I have never considered myself a superstitious person. I don’t believe in things like horoscopes or rabbit’s feet, but I do like to think that some people are capable of having premonitory dreams. Or that perhaps we all do, but only some are able to remember them. Federico García Lorca, for instance, famously predicted his death in Poet in New York, and that theme comes to play in the first finale of El Ministerio del Tiempo.
As she has been doing all season, a distraught Amelia visits her tomb in 1940 Barcelona. In the present day, Julián has a dream. It is the day Maite died, and he is sitting on a bench. Next to him, a man, Federico, watches as Maite runs to her death. In Sevilla in 1570, Alonso spies on his wife, Blanca, as she washes her clothes by the riverbank. There are bruises all over her face, most likely caused by her new husband (there was no way for her to survive with a baby on the way without getting married to someone else).
So now that you know the fragile mental state of everyone so far, let me tell you about the mission. The team needs to go to the Residencia de Estudiantes in 1924, because a young Salvador Dalí has drawn a poster for the performance of Don Juan Tenorio and, what is this? There is a tablet on the poster! Something needs to be done. So off the team goes.
Needless to say, as soon as Julián sees Lorca, he remembers him from the dream. How is that possible? Even Lorca is sure they have met before.
During the first rehearsal, the director has a health crisis, leading Julián to discover that the man has diabetes, and making one of the girls, Silvia, fall in love with Julián –because why wouldn’t you, to be honest.
But the first twist comes while Amelia and Alonso are looking for the tablet. Alonso finds a photo of Amelia and Julián from 1883, on their wedding day. It carries the ministry’s seal and the written words “be careful with the future.” Then the whole team has to go back and Julián reveals that Amelia kept a diary that her mother intercepted, and that he pretended to be her fiancé to keep her out of trouble. Julián then reveals to Amelia that he followed her to the cemetery and knows about the tomb, and assures her that the photo is fake, because he loves Maite still, and only she will ever be his wife.
Then, another dream. Only this time, we see it from Lorca’s point of view. Then he realises that Julián is the man he has been dreaming of.
The team, now with Irene, returns to 1924. Seriously, where is that tablet? With Alonso now filling the role of the prompter, Julián becomes closer to Federico, who reveals his dreams and straight-out asks him if he comes from the future. Amelia discovers that Silvia is actually her own granddaughter, and later, when Julián looks for the tablet amongst Dalí’s things, he finds a painting of… Lola! That’s right. I’m sure you expected nothing less.
So, while Irene and Amelia follow Dalí to his meeting with his patron, said patron (that is, Lola) spots them, and skips the meeting to avoid getting caught. To make matters worse, Alonso finds a photo of his wife Blanca, full of bruises, again with the seal, and this time, with the words “you can stop this.” Out of frustration, Alonso starts a fight with Buñuel. And then Julián gets a photo as well. We don’t see it, but Julián storms off, quickly followed by Lorca. Julián, devastated, cries on the poet’s shoulder. Silvia sees them and assumes Julián is gay, which breaks her heart. I’m guessing she is still a teenager, because how on Earth is she so smitten and cries so hard for a man she met the day before? I don’t understand.
Julián is now angry at everyone. He storms off from the ministry as well, and it is only in the safety of his house that he shows his friends the photo: it is of Maite, dead on the road, blood coming from under her face. Only someone twisted would send this to him. But Amelia doesn’t think Lola would do this. It is only after Lola texts her and she agrees to meet her in 1924 that she hears Lola’s version of the events: Lola was paying Dalí to draw some stuff for her, so that she could sell it in the 21st century for a s**tload of money. But she forgot her tablet and Dalí painted it. She insists, though, that she didn’t send those photos, but the team takes her to the ministry anyway.
At the ministry, Julián realises who sent the photos, and outs her in front of everyone: it was Irene, who mentions by mistake that Julián got a photo of his wife, something he hadn’t revealed yet. Irene blames Salvador for her actions, because of the whole Leiva debacle. She is sent away, anyway. Salvador even reveals a secret to Ernesto: he was the one who gave Leiva a drug that would make him look dead; he was the one who made sure he’d be rescued. It’s the only reason why Leiva didn’t kill him when he held the ministry hostage.
Back in 1924, the team ties up all the loose ends. Lorca is sad because Dalí is going to Paris with Buñuel. Dalí gives Amelia an envelope from Lola with yet another photo inside. Lorca finally guesses that Julián comes indeed from the future, and off our team goes.
Alonso goes back to 1570 and, copying what he’s seen in the rehearsals of Don Juan Tenorio, pretends to be a ghost to scare Blanca’s new husband. He then says goodbye to his wife one last time.
Julián is the most damaged now, though. He is seriously mad because he can’t even save Lorca, but Amelia offers to help him: they will go to 2012 and save his wife. Except that, while driving, Julián stares at his wife for way too long, crashing against another car, thus prompting a third car to go out of its way, effectively running Maite over. You can’t change what’s already written. That’s something I have learnt the hard way with Dark.
Julián, even more devastated than before, takes some sleeping pills and probably hates himself and whatnot. It is only then that we see the photo that Amelia got from Lola. It is of Julián and her, with a baby. Exasperated, she tears the photo into little pieces.
Moral of the story: never fall for a widower.
“You have a goodbye look in your face”
-For those of you who don’t know about Don Juan Tenorio, it’s a pretty famous play in Spain, and it’s usually performed in All Hallow’s Eve and All Saints Day and the days that follow.
-The agent who welcomes the team to 1924, Ortigosa, would be the one getting married later in the series.
-It is revealed that one of the agents is Jordi Hurtado. This joke might be hard to get for non-Spaniards. Hurtado is a famous TV presenter who never seems to age, kind of like Keanu Reeves or Paul Rudd.
-I know Irene will be redeemed later, but seriously, sending Julián a photo of his dead wife was twisted, no matter what point you are trying to make.
-“Why do you have to sit on this bench?” “So that you won’t be alone.”
-Javier Olivares has stated that the final goodbye between Lorca and Julián was his way of saying goodbye to his brother Pablo, co-creator of the show who died of ALS shortly before it premiered.
-“Federico could sell a swimsuit to an Eskimo.”
-“What are we waiting for?” “For me to finish talking, goddammit!”
-“Salvador, aren’t you a dauber? Then paint!” This makes more sense in Spanish, where the word is pintamonas (dauber/a nobody)
-“There is only one art. In painting, it’s that of Zurbarán and Velázquez. Everyone talks about the new art to appear interesting. And the worst part is, we have to pretend to be eccentric to be considered modern artists.”
-“Did you get engaged?” “Yes, but only a little.”
-“Art is above morality.”
-“Don’t you believe in cubism?” “No.” “Surrealism?” “Even less so.” “Then what do you believe in?” “In what makes me earn the most money.”
-“What is it about this ministry that turns us all into sons of bitches?”
-“There is only one thing more stupid than the human being in general: each man in particular.”