The Department of Time: Tiempo de hidalgos (Time of Noblemen)   First Watch 
May 24, 2018 3:36 AM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Pacino joins the team for the first time as they work to ensure that Miguel de Cervantes publishes "Don Quixote" in 1604.

Notes (contain spoilers)

* In what can only be a direct lift from Doctor Who's "Vincent and the Doctor" scene where Amy and The Doctor bring Vincent Van Gogh to the present and show him how beloved his work has become, the team brings Miguel de Cervantes to the present day, after he attempts suicide in despair. This is a more explicit reference than the earlier incident between Velasquez and Picasso in Season 1.
* Alonso is recognized in 1604 by a retired soldier that fought alongside him 35 years earlier. The man concludes that Alonso's lack of aging must be the result of witchcraft.
* Lope de Vega returns in this episode. He was last seen in Season 1, episode 2, Time of Glory. He compliments Amelia on not aging a day since he last saw her, nearly two decades earlier in 1588.
* After the Americans (Walcott and Bennet) escape with the manuscript of Don Quixote, Alonso's copy of the book starts fading away, just as Pacino's tattoo did when time changed in the previous episode.
* This episode establishes that the version of Don Quixote that was eventually published was not Cervantes first draft. It's possible then that semi-biographical story-within-the-story "The Captive's Tale" was included by Cervantes to make up for the failure of his theatrical production, "The Baths of Algiers." "Baths" is of course the play that Alonso, Pacino and Amelia derail.
* After learning that the 1604 actress he has to seduce is named María and that her husband is José, Pacino jokes that the only thing missing is Baby Jesus. What's Pacino's birth name? Jesús Méndez.
* Pacino clearly struggles to speak 17th century Spanish correctly. Alonso tells him that his '80s slang is unintelligible.
* The scene with Salvador getting angry over the Ministry's job at the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest in Madrid refers to an infamous four-way tie between Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France, where all four countries were declared winners.
* Alonso and Amelia continue to show off what they've learned since joining the Ministry, explaining USB thumb drives and computers to an astonished Pacino.
posted by zarq (5 comments total)
I spit out my drink when Amelia walked into the room and asked Cervantes if he had finished re-writing the entirety of Don Quixote in less than a day.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:16 AM on May 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Having Pacino be the least technologically-savvy of the time-travelers is a fun running gag. Though when Gil Pérez told Pacino of his love of detective movies, I thought maybe they were going to have him finally have found someone who'd heard of Serpico, but no luck.

I'm curious to see where this Susana Torres+Darrow plot is going. There is something innately unlikeable about Walcott, and Torres has been presented fairly villainously so far too, and yet the fact that Lola would have been raped in prison if not for Irene's intervention makes the Ministry pretty unappealing to root for either.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:39 PM on May 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

It is hard to root for the Ministry as an institution because it's terrible, with a terrible history, a dodgy premis anyway, and some really barbaric processes. I find it very similar to the feeling one has for one's country: feeling a duty towards and a sense of belonging, and some helplessness about the bad things, particularly when they escalate. This theme in the series certainly gives a sense of danger to any of the storylines about improving the institution, because the stakes are so high for whoever goes against the conventions.

I kind of like the ambiguity and the mixed feelings. Generally when there's a basic ideology in a film or series once it's established it's not really questioned, all part of the suspension of disbelief, unless as some sort of huge 'twist'. Here it's routine, part of the background. That's different, and I enjoy it.

It's not at all hard to root for the characters though. I am very fond of them all. And I think Irene is stupendous.

The other thing I enjoy is the casual anti-Americaness. I would say that's ubiquitous in a European view of America (I had to tone down my own tendency to express this on joining Metafilter) and in the series it's another of the running jokes, like Alonso's 16C manners.
posted by glasseyes at 3:03 AM on May 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Damn. 17C. And I corrected it twice already.
posted by glasseyes at 3:42 AM on May 25, 2018

I liked the first season opening credits sequence, and I also like the new sequence that started in the previous episode. It reminds me of Jessica Jones's opening credits, in both the visuals and the music.
I don’t speak Spanish, except by Google, but the graffiti at the start of the credits, "MUCHA POLICIA POCA DIVERSIÓN" is translated on Netflix as "The police bring no fun."
It seems like it would be closer to say "More Police, Less Fun."
posted by LEGO Damashii at 9:52 PM on September 16, 2018

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