El Ministerio del Tiempo 4×03 Review: Bloody Mary Hour

el ministerio del tiempo 4x03 bloody mary hampton court alonso pacino royal guard

Historical justice. I have long hoped for a portrayal of Mary Tudor where she is not depicted as a bloodthirsty, vengeful old lady. But history is told by the victors. In England in particular, we know that Richard III was demonised, portrayed as an evil, murderous hunchback according to Shakespeare, to reinforce the Tudor supremacy. In Mary’s case, she was a Catholic monarch who had to be cast under a dark light by her Protestant successors.

So, luckily, we have a realistic depiction of Mary here. The Mary who saw, as a teenager, how her father cast her mother away and declared her illegitimate. The woman who doesn’t get married until she is 38, to a man eleven years younger, which was a huge age difference back then, especially for a young man.

el ministerio del tiempo 4x03 bloody mary felipe II lluviaThe plot itself begins when the ministry discovers that Elizabeth I (just Elizabeth then), was poisoned in December 1554. Despite the fact that Alonso doesn’t really want to go save a woman who caused so much trouble for his people (don’t forget the second half of the 16th century is his time period), he, Pacino and Irene travel to England, then a part of what the doors count as Spain because the king was Felipe II, our old friend (just Felipe then, his dad wouldn’t abdicate for another year and a half).

So when our team arrives, the boys acting as royal guards and Irene as the queen’s Spanish teacher, they encounter a young king depressed by the English weather (the running gag of the episode) and a queen saddened by her loneliness, lamenting that her Spanish was good when she was a child, when her mother was allowed to be by her side. Felipe tells the men about his mistress back in Spain, Isabel de Osorio, and how he finds the old queen ugly and dull, but he knows it is his duty to provide an heir. Meanwhile, Mary and Irene read The Book of Good Love.

The team eventually sees Mary meet up with Sir Henry Bedingfeld, the man they know will poison Elizabeth. After Mary orders the man to do the deed (making sure her sister doesn’t suffer, though), Alonso and Pacino, along with their ministry contact, Bartolomé de Carranza, head to the palace where the young princess lives to save her.

el ministerio del tiempo 4x03 bloody mary feliep ii maria tudorIn the midst of all this, Felipe has encountered some heretics that are about to be executed, so he confronts his wife about it, convincing her to spare their lives. Alas, Felipe is a dreamer, because later on, when he is having a drink with the Duke of Alba and the rest of the men, the heretics attack him (apparently, they weren’t too keen on having a Spanish, Catholic king), but Alonso saves Felipe’s life, getting shot in the arm. A bold move for Alonso, whose conscience had been bothering him, with memories of the Spanish Armada being sent to its death, along with all the events that happened in the past with an older Felipe.

Irene’s troubles up to then have been more, err, feminine. I’m saying this because the queen has found out she is pregnant, something hard to believe, because we all know Mary never had any children. It is only after Angustias brings Irene a pregnancy test that we know for certain that the queen has a phantom pregnancy. It is heartbreaking to watch Mary bleed and then have this confirmed, another disappointment in a life full of them, for a woman whose main concern was to ensure that her potential baby would never suffer fear like she has since she was a teenager.

el ministerio del tiempo 4x03 bloody mary julian ameliaAnd so, Irene returns to the present with a wounded Alonso, not before an impressed Duke of Alba offers him a position with him in his upcoming battles. Pacino stays behind, convincing Felipe to do what history tells us that happened: ensure Elizabeth’s safety, so that if Queen Mary dies childless, he can marry the younger sovereign and have offspring with her. Yes, we know that backfired, but at least that way the team can return with the certainty that Elizabeth’s life is not under threat anymore.

Of course, the present day has given us something different: the return of Amelia! Now a powerful businesswoman in 1885, Angustias summons her to our time to help a confused Eulogio remember that he is, indeed, Julián. In a series of powerful, superbly acted scenes, Amelia shows him photos of Ana and her son, whom he left behind in 1943. She tells him how they moved to Mexico. She shows him photos of Ana as a grandmother. She brings out a photo of Eulogio’s dead family with the real Eulogio. He is not too happy about this.

el ministerio del tiempo 4x03 bloody mary julian y federico garcia lorcaThen she brings her winning cards. The infamous photo of them in the 19th century. El Empecinado, from their first mission. Lope de Vega. Old Felipe II. García Lorca, whom he admits seeing in his dreams constantly, the man who told him to find Amelia. He starts to remember a woman running, and then Amelia brings out a photo of Maite. That is all he needs. He is Julián. That was his wife. He remembers. Then Amelia leaves and they imagine they kiss each other. Whatever. If you read my recaps, you know I dislike romance between ministry workers. At least it ended in a melancholic note in which they say goodbye to each other and that’s it, which was quite beautiful.

