Episode 4 of Heirs to the Land (Los herederos de la tierra) Season 1 begins with Hugo’s baby, Mercé, getting baptized. Hugo asks after his sister again, but the priest says she has been transferred to another convent. He won’t say which one.
Barcha surprises Hugo with news that a one-eyed man has come to see him. This is, of course, Mateo. He comes on behalf of his lord Roger Puig, who has been appointed royal knight by the new monarch, King Martin.
He is surprisingly civil, asking–or rather, ordering–Hugo to be Roger’s palace cellarman. Not having much of a choice, Hugo begins the job, and he’s able to pick up a lot of gossip about cargo that Roger is selling.
At the palace, a woman catches his eye, and Mateo warns him not to look. She is Caterina, Roger’s favorite mistress.
When Hugo gets home, he finds Mercé with a high fever. He takes her to Regina, who takes care of her. Regina asks if he still thinks about Dolca. In all this time, she wonders if he’s ever thought about her. She invites him to stay with her; her husband won’t be back until dawn. He stays, and so starts the beginning of their affair.
Hugo gets more information about routes, but Mateo catches him asking a lot of suspicious questions. He’s keeping a close eye on his old enemy.
Roger later calls him in to discuss business. Important nobles are visiting, and he wants Hugo to best their wine offerings.
Hugo wants some small form of revenge against Roger. So, he buys terrible wine to serve the nobles. The man he buys from has a young daughter named Eulàlia that Hugo is taken with.
Hugo makes his special wine for Roger. He adds aqua vitae and macerated fruits to add flavor, and sand to hide the impurities of the cheap wine.
Regina surprises him during this process. She asks him questions about Roger’s palace. She would love to be part of his court, serving his wife and the dames. He tells her his plan to serve Roger cheap wine.
After Regina leaves, Barcha tells Hugo she doesn’t like Regina. She thinks he should be with someone more like Eulàlia, the young girl of Jofre’s. Hugo thinks she is too young.
Roger’s dinner goes well, and the wine is a hit. The visiting nobles bring Roger a gift–two dancers.
Mateo orders Caterina from the lord’s bedchamber. Roger wants to be with the dancers tonight. Hugo witnesses Caterina being expelled from the chamber.
Later, Hugo is paid handsomely for his wine and even overhears more plans for Roger’s cargo. That night, he goes to Regina. He needs to take revenge on Puig, so he wants her to write a letter for him to Bernat. He tells her his whole plan.
As a result, Mateo brings news to Roger that they lost a ship because Bernat boarded it, plundered the cargo, and sank the ship.
When Caterina next comes face-to-face with Roger, she demands to know why he’s taken away her privileges. He says she doesn’t please him anymore and gives her over to Mateo.
Mateo takes him into her chamber and rapes her while Hugo stands outside. After, Hugo calls Regina to help treat Caterina’s many injuries.
The next scene skips several years. Mercé is now a young girl, but Eulàlia has grown into a young woman. Hugo asks her father for her hand in marriage. He gleefully accepts. Barcha takes this to mean that Hugo needs to break up with Regina.
Hugo’s business is still thriving. It becomes harder to get information about Roger’s routes, but he is still able to gather important intel at the beach. He asks Regina to write him one last letter for Bernat.
Regina is asked to the palace to treat Roger’s wife. Roger comes in and notices her. He touches her breast and remarks on her beauty.
Hugo has to pay a bridewealth in order to marry Eulàlia. He doesn’t have the cash, so he signs over a portion of his vineyard.
He later overhears Mateo’s plan to have slaves spread false rumors about cargo routes all over the beach. Hugo knows he’s been fooled, and he’ll be found out if Bernat attacks the wrong ship or his letter is found.
So, he rushes to the beach. He finds a boat headed for Valencia, where Bernat is, and he gets on it.
Regina continues to take care of Roger’s wife. The lady asks Regina about her religion. She admits that she never felt Jewish. She feels more drawn to Christianity. Above being a Jew, she says she’s a person, a woman, a doctor. She’s tired of being persecuted, of being a Jew. Roger’s wife says her devotion is deserving of baptism.
Meanwhile, Hugo arrives in Valencia. He warns Bernat and gives him correct information. He makes his old friend promise not to kill anyone when he takes the ship. They catch up, and Bernat provides him with quick transportation back to Barcelona.
When Hugo returns to Roger’s palace, he finds that King Martin is visiting. Roger goes over military plans with the king.
Mateo interrupts to bring him news of his ships. His ship was ambushed, and everyone on it was killed. Roger goes to the cellar and suddenly punches Hugo so that he falls backward. “You’re the traitor,” he accuses him.
Mateo had informed him that Hugo frequently asks questions about the cargo routes. Roger orders that he be locked up. As soon as the king leaves, he will deal with him personally.
The episode ends with Hugo being thrown into prison.
The Episode Review
Risk-taking and high stakes escalate the drama in this episode, ultimately resulting in Hugo’s trickiest situation so far. It’s curious how Roger found out that Hugo was the traitor. Was his arrest simply based off Mateo’s suspicions? Or perhaps Regina confessed his secrets?
The series has not been subtle about its push for viewers to distrust Regina. The only ‘heinous’ thing she has done is cheat on her husband (which Hugo is equally complicit in, I might add). But I believe Dolca’s comment about her not being a good person is supposed to ring in our minds.
Hugo’s new job at Roger’s palace is good for the story. It’s created a lot of tension and has finally pushed Hugo to act on his promise of revenge.
There are way too many coincidental instances of Hugo overhearing confidential plans. (Why does everyone decide to stop right beside the cellar to discuss cargo routes?) But, at the very least, these scenarios move the story along at a quick and engaging pace.
While the overall story of this episode is an improvement on the last two, this installment still fails to justify its treatment of women. Both rape scenes so far have only been framed in the way they have affected Hugo. In these scenarios, he somehow gets to be both hero and victim.