Everyone’s hiding something at the Riviera Grand.
It won’t be long before those secrets and lies start catching up with them as they’ve already begun to on Grand Hotel Season 1 Episode 9.
Santiago is hiding his involvement with Mateo’s “boss,” Mateo is hiding the shame of unintentionally killing his child, the twins are quite literally hiding their fugitive father, Felix, and Alicia and Danny are hiding their relationship.
Though Alicia considered going public about her relationship with Danny, he immediately shot the idea down because of the other thing he’s hiding: the real reason he’s working as a waiter in the first place.
Danny’s walking a thin line here; he’s trying to be himself and pursue a relationship with a woman he really likes all while not revealing anything real about himself and staying focused on his original mission to find out what happened to his sister.
I’m a huge Danny and Alicia shipper as their relationship — the blend of forbidden love and pulsating chemistry — is intoxicating.
I believe he does have real feelings for her, which complicates everything as he’s forced to be closed-off with her.
There’s a lot wrong with their relationship no matter how steamy.
A huge concern is Alicia’s reaction to Danny saying he’s not comfortable to date publicly.
She never stopped the consider how it would affect his position or what the optics would be after spearheading a “no workplace dating” memo.
Who cares when all they have to do is sign a waiver, right?
When Danny finally decided to pursue a public relationship with her, he told Jason that “for the first time he feels like he caught a break.”
He spoke too soon because guess who was checking into the hotel just mere seconds later?
Heather, the scorned ex-girlfriend.
We’ve never met Heather, but based on their Skype-calls, their relationship was lengthy and serious.
She knew the real Danny, knew his secrets, his motive for coming out here, and I got the vibe that she didn’t take the over-the-phone break-up all that well.
A meddling ex-girlfriend is the last thing he needs right now. Will she expose him just as he’s making headway?
Danny’s been dodging obstacles left and right since his arrival at the hotel, most recently a brush with the same cops who told him that Sky’s disappearance was just an accident.
Still, Danny’s been able to get very far given those said obstacles.
One of the cops, Detective Ayala, was wary of the Commissioner’s dismissal of the case and offered to help Danny investigate it off the books.
It’s the kind of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back” kind of deal that Danny needs.
Danny is resourceful, and he could get very far on his own, but it’s nice to have someone with a thorough knowledge of the case joining the fight.
In a world where shady dealings are the norm, and people are being paid off left and right, it’s assuring to know there’s someone else who wants justice.
Then again, this is a telenovela, and there has to be something in it for Ayala other than a code of honor.
Where does she fit in in all of this?
Oh, so it’s your classic love story — boy meets girl, boy sends girl’s family to prison.
Danny’s also positioned himself well within the Mendoza family.
His initial hesitation to keep his relationship a secret with Alicia was so that he wouldn’t draw unwanted attention to himself, but that wasn’t necessarily the right approach.
Alicia was his key — his way in.
She wasn’t around during Sky’s disappearance as she was off at school and thus, unable to contribute much to Danny’s quest for answers.
But she is the daughter of Santiago and the sister of Javi, both suspects that are keeping their fair share of secrets.
With Danny roped into the family as more than a waiter, he’ll be able to control the narrative around the Mendoza family, put his ear up against the wall to listen in on some more intimate conversations, and question them without raising suspicions.
Unless, of course, Heather ruins everything for him.
Santiago is feeling the weight of his guilt after sending Javi away to rehab.
On top of already blaming himself for Javi’s accident, he now carries the guilt of agreeing to have Mateo’s people “take care” of the Finn Hotel, which resulted in Javi’s second near-brush with death and subsequent addiction issue.
Bryan Craig appeared in the episode briefly, but mostly, it was a disservice not having him around.
There was a side-story that found Javi considering the possibility that his mother, Beatriz (Eva Longoria), was an addict.
Initially, he didn’t even want to consider the possibility, but I’ll agree with the therapist (who was a little too pushy when talking to someone who almost died) that a mother who consistently goes on “business trips” is concerning.
There haven’t been many flashbacks of Beatriz, but the little we do know, mostly from Javi and Alicia, is that she was practically a saint who died of a heart attack.
I’m ready to peel back the layers of who she was, what she was doing, who she was involved with and why she really died.
None of us believe that the cause of death was a heart attack, right?
