Los Espookys Recap, Season Two Episodr Two: ‘Bibi’s’


Los Espookys


Season 2

Episode 2

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

Photo: Pablo Arellano Spataro/HBO

Los Espookys is not a conformist show. Its characters are renegades, for one. And the show itself, with its flights of surrealism and head-in-the-clouds point of view, doesn’t follow the standard rules of a half-hour comedy, either. (Calling Los Espookys a “sitcom” feels brain-bogglingly wrong.) But this week, our crew — sans Úrsula, who, as established last week, is the Espooky most likely to hold up under CIA torture — is flirting with the idea of following the rules.

Tati, as is her way, is so far ahead of the curve it’s bending back in the opposite direction: She’s embraced the idea of being a an upper-class housewife, down to the pearls, florals, and dripping condescension toward her sister when she tells Úrsula, “No one likes men, but everyone needs a husband.” (Post-fourth wave anti-work bimboism in a nutshell.) And she does have the right mindset: Like many of the idle rich, Tati has a remarkable ability to attribute to merit that which is actually a handout, like when she tells Úrsula that she “won” the money that Úrsula was throwing in the bushes at the park, like a glorified game of fetch. She can also … cook? Sort of? Juan Carlos’s friends seem happy enough with their (gag) “gazpacho,” and although I’m pretty sure the “sweets” were small rocks and shiny beads, she did hide them inside the carrots quite well.

But even that’s not enough to override the whims of Juan Carlos, who goes from praising Tati to demanding a divorce within a matter of seconds. This is the part that the tradwife TikTokers won’t tell you about — if you arrange your life so that a rich man pays for everything, then that same rich man can toss you aside whenever he feels like it, whether you’re willing to drop to your knees in semi-public spaces or not. Tati lives her life failing upwards, so we can only assume that she’ll make out big in the divorce settlement.

And that opens the door to the most traditional sitcom-style reset the show seems to be setting up: a reunion between Juan Carlos and Andrés, who is at this point openly pining for the “golden cage” of spangled juice boxes and in-ground pools (none of this above-ground mosquito-trap nonsense) he used to hate so. No one should expect Andrés to actually live with new love interest Nico and his four roommates — a concept that, like grocery shopping, doesn’t seem to have occurred to Andrés until this very moment. But it remains true that, like his soulmate, Frutsi (Renaldo’s family dog, to whom Andrés bids farewell by saying, “remember to misbehave”), Andrés needs someone to feed him and bathe him and clean up after him when he poops on the rug. And honestly? Finding a new rich man to provide all these things sounds hard. 

Renaldo, meanwhile, is typically uninterested in matters of the heart — a recent article in Pride teases that Renaldo is somewhere on the ace spectrum, and the pressure from his mom to meet a nice girl (even if it’s just so she can give a PowerPoint presentation) seems likely to intensify, and eventually lead to some sort of epiphany. Renaldo hates disappointing his mom, the daughter of the woman his mom runs into sometimes at the hair salon, and the ghost of the beauty-pageant contestant who keeps appearing to him at inconvenient times. You could even call him a pushover, given how weakly he protests when first Andrés, and then his cousin, kick him out of his own bed.

The Bibi’s job is a compromise as well: For a group of proud outcasts — particularly Úrsula, whose precocious stubbornness once took her all the way to the Royal Spanish Academy to argue why “ll” should not be its own letter — to take on a job where they’re scaring children into obedience seems out of character. That being said, they do get to terrify some children with their teacher’s morbid and very creative plan to introduce and then promptly kill off a fuzzy unicorn-rabbit monster who hatches from a giant egg into the classroom, which brings its own pleasures.

There is a sharp, satirical, righteous anger under the surface of “Bibi’s,” however: anger toward business jargon, job interviews, unpaid internships, the casual objectification of women, the government, and rich dickheads in polo shirts and khakis who think they’re better than everyone — worthy targets all. Although Andrés’s Water Demon has moved on to a job at the American embassy, and the Ambassador herself successfully drowned her reflection at the beginning of the episode, we’re only two episodes in. That means that creativity and horror have plenty of time to triumph over conformity and stupidity — if Sonia’s dark powers of brattiness don’t envelop everything like the Nothing in The NeverEnding Story first.

• The costumes this week are inspired, but I also have to give a shoutout to the pink fur lining of the Ambassador’s boat.

• I also wanted to give a shoutout to River Ramirez for her performance as Sonia this week: Her little head-bop when Tico took her picture at “Niagara Falls” was inspired.

• The whole Bibi’s storyline reminded me very much of Japanese mascot culture, which puts a cute, friendly face on everything from regional delicacies to professional associations to COVID-19 travel bans. The delightful Twitter account @mondomascots keeps track of their comings and goings.

• Not that it wasn’t unsettling, but I honestly expected weirder from Tati’s bedroom. Andrés didn’t check under the bed …

• The bilingual nature of Los Espookys gives the show some unique opportunities for language-based humor — which, as a onetime ESL teacher, I find extremely amusing. This week: Someone actually uses the sentence “The book is on the table” in context!

• The show also uses these opportunities to roast Americans for refusing to learn more than one language, which — fair. “Your English is so weird!!” cracked me up.

• “There’s no better way to be respected and show your value than to work for free!”

• “They’re very sophisticated people, they all earn points at the supermarket.”

• In an episode full of odd details, Pony going to see The Lion King in the theater was one of the odder ones. Was it a time warp? Another dimension? Is the live-action remake (LOL, remember that?) still playing on a single screen in Los Espookys’ alternate version of Mexico City?

• This week in Tati time: “I want to decorate the egg.” “I already decorated it.” “The egg she just made up?” “Yes.”

If none of these words means anything to you, don’t worry about it. Seriously.

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