Grand Hotel Season 1 Episode 9, “Groom Service,” shines some sun on the dark realities of miscarriage and addiction, while seamlessly building on the season-long mystery of what happened to Sky.
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The change in pace and tone is masterful and necessary after the intensity of last week’s Grand Hotel Season 1 Episode 8, “Long Night’s Journey Into Day.”
We get to know some back story about several key characters and that is the kind of drama and intrigue that is appropriate after an emotionally exhausting episode.
The flawless Katey Sagal joins the cast as Big Bad Boss Teresa. We learn that she “saved” Mateo from the street hustle life and he has been paying off that debt ever since.
We also learn that she is all thorn, no bud. Sharp.
Even though she’s seemingly a very terrible person, I don’t feel terrible at all about what Grand Hotel is doing to elevate women characters.
Teresa is a woman who is the boss lording over Mateo, Santiago, and many others as she indicated with her slimy “I own many businesses,” line.
Point being, she is THE boss.
And as she is certain to find out soon, Teresa is not the only boss. On the episode, we meet the clever Detective Ayala played by Christina Vidal. On the original Grand Hotel , this was an older male character. On this show, she is a young Puerto Rican woman.
This is a change-up I can get behind!
Power can come from being really good at your work, not just seniority. Detective Ayala is already proving that her Sherlock-like observation skills (which, let’s be frank, women of color often need to just survive in this world) are going to help Danny move towards justice.
I am greatly looking forward to Danny and Detective Ayala teaming up for a platonic sleuthing relationship.
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Teresa and Detective Ayala are joined by bosses Gigi, Alicia, Yoli, Ingrid and Mrs. P. All these women take care of business.
Even though Ingrid crossed the line by lying to Javi and trying to use him for his money, none of that would have happened if Mateo hadn’t been callous and weak. Also, Ingrid has shown real integrity by admitting her lies and sincerely apologizing for what she did.
I don’t hear her blaming anyone!
This squad of women is unstoppable and it is fun, good plain FUN, to see their different types of strength on Grand Hotel.
I want to highlight one of those shows of strength from the episode: Helen’s conversation about miscarriage with her son Jason.
Helen understands the devastation of a miscarriage because she herself suffered many before getting pregnant with her miracle baby, Jason.
When she shares this information with her son, she doesn’t have a trace of shame in her voice or body language. She shares her story with him for the best possible reason, so he can have empathy for Ingrid instead of centering his own hurt feelings.
Importantly, Mrs. P doesn’t need to see Ingrid crying or showing an outward expression of grief to know that she is hurting.
She simply accepts that Ingrid is a person who has gone through a terrible loss. Ingrid doesn’t have to prove it.
This storyline treats Ingrid’s miscarriage with the seriousness it deserves without delivering the trope of the grieving mother.
Ingrid makes terrible orange fizz casserole in her loneliness.
It is valid, it is charming, and it brings us closer to the characters and the topic of miscarriage.
The show is not a feminist show, exactly. It is just giving us complex characters in this sleek fantasy mystery land, and they happen to be mostly women of color.
This is how it should be and I find myself able to relax into the story and just enjoy the whole thing because I’m not agonizing over the singular representation of women of color.
ABC, we need a second season of this show!
After all, a second season will allow us to follow Javi’s recovery journey and his path back to Ingrid. Addiction is a long-term battle and I want more than a few episodes to explore Javi’s new way of living after rehab.
I mean, I just want many more seasons of Javi, period.
The mystery is heating up for Danny “I Know Where to Put It,” Garibaldi.
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It is less clear than ever how Sky is tangled up in this web of gangsters. But, the people who can provide clarity are coming to the Riveria and the Sky is the limit for the drama that’s about to happen!
Lincoln Younes as Danny is becoming more romantic and Denys Tontz as Alicia is shedding some of her naivete. They are building their power as a couple to take on their family mysteries.
But, not before they get more of that room service. Yum!Room ServiceHOW DARE YOU MESS WITH MATEO’S PERFECT FACE WHILE HE HAS HIS SHIRT ON AND CAN’T DEFEND HIMSELF!I think someone on the show should tease Alicia about her Spanish. It makes sense that she isn’t as fluent as her parents, but it feels odd that no one points it out.Jason and his dad playing video games together after work is a whole millennial mood.Alicia’s sexual appetite is voracious. Consider me charmed.I’d be more interested and excited to see Marisa and Yoil’s and Marisa and Gigi’s relationships than anything to do with Felix. His character just doesn’t do it for me.Those tangerine flowers are perfection!The costume and wardrobe department is nailing it every single week. Gigi’s necklace with the mini blades is PERFECTION and adds to her performance!
What did you think of this episode of Grand Hotel? Share your thoughts in the comments below!