El Ministerio del Tiempo 4×05 Review: Undoing Time

el ministerio del tiempo 4x05 ministry on fire

Do not try to change the past. Every single time travel show tells you exactly that. Nothing good comes out of it and you end up making things even worse. That is the lesson Pacino learns this week, the hard way.

If you are a fan of Dark, you may remember when Jonas (SPOILER) travels to the day his father committed suicide to try and prevent his suicide, and he actually ends up causing his father’s suicide (END OF SPOILER). That is pretty much the theme of this week’s episode.

To be fair, I would strongly recommend rewatching the previous episode before this one, because they come together as one. We revisit most of the scenes and the changes play a crucial part.

Let’s go!

We begin with the ministry on fire. Pacino and Carolina see Angustias, the sole survivor and the look on their faces says something we don’t know yet. A recording of Pacino warns us: do not try to change the past.

Three days before Pacino films that, Salvador gives the team the task to help José de San Martín, but he orders Pacino to stay behind and just go home. Pacino is still distraught after the events of the previous week, where Lola was abducted by Díaz Bueno. Irene, always cautious, asks Carolina to follow Pacino everywhere, to make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid (she doesn’t say those words, but we know that’s what she means).

Albeit, she is right! Pacino, after eleven days have gone by since Lola was taken, decides to film himself explaining that he is going to travel back in time to change the past. He makes the video in case he forgets some things, and as proof in case things go south. Cue to…


Two Weeks Earlier

Present Pacino (I will refer to people like this, for the sake of clarity) enters the ministry on the day the team got the mission to find Las Meninas. By the coffee machine, he has a conversation with Carolina, except he doesn’t know she is Present Carolina, on his tail. Present Pacino gives Two Weeks Earlier Lola coffee with laxatives, so that she will get sick and won’t be able to join Julián in 1937 Madrid. That means that a convalescent Alonso is forced to come back and join his pal. Present Pacino, dressed as a penitent, watches as all his colleagues (and TWE himself) travel through the doors. Cue to…

el ministerio del tiempo 4x05 carolina tomatina puertaAlonso and Julián’s funeral. Yes. As we see in a flashback, Present Carolina rushes to 1937, but when she gets there, the anacronópete is flying away and Julián and Alonso have been shot dead. At the funeral, Present Carolina talks to New Present Irene (bear with me, please) about how she failed in her mission, but NP Irene obviously doesn’t remember a thing (never forget when Lombardi changed the past).

Carolina then tries to do whatever she can. Alas, the first door she goes through takes her to the Tomatina. But when she finds the right door, she travels to…


A Few Days Earlier

Here, A Few Days Earlier Carolina arrives home and hears noise coming from her shower. She grabs a knife, ready to attack, and then she finds… Present Carolina, who needed to wash all the tomato off. Present Carolina reveals to AFDE Carolina that she trusts no one, so her only idea was to talk to herself. It’s a beautiful scene that talks about how we can be our own worst enemy, but we can also be the only person who can save us.

As AFDE Carolina reminds her present self, Ernesto taught them about how, if we change the past but we are travelling through time, we are the only ones who will remember the present as it was, but the others won’t, as it happened at the end of series 3. Present Carolina leaves her past self the questions to an upcoming test, and we return to…


The Changed Present #1

CP#1 Lola is visibly upset because Alonso and Julián died in a mission she was supposed to be part of. She feels guilty, because Alonso had a family who is mourning him. She should have been the one to die. Pacino also feels guilty, so he makes a second recording, because off he goes to try to change the past a second time, so…


Two Weeks Earlier Again

el ministerio del tiempo 4x05 velazquez para dar animos unicoAgain, Present Pacino brings coffee sweetened with laxatives to Lola. Again we see the team taking the elevator and cracking up with Velázquez’s hilarious stories about his mother’s diarrhoea. The only thing Pacino changes this time is not visiting TWEA Lola when she is sick in bed.

Present Pacino travels to Madrid 1937, ignoring that Present Carolina is following him. When the final showdown with the anacronópete and Díaz Bueno happens again, Present Carolina gets shot –but she is wearing a bulletproof vest! Present Pacino tries to go after Alonso and Julián, but these two are taken hostage. Present Pacino and Present Carolina have a heart-to-heart after their failure, and so they return to…


The Changed Present #2

el ministerio del tiempo 4x05 baby alonso baby julianIn a hilarious turn of events, Present Pacino meets TCP#2 Everyone at Salvador’s office, where he finds… two kids. Who are they, you may ask? Well, these are Baby Alonso and Baby Julián. As they explain, Díaz Bueno and his men drank something that looked like horchata and gave the two of them none of it. Then, their machine travelled from 1937 to 1907, prompting out the two men to de-age 30 years! Díaz Bueno told them that the drink, the García fluid, allowed anyone to time travel without getting older or younger. Bueno makes them drink so that he can return them to the ministry as harmless kids. But Bueno miscalculated how badass these two are, even as minors. They attacked them and killed them. Then, because they are kids after all, they crashed the ship in 2020. And here they are now.

