Plaza De Nada
We begin the season 1 finale of Coyote with Dante in Mexico, 2005. Damasco takes Dante away from his friends and brings him up to Boyle Heights for a brand new life. He tells Dante no more games and brings him into the cartel business. Diego then takes Dante out trick or treating. When he comes back with candy, he and Damasco come to blows over the harsh life lessons he gives.
Back in the present, Ben leaves a note on the back of Holly’s business card, presumably for Homeland Security. He then heads up to the vineyard and talks to Damasco. He needs to go to San Diego and bring the guns back to him. In order to get permission, he needs to go through Diego.
Ben eventually heads up and speaks to Diego, asking for permission to take Frank’s body back with him to give Katie and Jill closure. Diego refuses, although he does grant Ben permission to go back and see his family. Before that though, Diego introduces Ben to his whole family – including his cousin, Silvia.
Ben walks away, unhappy with Silvia given she’s part of the family, and heads back to America. Jill is beside herself with worry and Ben tries to do his best to console her. Only, with Frank gone it’s hard for Ben not to feel guilty. That guilt turns to suspicion though when Katie mentions Javi heading out with cement a while back, claiming the house was “nearly done.”
Holly receives photos regarding Damasco and learns that he’s one of the bosses in the cartel. As Holly asks exactly how he got stateside, the real question lies with exactly how Ben managed to take him back down to Mexico.
Anyway, Dante is finally invited into the family as a proper cartel member. Damasco toasts to his promotion too, telling Dante it’s an honour to have this sort of deal on the table. That evening Dante receives a call from his associate as we learn they’ve put a tracker on Ben’s truck.
Ben follows clues left behind from Javi to an abandoned warehouse. He manages to break in through the front gate, learning the combination for the lock from Javi’s papers, and begins looking around. In fact, he finds a tunnel leading deep underground nestled in the middle of a broken down bus.
With shell casings lining the floor, Ben ditches the glass shards this time and just heads straight in. Unfortunately he comes across a locked steel door that just won’t budge. However, what he does find is a bag holding a severed head. Is this Javi? Well, as he heads back up to the surface, Ben’s held at gunpoint by Dante’s righthand man.
It seems as if these tunnels lead straight into Mexico as Ben rocks up in front of Dante in the next scene. He mentions the gun shipment Javi was supposed to move and it gets Dante thinking, believing a coup is going down within the family. For now, he lets Ben go.
Ben Clemens is arrested when he shows up at the Border Patrol office and taken away in handcuffs. While this is going on, Dante approaches Damasco and asks about the guns. In fact he and Damasco butt heads over the guns, with Dante giving him an ultimatum – tell Diego about the guns or he will.
Back in the US, Ben eventually finds himself in the company of Holly. She questions him about the dead Mexican Sicarios, his hand in freeing a Mexican cartel boss and stealing a truck too. She has a lot of evidence against him but Ben claims not to have anything to do with the two dead ICE agents.
Anyway, he then offers himself up as an informant to help Holly take down the Mexicans. With Ben given a lifeline, the series ends on a cliffhanger that’s likely not to be resolved unless by some miracle CBS renew this one.
The Episode Review
Coyote started with a whimper and it finishes with an annoying cliffhanger ending and lots of unresolved plot threads. The entire story here is held back by a difficult protagonist to root for, mired in racism and breaking the rules.
While I know some will debate that first point, the fact Ben shows so much remorse over the ICE agent deaths he caused compared to the five Mexicans just reinforces what sort of character he is. That’s before mentioning the first Mexican he killed, completely covered up with Javi and with the entire force seemingly in on it. Hardly a great start for our big hero.
It also doesn’t help that Ben knows barely any Spanish despite working as a guard for 32 years. This, again, is only made worse by the border being shown to be incredibly easy to cross. After all, how did Ben make it back to Mexico with Damasco? To top it all off, we end things with an unsatisfying cliffhanger and Ben not facing any repercussions for his actions.
For a show that began with a race to find Maria and bring her back to Mexico, the fact this main plot line was completely dropped in favour of the coyote and cartel storyline is pretty disappointing, especially given there was an opportunity here to really help Ben’s character grow and understand Mexico a bit better. Instead, he continues through with stark indifference.
Unfortunately Coyote is not one to remember, and to go along with the contrived storyline is a cliffhanger that’s likely not to be resolved. What a shame.