Vida episode 6 review – the season finale!


The season finale of Vida is about atonement, revitalization and facing future struggles head-on.

Episode 6 of Vida begins with Lyn (Melissa Barrera) receiving a spiritual atonement/cleansing ritual. Although she seems to find it quirky and quaint, she nevertheless is impressed that it seems to work. In fact, she leaves the place feeling brand new!

It is said to be a shower for her spirit, although it isn’t without demands. Lyn is instructed to place a bag of belongings behind a bush on a street that she is never to cross again. Apparently, it’s a magical way of letting go, and she follows the directions without question. For example, she doesn’t ask what would happen if she crosses the particular street again.

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Lyn really does seem transformed, as she says, “Everything that’s not meant to be in your life should go.” It’s definitely one of the more philosophical points in Vida and reflects an overall change in the show’s tone. It’s good for Lyn, too, because she was the center of much drama. Here she flips that formula on its head, and “let’s go” of Johnny (Carlos Miranda). Of course, this is partly inspired by her seeing Johnny’s fiance (Elena Campbell-Martinez) weeping over dropped groceries.

What about Lyn herself? What does her character think of the breakup? She blames the cleansing ritual for her breaking up with Johnny. She can’t take responsibility for her actions, it seems.
It may be an instance of Lyn doing the right thing, for the wrong reasons. Life is like that sometimes, though, right?

Getting to Know the Bar

It took 6 episodes, but here we finally get to see the bar. Before now, viewers only caught a glimpse of the bar. Sure, it is only a bar, but it’s ostensibly what Vida is about. One thing the characters come to agree on? It’s not just a “dive bar.” For example, Cruz (Maria-Elena Laas) says, “When I walk into your mom’s bar, I feel safe.”

Now, someone watching at home might think, ‘Okay, but how dangerous are other bars, though?’ However, that might be a misinterpretation. The character might have meant that some places are more accepting than others. Indeed, this truth is revealed later in the episode.

Nelson Returns, Says Bad Things, Leaves

Nelson, up to no good.

Emma fends off his greed. (Vida, Starz)

This episode marks the return of Nelson (Luis Bordonada), the slimeball developer guy. Why does he return? Well, basically to remind us that he’s the slime ball developer guy. Speaking to Emma, he emphasizes the benefits of selling the bar to him, noting that she’s above others in the neighborhood. She had left for years, made a name for herself, and now has the opportunity to make more cash.

In building her up, Nelson actually uses the words, “Look at us, look at them” — with “them” being the ordinary people in the neighborhood, who are presumably replaceable with more affluent folks. It’s definitely a case of Nelson playing to type, but a worthwhile glimpse into how some developers probably do see the world. While I have criticized this character as being a little too stereotypically unsympathetic (because he is), people like him nevertheless do exist.

For better or worse, Nelson is expertly shooed away by Emma (Mishel Prada). In the process, her business sense seems to tingle, and she ends up discussing ways to save the bar with her sister. Though this moment could have occurred way earlier in the show, it’s at least happening now.

Edy the Brave

Edy (Ser Anzoategui) has alternately been a strong and a delicate character on Vida. In this episode, she sort of has a chance to be both. While in another bar, Edy defends a girl who’s being harassed by a man (credited as “Drunk Jerk,” played by Link Ruiz). Though she initially intimidates him, he later pulls a sneak attack on her, and she ends up hospitalized. When Lyn and Emma go to visit her, they tell the front desk that she’s their stepmother. In many ways, it’s a pivotal moment for the show and suggests the possibility of a growing family bond between the characters.

Final Thoughts on the Season

Vida is not the fastest moving show, and there are a few missteps. For example, this episode completely omits Marisol’s (Chelsea Rendon) storyline, which had promise in earlier episodes but fizzled out as a rough, stereotypical caricature. Nevertheless, this show promises to finally build the bar up and take deeper looks into the issue of gentrification — which won’t be resolved by Marisol’s graffiti.

The simple reality is, not every developer is as insensitive and sleazy as Nelson. In fact, plenty of people mean well as they swoop in and push poorer folks out. They believe they represent opportunity, even though they don’t offer it to those needing it the most. This is something Vida could easily examine in the 2nd season. Then, in response, the main sisters could band the community together in defense of the old neighborhood.

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Together, the people should have the money and the resources. If their family bar is worth saving, they should be able to unite under a practical, actionable plan to do it. I hope they win, and set an example for people in real life.

What do you think? Was this a good episode of Vida? Let us know in the comments!