El Ministerio del Tiempo 1×05 Review: Any Time Past

I love it when plans go wrong. Don’t assume I’m misquoting The A Team here! It’s just that, when the plot of an episode merely goes from point A to point B, a show can become quite tiring.

Fortunately, eMdT doesn’t like to go down that road, either. They already made it harder for our team in the previous episode, and this time, things are not so simple.

Salvador brings the team to his office to let them know two things: first, that they have to make sure not to leave traces of themselves in the past, because it can mean trouble. It happened to Irene during a quest and it happened to Alonso when he took a motorcycle to the 15th century.

In Irene’s case, it was unfortunate, because she was looking for the receipt for the Guernica, one of Picasso’s most famous paintings. Said painting returned to Spain in 1981 after “residing” at the MoMA. But they get word that the New York museum is thinking it twice now and doesn’t want to give it back. So, if they have the receipt, they can attest that the painting belongs to Spain, because it was this country who commissioned the painting.

Now, there are three copies of the receipt: the one owned by the republican government, lost in Barcelona in 1939 when they fled to France; the one held in the Embassy in Paris, which was brought to Spain in 1981 along many other documents the Spanish government purchased -and the one Irene was looking for, and the one owned by Picasso himself.


Mission to get receipt #1

This one doesn’t last long. Our team arrives at the hotel in Barcelona in 1939, where they know the receipt is, but they are forced to hide in the basement because of an air raid. When they come back up, they learn that the room where the receipt was has conveniently burned down. Fail.


Mission to get receipt #2

Knowing that Irene went to 1981 two months after the diplomatic bag with the receipt arrived, they decide to go right before it lands instead – even though Alonso thinks it would be easier to get Picasso’s own receipt. Julián meets his parents for lunch before the journey, and we learn that they are people who lived the Movida and look like they are still living there.

Anyway, when our team reaches the safe house, Alonso has a feeling of deja vu. As it turns out, the location of this safe house is the same as his safe house back in his century, which means plenty of workers from the Ministry are living in the same house through time and at the same time (sort of). Watching the news on TV, they learn that the bag is being delayed one day, and among the people who appear in the documents kept in the safe house for research, they come across a guy who looks familiar: his name is Paul Walcott, and they saw him at the hotel in 1939.

Realising that Walcott cannot see them, or their cover will be blown, Ernesto and Irene travel to 1981 to help out. In the meantime, Julián uses his spare day to visit his childhood neighbourhood, where he will meet his late wife (then a toddler) and will go to a Leño concert, where he will be shocked to find his dad with another woman.

At the airport, our team is split, dressed as a mixture of civil guards, air hostesses and pilots. Amelia and Julián go to search the bag and get the receipt, while Ernesto and Irene get Walcott and then Alonso drugs him. Perfect plan? Almost, because the receipt is not in the bag! The team takes Walcott to the present to interrogate him and find out how he can travel in time. It is revealed that he comes from a company that privatises time travel.

Oh, and while this happens, Julián visits his potential stepmother and scares her into breaking up with his dad.

But anyway, the Ministry sends Walcott to their very own prison, which is a cold, damp castle in 1053 Huesca.

So all hope is lost, right? Except Amelia has a plan: make a forgery. All they need is to get Picasso’s real signature, and then they can type the receipt, so…


Mission to get (a different) receipt #3

Velázquez, after spending the entire episode begging Salvador to let him travel to meet Picasso, whom he considers the greatest painter of all time, sees his dream come true. He travels to the past to meet a young Picasso, long before he became a hit. After a delightful chat where Picasso reveals he admires Velázquez more than anyone else, he agrees to sign his first autograph to Velázquez, who claims he wants to be the first one to have it. And with it, the team travels to the 1930s to type the fake receipt so that it looks authentic, and Amelia makes sure to leave the envelope addressed to Irene, who then will have to go to 1981 and pick it up herself, 50 years later.

In the end, our team visits the Reina Sofía to contemplate the work of art that has been so difficult to retrieve.



Even if things get tough, you are not better than everyone else

-Oh, and Julián brings a Leño vinyl to give to his dad, and learns that that mistress might have been the love of his dad’s life. Whateverrrr.

