Ever since Emma returned to the neighborhood she grew up in, she’s struggled to find her place. She’s Mexican, but not “Mexican enough” for el barrio. She’s queer (or fluid, anyway), but not “queer enough” for the woman she’s seeing. She’s a grieving daughter, but no one wants to accept how she grieves. And more than that, she’s always pushed into leadership roles because she’s often the only person who has any concept of what needs to get done. She’s the “responsible” one, and she’s the one who has the know-how, and episode 2 is all about this.
Early on in the episode, Emma is seen taking a shower with Cruz—though she’s clearly not enjoying it much. Cruz is affectionate and warm, and definitely wants a level of intimacy from Emma that may not be feasible. We see the look on Emma’s face as she struggles to get clean with her partner in the tub, and the potential disgust she feels when she notices Cruz is peeing in the bathroom while she’s still in there. But the real lack of compatibility is noted in the form of a question: What would you do if I became a zombie? Cruz tells Emma she’d lock her up for good until a cure for zombieism was found. It’s a totally absurd question, but it’s one of those moments where you can tell Emma recognizes their major incompatibility.
Emma struggles further when she meets up with a handyman who mistakes her for an out-of-town white lady. Mr. Nava (the handyman) explains how he doesn’t generally do contracts, and how business is done in their ‘hood. But Emma snaps back with the fact that she is indeed Mexican, did grow up in the neighborhood, but prefers contracts just the same. It’s not the first time Emma is perceived as an outsider in her own home, or as someone who others can’t quite connect with.
Meanwhile, Eddy is also having issues with letting her guard down around Emma. Last season, Eddy had to push back time and again against Emma in order to keep the bar open. This season, Emma is questioning the validity of Eddy’s share of the bar. So when Eddy (who is still recovering from the beating she suffered in the season one finale) accidentally urinates on herself in front of Lyn, Eddy begs her not to so as not to be perceived as weak. Lyn, of course, ends up calling the one guy she really just needs to leave alone (ahem, Johnny), who comes to her and Eddy’s rescue. However, he makes one thing quite clear to Lyn: “You were a detour, Lyn. That’s it.”
When Emma returns, Lyn lets her know just how Eddy feels. This actually seems to resonate with Emma, perhaps because she’s been having a tough time all day as well. So by the end of the episode, we see a shift. Emma goes to see Eddy to remind her to take her meds, but also makes her a promise. Rather than use a leasing agent, she’ll post an ad for the vacant apartment (where Don Fuli lived…and died) online and allow Eddy to have some say in who the tenant is. Emma doesn’t actually owe this to Eddy, of course—especially seeing as Emma’s doing the heavy lifting on all the business aspect of running the bar and the apartment building. But maybe she’s softening up to the idea that Eddy is family of some sort, and that perhaps she doesn’t always have to control every situation. She also shares a special moment with Lyn at the end when she brings up the same zombie question, to which Lyn replies that she would kill her of course, and put her out of her misery. It’s there that Emma realizes that there are at least some people who understand her for who she is, better or worse.
– Mari ends up at a party where she reconnects with Tlaloc. We already know this will likely end poorly as she shouldn’t trust a guy who would record her without consent, but at the very least he finally returns the favor and gives Mari a little pleasure for once. So, you know, go Mari!
– Yoli’s dealing with her mom having to move after signing papers to vacate the premises.
– Lyn tries to dispute the charges she racked up on her mother’s credit cards after her death which is Peak Lyn behavior.
– Shout out to the “Keep Families Together” patch on Yoli’s backpack!