Vida: Season 1/ Episode 4 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Title card for episode 4 of Vida featuring Lyn.

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We finally get to know the details of Emma’s beef with Vida as Mari learns Tlaloc is not a good dude – despite his excuses.


Network
STARZ
Director(s) Rose Troche
Writer(s) Chelsey Lora
Air Date 5/27/2018
Actors Introduced
Jackson Anthony De La Torre
Harper Tru Collins
Aurora Laura Patalano
Little Girl Aaliyah Samara Lopez

The Grand Betrayal: Mari, Tlaloc, Eddy, Emma

So, the worse thing that could happen has come about – Tlaloc filming of Mari giving him head has begun to circulate. Which, of course, is devastating to Mari since he was cute, an activist, and seemed to be on the same page as her. Yet, he is actually a used douche.

But the issues don’t end there for Mari. More places are adapting for new clientele and that includes Vida’s bar. Which, while Eddy may not be down for hipsters, it’s clear Emma doesn’t necessarily care as long as the money comes in. For with her people back in Chicago not being that understanding about her just burying her mom, the pressure is on.

Commentary

Mari coming to terms with Tlaloc recording her giving him fellatio.
“He recorded it?”

First, let’s give a collective finger to Emma’s co-workers because they deserve a shovel to the face, Little Nicky style. Then with Tlaloc, I knew he wasn’t to be trusted. Who the hell films a girl, without their permission, while you are having sex? Ass****s like Tlaloc, that’s who. But, what makes things worse is Mari was ready to defend him when her girl tried to warn her and it was hard to tell if she was going to fall for that okie doke jive he was giving her.

For, and I recognize this is rude as hell to say, I do wonder who besides Tlaloc has checked for Mari in a romantic sense? And I by no means am trying to shame or be an ass myself, but in urban areas, girls like Mari you don’t often see with guys on their arms and getting attention from guys like Tlaloc all that much. So was her defense of him because he might have been one of the few guys to flirt with her and seem cool? If not, perhaps better said, one of the few guys she found attractive enough to offer reciprocity? Never mind get sexual with?

Because, honestly, I do wonder if that is part of the issue Mari has with Emma and Lyn. For skin tone is made into a factor when it comes to how she insults Emma and Lyn. So could it be the fact they are thin and are white looking which bugs her on top of everything else? On top of them trying to gentrify the neighborhood? Not to forget, Lyn repeatedly messing with Johnny’s mind and taking part in him having an affair.

One of Us: Lyn

Being that Emma blocks Lyn from bar decisions, even if they are good ones, like renaming the bar Vida, she decides to go to the nice area of the city – with credit cards in Vida’s name. There she runs into Jackson, this guy with high-class friends, like Harper, and she just enjoys the day. That is, until she sees a Latnix woman, Aurora, who has to clean up after all of her fun. Be it knocking stuff over, someone vomiting, she has to clean that up. Which creates a bit of guilt for, as noted by the creator at the end of episode recap, Aurora is the ghost of life in the future.

After all, Lyn doesn’t have any tangible skills. She doesn’t have financial analyst capabilities like Emma and doesn’t seem to want to work hard. She’d rather live off someone’s dime, pursue passions until they require real work, and basically be a trophy wife type. Yet, if that doesn’t come to pass, considering her relationship with Emma and the lack of one with Eddy, she’ll probably end up in Aurora’s position to survive.

Commentary

Lynn watching Aurora clean up vomit while she is sitting in luxury feeling guilt.

You got to feel bad for Lyn in a way. Like Emma, as much as she may love her home, she either outgrew it or become accustomed to a life not necessarily possible in it. However, she never found a way to sustain her new life on her own. It seems she has consistently remained reliant on someone else footing the bill and her using credit cards in Vida’s name show she doesn’t necessarily have any shame when it comes to that.

Leading to the thought, why did Lyn leave the neighborhood? Granted, she was just over in San Francisco, which may have just been a few hours away, but she was distant from Vida too. So what happened with that relationship? We spend so much time on Emma’s beef that it is easy to forget Lyn didn’t have an ideal relationship with her mom either.

It makes you wonder if maybe she did something to shame Vida. Like maybe get an abortion or something. If not, just a lack of work ethic is why Vida eventually pushed her away and out.

Learned Shame: Emma, Cruz, Eddy

After a bit of an argument with Eddy, as called for daily, Emma decides to peruse the neighborhood to do some market research. That is, see what prices the competition has, amenities, and learn a bit about the crowds. Which leads to Cruz, Emma’s would have been girlfriend back in the day, spotting her and inviting her to her table. One in which we learn there is quite a healthy LGBTQIA community. A diverse one at that.

And maybe, because of Cruz, Emma finally lets her hair down and be who she could have been. A smart, charming young woman who loves to dance. Someone who doesn’t have a very stern persona all the time and can just enjoy herself. Which, for most of the night, she does. To the point any market research she gathered, if a photo wasn’t taken or something written down, might have been forgotten.

Yet, all good things come to an end and for Emma, it is when she realizes her teen crush, Cruz, is starting to get to her heart. So, she has a bit of an anxiety attack and leaves. Leading to her having to take a breather and that girl from before showing up. The one who has yet to be identified but likely represents Vida or someone in their younger years.

Oh, and as for why Emma has a beef with Vida? Well, we know part of the reason is because Vida didn’t support Emma being queer, despite Vide being queer. However, it goes deeper than that. Vida, twice, sent Emma away to Texas. The first time just because she and another girl were touching, kissing. Following that, it was because Vida read Emma’s journals and poems, which were about Cruz, leading to what made her ultimately, unwillingly, be forced away from home again. Even though, as she has shown in bits and pieces, her loving where she grew up.

Commentary

A apparition that haunts Emma.
Aaliyah Samara Lopez

Imagine what good Emma could have done for the community if it wasn’t for Vida. Considering the way she is talked about in Chicago, imagine if she stayed in her neighborhood and used that mind to better the area? But, alas, she got sent off to Texas and then wound up in Chicago eventually. Leading you to wonder, besides her job, is there anything or anyone in Chicago waiting for her to return? We know that the idea of love, possibly because of the damage Vida caused, gives Emma panic attacks. However, what about friends or friends with benefits? I refuse to believe, even if Emma can be an ice queen, there isn’t a Cruz type in Chicago wondering when she will be back.

And while on the topic of Cruz, a part of me would love to hear her coming out story. Emma’s clearly wasn’t good, but was Cruz’s smoother? Also, what about Vida? There remains this need to understand her relationship to Eddy and whether it was romantic or not. Was Vida really suppressed for her whole life and then found Eddy and decided, “Screw it!” Or could it be Eddy was a good worker and with not knowing what her girls would do, she wanted to protect the bar, which has been in the family for more than a generation, so she married Eddy to secure it?

Oh, and lest we forget, what is the meaning behind the child? Since Emma is the only one who can see her, there has to be a direct connection there. Is she seeing the ghost of Vida as a child? The spirit of the neighborhood? Maybe another ghost related to Emma? Who is this child?

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • The whole bar scene with Emma was one shot.
  • The first time Emma was sent to live with her abuelita was at 11.

Highlights

  1. The diverse representation of the LGBTQIA community.
  2. Emma and Cruz, if Emma ever gets past her trauma, one day being together.
  3. It being shown Lyn has good ideas but isn’t much with following through with things.

On The Fence

  1. Poor Mari learning Tlaloc is a f*** boy.

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About Amari Sali 2789 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all. An avid writer, Amari hopes to eventually switch from talking about other people's productions to fully working on his own. Such a dream is in progress to becoming reality.