-“This is insane, everyone trying to flee to France. I want to tell them that it’s bread today, Nazis tomorrow.”

-“Picasso had plenty of lovers and children, a mess with the inheritance…” “What the hell, are all Spanish geniuses womanisers?”

-“Velázquez, if you insist again, I’m going to send you to Altamira to draw bisons!”

-“Only someone who can draw reality better than anyone else can later do whatever the hell he wants.”

-The running joke of Alonso considering Picasso’s paintings no more than doodles was almost as funny as Velázquez’s aghast expressions when he heard those comments.

-“I don’t think you look different than you do every day.” “Do all 20th century clothes look the same to you?” “Pretty much.”

-“Welcome to the Alcántara house.”

-“A man clearing the table! In my time, that would be unthinkable.” “Well, in mine, if you don’t do it, you get a scolding.”

-“No no no, not to the toilets.” “Julián, maybe they want to pee!” “I can see you didn’t have nightclubs in your century!”

-“Do you mind if I sit?” “You’re going to sit, no matter what I say…”

-“Do you know how much money a little drawing with my signature is worth?” “Are you trying to bribe me?” “No! No, no no…. millions.

-“Well, that is very Spanish.” (when Amelia suggests the forgery)

-The Ministry’s Files!

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

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6 thoughts on “El Ministerio del Tiempo 1×05 Review: Any Time Past

  1. Heather

    So the Ministry is back! I’m sure you saw the new scene photos. First thought was sadness they cut off Alonso’s hair-no. I thought he’d blend in with long hair in today’s Spain but maybe things have changed. Irene seems to be on every mission and less of the supervisor-though she always gets the best clothes. Hope we see Velazquez in the royal court scenes. I’m most surprised that Rudolfo came back as I got the feeling he was done with his character and show. My guess is he will be Julian’s grandfather as it would be a lot easier to explain rather than the how did he survive? I’m hoping he’ll be playing one of those 1940s Guys and Doll gangster types. Something fun rather than the angsty Julian. Playing his grandfather will also spare the viewer the whole Julian/Amelia storyline that went nowhere.

    Finally, Hugo Silva is back and I’m hoping he, Alonso and Lola go on a case together. I first wanted Pacino with Amelia but found myself liking he and Lola at the end. Finally Amelia looks to be in mourning so I’m guess her mother died. Hopefully we see that she worked hard and her business is a success. Since she’s also in another TV show, I’m guessing her role like Sancho’s is a one episode deal.

    As Irene would say, Vamonos muchachos. Let’s just hope Netflix puts the show back on. I was still working on Series 3 when they removed it. Don’t know whether it was an RTVE or Netflix move.

    • Ginny C

      Of course I saw it! I cannot wait! I also think the only way Amelia would return is with her mother dead, because she left to be with her.
      I agree that Rodolfo looks like they made him look older in this, so it might not be Julián -but let me tell you something, he looks exactly like his father, Sancho Gracia, the resemblance is uncanny.

      I think we should consider this season more as a miniseries than anything, like when a show comes back five years later with only a Christmas special. It takes the pressure off things, I believe.

      Only thing I’d disagree with you would be Lola/Pacino. While they have a great dynamic, I don’t think they see each other in a romantic way, and I do think Pacino hasn’t let go of Amelia yet (also, Lola has way too much stuff to deal with to think of romance -let’s not forget her past became different when she was recruited again!)

      Looking forward to recapping all the episodes!

      • Heather

        From the new social media postings, I hope you like recapping Amelia/Julian. Granted both are amazingly good-looking but the show seems determined to push the ship no matter how little chemistry they have.Kind of hoped the show wouldn’t be so cliche.

      • Ginny C

        Not only that, but they are also showing bits of Pacino and Young Lola! I hope this is to mislead us and if anything, they will put Amelia and Pacino together! Don’t worry, I will recap them all and I will make sure my opinions on the matter are reflected XD

  2. Pingback: El Ministerio del Tiempo 1×06 Review: Time of Rogues | Corleones & Lannisters

  3. Pingback: El Ministerio del Tiempo 4×04 Review: The Memory of Time | Corleones & Lannisters

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