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The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 4 Review - Agua, Fuego, Tierra, Viento The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 4 Review - Agua, Fuego, Tierra, Viento

The Cleaning Lady

The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 4 Review – Agua, Fuego, Tierra, Viento

THE CLEANING LADY: L-R: Santiago Cabrera and Élodie Yung in the “Agua Fuego Tierra Viento” episode of THE CLEANING LADY airing Tuesday, March 26 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2024 Fox Media LLC. CR: Jeff Neumann/FOX

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The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 4 concluded Fiona and Chris’ (and Camilla’s) grueling journey back home—but not before putting them through the wringer. 

The trek to America is not for the faint of heart, especially when you get kicked out of the transportation truck in the middle of the desert. Things weren’t looking good for Fiona and Chris, however, their guardian angel (because as annoying as some of her reckless behavior might be, she also goes above and beyond for the people she loves) was looking out for them. 

If it wasn’t for Thony’s determination to find her family, things might’ve turned out quite differently, but her efforts paid off, even when it seemed like she was looking for a needle in a haystack. There were times Thony was close to giving up, but she persevered, likely because she had Jorge’s assistance. The dynamic between the two of them is, questionable, to say the least, as it’s unclear where his alliances lie—and he’s made it clear he has no qualms about killing her at any moment—but he’s also softened up a bit after seeing her vulnerable side. In a lot of ways, he sees himself in Thony, especially being a single father who is trying his best to protect his offspring. 

That, of course, doesn’t mean he’s a decent human being, as he even tells Thony herself at the end that he’s not the kind of man she thinks he is. Thony is always drawn to these wounded birds, but this is different than Arman—Jorge seems to be a terrible human who may be behind Arman’s kidnapping. I think his warning to Thony was indicative of that (I think the devil’s breath was his), plus, he’s not as redeemable as Arman was. It’s clear he’s going to be Thony’s next love interest—and the one who helps her through all the tough moments, while being the one who pushes her—but I don’t know if that’s necessarily a good thing for her. It keeps her in this lifestyle and in this cycle of chaos that she just can’t seem to free herself from. 

Now, back to Fiona and Chris, who went through it to make their way back home to Jaz and JD, including Chris’ sprained ankle, dehydration from a lack of water, and nearly suffocating to death from engine smoke inhalation. But they showed that they had the strength and willpower to survive, with this experience bringing mother and son much closer together, along with Camilla joining the family as his future significant other. Something beautiful is formed from the darkness is a great takeaway. Plus, Chris was finally able to see all that his mother sacrificed for him to have a better life, so I hope he shows his gratitude for a long time.

The reunion was a little breath of happiness during a very gritty episode—and it’s important to keep the balance to not lose viewers. No one can take so much tragedy, loss, and anxiety every week without getting a bit of reprieve at the end to prove that it’s all worth it. 

As Thony focused her efforts on finding her family, Nadia remained committed to her search for Armando, but she very quickly learned that she was running out of options. Her partnership with Russo (or Auntie Kate) fell apart almost instantly as she was never truly on Nadia’s side. She froze Kamdar’s assets the moment she got wind that Nadia was operating the money to find Arman. When her headhunter, Logan, went MIA, she essentially had no choice but to put all of her trust in the cartel—they are family after all. 

Ramona proved her loyalty by helping her get the money needed to save Arman by (from my understanding) blowing up La Habana so Nadia could cash in on the insurance money. There’s definitely something that the Sin Cara cartel isn’t telling us about Arman, but Ramona swears she’ll do anything to protect him, so I guess for now, our only choice is to trust her. That one swift move, however, ensured that Nadia is indebted to her, so both Nadia and Thony are in deep now—and I hate that for them. If they’d just stuck together, maybe there would’ve been another way out of this mess. 

Thony’s celebrations will be short-lived as the next step is to face CPS and prove that she deserves custody of Luca. 

The Cleaning Lady has found many ways to keep Arman’s spirit alive by dragging out the search for him and connecting Thony and Nadia with his family, but one of the best moments of the episode was when Nadia drove in on a motorcycle in a leather jacket. It was as if Arman was close by—and we know he’d be damn proud. 

What did you think of the episode?

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

The Cleaning Lady

The Cleaning Lady Review Season 3 Episode 5 – All of Me

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The Cleaning Lady Review Season 3 Episode 5 - All of Me

The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 5 thrives on keeping us—and Thony—in a state of constant anxiety.

