‘Grand Hotel’ 1×12 Review: “Dear Santiago”

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: if there’s one thing that can be said about this show is that it’s entertaining. But then again, I came in expecting that. The original always was, even if the setting made it much harder to actually relate to the situations the characters found themselves in.

A lot had changed in a century.

But this Grand Hotel has always been, as I said, fun to watch, and it’s also done a great job – like the original – at giving us a slew of relatable characters. It’s not just Danny and Alicia we care about, and that’s a rarity in network TV. So often we only care about the two main characters, maybe one more, and that’s it.

That is, of course, not the only thing the show has done to bring the spirit of the original to our times. It’s also done an amazing job at always keeping us guessing, at throwing one curveball and then another, and then a sinker at us. We never know what pitch is coming, and as a viewer, instead of a hitter, that’s kind of amazing.

So, let us talk about the latest curveball, and about the reaction to it, as we discuss “Dear Santiago”:


Well, talk about reveals. Especially talk about reveals that shouldn’t have surprised me, because I’ve watched the original and this is the exact same freaking twist. And yet, the show had changed enough and lulled me into a false sense of security, so by the time it happened, I’d absolutely dismissed the possibility of it ever happening.

It’s insane.

Now, like in the original, I will say there’s no one who deserves the world more than Jason, and I’m glad he gets to have family, especially after the chance he had to bond with Javi a few episodes back. But this just makes me super angry at Santiago, who knew, who’s known for all these years.


Because if he doesn’t know, that’s just …wow. Because Gigi does know, and she kept that from him.

Yeah, this episode blew my mind.


My favorite thing about the original was Julio and Alicia working together. It broke every mold, for the dude with a secret to just …come out and confess the secret, and for the two of them to be working together. That’s what I wanted from this version – and this episode is the first time I kinda get that.

Of course, I wanted it before, but I’ll take what I got, and I will especially take what is coming next episode, because this is the first time these two have been real. Yes, they care for each other, but they have never truly seen each other without masks, until now.

There’s a lot I want to see from this show going forward, a lot of reasons for Grand Hotel to get a season 2, but I think the main one is to get more of this development, of two people learning to love each other completely, because they finally see each other completely.

Here’s to that.


This episode should have come with a trigger warning or three. And I know it’s hard, and its fiction, but a little warning at the beginning of the episode isn’t that hard to do, and I think it’s high time TV took mental health issues seriously.

And I don’t just mean the fictional mental health issues of the characters.

How did the show do? Well, I wish they had been clearer about Beatriz’s reasons, and stated unequivocally that mental health issues don’t always necessarily lead to suicide, but in general, I think they did a decent enough job with a tough subject. My only problem is that this is a subject I wish had been dealt with as more than a shocking moment in one episode, and I’m not sure it will be.

Many people live with mental health issues, and those issues aren’t a footnote, they’re just life. And its high time TV treated something so many people experience on a day to day basis as what it is – normal.


Things I think I think:

  • Oh, flashback.
  • Dear Santiago indeed.
  • “Amor de mi vida!” I love it.
  • Go talk to Gigi, your wife said. LOL.
  • I love Alicia and Javi together. Their relationship is the kind of thing we don’t get to see from latinx siblings.
  • Sure Malcolm, you fine. I believe that.
  • I hope we actually get to find out what happened to Sky this season. JUST IN CASE.
  • But renew Grand Hotel, ABC.
  • Carolina, you dummy.
  • HAHAHA Yoli and Gigi agree, for once.
  • I do believe Gigi about her feelings, for what it’s worth.
  • Danny being open is my favorite thing.
  • “There is no together.”
  • Yeah, riiiiight.
  • Mateo is basically like I KILLED HER, SO WHAT?
  • Eva Longoria with grown up kids is scaring me.
  • “Can you see over the wheel now?”
  • I wanted Alicia and Danny to work together, but I’ll take Javi and Alicia.
  • Bryan being poor changes everything, doesn’t it Caro?
  • It’s hilarious how she was hoping someone would tell her not to marry him.
  • Jason’s endless optimism is kinda annoying sometimes.
  • Oh, Malcolm. No.
  • Wow, Alicia and Javi actually went to their dad.
  • Oh, so the mom was bipolar.
  • I really don’t think he killed her.
  • OMG Felix.
  • She did it.
  • Gave the money to Felix.
  • Oh, no. I …no.
  • She killed herself.
  • I’m weeping.
  • Don’t tell me Santiago doesn’t love his kids. Don’t tell me Gigi doesn’t loe them, either.
  • Of course she failed, Byron. She doesn’t love you.
  • I don’t have any tears left.
  • I don’t wanna like it.
  • Danny and Alicia GIVE ME LIFE.
  • This episode is truly triggering, in so many ways.
  • It wasn’t Gigi.
  • His affair wasn’t with Gigi.
  • IS
  • SON
  • Did Gigi do it?
  • But that’s too obvious.
  • Also, Santiago, you son of a bitch. You know about Jason and you’ve done nothing all this fucking time.
  • All this fucking time.
  • Unless you didn’t know.
  • God, what if you don’t know?

Agree? Disagree? Share with us in the comments below!

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


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