Because Julián’s high point is not with Amelia, but with his friend Lorca. Julián travels back in time to bring Lorca to the doors. In one of the hallways, he gives Lorca a warning. He tells him the day he is going to die, and begs him to make sure it doesn’t happen. Then he takes him to 1979 Granada, to a flamenco venue, where Lorca hears his own poems being sung. Then it hits him: people will remember his words. He doesn’t care if his body dies. His soul will survive for eternity.



Stop! In the name of love

el ministerio del tiempo 4x03 bloody mary bienvenidos clima ingles

-If you think I am being too harsh about Julián romancing Amelia, bear in mind that he has always been presented as a man forever tormented by the death of the love of his life. Amelia will never be number one in his heart. She knows this and she deserves better.

-Pacino’s reaction faces and comments are the highlight of every scene he is in.

-‘There’s a silver lining. They must have replaced fish and chips with chopitos.’

-‘BBC only produces family comedies with Andalusian maids and The Beatles never existed.’

-If you want to know more about Felipe II, the second half of Carlos, Rey Emperador covers his early life.

-‘Madness has always been a great excuse to get rid of the strongest women.’

el ministerio del tiempo 4x03 bloody mary alonso pacino claro vamos-In line with the running gag about the weather, our team is presented with buckets of water to pour over themselves to make it believable that they have been outdoors.

-‘Welcome to the delightful English weather.’

-‘Pff I’d rather stay indoors…’ ‘If the king says we go, we MUST GOOO!’ ‘Sure, let’s go, let’s go.’

-‘I have renovated their army.’ ‘What an idea you had there…’

-‘Don’t get carried away by melancholy.’ rain starts pouring ‘With this weather…’

-Sorry, Pacino, Carranza is not from Cádiz.

-‘Between the heretics your father killed because they were Catholic and the ones you kill because they are Anglicans, there won’t be any English people left.’

el ministerio del tiempo 4x03 bloody mary felipe II mary tudor-‘With so much racing, I’ve cracked.’ I want Carranza to return at some point in the future. And I want to learn more about his friendship with Angustias.

-‘Have we been to Flanders or haven’t we been to Flanders?’

-The song Felipe and his men sing at the end has been heard before in the show, because he taught it to his son, Felipe III.

After learning about the Bloody Mary ‘It could have also been called Bloody Henry, or Bloody Torquemada.’ You go, Irene!!!

-‘You are the only monarch who brings a general out of prison to give you another crown.’


el ministerio del tiempo 4x03 bloody mary puerta a 1554 hampton court


Categories: Spanish Historical Fiction, Television | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Post navigation

13 thoughts on “El Ministerio del Tiempo 4×03 Review: Bloody Mary Hour

  1. Heather

    As RTVE has blocked North America(incl Mexico) from viewing this series online, you are my only source right now. I know the Americans aren’t popular nowadays but this is a bit over the top.:)

    Sadly, Amelia seemed wasted to me in this episode. Yes, she’s a big businesswoman now but coming back just to help Julian. Whatever. We won’t even talk about the kiss scene(jeez writers) but I’m calling it that Julian leaves at the end to live life in 1880s Barcelona. Cough.Cough. I will say that I’ve been really impressed with RS this year.

    At least they did not kill off Alonso or the pitchforks would be out. Hopefully, I’ll find a way to watch the full episodes somewhere.

    • Ginny C

      There must be a way to watch them somewhere! I know they have a deal now with HBO, so my guess is maybe they will broadcast them in America there.

      I think Aura Garrido was in between films, so she had little time to appear in eMdT, hence why she has little more than a long cameo.

      And yes, Rodolfo has shown off his dramatic chops as amnesiac, superb. Hugo Silva is killing it with his deliveries, though. Hilarious.

    • James

      Heather, we’ve been using a VPN to get around the North America lock-out (fingers crossed that this keeps working). Maybe you can try that until another option becomes available?

  2. Heather

    I’m hoping that there is one episode where Julian and Pacino go on a mission together before RS leaves again. Maybe to train the new lady(forgot her name)? We were robbed last season and with Amelia being gone, there’d be no tension. The banter would be epic though.

    • Ginny C

      I agree. Besides, both actors have the common ground of having played Michelle Jenner’s husband! I’d love some banter regarding that. Maybe Pacino mentions that he had a thing with Amelia!