Not only is it nerve-racking that she has a court date that will determine whether or not she can keep Luca, but when her interview with CPS’ Susan nears, Luca is nowhere to be found. 

Thony tries to play it off as though he’s just running late, but when Fi and JD return home without him, it’s pretty clear that something else is going on. Susan is not easily fooled, and she quickly catches onto the fact that Luca has gone missing. 

While finding Luca was Thony’s top priority, she knew that jumping the gun and putting out an amber alert would come with grave consequences—not only for her court case but also for her relationship with the cartel.

JD’s call to tell Susan about Dante, the man who picked Thony up earlier in the day, came from a good place as he thought he had Luca’s best interests at heart. It’s hard to be mad at him when he was just following his gut, but man, when he gave Susan all the information, as someone who understands the kind of people that Thony is in bed with, you knew that it wouldn’t end well for her.

Thankfully, Thony is like a cat with nine lives, and she always lands right-side up. She was able to find Luca at the aquarium (he previously said he wanted to be like a turtle and hide in his shell), and was able to convince Jorge to expunge the amber alert so that it couldn’t be used in court and against her. 

Jorge is proving to be a lot like his cousin—he has a soft spot for Thony and is swooping in to save her at every turn, even though she doesn’t exactly deserve it. She’s more trouble than she’s worth, quite frankly, but men can’t seem but to get invested in assisting her. 

Fiona, Jaz, and Chris all took the stand to attest to how good of a mother, aunt, and friend Thony is, but it was her own testimony about going to great lengths to save her son that pulled on heartstrings. 

The judge agreed to let Luca stay with his mother, with continually CPS supervision, which was a huge win. 

But one thing that really bothers me is that the court wasn’t there when Thony was running out of options for her dying son. The judge didn’t care that she didn’t have money for treatment, nor did anyone care that he would’ve died without it. It’s so easy to look at something after the fact and deem it wrong, but how can saving your child’s life at any cost be wrong?

Thony will never apologize for what she did because if she didn’t do it, Luca wouldn’t have been here. 

And the only reason Luca ran away in the first place was because he didn’t want to be taken from his mother. The court might think they are doing their due diligence, but look at the stress that this whole situation has placed on him.

It may have been a huge victory for Thony, but it also came at a potential price as the amber alert meant that Dante was in a prison cell when the call for a ransom exchange came through, meaning that they lost their shot at getting Arman back—and no one seems to know if he’s dead or alive at this point. 

Though, I have to say I agree with Jorge more than Ramon—giving into the ransom seems weak, so I hope she has a bigger plan in place for getting her nephew back.

I also find it strange how Fiona is constantly surprised upon finding out who Thony is working with. How did she think Thony managed to arrange her transport back to the States? Wouldn’t she assume that the cartel—or someone equally as dangerous—had to be involved? Thony has a lot of pull and resources at her disposal, but it comes at a price. 

Whether that price will prove to be worth it in the end, well, only time will tell.

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The Cleaning Lady

The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 3 Review – El Camino del Diablo

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The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 3 Review - El Camino del Diablo

The Cleaning Lady is getting messier by the minute, but—and again, through no fault of their own—the spark that it once had is missing this season. There’s not much hope left in the series, aside from Thony getting a little bit of a break when her building’s handyman comes around to help her clean up a mess from a break-in. Thony’s been dealing with everything on her own for so long—taking punch after punch—that you could just feel the relief when he offered to do the cleaning this time around. 

He seems like a nice guy, so I hope she doesn’t drag him into her messes… or he doesn’t become a victim by association, but we know that whoever gets involved with Thony ends up somehow getting mixed up in her problems. 

Just look at Fiona and Chris, who are risking everything to make their way back to the U.S. Thony went out of her way to set up the transport via Ramona’s coyotes, but that didn’t come with the promise that everything would end up okay. The series continues to shine a light on the hellish journey that migrants endure to secure a better life for themselves—where they are herded like cattle and have to run for their lives as border patrol corners them. While Fiona and Chris made it back into the country, things took a pretty bleak turn as they both seem to suffer from the same syndrome that Thony does—the need to help people no matter what it costs her. 

When Chris saw that one of the women whom he helped secure transport for (by giving the coyotes money so that she could travel with her mom) was in trouble, he jumped in to help. A fight ensued as Fiona also got involved to protect her son, and pretty soon, they were left on the side of the road in the dark desert without any transport. And the worst part is that the coyotes took their phones, so they didn’t have a way of communicating with Thony.

