This is a very big Premiere Week for us and Telemundo, with another new MegaNovela that premiered last night – “Enemigo Intimo” (“Intimate Enemy”), which stars Raul Mendez, Fernanda Castillo, Guillermo Quintanilla and Diego Soldano!

Only in a telenovela can you go from Swiss banks to Mexico to a murder in the nightclub in a co-ed prison, all in the same hour, which pretty much sums up why I am so addicted to them. Telenovelas, that is. Not co-ed prisons.

Raul and Fernanda play a brother (Captain Alejandro Ferrer) and sister (Roxana Rodiles) who were torn apart as children, and now don’t recognize each other as adults. Not to sound like “Monk,” but Here’s What Happened:

When Captain Alejandro and “Roxana” were little kids, that was not her name, and they lived with their parents somewhere in the desert. Alejandro and his little sister were very close; he was crazy about his little sister, and he showed it by giving her a reptile of her very own.

One tragic day, in a horrifying scene that did not involve the reptile, their parents were slaughtered, and the killers took Alejandro’s little sister away. The bloody arm of the man holding her hand was wrapped in the tattoo of a gigantic snake, so I cannot wait to see whose arm that is. But we are going to have to wait a while for that… or maybe not!

25 years later, Alejandro is a Captain in charge of a super-efficient police department, with gigantic television screens, high-tech surveillance equipment, and plenty of avant-garde crime solving techniques, but he has never forgotten his sister.

Unfortunately, his little sister has forgotten it all, and has become the ultra-sophisticated, super-glamorous and Tres-beautiful globetrotter Roxana Rodiles, for whom every day is like a Vogue assignment, as she catwalks through Europe, spreading her boyfriend’s money around. I don’t know who raised her after they killed her parents, but I am definitely convinced charm school was involved, and there weren’t a lot of after-school snacks.

Captain Alejandro has been on a tear, trying to destroy a big cartel and drinking a lot of coffee, and he made some headway when he and his troops killed the beloved son of the head of that cartel, who doesn’t look too thrilled with the son he has left.

Somehow, in his investigation (which as far as I could tell involves a lot of yelling at people and mocking them) he figured out that the money launderer for the cartel is the regal Frederico Montalvo (Diego Soldano) whose girlfriend ROXANA, it just so happens, is on a whirlwind tour of Europe, giving his millions away to small African nations and depositing some in Swiss banks along the way. Interpol is sent to find her, and she should have been pretty easy to spot because she was the only gal in Geneva driving a DeLorean. Roxana made it home, but was not free for long.

Meanwhile, while Roxana is flying home, Captain Alejandro is working very hard on getting a search warrant for Montalvo’s castle. The judge is very reluctant to grant the warrant because that will make his boss, Mr. Montalvo, very mad at him. Alejandro and his mentor sort of shame the judge into signing it, but as soon as he does and the police leave, the judge pulls his secret phone out of his cabinet and calls Mr. Montalvo to warn him that 5-0 is on the way.

Mr. Montalvo, who is in the same house as Roxana, does not warn her, and she gets arrested while Mr. Montalvo escapes. It is hard for me to tell why he didn’t warn her, but I think it might be because she either gave too much of his money away, or a DeLorean was never discussed. If you ask me, she should have known the bloom was off the rose when she came home from her European adventure and they ate dinner sitting at opposite of a dining room table that was approximately one city-block long.

In any event, the episode ends with Captain Alejandro putting Roxana in handcuffs while she gives him the same little-sister puppy-dog eyes she used to give him as a child when he gave her a lizard for her very own, but they don’t recognize each other.

But before we get to the end there is one more thing to discuss, and that is the Co-Ed prison which I cannot get enough of. There are Male Dorms and Women Dorms, and although they are not supposed to be in each other’s rooms after Midnight, the Warden runs a pretty loose ship so the inmates don’t burn the place down.

If you ask me, that warden knows what he is doing and is pretty much giving them Snow in Winter, because the women have the most and worst facial tattoos and are so unpleasant that even in prison I am not sure they could get a date.

The male prisoners are led by my hero Guillermo Quintanilla, who plays an inmate named “El Guillotina.” Guillermo always creates memorable characters and El Guillotina is no exception. With his gigantic moustache, tinted aviator glasses and the Greatest Nickname Ever, El Guillotina rules the school. His counterpart in the Women’s Dorm is “Zoraida,” who is actually scarier because everyone knows that women are meaner than men.

And the icing on the cake? The nightclub in the middle of the prison. A nightclub. In prison. At this point if you are not watching telenovelas you might want to check your pulse.

The headliner at the prison nightclub is, or was, “La Dulcita.” You could tell she was a big hit with all of the inmates and that’s not just because her prometido El Guillotina made everyone applaud for her. She was a very good entertainer, with costume changes and everything.

I could not figure out if she was another inmate or brought in just to perform for the troops. Or inmates. But it doesn’t matter anymore, and here is where, for one brief glorious moment, this telenovela turned into a film noir, because someone killed La Dulci, The Nightclub Singer. The Gilda of Cell Block 8. She was killed in her own Prison Nightclub Dressing Room. Isn’t that always the way in the old movies? Someone kills the nightclub singer, and it’s up to her flawed, tough-as-nails boyfriend to solve the crime?

Well a devastated Guillotina may be better at crime than crime-solving, because instead of doing anything helpful, he is leading a riot against the warden, and they are burning their own furniture, including the velvet ropes used to keep the riff-raff out of the VIP section at the Prison Club, Studio Cell Block One. How’d you like to work the line at that club? Imagine asking people if they are “on the list?”

All this, in only one hour? Do you see why I love telenovelas so much?!?!?

Let’s watch this Telenovela together!

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