La Fuerza was the 30th episode of the series. It translates to "The Force."
Teresa flees Europe and starts fresh in Phoenix, Ariz.; she must deal with a commission of cartel bosses and a corrupt local sheriff.
30 miles south of Phoenix, in a diner off of Interstate 18
Teresa rinses her face in a diner bathroom. She joins Pote and James at their booth. James asks her if she's alright and she says that's been a long trip and asks how far it is to her place. He says that it's not far, just up the road. A police car pulls up and Pote points it out; Teresa asks for the check.
James says that his name is Sheriff Mayo and arresting illegals is his favorite hobby. The sheriff enters the kitchen and chases down a Latino kitchen boy. Teresa, Pote, and James leave while he's distracted. Pote expresses concern about this place. Teresa says that they'll make it work.
James says that some of the local players he knows have good distribution but not consistent product. Teresa's decided that they're going to sell on the dark web. Her guy, Ivan, built her a site. She says that cryptocurrency is safer and makes sense, but James thinks that it makes less profit.
He gets them beers from the fridge and asks her what kind of volume they can move that way. Teresa wants to connect with a thousand mid-level dealers, people who can handle a kilo a month, but they never have to meet them, and they can ship through a legitimate front and get paid in crytocurrency.
James gives Teresa the narco landscape of Arizona: The state is carved up by five narcos, called La Comisión: Pecas, Caldezar, Taza, Saucedo, and Bedoya. Nothing comes in or out without their say-so; the power isn't split evenly though. Taza controls the border and everything goes through him. Pecas is the boss and brings in the most product. Teresa plans to ship out of state, so they won't be cutting into anyone's territory. They'll still have to transport through it though, so they need to cut a deal with the corrupt sheriff. About seven miles from James' house is a mass grave filled with bodies of dealers who didn't pay tribute to La Comisión. Trust me, you wanna break into this market? It's gonna cost blood.
Camila Vargas enters her office to find a woman sitting behind her desk, playing with a tarot card. Camila asks what she has there and the woman throws the Muerte card at her feet. Camila removes the woman's veil to reveal Teresa painted with a sugar skull mask. She whispers Teresa.
Camila has a flashback of crows and of Epifaño's death.
The sugar skull Teresa points a gun at Camila's head and fires.
Camila wakes up her bed, breathing heavily. She calls Loya and tells him that she needs him to come right away.
Teresa is watching the news; they're putting up roadblocks to decrease smuggling. The reporter interviews Sheriff Mayo, asking him how he responds to the accusation that he's targeting Mexicans during his sweeps. Mayo calls it common sense policing and says that he's doing the job that voters want him to do. Teresa shuts off her iPad and considers this.
James is working out when Teresa interrupts him. She asks him why, if La Comisión has the sheriff in their pocket, they put road blocks on their routes. James guesses that Mayo wants a bigger cut. She asks him if he can get them a meeting. He says he knows some people and can make a call.
Camila meets with Detective Alonzo Loya, who tells her that the DEA lost sight of Teresa when she was burned in Malta. Camila tells him to dig deeper, and he reminds her that he's still on suspension. Camila gave up 400 kilos of one of Boaz's shipments so he would look good. She breaks a glass in her hand in her anger. He takes her to the bathroom and washes the blood out of her cut. Camila kisses Loya and he tells her that this isn't a good idea. She tells him that she doesn't care and they have sex against the sink.
Pote and Teresa pull up to a vineyard for sale. He asks if they're buying a winery and she says that they can't operate from James' compound and they need a base.
The pair go inside and are greeted by Kelly Anne Van Awken, who hugs Teresa. She begins telling them about the place. She leads them into a backroom which they could use for the cocaine. There's a tunnel that leads off the property "for security."
Teresa thanks her and Kelly Anne waves it off. Teresa asks about Tony and Kelly Anne shows her pictures of him from her phone. Teresa tells Kelly Anne to make an offer on the place.
James calls and tells Teresa that their meeting with La Commission will take place in two hours. She tells him that he's ready.
Cortez reports that the DEA just seized 400 kilos of Boaz's cocaine, and 100 pounds of Mexican brown heroin. Camila says that the Columbians will not be pleased about another seizure, and Boaz bringing in heroin behind their back will not be supported.
Isabela interrupts them and Camila leaves her office to speak with her. She doesn't want Isabela to go to the Widow's March because it isn't safe for her. Isabela wants to go to honor her father's memory, but Camila reminds her that Epifaño would insist on her safety above all. Isabela asks what she isn't telling her, and Camila reveals that she had a nightmare. Isabela says that she's not going to let her do this by herself.
Camila takes part in the March of the Widows and she is attacked and stabbed. When Isabella rushes to her side, it is revealed that the woman stabbed is not Camila, who has anticipated an attack and has prepared a double.
Teresa meets with La Comissión and strikes a deal with them to get rid of Mayo in exchange for letting her transport her product through their territories without being challenged.
Teresa and James send a video of the Mayo abusing a prisoner of color to a journalist and when Mayo intercepts them on the next day, he kills the journalist in front of them to make a point that this is his town. He takes Teresa with him to wait until James gets back with a bribe of $10 Million.
Pote is tasked with delivering the cash which is mainly fake bills while James has taken a sniper position close to the exchange spot. Mayo's man see the fake cash and a pursuit ensues, whereby Pote's hand fails again and he misses a shot. James has to shoot to save Teresa from being hit with an axe by Mayo. Teresa is free while Mayo is taken to hospital in grave condition. James is afraid that if he survives La Commission will come after them. Pote and Teresa have a heart to heart regarding his missed shot and his desire to take a bullet for her.
Ivan and James set up the surveillance of the Winery when the members of La Commission arrive to congratulate Teresa and to welcome her business. When James and Teresa are opening a bottle of wine to toast, Pecas takes a suspicious call outside.
- Teresa Mendoza
- James Valdez
- Pote Galvez
- Sheriff Jed Mayo
- The Charger
- Camila Vargas
- Epifaño Vargas (flashback)
- Detective Alonzo Loya
- Tony Parra (mentioned)
- Reynaldo Fieto (mentioned)
- Pote: I smell pork.
- James: My money's on the sausage.
- Pote: Not there, cabrón. There.
- Teresa: We should go.
- James: Mail order cocaine?
- Teresa: You said you wanted a better way of doing business.
- Camila: Sometimes I wish I had a different life.
- Loya: Sometimes we all do.
- Teresa: Thank you, Kelly Anne.
- Kelly Anne: You kiddin'? God knows where I would be without you.
- Isabela, to Camila: I'm not going to let you do this by yourself. I already lost Papí, I'm not going to lose you, too.
- Pote: Teresita. They hurt me bad in Malta. I've been trying to fix it, but it's just not getting better.
- Teresa: Why didn't you tell me how bad it was?
- Pote: Because I am a soldado. This is all I know. This is what my father raised me to be. If I cannot take care of my patróna, I don't belong here any more than you... than your gobacha. I might not be able to fire a bullet, but I can take one for you. And I will.
- Without Her Love by Ken Lowery
- In the diner off of Interstate 18
- Maruca by Maria Isa
- Boaz's men play soccer
- Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba
- Widow's march montage
- It was produced by QotS's composer Raney Shockne.
- Camila's nana always believed in omens, and she was always right.
- Pote calls James a "gabacho," which suggests that he isn't Hispanic and doesn't speak Spanish.
- There is a two month time jump after this episode.
Writers' Comments on Twitter
- Jorge Reyes tweeted:
- This plan she’s discussing, mail order cocaine, and how it would happen, came out of discussion on how Teresa could be an innovator.
- That amazing makeup job on Teresa was done by our stellar makeup dept head, Jenny Lin.
- A sheriff in Arizona abusing minorities? Couldn’t happen in real life.
- That is how you own a room. Teresa picked up a few things from Camila.
- @ZahnMcClarnon was our first and only choice on the role of Taza. He was amazing in Fargo and he is here.
- Law enforcement going after a reporter...
- There once was this man named Arpaio...
- (in response to) "Where in the world do you find these #icebox heart #law enforcement officials on #QueenOfTheSouth they make #elsanto look like an angel."
- Got his ass kicked by white kids and then took it out on his own people. Yeah, I hate him.
- These guys on the Comision are all badasses. And fun to work with.
- I might be saying it too often, but seeing all these badass women running things is exciting.
- That top room in the safe house is epic. Pay attention. Stuffs gonna happen there.
- Soccer with a severed head. I love Boaz.
- “I can say with reasonable certainty that you decapitated an innocent man.” That Line, and @yanceyarias reading of it, cracks me up.
- Fun fact: every episode this season is named after a tarot card. It’s a theme we have running through the season.
- This cross cut sequence with this song is one of my favorites.
- “I might not be able to fire a bullet. But I can take one for you.” Epic Pote. And a heartbreaking performance by @hemky .
- Ben Lobato: Our #MVPMonday is the amazingly talented #JennyLin! We are so happy to have her make up artistry on #QueenoftheSouth. This is a throwback from Season 3 "La Fuerza" written by Mark Valadez [@mval1107_mark]. We love having you in our #QueenFamilia! @QueenOnUSA #diadelosmuertos