Despite this setback, I have no doubt that they’ll figure it out and get home, one way or another, as they’ve proven to be quite resourceful at surviving. It’s what you have to do when life gives you no other option. 

Thony also couldn’t help herself from rendering aid to a woman who gave birth after illegally crossing the border, despite being told to stay in her lane multiple times. Thony knows that her actions can cost her family a lot, but she’s also the kind of person who needs to jump in when someone needs help. She knew that if she didn’t help the woman, Soledad, she would bleed out, so she pushed all of her worries aside and did the right thing.

You have to hand it to her for not giving up on people when doing the right thing always causes more harm for her situation—this time with both the cartel and the DCFS. Ramona wasn’t pleased that she stole one of her people, while the woman leading the charge on Thony’s DCFS case waltzed in right as she was trying to stop the bleeding without having a license to practice as a doctor. Against her best judgment, the agent assisted in saving the woman’s life before calling for an ambulance, and when she threatened to note in on Thony’s record (which, despite being a good deed would work against her custody case), Thony made sure to underscore that she had to report her involvement in the life-saving procedure as well. It’s likely not a great look to threaten and manipulate your custody worker, but the woman didn’t give Thony much of a choice—plus, all it proves is how unfair the system truly is. 

Nadia continued her quest to find Arman, connecting with Katherine Russo and hoping to strike a deal for immunity for her and her husband when he was eventually found. Unfortunately, Katherine wasn’t willing to make the deal as she wasn’t willing to let Arman walk, especially after he cost her partner, Garrett, his life. Her incentive to find Arman is revenge. 

She did, however, reveal a crucial piece of information about what happened to Arman, showing Nadia bodycam footage of his abduction—and he was still alive! It doesn’t mean he’s going to stay alive, but it did give her hope. 

She attempted to get Thony’s help with locating him, but she soon realized that Thony “betrayed” her by getting into bed with the cartel. But that’s the thing—I don’t think Thony betrayed her at all. I think she’s doing what she’s always done—going above and beyond to protect her family and to survive. She knew that her best bet at finding Arman was getting in with the people who cared enough to actually find him. 

However, after seeing a photo of the van that took Arman, she recalled seeing it at the cartel’s garage. She once again risked everything to go back there and search it, finding something hidden inside—that’s possibly a clue from Arman—but it also allowed her to see things from a different perspective, namely that Jorge, Arman’s uncle and childhood best friend (and Ramona’s brother), might be responsible for the kidnapping as revenge for infiltrating their routes. 

Ramona wants to reconcile with Arman and bring him into the family business, but Jorge could not be more against it, so it would make sense if he was the one responsible for taking him in the first place. 

Overall, there are a lot of good elements this season, but it feels empty without Arman. The new “baddies” aren’t as compelling as the Hayaks and Kamdars of the past, plus, we keep seeing Thony stepping on toes and getting away with it—and it’s becoming quite unbelievable and repetitive. And with Thony and Nadia’s rift, it feels like we’re going in circles with the storyline. 

I think the only thing that could course-correct is seeing a badass alliance between Thony and Nadia, rather than seeing them on the outs time and time again. When so many people are working against them, they need to stop working against each other and working with each other. 

The best way to get intel is from the inside, Thony knows that. And it would be great if she and Nadia got on the same page as it’s clear they need each other to survive. 

If we can’t have Arman’s protection anymore, we, at the very least, need girl power.

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The Cleaning Lady

The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 2 Review – For My Son

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The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 2 Review - For My Son

Thony is the definition of “you gotta do what you gotta do,” and while it’s admirable how far she’ll go for the people she loves, it’s also concerning how easily she can dig herself into a mess that’s more dangerous than it may prove worthy. 

On The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 2, Thony is living on borrowed time thanks to Arman, who likely isn’t even living anymore, but the Sin Cara cartel doesn’t know that and seems to have big plans for him once they find him. The Sin Cara cartel, run by Ramona and Jorge, is only keeping her alive because of what she means to Arman—with the latter making it very clear that he’d rather have her dead in the desert than running around. 

And Jorge isn’t entirely wrong in his assessment of her—Thony is desperate, and desperate people are a liability. She’s so turned around, she doesn’t even know which way is up anymore. She’s proved herself to be resourceful many times in the past—and once again delivered as promised—but the scope of the deal she made with the cartel is way above anything that’s ever been required of her before.  It’s a good thing Thony was in the medical field and has the stomach because her first task of dismembering people and throwing them into acid is not for the faint of heart. Thony always pulls through, but I don’t know how much I have it in me to see her get put through the wringer once again. My nerves are just eating me up inside knowing that she doesn’t have Arman’s protection anymore yet she continues to put herself in these threatening scenarios. 

