope’s own plan to woo Amelia back in season one), the two lovebirds get together, so all’s well.

And what about the Maja? Because the Duchess and Goya still hate each other, Amelia decides to be brave and become the model for the painting.

Oh, and the people who destroyed the painting in the first place turn out to be a society called El Ángel Exterminador (The Exterminating Angel), whose sole purpose is to plot against all the Enlightenment advances. AND one of its members drops the necklace Pacino had given to Marta, his former partner who betrayed him.

How is Marta related to all this? What is going on? It’s all so complicated. Bravo, Olivares, this was a magnificent episode.


This Pink Floyd is America’s liberator?

-Pacino’s face in the background whenever Bolívar spoke was priceless.

-“Why should I know this harlot?” (speaking of La Maja Desnuda)

-“I need to know Goya, the master. Do you know how long I’ve waited for this?” “Hold on, wasn’t Picasso your master?” “Picasso and Goya are the greatest masters ever produced by this country. Including myself, of course. We’re the Holy Trinity of Spanish Art.” “Sure, and you’re the Father.” “Well, I’m the oldest, so…” Velázquez and Salvador discussing Goya

-“God blessed me with great hair. Why do I need to wear this scarecrow?” Alonso doesn’t get 18th-century wigs.

-“I don’t get why we need to save the painting of a stark naked woman.”

-Pacino’s way of helping the orphanage: the design of modern-day baby’s bottles.

-“Remarkable.” “I’m wearing the same clothes I always wear.” “No, I mean it’s remarkable because it’s the first time in ages that you knock on the door before you come in.”

-“I need you all to leave immediately.” “I guess that’s an order, isn’t it? Otherwise you would have said ‘please’.”

-Okay, it is proved that Goya was ill-tempered.

-Angustias confirms she is more of a Rubens kind of model.

-“I’ve broken my back for this country. What for? So that a bunch of prigs can laugh at my expense?”

-“He might free America in the future, but he is a loserrrr…”

-Nice wink to Timeless’s rip off El Ministerio: “No idea is original. Well, some more than others.” Pacino even breaks the fourth wall.

-“What did Goya try to show with the painting?” “A butt-naked woman.” “Sure, but beyond that?” “A divan.”

-“What’s the deal with Bolívar?” “He’s an insufferable softie.”

-“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” “No, you are thinking what I am thinking, because I am the boss.”

-Velázquez ruins by mistake the Back to the Future plan “What the hell are you doing?” “Shaking, were the other two that ran away.” “But you just smashed Simón Bolívar’s face in!”

-That moment when Goya tells Velázquez to eff off is probably some of the best I’ve ever seen.

-“Sorry, we didn’t expect an assh… a madman to appear out of nowhere.”

-Irene saves the day by doing what she does best: flirting with Bolívar so that Teresa gets jealous.

-“Velázquez was one of the greatest.” “Would you have liked to meet him?” “God, no. He was famous for being an insufferable Andalusian.”



Categories: Spanish Historical Fiction, Television | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “El Ministerio del Tiempo 3×04 Review: Time of the Enlightened

  1. Pingback: El Ministerio del Tiempo 3×09 Review: the Schism of Time | Corleones & Lannisters

  2. Pingback: El Ministerio del Tiempo 3×10 Review: Sheltered by Time | Corleones & Lannisters

  3. gement

    I loved so many of the beats in this one. Particularly Amelia managing to top her prior shenanigan record of almost banging Lope de Vega.

    I confess, I hoped near the beginning of the episode that they were careening toward a B plot about Angustias posing for Diego, which would have been ADORABLE.

    Thanks for explaining the salty Timeless reference.

  4. Pingback: El Ministerio del Tiempo 1×02 Review: Time of Glory | Corleones & Lannisters

  5. This episode was so rich of nice little gems!

    I didn’t get that the “original ideas” reference was addresssed to Timeless, but I loved how Pacino broke the 4th wall and was kinda surprised by it since they have never done it before in this series!
    I have a feeling he might do it again in next week’s 4×05…we’ll see!

    • Ginny C

      He basically says: “it’s obvious that no idea is completely original” (Doctor Who, Highlander, Outlander, Dark, El Ministerio itself) “but some are more original than others” (that is to say, El Ministerio obviously takes inspiration from countless time travel fiction stories, ever since HG Wells wrote his own, but Timeless is blatantly ripping off EMdT). One thing is to make a homage, like the way Stranger Things does of 80s movies, but another thing would be if Stranger Things copied The Goonies bit by bit, copying the characters, the exact plot etc, to make an example.

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