So here’s my take on Episode 2 of the Great GasStationMakeoverNovela “Looking For Frida” on Telemundo!!

Episode 2

It’s a sad day for a mother when she finds out that not only has her perfect teenage daughter staged her own disappearance, ruining her father’s birthday and driving up the cost of police overtime,
but she gave herself a makeover in a gas station bathroom.

And that’s exactly what Frida Pons has done.

She has apparently rejected beautiful clothes, living in a mansion, and a private-school uniform that miraculously makes everyone look BETTER, for a grey hoodie, and having to use questionable bathrooms.

But, as always, in every telenovela where there is a gas-station makeover, she now has great bangs.

When Covid exploded here in Mexico, and I couldn’t get a haircut, I gave myself an Air BNB makeover here in my bathroom using scissors I bought from a paper store in Mexico City. I was confident that I could do it, based upon the multiple gas-station makeovers I have seen in telenovelas.
Inspired, I cut my own bangs.
All I can tell you is that my bangs looked nothing like telenovela bangs, which might be because the foundation is weak – I don’t have telenovela hair.

A long time ago, a friend of mine was reading a romance novel called “The Rich Are Different,” and she kept insisting I read it. And I told her then what I would tell her now – I don’t need a book to tell me something I already know.

And it’s like that for telenovela characters – they are different, and the difference starts with their hair.

Enough said.

So Mr and Mrs Pons are confronted with the fact that Frida seems to have willfully absented herself from her family, and sure doesn’t seem to have been kidnapped from the disco. But that fact matters not to the Pons, or the Police. They are still treating this case like a kidnapping until they have reason to suspect otherwise,
which might have to be a :30 ad in Prime Time from Frida telling her parents that she left voluntarily and was not kidnapped, although even then Mr. Pons would probably insist the police find her because he is the richest man in Mexico City and a very important architect.
Architecture is very important in Mexico City.

But the fact that Frida still looks alive, with a new, edgy look, has definitely taken some pressure off of the Pons Extended Family, which means they can go back to fighting, and behaving as badly as they always do.

For example, one of Mr. Pons’ sisters, Rafaela, is married to Salvador, and they are the parents of two of Frida’s Disco Cousins Tomas and Ingrid.
Mr. Pons other sister, Gabriella, is married to Antonio, and they are the parents of the Kissing Cousin, Diego. They are all hiding Secrets and Lies, which is not easy to do when you live in they middle of the forest, next door to your siblings who you also work with all day.

Let’s start with Rafaela and Salvador – they work together at the Pons Architectural Dynasty, like everyone else in the family. But It’s clear that Rafaela would prefer Salvador stay home with the kids because apparently he is better at laundry than architecture. Rafaela has very severe, super-straight hair, and wears a lot of black, which is how we know she is more interested in her career than her family. Frida’s disappearance has not stopped them from arguing and insulting each other all day, or from trying to claim that they are not better at grocery shopping than their spouse.

The other Pons sister, Gabriela, is more of a free spirit, and we know that because her hair is soft with a loose wave, and her clothes are colorful and unconstructed. Her husband Antonio looks exactly like the President of the Tight-Ass Club, and if I had to guess after just two episodes, I would say that somewhere along the way, the sisters either intentionally switched husbands, or accidentally mixed them up.
Gabriela and Antonio don’t bicker, but don’t seem that interested in each other either. They seem like two people who are seated in the same row in an airplane. Polite, but they’d rather not talk to each other. Their son Diego apparently feels the same way, because he spends most of his time at home either stoned in his bedroom, fist-fighting with his cousin Tomas, making-out with his cousin Frida, or ignoring his cousin Ingrid, Tomas’ sister. But that’s ok, because if this show had a sub-title, it would be “Everyone Ignores Ingrid,” which makes Ingrid a Prime Suspect in her cousin Frida’s voluntary disappearance.

Everyone is a suspect in Frida’s voluntary disappearance except for Frida herself.

So not only is everyone back at work at the Pons Architectural Dynasty the next day (except for Friday’s mom Mrs Pons, who is finding more and more excuses to visit Det. Handsome at the police station, and we know she’s sad because she wears a sweater over her dress).

Gabriela has just welcomed back an old, very handsome friend named Angel Olvera, who she hugged and kissed about a thousand times in front of her husband Antonio, which tells you a lot about their marraige. I am just not sure what yet.
After Gabriela spent all morning kissing Angel, he stopped by her office at Pons Architectural Dynasty, where she started hugging and kissing him again, even though they just broke apart apart an hour before.
Angel also seems to share a secret with Antonio, and it’s not just that his wife likes to kiss Angel an awful lot.

Meanwhile, Mr. Pons has received a mysterious call from a stranger who claims to have Frida, and wants One Million Pesos for her return. He and Mr. Pons called each other “Disgraciada” a lot on the telephone, and then it was a draw. I am pretty sure Mr Pons’ friend and partner got the money out of the company for him to pay the kidnapper, and Mr. Pons didn’t tell the police or his wife that he was about to pay someone 1,000,000 pesos for Frida’s return. I am not sure why that amount was so high, because clearly the kidnapper didn’t spend any money on the kidnapping.

When we last left Episode 2, Mr. Pons and his Briefcase Full of Cash were at an old factory, where the kidnapper insisted they meet. Somehow, the police got wise to the ransom meet, because they are there too. It is quite possible that the only person who is not at the Secret Ransom Drop is the Ransomee herself, La Frida.

Additionally, the police uncovered a message on social media, where someone anonymous (not for long) predicted that Frida would be dead soon. They are investigating that by going to visit Ingrid, which is probably fine by Ingrid because she doesn’t seem to have many friends, and an interrogation is better than nothing.

I have my own theory about why Frida disappeared:

  1. She probably has no privacy because her aunts, uncles, and cousins are always hanging around; and
  2. She has the awful, scary Mexico stairs in her house that are so treacherous that she can never do the Crazy Teenage Girl Storm-Out, because she’d fall going up or down those stairs. (These stairs, that are all over Mexico, are the most dangerous thing in this beautiful and complicated country.)

I predict that when the Pons sisters find out that their beloved brother took $1,000,000 out of the company they won’t be happy. They were teenage girls once themselves, and know that Frida probably isn’t worth it.

Don’t miss Episode 3 tonight!! This novela is off to a great start, and like every great novela, it’s just going to get better!!

See you there!



Telemundo Internacional

Scene of the makeover…
These stairs would drive anyone to run away from home!