[For Mozart in the Jungle “Regresso Del Rey” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Regresso Del Rey. An adventure through Mexico City ensues when a stolen violin threatens the tour’s final concert in front of Rodrigo’s mentor.
“Regresso Del Rey” translates into english as “Return of the King,” and this is an adventurous episode, though not quite as epic as Tolkien’s final book of that famous trilogy. The orchestra is touring Latin America with their final stop Mexico City, Rodrigo’s home. So, he’s the returning king of the episode title. But the theme of this one isn’t really the returning king, it’s all about mystery. From the mystery taco Rodrigo eats and soon regrets Warren Boyd’s missing violin, the mysteries are many and their unfurling makes for a mighty fun trip.
Unfortunately for Hailey, she’s not to embark on the easy breezy tour through Latin America she anticipated because Mike’s passport expired and thus she must fill in as Rodrigo’s assistant for the interim. Hailey’s with him all the time at first, even as Rodrigo eats a street taco which she wisely passes on. When asked what’s in it Rodrigo says, “It’s a mystery – that’s why it tastes so good”. Then as he’s throwing up throughout the following scene she’s making arrangements for their final performance. Rodrigo has been worried about this particular performance since the first episode because his father figure and mentor will be there watching. But now here he is on the brink of the big gig and all Rodrigo can think is that he lost his strong Mexican stomach in America and didn’t even know how much he missed it until now.
But there’s no time to fret once his stomach’s emptied because there’s a crisis at the hotel – Warren Boyd, the first chair violinist was attacked. His taped-up glasses askew and a bruise on his noggin, Warren’s mighty flustered because his beloved and priceless Bergozi violin is gone. Luckily, Rodrigo saves the day and says, “If there’s a Bergozi on the move in Mexico City I know just who to call,” and ZIP his friend arrives in a flash… and looking flashy too. Their fixer, Manuel/Manu takes an instant liking to beautiful Hailey so, Rodrigo insists she go back inside the hotel, “to answer emails,” and Warren and Rodrigo get in the car with Manuel. Then this unlikely trio of guys are off to solve the mystery of the missing violin. At first it seems Manu might be a detective but his unorthodox methods soon reveal otherwise when he drives up on sidewalks and opens car doors with a wire hanger. But Rodrigo calls him “brother” so we know he’s good people. Manu explains that if there’s a Bergozi on the streets all they need to do is find this guy, Erasmo, and he’ll know where it is. He’s apparently THE priceless violin guy in Mexico City. The unfortunate caveat – nobody ever knows where the damn guy is.
They search for the mysterious Erasmo at strip clubs, alleyways, and various dark rooms but we get a sense that Manu isn’t just looking for Erasmo because he never takes off his sunglasses and is constantly skulking off to the side to whisper into his cellphone. Along the way Manu also asks Warren Boyd a few pointed questions about the attack to get a clear picture of what happened. But their primary focus is finding Erasmo, who they’re certain has all the relevant info. Then, finally after what seems an eternity of searching, they meet the mysterious Erasmo who offers them a primo violin for 150,000 pesos. Erasmo plays them a few gorgeous notes on it and declares that he hears every note in this city, “and if there was a Bergozi here I would know,” but he’s heard not a pluck of a Bergozi string. They leave Erasmo’s with the temporary replacement violin so Boyd can play in the concert for Rodrigo’s mentor that night. As they leave Erasmo’s hideaway Manu asks Warren Boyd one more question about his attack and then promises to have the violin for them soon. Rodrigo says Manuel always keeps his promises.
Despite these challenges, the symphony plays a magnificent concert the following night. Rodrigo’s mentor points out a few flaws but was overwhelmingly impressed with how much the symphony improved with Rodrigo’s conducting. He seems to see every little detail of the performance and even notices that Hailey “played with the blood” which makes her smile. After the show Manuel comes to Rodrigo and says he’s found the Bergozi. So, Warren goes with him to meet Manu outside the concert hall where the violin mystery finally unravels for all of us. It turns out Manuel is a sort of free range detective and that he’s been deducing the true story from Warren’s many telltale tiny clues all along. Manu informs us that the truth is Warren Boyd was never actually attacked. He faked the whole thing to collect the insurance money on his priceless violin. Manu shows Rodrigo and Warren the package Boyd gave to the concierge at the hotel to mail back to the states for him. They open it and inside is the famous Bergozi. It was back at the hotel all along, right where Warren Boyd had left it. Warren explains to Rodrigo that he’s got two girls in college and a second mortgage on a Manhattan apartment he can’t afford… these things coupled with fears of an imminent symphony spiraled him into financial panic and thus, bad decision-making.
Rodrigo plays the confession scene like a king disappointed in his right hand man – his concertino and first chair violin. But no, he won’t turn Warren Boyd in to the police for this because Rodrigo forgives the crime. Warren Boyd’s future role in the symphony, though, remains uncertain. Rodrigo offers him no guarantee and thus Boyd’s punishment will be to live with that uncertainty mixed with a certain guilt that he betrayed his king.
This was the first episode of Mozart in the Jungle to really stick to one main storyline all the way through. There was a brief sidebar when we saw sexual tension among orchestra players and snuck a peek at Gloria and Pavel sharing a hotel room. But for the most part this episode belonged entirely to the king and his right hand man. It was an adventurous way to introduce Rodrigo at home again but the true party has hardly started because the good stuff awaits in episode six. That’s right, it’s finally here, the best episode of the season is next and it’s a doozy. Get ready for laughs, romance, surprises, and even a glimpse into Rodrigo’s sweet, sad, vulnerable side. It’s a glorious visit to the place that made Rodrigo who he is and also forces him to face all the ways he’s changed. Luckily, he’s got Hailey by his side this time.