Episode 4 of Freeridge begins with a woman standing by the grave of Marisol Martinez. Ruben and Geny come to visit the grave and are shocked to see the woman who looks just like Ruben’s late mother.
It’s Día de los Muertos and Gloria wants everything to be perfect. She nit-picks on everything that Ines does and the latter ultimately leaves home in a huff. Demi reminds Gloria that Cinnamon’s statements were true but it’s been five weeks since they met her and Gloria isn’t concerned. Her life is going well and she’s getting a second chance at breaking the bent arm record.
Demi and Andre have begun to bond over moon phases and numerology. She is now his co-host on his podcast. She suggests the perfect topic during the waning moon period is that of releasing toxic energies. Cam joins them and Andre encourages him to release his grudge against the person who scarred him. Demi makes an excuse for him saying he doesn’t really support the arts. As the conversation continues, Demi gets awkward and leaves. Andre asks Cam what’s wrong and he says that Demi is usually a boundary-pusher but this time she isn’t pushing boundaries and that’s bothering him.
Gloria and Rusty talk about how she’s been practising the bent arm hang. He assures her it’s not stupid that she cares about something, and that’s why he likes her. They’re awkward for a second and then move on. Rusty invites her to a party but Gloria will be at the cemetery all night, honouring her mom.
Andre gets Cam onto his podcast and tells him and Demi to clear the air on it.
Gloria and Ines discuss the ceremony for their mother but Gloria shuts down most of Ines’s ideas. Ines talks about their mother’s favourite things but gets it wrong each time.
At the podcast, Demi and Cam are both incredibly uncomfortable. Demi wants to keep things in the past but Cam doesn’t. Under the guise of talking about a third person, Cam reveals that Demi had said something right after he came out as bisexual — that she could never be with a guy who had been with another guy. Demi denies ever saying that and the two argue.
After Gloria dismisses Ines while planning the ceremony again, she gets angry and says that she’ll go to Rusty’s party instead. Apparently, Javier has already given her permission to go. When Gloria calls him, he tells her that he’s at the cemetery right now as he has to go for an event with Lucia in the night, making Gloria even angrier.
Demi vents to Gloria about Cam’s behaviour but is unable to tell her the full truth. They bump into Ruben and Geny who are panicking after seeing the Marisol-lookalike. After giving them garlands of garlic, Demi fills them in on Mariluna’s invitation. They don’t know who she is as Marisol only had sisters. Demi shows them a memorial website of Marisol that she found online. It was made by someone called Jamal.
The Martinez couple knows who he is. They meet Jamal’s father at his BBQ place. He says Jamal was best friends with Marisol but is currently working for Noel Aroma, a billionaire, and is hard to get in touch with. He and his wife call Jamal through a complicated Rubik’s cube. He tells them that Marisol had a twin sister named Mariluna.
Gloria gloats to Demi about being right that it was not a ghost but a real person. She doesn’t understand why Demi believes in it. Demi says she doesn’t need to understand it, just respect it, and immediately realises she needs to do the same with Cam. Ines is still going to the party and Gloria accuses her of not caring about their mother. Ines says that she’s doing her best and Gloria can’t dictate how she grieves their mother.
Demi visits Cam, who says that he and Andre are good now. Demi then admits that she hadn’t respected Cam’s side of the story. She apologises for the hurt he felt but also defends herself, saying that she would never say that and that it was just a dumb statement. But Cam says that statement devastated him and made him question everything. All of a sudden, Demi kisses him. He pushes her away.
Rusty finds Ines crying in his car. She confesses that her mother’s ceremony means as much to her but Gloria doesn’t understand what it’s like to not remember details about her mother. Rusty says that as long as she keeps trying it’s fine.
At her mother’s cemetery, Gloria tells her mother that things are going great but can’t keep the façade up for long. She breaks down, admitting that she is exhausted and just wants to be a kid. At that moment, her mother’s ghost shows up in front of Gloria. She apologises for not being around but tells her not to be so hard on herself. She advises Gloria to be Ines’s friend and sister rather than her mother. Rusty arrives and Gloria notices the candles in front of her flicker as her mother’s ghost vanishes. He asks if she’s okay and Gloria says she will be.
At home, Gloria sings Depeche Mode’s Enjoy The Silence (their mother’s favourite song) and embraces a tearful Ines. As they hug, she realises that Cinnamon’s statements have come true.
The Episode Review
I’m really surprised at how well this show is bringing together comedy and real emotional intensity. It goes from flippant jokes to confessions and breakdowns in a second and it’s not jarring at all. If anything, the shifts feel realistic and grounded, particularly the scene where Gloria finally breaks down and confesses to her mom that she’s tired of everything.
Her dynamic with Ines is very realistic and their sibling relationship comes across as authentic. The subject of their mother is handled so well and I, personally, love the magical realism touch of her ghost giving Gloria some much needed advice and the growing relevance of Cinnamon’s predictions.
While I have so far enjoyed Demi and Cam’s dynamic (it’s fresh and subverts expectations in a nice way), I’m not entirely sure about what’s happening now. The core of the issue somehow doesn’t live up to Cam’s reaction to it. As much as statements like the one Demi supposedly made are harmful, the fact remains that they were both kids who simply didn’t know better. After a certain point, I’m not sure how much you can blame a 12-year-old.
You can read our full season review for Freeridge season 1 here!