After a couple of hysterical scenes of the kids playing football and Baby Alonso reuniting with his wife, Present Pacino decides that what he needs to do is catch Díaz Bueno before he gets to use the anacronópete, so he and Present Carolina travel to…


One Month Earlier

We are in the mental institution where Díaz Bueno was sent to after his previous shenanigans. OME Bueno threatens the doctor supervising him: either he discharges him or his daughter will be killed by one of Bueno’s henchmen. But as OME Bueno is leaving, he is intercepted by Present Pacino and Carolina, who put him in a car and take him to the ministry. As they wait for their OME selves to leave the building, OME Bueno reveals something: he put a bomb inside the coffee machine, and unless they let him leave, the bomb will go off, the same way Moriarty threatened Sherlock in the series 2 finale of that show. Except here, the bomb goes off anyway, like we saw at the beginning of the episode. An infuriated Pacino shoots Bueno dead and off they rush, to find out that everyone is dead, except Lola, who is at home because she was feeling sick, because… she is pregnant. Plot twist!

el ministerio del tiempo 4x05 pacino carolinaPresent Pacino is desperate. Now, he wants to travel even further back in time, to stop Bueno from ever putting the bomb in the ministry, but Present Carolina stops him. No matter how many times he travels back, he can’t change what happened, and every time he tries to fix the past, he ends up making it worse. You can’t change time, and that’s it. Time is what it is.


Pacino knows what to do. He goes back to ensure things remain as they were. He checks on Lola, but doesn’t give her the coffee with the surprise. Instead, he gives her no coffee at all. We discover that, despite the events from previous episodes, they were still together, but keeping it on the down low.

He puts on the penitent costume, and watches as everyone (himself included) travels through the doors to the mission to 1937, so that he can see Lola up until the very end, convinced that Bueno must have killed her. Present Carolina meets him at the hallway, and together, they go back to the present. Pacino decides not to delete the video he made, and instead, he makes a new one, the one we saw at the very beginning of the episode, where we warns to viewer not to change the past. And he’s right.

And then we are back at the end of last week’s episode, inside the anacronópete. Lola faces Díaz Bueno, who claims they know each other. He offers her to drink to García fluid, so she can travel with him and be together like they used to, but Lola refuses. To prove her wrong, he takes the ship to 1945, making Lola age eight years. Alas, 1945 is not a great year to be in the sky, and they come under attack right away. Everyone but Lola is shot dead, and as the ship collapses, she can do nothing but drink the fluid and wish for the best as the anacronópete travels to… 2065!

In the words of a very wise man: it will happen again!



“This is witchcraft” “No, this is a bummer”

el ministerio del tiempo 4x05 pacino diaz bueno

-I know I am not the only one who thought they were going to age Lola until she turned into Natalia Millán. Am I right?

-Quick question that needs solving: if Lola was pregnant and ages eight years, what happens to the foetus? Does it also age?

-The bits with Baby Alonso and Baby Julián were the best. I love that they keep their adult personalities but, because they are kids, they do kid stuff, like playing ball or touching things they are not supposed to.

-Fashion police: we need to talk about the marvellous camel coat Pacino has been wearing this season. We also need to talk about Julián’s turtleneck sweater from his funeral portrait.

-Bonus points to eMdT for showing Irene dressing up to fight as a soldier in the 19th century.

el ministerio del tiempo 4x05 julian me van a matar 19th century napoleon-“My mother had the runs the day she was supposed to visit the court. The carriage plunged, everyone died.” “Velázquez, there is no one like you to cheer someone up.”

-I also want to give bonus points for Julián’s face hair and hairstyle in that scene.

-And Julián’s dry sense of humour returns: “I can’t walk with these boots; I’m going to get killed again.”

-I also want to highlight the pairing of Pacino and Carolina. I found them a perfect fit, both being from the 1980s. It felt like a buddy comedy and I thought they had great chemistry.

-For the first time, we hear about agent training in the ministry. Ernesto gives talks about time paradoxes when one is travelling and changes the past, and Pacino gives one about interrogation techniques. Granted, Carolina is testing him, talking about how you cannot trust someone who won’t look you in the eye.

-“I needed to talk to someone and I only trust myself.” “Then think out loud!” “I know, but when I think out loud I get flustered.” “That’s true.”

el ministerio del tiempo 4x05 elena baby alonso pacino-If you think Baby Alonso looks familiar, it’s because he is Jan Fresneda, our Nacho Fresneda’s son in real life. We saw him before, by the way, playing both Alonso’s son and Alonso as a kid.

-“But… you are heroes.” “Yes, but we are shitty pilots.”

-Another priceless moment: Pacino smacking Baby Julián in the back of the neck when Julián claims that Alonso’s wife “is bloody hot.” Also, every time Baby Alonso puts his arm on her shoulder and she looks astounded and disgusted at the same time.

-“Alonso, please, go back to playing ball.” “I want to go home.” “I said gobacktoplayingballpleasethankyou!”

-It seems like we are preparing for a reunion between Ernesto and his son.

-Not happy with a poster of Serpico at home, Pacino also has it as his wallpaper.

