The Cleaning Lady Review – Arman’s Velorio (3×07)


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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