Bilingual Apple TV+ comedy Acapulco goes to the edge of misfortune this week before pulling back. Maximo should be happy with his new life with Isabelle, but can’t help but feel like he’s missing out on something. And Julia and Chad must think about their futures now that they know neither of them will be a part of the other’s.
Meanwhile, Memo misses Maximo, Hector’s confused, Chad is lost, and Diane needs Don Pablo back in a hurry. All told, “The Power of Love” is a very convenient episode of the lightweight series.
Acapulco recap: ‘The Power of Love’
Season 2, episode 9: In the present, Memo (played by Hemky Madera) tells his old friend Maximo (Eugenio Derbez) to finally trust his instincts and go visit another old friend from their days at Las Colinas — the old friend he’s been flirting with going to in front of his security guard Joe (Will Sasso) and his nephew Hugo (Raphael Alejandro).
“You’re Maximo Gallardo! You can do anything!” Memo says, and then the camera cuts to Eugenio Derbez‘s disappointed face. (Yeah, technically true, I guess, but what a bummer. Derbez is Gallardo, he’s everywhere and he seems to have nothing to offer as penance for being suddenly rich and famous. The actor’s the least interesting part of his own show and every movie he’s in, but we can’t escape him. Anyway…)
Back in the past, Maximo (Enrique Arrizon) is working for Isabelle’s (Gabriella Milla) family at their restaurant but he can’t get over Las Colinas. He quit/was fired when he explained that he’d sold guests’ secrets to tabloid journalist Fabián (Bayardo De Murguia). That should have been a relief, because he was selling his soul to stay at the resort. Now that he doesn’t work there anymore, shockingly, he wishes he was.
Affairs of the heart
Elsewhere, Julia (Camila Perez) tells her first person, Maximo’s sister Sara (Regina Reynoso), that she and Chad (Chord Overstreet) broke off their wedding. Sara can relate to having her heart broken, having first lost her girlfriend Roberta (Samantha Orozco), then being kicked out of her house by her mother Nora (Vanessa Bauche) for being gay.
They commiserate and then Julia goes to work. But no sooner has she left than Roberta shows up at Julia’s apartment looking to talk to Sara for the first time since their breakup. Her parents know she’s gay, too, and they freaked out just like Nora. She’s going to flee to her aunt’s place in Oaxaca. Does Sara want to come?
Chad, meanwhile, is hopelessly lost. He wants to be on his own. But when his mom Diane (Jessica Collins) asks him just how he plans to do that, he has no idea. He’s always relied on her money and guidance. And though he wants to be on his own now, he doesn’t know how.
Chad confides in Memo (Fernando Carsa) and Hector (Rafael Cebrián) about how miserable he is now that he’s on the road to happiness, and they agree that they’re all doing poorly. Memo’s still mad at Maximo. Hector’s stuck in an office after disappointing Diane. And Diane herself, having lost Maximo and Don Pablo (Damián Alcázar) and now Chad, has a hotel in complete disarray. The three boys decide they need answers, so they ask a fortune-telling parakeet.
Fleeing to Oaxaca?
Before leaving town, Sara tells Maximo about Chad and Julia, which plants a seed of doubt in his mind. Then he tries to sell Isabelle’s family on expanding their restaurant business. They’re unresponsive. Maybe his ambition isn’t wanted here. Maybe he shouldn’t be with Isabelle after all?
Nora’s boyfriend Esteban (Carlos Corona) sees Sara and Roberta trying to flee, so he calls her and tells her to come to the bus station, while he pulls out all the stops to delay the bus to Oaxaca. Nora manages to get there in time to see Sara not board the bus to Oaxaca.
Diane goes to Don Pablo to apologize and ask him to come back to the hotel. That’s handy, because he’s bored at home. Maximo goes to Julia to talk about the breakup but she rebuffs him, not ready to talk about the future (having just given up her own). And, of course, just when he’s thinking of leaving Isabelle’s restaurant, Don Pablo, who likes Maximo, goes back to Las Colinas, so he’ll be back there in no time. Right around then, Isabelle realizes Maximo and Julia have feelings for each other and breaks up with Maximo.
What are the odds?
There’s no guarantee that Acapulco ends with Maximo and Julia together but also, the writers have, as with Pam and Jim on The Office, set up their eventual reunion as the crux of the series. Now that Nora has apologized for kicking Sara out of the house (no real … uhh … reckoning there, which is a cop-out), the only loose ends are Maximo and Julia, and we have one episode left in the season.
Frankly, I don’t care one way or the other. I don’t care about either character enough to hope they end up together or happy, because I also don’t think either option is the same thing. Again, the trouble here is that Maximo ultimately turns into a hopelessly self-involved billionaire. Julia being happy probably means ending up with someone else or on her own. I guess we’ll see.
Watch Acapulco on Apple TV+
New episodes of Acapulco season two drop each Friday.
Watch on: Apple TV+
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.