Dia De Los Muertos
What happens at the costume party?
Episode 5 of With Love begins after Lily and Santiago have broken up. He’s a mess, sitting inside and chilling while she’s out at parties, hooking up with random guys. She’s there with Annie, who quickly points out that Santiago has surprisingly just arrived.
With Lily dressed as an angel and Santiago in devil attire, he’s not happy about her trying to “steal” his friends. Things inevitably grow heated, and as they continue to fight, they eventually rasp that this was a mistake (referencing this night and the relationship as a whole). Now, we haven’t actually see much of this post break-up stuff, especially the jump between Independence Day and coming up to Dia De Los Muertos
It’s November 2nd and Jorge Sr. is sleeping on the sofa. He and Beatriz are barely talking, and you can feel the tension in the air.
Meanwhile, Jorge is chilling in LA with Henry. He’s certainly not loving it and it’s been a long time since he’s seen his family. When Henry makes plans for Thanksgiving for them, deciding they should meet up with his folks there instead of heading back to Portland, Jorge smiles weakly but is clearly not enthused by the idea.
Communication Is Key
Out in the streets, Lily runs into Michael. He’s engaged and ready to get married while Lily is very far from that. However, he does call her centered and admits that it’s a good look for her. Now, it turns out she genuinely doesn’t care that he’s getting married, which shows how far she’s come in a little under a year.
Excitedly, she rings Jorge as the pair talk about what’s going on. And just like that night at Christmas when Lily struggled to open up and tell Jorge the truth, he too does the same thing for her. He keeps quiet about the angst he’s feeling ad congratulates her on the good vibes she’s channeling.
Off the back of this, Lily shows up at Nick’s place. He’s certainly buffer than before but they decide to go back to being friends, burying the hatchet.
Meanwhile, Marta and Luis suss out that Jorge Sr. and Beatriz are going through marital problems. So naturally, in order to force them to work things out, they lock the pair inside a storage unit to talk – properly. Only, in doing so Jorge Sr. ends up having a heart attack.
Does Jorge Sr. die from a heart attack?
Everyone scrambles to the hospital to make sure he’s okay, as the first part of contrived drama seeps into this show. When Lily shows up, she’s shocked that Beatriz and Jorge Sr. are having problems in their marriage. Wait, didn’t Santiago literally tell her last episode? How is this a surprise to her? Anyway, Lily is soon joined by Jorge and Henry who grab the next flight over.
With all the family gathered, they learn that Jorge Sr has made it through and survived his ordeal. Teary eyed, Beatriz admits she’s really sorry as Jorge opens up and reveals that he does love her. He’s just let his pettiness get in the way. (And a contrived heart attack to force the issue of course.) Anyway, it does the trick and the pair decide to make a good go of it.
Now, in the wake of all this truth-telling, Jorge opens up to Henry and admits the truth. He’s not enjoying LA and wants to move back to Portland. Henry admits that he misses Portland too and with the pair now communicating properly, they’re stronger than ever.
What happens with Sol?
Now, one character we haven’t seen a lot of here is Sol. Her subplot is pretty simple but it revolves around honoring her loved ones and encouraging Charlie and Miles to join her. Initially she’s reserved over this but eventually Sol does open up and invite them in.
How does With Love end?
Santiago makes a big romantic gesture, heading up to see Lily on the rooftop and deciding he can’t live without her and admits that she’s a miracle. As the pair smile and kiss, we get a big happy ending with a neat bow wrapped around all of these issues.
Anyway, speaking of a gift-wrapped box, we jump forward to Christmas Eve and see our family gathered together and enjoying themselves. It’s a happy ending all round, as we come full circle in this dramatic and eventful year.
The Episode Review
This show is in desperate need of another 2 or 3 episodes to flesh everything out and cut out the contrivances. And contrivance is the big word of this episode.
Given I was singing the praises of this show for bucking the trend and not slipping into cliches, this episode is absolutely chock full of them for the ending.
It takes a heart attack for Jorge and Beatriz to realize what they’ve been missing, while we’re led to believe these two have spent the better part of 4 months living together, barely talking, and not raising any suspicions with the kids?
And what’s with Lily being so shocked over her parents not doing well? Santiago literally told her last episode. Surely her reaction should be something a little more reflective and surprised like “Wait, Santiago was right?! You guys fought outside my apartment?”
Meanwhile, Sol and Nick are completely under-utilized this chapter. The holiday itself feels like a weird one to end on in truth, and with the theme of death so prevalent, I genuinely thought they’d go the route of killing off Jorge Sr to show how precious life is and having all our characters assess their lives and make big changes for the better. Alas, that’s not the case.
With Love started brightly, simmered in the middle and then ended with a really rushed climax. And speaking of rushed, what’s with the Santiago and Lily subplot? They’re clearly not right for one another and want very different things in life.
Lily wants to get married while Santiago wants to stay living together. Their outlook is very different over the future and although that could work, it’s also very likely to fail too. I’m trying not to be too doomy-and-gloomy though, especially as these two do have good chemistry together.
Whether we’ll receive a second season for this or not remains to be seen but With Love has been an enjoyable – albeit slightly flawed – series.