I know that this isn’t the intended direction of the season and it’s the best they could do to provide context and closure for Adan Canto’s death, but I really wanted to see a different side of Thony this season—the one promised at the end of season 2 where we saw her flipping the game and owning her power. She’s paid the price and did the dirty work, so shouldn’t be at square one, constantly groveling and gasping for air—and this time, the gravity of the situation is much worse. 

Thony offers to clean for the cartel—without fully understanding what that means—in order to bring Fiona and Chris home. It’s a move done out of desperation, though, I do think she could’ve figured out another way if she really wanted to. Why couldn’t she put her trust in Nadia instead? Arman’s plan already hinged on utilizing Nadia’s planes, so why didn’t she brainstorm that before going nuclear? 

She’s also running into more issues when it comes to Luca as child services is now involved and a court case has been set to see if she’s deemed a fit mother, meaning she could lose him. It hurts my soul when she tells Luca that she’ll never let anything bad happen to him all while taking on these incredibly risky jobs that put both of them in the line of fire. She can no longer justify her actions by saying she’s doing this for her son because the negatives outweigh the positives.

I don’t want to say that Luca would be better off with someone else, as there’s nothing to replace a mother’s love, but she puts them both (along with all the people she loves), in some very questionable and costly situations. 

Ramona literally entered her home and played with Luca before threatening his life—it’s concerning. 

With Arman, there was also a level of trust and care there, so she knew she could count on him, but there is no guarantee with this new arrangement. She’s disposable to them, there’s no end in sight to this arrangement of paying back debt, and there’s the little fact that she and Arman crossed them before by stealing their shipping routes. 

Her under-the-table deal with the cartel also drives a wedge between her and Nadia, the only other person that she could count on in the aftermath of Arman’s disappearance. They were never friends, but they were bonded through their love for Arman, yet instead of relying on one another, Thony made it very clear that she was hiding something from Nadia, which pushed her toward working with the FBI. Nadia, much like Thony, doesn’t have the protection anymore, so she’s going to do what she thinks is best when pushed into a corner. Together, they would have been a force to be reckoned with—and I wished we saw that play out. 

The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 2 Review - For My Son

THE CLEANING LADY: L-R: Eva De Dominici and Santiago Cabrera in the “For My Son” episode of THE CLEANING LADY airing Tuesday, March 12 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2024 Fox Media LLC. CR: Jeff Neumann/FOX

I’m all for honoring Arman with this storyline, but this storyline just seems like history repeating itself—and not in a good way. I’d almost prefer that they wrapped up Arman’s storyline swiftly, allowing the characters to grieve his death, and pivoting to Thony and Nadia taking over his empire and finishing what he couldn’t, all while getting revenge on the people that killed him.

Fiona was the proof that life could be simple again—it’s just a series of choices to get there. The mess doesn’t have to keep getting messier, nor do they have to stay in this tangled web that Thony’s weaved. They were so close to being free before getting pulled right back into the toxicity. 

Fiona and Chris’ journey back home provided some much-needed levity in the episode, and I found it more enjoyable than watching Thony continue on the path of self-destruction for the purpose of self-preservation. 

Chris’ time in the Phillippines may have been short, but it was enlightening as he finally met and connected with his father, and understood why his mother made the choices that she did, even if he wasn’t happy with the fact that she lied to him for years. He showed her plenty of grace when he realized it was the ultimate sacrifice for him to have a better life. We talk so much about the sacrifices and lengths Thony goes to for her boy, but we rarely acknowledge that Fiona is just as badass—and thankfully, more risk-averse. 

When they got word that Thony arranged transport back to the US via a coyote that evening, it was heartbreaking to see their time with family cut short. Going back to the madness that is living with Thony isn’t going to be good for anyone, nor can I expect that it will end well for them. But if Thony stands a shot at making her case in court to keep her parental rights over Luca, she’s going to need Fiona in her corner. 

What do you think about the third season of The Cleaning Lady? They’ve found a way to consistently ride audience nerves, but how much more can we all take? Will Nadia’s partnership with Katherine Russo prove to be a better strategy than Thony’s alliance with the cartel? 

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