      Next week the episode is about Lola smuggling paintings through time, so I think they are setting up the storyline of Young Lola finally becoming Adult Lola (I don’t want to say old because Natalia Millán must be in her late 40s, that’s not old!) This teaches you that you can’t alter you future and you can’t escape it

  3. Damn! I wrote a very long comment to this one, but it looks like WordPress swallowed it!

    If I may recap at least my main point, I wanted to say that I really LOVED “grownup Amelia”. She was already at the top of my characters ranking, but seeing her so grownup really struck me, not only because of time passing by so quickly, but I also realized how much Aura Garrido had grown as an actress during this time, and she played those wonderfully written scenes with Rodolfo Sancho superbly!
    I’m usually not a huge fan of RS (sorry, my heart belongs to Hugo!) but I have to admit that I am quite liking him in this season and in this episode was particularly good in portraying how Julian gradually got his memories back (editing helped too 😉 ).
    And I also must admit that – despite being against the Julian/Amelia lovestory – I found the double fake kiss a genius move: this way they gave fans a double little something without really moving their story forward, so they have left all their options open for a possible season 5! GE-NI-US!!!
    Deep down, I’m still hoping to see some nice Amelia/Pacino interactions, but looking at clues I can tell that – IF we’ll ever have a romantic resolution of the triangle – unfortunately Javier seems more inclined to close another circle… 😦

    By the way, did you notice the picture that Amelia shows Julian has, once again, a baby in it? Did anyone wonder if that was on purpose or if it was just an oversight by the props department?
    We know for sure that the baby had disappeared in the very last scene of 2×11, possibly as a consequence of her sleeping with Pacino, which had also erased her name from the tombstone. Amelia had even told about the baby disappearance to someone (might have been Alonso, or even Julian himself), so I doubt that the writers have just “forgotten” about it. Right?
    Moreover, in the same flashbacks of this episode, when Julian remembers discussing the picture with Salvador back in day, they show the other picture, the one from the supposed 1883 marriage, with them dressed for the wedding, not this one, so it’s a little confusing.
    Could it be the writers way of saying that the Julian/Amelia is back on the table?
    Curious to know your thoughts on this matter.

    • Ginny C

      I was wondering about the photo as well! Because it was established that, by sleeping with Pacino, that whole story had fallen apart, as shown in the photo changing and the tombstone disappearing. I loved grown up Amelia as well, she has more gravitas, and I agree that the double take with Julián was genius. They fooled me twice! I am not one for romantic pairings, like I have said many times, except for Pacino and Amelia: I think they are the perfect blend of pairing that avoids falling into soppy territory. But I do think Olivares has closed that page 😦 BUT! He never leaves props around for the sake of it, so I am waiting for an explanation about the photo later on.

      • Heather

        Reading the script from this episode and I honestly think the director grabbed the wrong photo as it is made clear it is the wedding photo of the two of them


        So perhaps they couldn’t find the wedding photo and just went with the other picture.

      • Ginny C

        I agree. I think there should have been no photo of a wedding anymore, becausd that year has already gone by in Amelia’s 19th century life and nothing happened.

  4. Heather

    Apparently I can’t cut and paste the script but it’s online at the official website.

    CONT. SEC 37.
    Julián disimula.
    Amelia descubre otra foto. Es la foto de boda de ellos dos en el siglo XIX, recompuesta tras ser destrozada.
    Parece una foto de bodas antigua.
    Lo es. ¿No la recuerdas?

    • But this is also not correct because the actual wedding picture (dated 1883) is the one Julian took with him to Cuba/Philippines, we have no idea if it ever made it back.
      The picture that was destrozada and then recomposed with tape is the one Amelia had, the one which at some point had a baby, and after the Pacino’s affair the baby disappeared (2×11). And in 2×12 even tells Julian about the baby disappearance.

      So, did both the writers, script supervisor and art department forgot all about it?

      • Heather

        As we’ve seen in the last episode, the rules of time travel seem to shift weekly. If Carlos was killed that meant that he would never be in Eulogio’s gang and Lola couldn’t have infiltrated the hideout. So Julian’s whole history should have changed. As I tell myself it’s only a show and in RL, I believe like Einstein that time travel is impossible. Speaking of Einstein, he shows up in a future episode so hopefully he can shed some light on the subject.

      • Ginny C

        Something will probably happen to fix it (or just apply Moffat DW logic hahaha). Don’t forget that Julián tried to save his wife, and it only caused her to die over and over again. Olivares says the last episode is going to be insane, so I am guessing everything will be solved then.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: