The final season of Vida opens on a high note. Emma is enjoying her relationship with Nico and Lyn hers with the Councilman Rudy. The Councilman even asking Lyn to meet his mother! The bar is on the rise winning rave reviews from the local press. On the other side of town, Johnny is adopting to, but enjoying fatherhood. While Mari is crashing at the garage but nabbed a new job. Of course, this is Vida, so you know the good times will not roll! The season premiere brings out skeletons like it was Día De Los Muertos, delves into DACA matters and explores issues of identity only a second generation Latinx’er can tell you about.
Eddy seems to still be on the outs with Lyn and Emma, while she’s retrieving some belongings with Rocky, the subject of Lyn and Emma’s father comes up. Even Rocky, who is no fan of Lyn and Emma feels Eddy should come clean and let them know their dad is alive. However, Eddy’s not prepared to speak to them. Her solution? She will write them a letter to let them know. Looks like we now have the first bomb to be dropped this season.
Back at the bar, it seems like the protest that marked the Season 2 Finale, has not simmered. Los Vigilantes are still on the grind. The members of Los Vigilantes have painted coconuts over the faces on the bar’s mural and continue to protest outside. As Lyn and Rudy pull up to the bar, they are greeted with cat calls of “Coconut Barbi”.
While Lyn, Emma and Nico are inside, Los Vigilantes take things closer to the bar. Emma wants to call the police, but Lyn and Nico talk her down. But internally it seems all is not well with the group. As they recap the protest, they also throw shade at one of their own. Proceeding to give Mari a hard time for how she handled herself at the protest at the bar and accusing her of leaving Yoli out to dry.
Just at that time, in saunters Yoli. Her and Mari reconcile – sort of – Yoli tells Mari, she has no intention of taking her foot off the gas against her protests at Vida. And that if they think about calling the police on her and jeopardizing her DACA status “they will be scorched earth”. Mari goes off to see Emma to give her a heads up, but also smooth things over. She tells Emma that they have no intention of stopping the protest but pleads with Emma not to call authorities. Notifying her that Yoli is a DACA recipient and any arrest can put her in jeopardy.
Emma is infuriated, accurately pointing out that Yoli can continue to agitate Lyn and Emma but face no consequences. She closes by telling Mari that Emma’s father was also undocumented. And that she’s not a monster, she wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize Yoli’s status.
This scene really shows Vida at its best. Personalizing the current issues surrounding immigration and doing so from a point of view rarely explored in television.
Over at Mama Rudy’s things do not start on the right foot! First Lyn shows up in the wrong attire. She failed to get the memo from Rudy about the party requiring cocktail attire, so shows up in a sundress. A point Mama Rudy is all too happy to comment upon. Oh, and then she chastised for not being fluent in Spanish.
Things don’t get better from there. As Lyn tries to mingle with Rudy’s colleagues the divide between being a native of Mexico and Mexican American becomes apparent. Lyn retreats in embarrassment. Only to stumble upon a fellow party goer who unwittingly gives her a piece of advice for dealing with her predicament. Lyn manages to make a comeback and enthrall fellow partygoers. Mama Rudy observes and doesn’t seem very happy about it.
Once again, Vida creator Tanya Saracho shows what makes this show unlike any other on television. Many a second generation Latinx can identify with being told “Your not ______ enough.” (Feel free to insert your ethnicity). Whether you are Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican you name it, drama can be found surrounding an American born Latinx fidelity to their native country. Saracho finds a natural way to weave it into the narrative.
Back at Vida, Emma is about to leave the apartment after a night with Nico when she comes upon Eddy leaving the letter. As Eddy gives Emma the letter, she tells her “Just know, I’ve seen him with my own eyes”. Emma reads it and blank stare overcomes her face. We later cue to her sitting at a bus stop waiting for Lyn. She shares the letter. After Lyn reads it same blank expression overcomes her face. And so, ends Episode 17.