Though Craig’s screentime was limited, I welcomed Katey Sagal with open arms, which is the complete opposite of how she welcomed Santiago.
With all of Santiago’s guilt building up, he wanted to free himself and his hotel of Mateo’s “people” once and for all.
For anyone that knows anything about dealing with a gangster-type person, that’s a lot easier said than done.
Mateo refused to make the face-to-face introduction, so Santiago exploited Mateo’s moment of weakness and followed him to the source.
Teresa ran her operation from a car dealership and wasn’t pleased with Mateo for letting his guard down and allowing Santiago to find out who she is.
Still, there seemed to be some a maternal feeling towards Mateo, so it was assumed she’d let him off the hook.
Boy, were we wrong.
Mateo wasn’t lying when he told Santiago that “he had no idea what this woman is capable of.”
Teresa’s henchman attacked him in the staircase and his fate is up in the air now.
Likely, Teresa will use Mateo to get to Santiago.
The power-dynamic veered away from Santiago and Mateo to this badass woman.
Up until now, we thought they wielded all the power but now, they’re the lowest on the totem pole.
Mateo seemingly owes Teresa his life, which gives him some depth as a character and explains why he was willing to kill people without even blinking an eyelash.
Under all that hair gel, he feels the guilt, too.
Seeing a woman in a stereotypically male role further proves that the Grand Hotel isn’t down with any age-old ideals doesn’t shy away from making decisions that work from a storytelling perspective, and is eager to make political statements.
Just look at the gay wedding that Alicia helped plan with the “groomzilla.”
George admitted that he was acting too crazy about the wedding because he’d waited so many years for this very moment after meeting his partner in the 80s, a time where being out and proud wasn’t as commonly accepted.
The telenovela-drama can tell story’s like this without missing a beat when it comes to the overall mystery they’re telling.
Every story arc is well-developed with each character getting more fleshed out with each coming episode.
Gigi: You told me Mateo was handling the Finn problem. Is this how he handled it?
Santiago: I don’t know.
Gigi: This is what happens when you get in bed with bad people.
The twins snuck Felix into the hotel and though they don’t know it yet, he has an agenda.
He went out of his way to stage a reunion with Gigi just to tell her that Santiago was the man who turned him over to the feds all those years ago.
If this is true, it makes Santiago a much more compelling villain then I’d previously assumed.
We’ve been led to believe that Santiago and Gigi got together after Beatriz’s death, but according to Felix, Santiago had his eye on Gigi and did everything he could to get him out of the picture.
Did Santiago break her family up?
And is he responsible for Beatriz’s death, too?
Santiago doesn’t have what it takes to do the work, but he does have what it takes to get someone to do it for him.
He only came clean to Gigi about his involvement with Mateo and his people because she backed him into the corner.
Who knows what he’s capable of doing? It’s always the ones who don’t get their hands dirty who are to be feared most.
It’s unclear whether or not Gigi believes Felix or Santiago, and truthfully, neither should be trusted.
But the fact that she’s already skeptical of Santiago probably isn’t doing him any favors.
But that girl is lost, afraid, and alone, so I’m going to go home, and I’m gonna eat whatever disgusting dish she puts in front of me. Because right now, what Ingrid needs is a friend.
I’m beyond excited for the Santiago and Felix showdown next episode!
Is it possible that Felix is working with Teresa?
Or could it be that Teresa is Danny and Sky’s mother? That’s a telenovela-esque twist I wouldn’t put past anyone.
Ingrid’s an enigma; I can’t quite put my finger around her.
Mrs. P took her in after she found her sleeping in the cleaning supply closet.
It was a sweet gesture ushered in by her experience of how going through a miscarriage feels, but Ingrid’s adjustment to life with the Parker’s comes too easily.
She’s like a chameleon, going wherever she sees an opportunity.
Her meal-tickets disappeared with both Javi and Mateo, so she set her sights on Jason and his family.
It would be a shame if she took advantage of them, and much like Mrs. P, I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, but if you watch Grand Hotel online, you’ll realize there was no remorse for lying or even grief for the miscarriage.
I don’t trust her, do you?
What do you think Ingrid’s deal is?
What will Heather do when she finds out Danny’s dating Alicia?
Will Teresa make Santiago pay?