‘Vida’ 1×05 Review: A Divide Between the Community

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Starz Vida‘s fifth episode saw the Latina and Whitina clash, a wife and two daughters on vastly different journeys through grief, and Lyn aka the least dependable of the bunch, actually coming through. (Still surprised by that last bit: and this episode had fist fights, masturbating, and deep talks about the Latinx community.)

Let’s dive in!

Latina vs Whitina

This episode had me questioning myself as a Latina more than any other episode. There are parts of me that will always hunger for home, appreciate my community, and seek to connect with others who speak the same language. And then there are the parts of me that have watched neighborhood change, disappear, and grow in unexpected ways that have made my current home more gentrified.

And I’ve never spoken up about it. I’ve never protested against the disappearance of neighborhood because my Mami said it was safer, clearer, and a better place for us to live. Even now, the place I like with the tiniest of Hispanic communities is to much and she wishes to move somewhere quieter and without a doubt more white. She equates it with safety and watching this episode makes me wonder if little parts of Mami were left in me because I never spoke against that sentiment.

Truth of the matter is, our communities are changing. And instead of incorporating, talking to, or helping the unique communities we make up…our homes are being torn down for fancy new apartment buildings, schools are being built that no one in this neighborhood can afford, and an invasive community is entering ours with no intention of getting to know us except when it’s convenient for them.

Remember when that little bakery was serving fancy stuff and Emma asked what had happened? Like that. Others want the authenticity of the Latinx community but not the people or ways that come with it. And that makes me so fucking sad, furious, and ready to do something. Maybe I’m not an Emma who flows with the change like nothing and is looking for opportunities to get rid of the bar. And maybe I’m not Mari, spray paint can in hand, ready to tag and leave a blazing reminder of her anger that no one can ignore. But something has to be done.

Whether your Latina or Whitina, as Mari so lovingly calls Emma and Lyn, these are our homes, and our people. We need to stop fighting amongst each other and keep a hold of our communities together. It won’t be easy, and you best believe I have no magical solution to bring us all together, but just realizing we need to work together is a start. That’s what matters most.

How You Grieve is Your Choice

Eddy has found it hard to connect with Emma and Lyn from day one because they are not grieving in the same fashion. And it’s easy to be in the moment and demand that those around us share and feel the pain that we are for the lose we have all experienced, but ultimately it’s not fair. Emma doesn’t have the same relationship with Vidalia as Eddy or Lyn had. Lyn doesn’t have the same relationship with Vidalia as Eddy or Lyn had. And Eddy doesn’t have the same relationship with Vidalia as Emma or Lyn had. Because of that they will all grieve in different ways and that’s ok.

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a week since Emma and Lyn came back and Vidalia passed away. And all of their pain, especially Eddy’s, feels so raw and new. Eddy was facing their pain with singling, prayer, and drinking aka community. Lyn was facing her pain by pushing it away and diving into the arms of Johnny, an old flame from back when Vidalia was alive. And Emma was trying to hit the road so she could face her pain away from the home that she had been kicked out of.

Maybe we wouldn’t grieve like Eddy, like Emma, or like Lyn, but we have to respect that this is what they’re doing to work through the pain in their lives. Healing isn’t measured in the same way or scale. And with vastly different relationships come vastly different journeys to acceptance. When we get a season two, because we will, I hope they start to explore more where this grieving comes together and how they can heal as a family. Until then, they’ve got to respect their way of healing and so do we.

Lyn Comes Through

The biggest surprise of this entire episode (more than Emma trying to masturbate and the abuelitas praying) was Lyn coming through for Emma. She’s shown a disregard for rules or helping out from day one, so what could have brought on this change? One word. Johnny.

He’s been forbidden fruit for Lyn, just close enough for her to use but not close enough for her to deal with the inner mechanics of what it means to be in a relationship. Now that he’s no longer forbidden she’s forgotten about the latter that I mentioned in the previous sentence and hopped onto just being happy that she got what she wanted, no matter the consequences.

It’s not going to last long.

Johnny will take care of Lyn, but for how long before she realizes that she can’t live the fancy and carefree life that she’s become used to? No more shopping sprees, fancy parties, and ideas of all these businesses she can start with her mans money. Oh and let’s not forget the monogamy part. Lyn doesn’t believe in it. Will being with Johnny mean that she can’t sleep with someone else? Because I can see it in Johnny. That pendejo has no problem sleeping around but will probably pitch a fit if “his” woman does it.

Right now I see Lyn as the sister who came through because her rose colored glasses have been upgraded from barely getting bye to YAY, I GOT THE MAN AND HE’LL TAKE CARE OF ME! And personally, I can’t wait until those glasses are ripped off her face and she has to confront the world and her life for what it is, a struggle. I don’t say this because I mean to be cruel. I say this because Lyn is strong and needs no man to keep her fed, kept, and flush with cash. She can do that herself. And once she realizes it, everyone better watch out!

Vida airs Sundays at 8:30 p.m. on Starz.


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