I am not going to start talking about how El Ministerio del Tiempo is being mistreated, because then I’d have to write 10,000 words on it. Instead, let me focus on how great the penultimate episode of this third (last?) season was.
Adolfo Suárez, major figure in recent Spanish history, has always played an important part in the show, even if he wasn’t there. He was the one who put Salvador as the head of the ministry, and the team had to save his ancestor in the 19th century only to ensure Adolfo would be born. That’s how important he is.
But as the title says, there are always setbacks. On this occasion, the problem is that Bosco, the leader of The Exterminating Angel, has kidnapped Elena, Alonso’s sort of girlfriend, and he’s locked her in a room full of explosives. Tell me every step the ministry takes, he orders Alonso, or Elena will die.
Alonso is torn by this. He hates TEA, and he makes it clear by telling Bosco that he will only comply because he wishes to save Elena. He tells Bosco that Salvador knows who he is, but Bosco already knew this. He wants more info. Alonso goes on by telling him that the ministry is going to solve the Suárez problem.
The Suárez problem is merely the fact that he is not set to become the first president of the democracy in Spain. During the meeting in 1976 of the Consejo del Reino, presided by Torcuato Fernández-Miranda, the representatives are meant to choose the men they want to become president, but Suárez is not on the shortlist. An anxious Salvador sends Pacino, Irene and Alonso back to solve it. And because they succeed, Bosco orders Alonso to kill the future president while he is playing golf.
Alonso is conflicted, but acts with his friends like nothing is happening. Alonso gets to the golf course and attempts to kill Suárez, but Pacino stops him. Alonso still tries to shoot, but Pacino shoots him in the back multiple times, killing Alonso. The drama.
So, the remaining team brings Adolfo Suárez to 2017 so that Salvador can explain to him what’s just happened and why he needs to survive.
And why was Young Lola not with them? Well, because her daughter, Lucía, has ALS, and wants to know who her father is before she dies. Since Young Lola still hasn’t been there, she does some research with the birth certificate and other documents Older Lola had given Lucía. But YL realises these are fake documents, so she has no choice but to travel to July 11, 2010, a day she knew OL would be in the ministry, so she can talk to her to know the truth. But OL is a bit sceptic, obviously. Nevertheless, she later calls YL and reveals that Lucía is not her daughter, but the child she found in a house after the parents were murdered by a man who had been prisoner in the same jail as her father. Later on, it is actually revealed that it was Lola herself who killed Lucía’s parents, as an act of revenge because they reported her late father to the government. But alas, Older Lola decides to keep that information to herself.
Another thing that is happening in the present day is that an amnesic Marta is trying to help the ministry capture the Sons of Padilla, but quite unsuccessfully. You see, the SoP meet up by sharing newspaper ads across time. But YLola gives her an idea: you send the message and make them meet in 2017, and that’s what Marta does, leaving messages in 1820, 1880, 1920 and 1967 saying that Pere Folch (Amelia’s evil uncle) is alive.
And so, Salvador, who knows Bosco has bugged his office, has a loud conversation with Ernesto about how Suárez is right there at the ministry and he fears for him. We all know Salvador is super smart, so here’s what happens:
The SoP arrive, ready to rescue Pere Folch, but Bosco has also sent for the TEA, who arrive ready to kill Suárez. The two teams bump into each other, and start fighting to the death. While this is happening, Salvador, Bosco, Irene and Ernesto are watching the whole thing from a computer, and Salvador initiates phase two: locking the doors. Then comes phase three, which is to activate a gas that puts all the fighters to sleep. Like Salvador says, that way it will be easier to transport them to Loarre, to the castle in the Middle Ages where the ministry sends all its prisoners. Bosco tries to escape, but Pacino shows up to stop him. Also with him? Alonso, who had actually told Pacino and Irene about the blackmail. He wore a bulletproof vest and pretended to be dead to go along with the plan. And after what I can guess is an intense interrogation, Alonso rescues Elena.
After the whole thing is solved, Salvador allows Marta to return to her time and all seems to be going well…
…until next week! The finale promises to be all laughs and meta jokes. It’s going to be about someone stealing the show’s idea and making it in the 1960s. It will both be a parody, as the actors from that show will recreate scenes we’ve already seen in El Ministerio, and will also act as a joking reference to a certain American show that actually stole EMDT’s idea. Some people just don’t have the imagination to create their own thing and need to steal it.
The walls are very thin and I’m very nosy
-There was a lovely tribute to the late Pablo Olivares, Javier’s brother and co-creator of the show, who died of ALS before EMDT premiered: Salvador mentions that the best deputy minister they ever had died of ALS, and then we see a portrait of Pablo.
-This needs to be said: Pacino and Alonso in 1976 look like university history professors.
-“Say hi to her for me, lovebird.” Alonso leaves “How weird… He didn’t ask me what a lovebird is.”
-“How are we going to stop the vote?” “The way it was done in high schools in the eighties when we had a test.” next scene, the voting room “Gentlemen, sorry to interrupt, but we just received a bomb threat.”
-“I forged my parents’ signature to play truant.” “You were also a bullfighter?” Explanation of the joke: in Spanish, novillos is a word both used for playing truant and as another way of saying bullfighting.
-Another tribute, this time to our beloved Rodolfo Sancho (forever missed) and his father, Sancho Gracia. The team is watching Curro Jiménez, a famous TV show from the seventies that starred Gracia, Rodolfo’s dad, and Alonso says that the guy reminds him a lot of Julián. Bravo.
-By the way, if you want this to be even more meta: at Sancho Gracia’s wedding with his wife and mother of Rodolfo, Adolfo Suárez was the best man. Yup.
-“Congratulations, Angustias, you are the new Miss Marple.” “I’d like to think of myself more like a Jessica Fletcher.” “As long as you don’t turn into Angela Channing…”
–watching TEA and SoP fighting from the computer “It looks like Goya’s Fight with Cudgels 2.0.”
–Alonso is about to take Bosco to the interrogation room “Alonso, please: intimidate, but don’t massacre.”
-“He who kills by microphone, dies by recorder.”