‘Grand Hotel’ 1×02 Review: Mas Sabe el Diablo Por Viejo

Last week in my Pilot review I talked expectations. And, I was happy with what I saw in the Pilot, I was. It was enough of a break from the original for me to be able to invest in something completely different, and though the Pilot didn’t grab me the way the original did, I was willing to give it a chance.

“Smokeshow” was the reason why.

You know what I wanted this to be? I wanted this to be fun, and to have a lot of family drama, and strong women, and chaotic characters and friendships I could root for and I wanted there to be an OTP (or two) I could root for, and guess what?

I got my wish.

So, let’s talk about what went on in “Smokeshow” and why we’re absolutely here for every second of this messy drama.


Every woman in this show is a messy queen in her own right (and yes, that includes Mrs. P), but I’m going to focus on my two favorites: Alicia and Ingrid.

Alicia’s mess is not the normal mess, because Alicia isn’t really Grand Hotel style mess, she’s just …normal, and pure, and nice, and literally a cinnamon roll that is likely too good for this world. That’s messy too, in its own way, because boy, does life hit people like her – hard.

But, from where I’m standing, it’s hard not to love her, because despite all those things I said, Alicia isn’t naïve, or dumb. She isn’t a stereotype of the woman that’s too good to be smart, no. Alicia is a smart, driven woman with a plan, and also with a set of morals that she’d like to adhere to.

We’d all be contemplating if we really wanted to ‘be good’ if Danny’s abs were on the other side, just saying.

The contrast to Alicia is, of course, Ingrid. And yet the show does a perfect job of not portraying Ingrid as a victim, or worse, a villain. Instead, she’s desperate and cunning and she will do whatever it takes to survive. Even if that means lying, and potentially messing up Javi’s life.

Not that that’s her intention. In fact, I’m quite sure, despite all her research, she didn’t expect Javi to be, well …Javi. To have a heart, to be kind, to be someone who just …cares. And the problem now for someone who tries so hard to act like she doesn’t care, is that she’s not put herself squarely in Javi’s sight and asked him to care. And he doesn’t seem like the type to be able to turn that off.


Can you feel it? The chemistry? Because it was scorching this episode, not just between Alicia and Danny (where was THAT in the Pilot? Was I just too distracted by his abs to notice?), but also between Javi and Ingrid.

Of course, it’s going to get messy and then messier and we’re probably going to be screaming at the TV, but hey, isn’t that the point of summer TV? And in two episodes, Grand Hotel has already established why these two couples can work.

Opposites attract.

And it’s not just about the rich kids and the servants, though duh, that’s the whole thing the show is going for – think of the original, Spanish Gran Hotel as Downtown Abbey but in Spain – it’s much more than that.

It’s about how connections are important, and those aren’t determined by how much money you have in your bank account, or where you grew up. And it’s about two people who clearly, despite having grown up with money, were never taught to look down upon others.

So, hey, Javi and Alicia falling in love with a waiter and a maid? It works, and it promises to be a hella messy and enjoyable ride.

Can’t wait.

Things I think I think:

  • The title of the episode is actually hilarious when you think about it. SMOKESHOW.
  • LOL
  • Smokeshow.
  • What? It’s funny!
  • Come on, Alicia, I know the guy is handsome, but he’s wearing clothes, no need to go bumping into things.
  • Santiago and Gigi seem to actually care for each other. This is hella confusing. Where’s my backstory?
  • Alicia and Danny are EXUDING chemistry. Did I say I was missing that? I take it back. IT’S THERE. I SEE IT.
  • Ingrid is the level of extra and messy that I need on TV right now. PLUS, she smart.
  • Marry me, Javi.
  • How long till Santiago’s mess ends up hurting the family?
  • Javi and Alicia’s relationship is peeeeeeeeeeeeeeerfection.
  • So much español!
  • I don’t even LIKE Yoli and I want to fight everyone on her behalf. She’s BEAUTIFUL. BEAUTIFUL.
  • Look, the problem (and I actually really enjoyed it, so maybe let’s change that to what it needed more of) with the Pilot was that we didn’t get enough of Danny’s brand of chaotic.
  • Dude is actually terrible at stealth. IT’S HILARIOUS.
  • Gigi with the truth bombs.
  • I approve of the level of abs on this show.
  • I don’t like Mateo. I don’t think I was meant to, so hey, kudos on that.
  • Alicia and Danny are way too cute, they’re giving me a toothache.
  • OR
  • See, I told you I loved Ingrid.
  • Danny, you should just have confided in your boy Jason from the beginning of the episode.
  • El Rey is an idiot.
  • Like an actual, certifiable idiot.
  • I’m not even joking here.
  • Not even Jean Carlos Canela can make this better.
  • The family drama is giving me LIFE.
  • Javi’s level of sassy is my favorite thing on this show.

Agree? Disagree? Did you enjoy “Smokeshow”? Share with us in the comments below!

Grand Hotel airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.