The Department of Time: Cambio de tiempo (Change of Time)   First Watch 
June 20, 2018 8:45 AM - Season 2, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Season Finale: After the defeat of the Spanish Armada along the English coast in 1588, King Philip II decides to break the Ministry rules (imposed by his great-grandmother Isabella) and travel back in time to so the Armada will win the battle. When the Ministry refuses to help, Philip takes over, discovering that he can not only travel into the past but the future as well. Julián, Alfonso and Amelia return to 2016 from a mission to find history has been drastically changed. Philip is now King of the World, and the King of Time.

Starring
* Carlos Hipólito as Philip II of Spain
* Carlos Kaniowsky as Mateo Vazquez de Leca
* Víctor Duplá as Agustín Argüelles
* Jon Ariño as De las Cuevas
* Carlos Cuevas as Javier
* Maitane San Nicolás as Rocio
* Marta Nieto as Isabella of Portugal
* Jordi Hurtado as himself

Notes (contain spoilers)
* This episode aired in May 2016.
* In September 2016, Ministry showrunner Javier Olivares wrote a Biography of Felipe II, Rey de Espana y Portugal (Phillip, King of Spanish and Portugal.) Olivares has an undergraduate degree in History and a Master’s in Art Theory, which helps inform his work on this show and previously on the RTVE show Isabel.
* In Time of the Occult (episode 11 of this season), Lombardi changes history. Here, Philip does the same but the mood is quite different. Philip openly uses the Ministry to ensure the Spanish Empire survives into the 21st century.
* There are many poignant, emotionally resonant moments in this episode. Maite is still alive. Elena (who left Alonso when the episode started) is now pregnant. Alonso and Julián must decide whether to return time to its original state and lose the people they love. Pacino has been executed for the murders he didn't commit in 1981. Salvador and Philip's confrontation, where Salvador is killed mid-sentence. Julián and Amelia being tortured in two different times. And a heartwrenching scene at the end between Amelia and Philip.
* There are few freedoms in the new Spain of 2016. No constitution. The Inquisition is still active. Irene is unable to be openly gay.
* RTVE host Jordi Hurtado makes his second cameo appearance on the show. (The first was during the Season One finale.) The joke that Hurtado is a kind of Dorian Gray who doesn't age is a Spanish cultural meme, similar to what used to be said about Dick Clark here in America.
* Alonso has expressed nostalgia in several previous episodes for a time when Spain was ruled by a King and women were less complicated. When it actually happens, he realizes that period of history wasn't as great as he thought.
posted by zarq (6 comments total)
 
This is my favorite episode out of the first two seasons. It's funny, shocking, sad and heartbreaking. Carlos Hipólito (King Philip) could have easily spent his entire time on camera chewing the scenery with an over-the-top performance. Instead he gave us a nuanced portrayal of a man who achieves everything he's ever wanted by cheating, who finally does the right thing and restores the timeline, and whose final thoughts are with the mother whose early death left a scar on his psyche.

That last scene, where Philip finds redemption from someone he'd had tortured was incredible. It's implied that Amelia helped him die while encouraging him to think of the happiest he'd ever been (an injection of morphine, perhaps?) but that's not explicitly stated. A lesser show would have shown the act. This one respects its viewers enough to let there be a bit of ambiguity.

Elena and Maite give off a Pod People quality that is bone-chilling. Changes in Ministry personnel are also worth noting. Irene is a submissive underling. She's also married to a man. Suppressing her identity in multiple ways. Ernesto has (shockingly) embraced his inner Torquemada. And his Ministry Agents look like the Men in Black.

When this episode was filmed, the show had not been renewed by RTVE for a third season. This episode could easily have been a series finale. We also see elements that have been built up and explained for the last two seasons. We now know some of the Ministry's history, how the doors work and what happens if history is changed. There's a lovely attention to detail in many scenes that nicely underlines the narrative.

Also, Philip tossing the cell phone at a member of the Inquisition and saying, "It's alive! Kill it!" was just great.
posted by zarq at 9:00 AM on June 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


I watched this a few weeks ago and still giggle about Philip answering his cellphone. "Yes, this is the king."

Other than that, though, this episode made me very sad. It reflects rather accurately and negatively on male allies. I'm still not 100% sure they would have helped Amelia if she didn't implicate them, giving them no choice.
posted by tofu_crouton at 11:22 AM on June 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


Like the Enriquetta episode, I find this one too painful to enjoy. But yes, it was impressive. In the middle of all the extravagant fancy, to pull off a plot that relies on quiet integrity was really something.

Oh yes, and Ernesto, as you said, embracing his inner Torquemada. That was chilling.
posted by glasseyes at 3:22 PM on June 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


There is a moment (at around 14.34 on the netflix episode) when the team is rescuing Arguelles which looks an awful lot like Goya's painting The Third of May. Not exactly like but definitely referencing.
posted by glasseyes at 5:03 PM on June 20, 2018


Now I've looked it up Julian mentions the painting, I didn't notice at first view because I didn't know the name of it
posted by glasseyes at 5:39 PM on June 20, 2018


This episode was so suspenseful. (In no small part because I started watching it while traveling on the 20th and had to pause at the moment the soldiers entered the Ministry, only to find that my Netflix downloads were inexplicably inaccessible from my hotel room, and so wasn't able to start watching again until flying home yesterday.)

King Philip was terrifying. I guess I knew, intellectually, that history would be restored, but Salvador's murder was so shocking, and the odds seemingly so monumentally stacked against Amelia's success, I just watched with my heart in my throat. So, yeah, I got all weepy at Philip's death scene, at Alonso's declaration that he would never leave a fellow soldier behind, and probably other points that I'm now forgetting. Oh, and Irene's scenes - the kiss, the corridor with Julián and Alonso, of course, but pretty much every sight of miserably-Altered-Irene made me tear up.
posted by oh yeah! at 12:31 PM on June 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


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