We Do Not Discuss The Nation
Episode 3 of Gloria Season 1 starts back at RARET with a phone call. As the camera skips through the building and over to a payphone, Joao rings Ursula’s place but of course, she’s not picking up.
Creepy Ramiro continues to try and pick up Carolina while this is going on, once again offering her a lift home. Joao shows to save the day though. While he walks with her, Ursula’s apartment is bugged with numerous books on Marxism and documents to further solidify her as a dirty agent.
Wilson tasks Goncalo to visit Lisbon as they’re having trouble with their transmissions. While Joao walks through the hallways, he overhears Bill and James talking about Ursula. Now, earlier in the episode we saw Bill at the PIDE headquarters and coming up short when questioning them about Ursula.
He feeds this back to James, confirming that the Portuguese didn’t take her off the streets. Now, we know that it was the KGB and Joao overhears all of this, including a communication within the KGB they’ve intercepted mentioning how “Raposa Branca” has left Lisbon and is heading for Moscow. Long story short, this seems to hint that they know Ursula isn’t the real culprit of the tape switch but is being made a scapegoat.
Joao is wound up tight off the back of this, and snaps at Goncalo on the way to Lisbon with him. Joao calls him out for lying about Mia and demands to know where she is. It turns out Goncalo knew that Mia was leaving, given they were good friends. They used to be addicts together, although Goncalo managed to get himself clean. Mia was also seeing someone else whom he claims se was very happy with. They actually said goodbye to one another too, so it seems like her disappearance was all legit and there’s no conspiracy at work here.
Interestingly, when Joao returns home to his parents – and Alexandre – he learns that Ursula has been “taken care of”. He’s also informed that there’s a PIDE operative working inside RARET. In a funny twist of fate, before Joao finds out, he’s offered the chance to be an informant inside RARET for the PIDE themselves. When he tentatively agrees, he learns that the other undercover operative happens to be Goncalo!
While Goncalo is just a two-bit player, Joao’s family history allows him access to a number of parties which, in turn, gives him the ability to find out a lot more classified information.
Given Joao is the son of the secretary of state, that’s some pretty nice credentials that he holds. Interestingly, when he meets Alexandre later that evening, Joao doesn’t give up Goncalo’s name, feigning ignorance over who the other PIDE agent is.
Joao isn’t the only one interested in Mia though. Alexandre too wants to know what happened to her, and tasks Joao with finding out. It’s clear there’s some distrust here, especially when Irina watches Joao leave, uttering “I don’t trust him,” but we’ll have to wait and see how that plays out going forward.
Poor Cesar feels the brunt of interrogation as he’s questioned over what Ursula knew. When the PIDE find the planted evidence in his apartment, Cesar is taken to Caxias Prison. When Anna and James find out, they decide to make a play to turn him to their side. They intend to enact a “prison break” of sorts and use him as an informant. But will he play ball?
Joao meanwhile, remains conflicted, and doubly so as he tries to track down Mia. Given Mia presumably knows a lot of information about the mission, the KGB are after her and want to give her the same treatment as Ursula. In other words, a one way ticket to the afterlife.
As the episode closes out, we pan across to the shore where a body is found floating on the water. A body belonging to Mia.
The Episode Review
Gloria returns with another good episode, this time deepening the ties for Joao between the KGB and PIDE. There’s a fascinating dynamic at work now, as Joao finds himself essentially working as a double agent, with instructions from both parties. Given he didn’t oust Goncalo as the spy proves that he’s not fully invested with the KGB’s ideas, despite being politicized by them during the war.
Likewise though, his ties with the PIDE are loose at best, and it’s unclear exactly how far he’s going to go with them. Joao’s main drive is finding Mia, but it’ll be interesting to see exactly what she’s been hiding and what information she knows that could incriminate the parties in question.
Gloria has been a good watch so far and although this is a slightly slower chapter, it sets things up nicely for an exciting flurry of episodes to come.