Categories: Spanish Historical Fiction, Television | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Post navigation

4 thoughts on “El Ministerio del Tiempo 4×05 Review: Undoing Time

  1. Allright, let me just begin by saying that I loved Loved LOVED this episode!
    I usually like episodes where they break up their routine/scheme and this was done in a very smart way, so -for me- big thumbs up!

    That being said, if we really want to be picky, there are a few things that would need to be addressed:

    1) First thing first, the whole reason this all mess started in the first place is because “Pacino loves Lola so much he can’t live without her”. Allright. But how do they expect the viewer to care about his motivation when they last told us she broke up with him in 4×01?
    For a long part of this episode I thought he was doing this because he was not over her and losing her made him realize even more how important she was to him. And I felt for him because Hugo was great (as usual), but emotionally I was not invested at all. I cared much more about having Alonso and even Julian back than Lola to be honest.
    Of course, I might be a little partial on the subject because you know whom I think Pacino should be with, but knowing that Aura Garrido won’t be back for the rest of the season, I am trying to be open to whatever makes a compelling story for Pacino/Hugo but, like I said, I’m still not sold on the whole Lola/Pacino lovestory, they need to work better on that if they me to buy it 😉

    2) I was more excited than I would have expected when they were about to send Pacino, Alonso and Julian in a mission together (!!!) so I really look forward for that to happen before the end of the season ❤

    3) I totally thought they were going to age Lola until she turned into Natalia Millan, but – in retrospect – I think they were smarter than us: this way it's not really clear if Lola drank enough of the potion, so she might still turn into older Lola next time we see her… or maybe not. Leaving us with the doubt makes it easier for them to make it work around actors' commitments in a possible (fingers crossed!) season 5 since I don't think we'll see Macarena Garcia again in season 4, will we?

    4) On Twitter quite few people were asking that, but I believe Lola's pregnancy happened in the penultimate change of the story, so when Pacino changes it one last time to take everything back to normal, that should be undone too. I don't think that is something they really wanted to explore, it felt more thrown in the mix to reinforce that the relationship was quite serious (…since they haven't told us anything about it so far!)

    5) Personally, I'm not a big fan of Carolina. Compared to all the female characters El Ministerio gave us so far, she's too dull in my opinion, but I can see why a lot of people like her just for that and I respect it. Looking forward to her character growth.

    6) I can't blame you because this episode was so full of good quotes that it was easy to miss one, but I think you missed a very cool one from Pacino at the beginning, to Salvador: "You always condemn how badly Spain treats its heoes, but have you ever stopped for a minute to consider how this Ministry treats its Agents?". Pissed Pacino is not someone you want to mess with!

    Bear with me a minute more because I think one last comment about Pacino's character is necessary.
    Establishing season 4 three years later than last time we saw our team, it was to be expected that all characters would have somehow changed:
    – Lola is no longer the naive idealist we met in s3, anger and resentment are building within her and she seems to be growing into the adult Lola we had seen in s1 and s2;
    – Alonso in no longer a clueless soldier from XVI century, but has become a XXI century family man (…and is still totally adorable!);
    – we haven't seen much of Julian yet, but since he has been "captive" into Eulogio Romero's life for the past 3 years, but I think it's safe to assume we will find a Julian similar to the one we last saw at the end of s2, where -after Cuba and Philippines- he had already evolved from s1 grieving widower into a more mature and responsible agent, much more focused into saving history than fixing his own past;
    – Pacino's change, though, is the one who struck me the most. Since the beginning of s4 I found him much much less carefree and light-hearted than he had always been, aged not only physically (am I the only one to think that the long hair makes him look older?) but also in his spirit and I think that the events of this episode will only give him the final blow in that direction. Up until now he had messed with time more than once, starting with fixing his father's fate on his very first appearance (2×02) until more recent events (I'm thinking to 3×06 where he frees the slaves without a care for the consequences, just to give you an example), which is a real telltale sign of his own approach to life, a positive attitude according to which everything can be fixed. Now, Carolina telling him to "let it go" (and him doing so) I think will draw a definitive line between THAT Pacino (the one we all liked and loved) and a new Pacino, much more mature and possibly darker, especially now that he thinks he has lost his woman.

    Would love to hear what y'all think on the subject.

    Thanks for reading!

    • Ginny C

      Totally agree with you! And thanks for the extra quote! I do remember loving it when Salvador said it, but completely forgot to include it! This show is too quotable.

  2. Heather

    I’m with both of you about Lola/Pacino and the idea that she is the love of his life. Why do we even need pairing? The show would be fine without it. At least Alonso is still okay as I expect the writers to kill him off any second seeing he is a family man now. And dear god, no pregnant Lola!

    Not able to see the episode but I was able to read up on the anacronópete and was surprised to see it was written before The Time Machine. I’m sure most people think HG Wells wrote the first time machine, though to be fair the latter ended up being just a dream.

    Three more episodes to go! Perhaps everyone can go on one time travel mission together.

  3. Heather

    Spoilers for next week but if anyone wants to know the real story of Einstein’s trip to Spain. El Pais had a good article here. Apparently, he was recognized as a celebrity but most people didn’t know what he did. Link in Spanish is below.


Leave a Reply to Ginny C Cancel 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: