“Vida” Season 3 Episode 4 Recap

This is a woman with raised arms and head tipped towards the sky with pink-ish, violet, blue-ish hue. A faded show of a body appears behind her. There is a diluated, washed effect of the image and the shadow such that it looks like the woman is been evangelized. It is used to illustrate Lyn's awakening into religion in episode 3, season 4 of Vida.
Eugenia Maximova

“In God’s eye’s you are already enough. You’re perfect.”

This episode of Vida was perfect. Almost every one seems to be improving. The sisters switched roles and so Lyn (Melissa Barrera) was the calm stable figure while Emma (Mishel Prada) was unhinged. But it was so enjoyable to watch Lyn finally awaken.

The change started off with Lyn and her boyfriend Rudy (Adrian Gonzalez), hot and heavy with early morning sex. Since he was partial to pegging, she tried something new—an old trick that worked with past lovers that she thought would surely give him more pleasure—but he reacted pretty harshly and immediately stopped everything to express how upset he was. This startled Lyn since she’d been very careful during their entire relationship to please him and make sure she wasn’t offending him or his family. She’d taken on this responsibility of saving face since she didn’t want to be an embarrassment to him and became scrupulous about her image—always giving the best of herself. Still, she felt like it wasn’t enough for them. But Rudy didn’t listen or seem to care when she was clearly upset and decided to focus on connecting her with his mother instead. So he encouraged her to ask his mother to borrow some centerpieces for a birthday party that she was throwing for Marcos (Tonatiuh Elizarraraz).

Rudy’s mother used the party to test Lyn. First she stopped speaking Spanish to speak to her in English, almost to suggest that she thought Lyn would be too dumb to understand (even though Lyn already said she understands Spanish). Then diminished Lyn’s business as a silly past time to entertain her before she married her son. She was drawing a line so that Lyn would know where she stood when it came to the role of women in their family as if to say: You’re not good enough as you are so, either you change or you go. To test her further, maybe suspecting that she would fail, she gave her an expensive family punch bowl.

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Concerning relationship issues, her father came handy. “In God’s eye’s you are already enough. You’re perfect,” he reminded her. Citing biblical quotes, he tells her, “she is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future … don’t let your past define you.” It’s important because it instigates her renewed identity; his words are so meaningful and instrumental to Lyn, she carries his message with her for the rest of her day.

All the while, during Lyn’s drama and resolution to become different, another person was also discovering new insights about themselves and shaping their future. Mari (Chelsea Rendon) came to the decision to finally leave her activist group in search of better ways to enforce change for her community. Of course, there’s no hint of what this means exactly. But before, she was thinking about going back to school so she might study towards a career that would enable her to fight for the rights of her people (maybe pursue law?).

On the other hand, Emma decided to seek legal advice in the scenario that their dad decided to try and lay a claim to their business. During her meeting with her lawyer, she learned about the shocking reason why her mother pushed her father away. Turns out that he was abusive.

Emma thought that Lyn was owed the truth about their father so she tried to show her pictures of their bruised mother but Lyn firmly disagreed. “Just let me be steady in my path,” she said. She was eloquent and polite when she explained that she wanted to forgive her father and give him space to be a new person.

Writer Esti Giordani really captured the true essence of Lyn in this episode and gracefully showed her shift in character. For the first time during the entirety of Vida, Lyn really wanted to take the necessary steps to change. She wanted to be in complete control of her actions, peace, and sense of direction and she wanted her environment to reflect that. In contrast, Giordani also showed Emma’s momentary slip well, capturing the fluctuating dynamic between the sisters as Emma fumbles under the influence, shedding responsibilities to be apathetic and distract from the twist, that she is pregnant.

This episode of Vida was important not only because it demonstrated how powerful and significant religion is to Mexicans and minorities at large but also, to show how it can be instrumental in giving people the motivation to straighten up their lives. Even so, this episode showed just how easily people are likely to take advantage of the disfunction of others. Rudy’s mother took advantage of Lyn’s ignorance and precarious position with her son by using tests that are meant to potentially break them up and control her son’s relationships. Marcos took advantage of Lyn’s kindness and created a distasteful and disastrous party in her place of business (remember he could have rented a venue). Also, Nico knowingly took advantage of Emma while she was under the influence and was unable to make a sober decision all so she could get sexual favours.

Yet in the face of all this disarray, Lyn was unmovable in her resolve to be better. Even when her old boyfriend, Juniper (Jackson Davis) was pushing his warped ideas of her identity onto her. She insisted that she wasn’t a chaotic mess and she didn’t allow him to diminish her self-image. So the last few moments of this episode are powerful. When she walked out of the bar to sit on a swing outside and took a moment to look around; seeing a man peeing by the side of the bar and used condoms left on the floor, she woke up and finally saw how destructive her life was before. As she shed her costume, it signified the change to come; she’d finally out grown her old lifestyle and she was shedding her past. Maybe this means she’ll give up Rudy and look for a more compatible and compassionate partner with emotional intelligence or maybe she’ll try being single for a while. Maybe she’ll look for new friends or try on religion; but one thing is for sure, she isn’t the same old reckless Lyn. She is finally ready to crave out her own narrative. Vida is ending strong.

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