Recap/Review: ‘Party of Five’ 1×06

On this week’s episode Party of Five, Emilio realizes he needs help after Rafa’s ER visit and finds himself opening up to a new babysitter. Beto tries to impress Ella and falls short while Lucia becomes inspired by an immigration activist. 

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Freeform/Gilles Mingasson

Emilio + Natalia

Emilio has been staying home with Rafa since last week’s ER visit, which means he’s been neglecting things at the restaurant like filling Vanessa’s position. One young woman, Natalia, came in to the restaurant for her hostess interview but as Beto and Lucia are looking over her resume, they realize she’d be a much better babysitter for Rafa than she would a hostess. Emilio is overly-cautious when Natalia shows up to their house the next day, laying out all kinds of paperwork related to lead poisoning, but she seems to have things under controlas they ultimately leave her with Rafa.

But just when things seem to be returning to normal, a pipe bursts in the upstairs bathroom. Natalia offers up the help of her cousin, who’s a plumber, but Emilio insists he can fix it himself with just a few things from the hardware store. 

Natalia and Emilio start hitting it off right away. As she’s heading out, she mentions that she’s going to a poetry reading and he tells her that he’s in to music which is “kind of like poetry, right?” Before she goes, he asks her to run the sink but it’s still not fixed so it leaks everywhere. She offers to call her cousin again but he refuses, although he really should take her up on her offer because Emilio is not a plumber whatsoever.

But when it comes to Natalia doing her job, she and Emilio can’t seem to see eye to eye. Rafa starts crying from his crib and when Emilio asks her to go check on him, she says he’ll fall back asleep in a minute. He gets mad at her when she won’t go what he asked of her for his “own peace of mind”. But Natalia is right – within a minute, Rafa calms down and gone back to sleep.

Natalia and Rafa are watching videos on the computer in Spanish in back of the restaurant when Javier calls on Skype looking for Emilio. As Natalia goes to get Emilio, Javier looks sad and takes a minute to get himself together before Emilio comes in. He asks Emilio why Rafa isn’t at daycare and Emilio just makes up some excuse, not wanting to come clean about last week’s trip to the ER. Javier says that Gloria is worried that something happened to Rafa and Emilio insists that he’s taking care of everyone and everything.

Tension builds between Emilio and Natalia and they both end up taking all of their anger towards each other out on a poor girl who has simply come into interview for the hostess job. Natalia then tries to quit, but Emilio gets a call from Beto, who needs his help, so Natalia agrees to postpone quitting till tomorrow. 

Emilio returns home from bailing Beto out and finds water everywhere. Natalia tells him that she called her cousin – even though Emilio reminds her that he told her not to – who says that all the plumbing in the house is in terrible shape and that it’s going to keep happening unless the larger problem is addressed. Emilio, though, has known that all along. “The second anyone takes a second look – a babysitter, a social worker, a plumber – they’re going to see that I’m just a shitty patch job too,” he tells her. “It’s not that my parents trusted me to take care of this family, it’s that there was no one else to do this job.”

Emilio apologizes to Natalia, saying that he’s overprotective because he can’t ever let anything bad happen to any of his siblings. After Emilio tells her a story about his dad coming to this country, she offers him some advice: “Nobody comes to this country with nothing and single-handedly builds the life he made here. It just doesn’t happen… They take the hand that’s offered to them and then they reach back and offer their own and they know there’s no shame in it.” 

So Emilio does just that. He finally calls Natalia’s cousin, who allows him to set up a payment plan for the plumbing work, and even trusts Natalia to let her take Rafa to the park all by herself. Baby steps, Emilio. Baby steps. 

Freeform/Gilles Mingasson

Beto + Ella

Beto meets some of Ella’s friends at the get-together at the Acostas’ house and he seems to get their stamp of approval. They casually mention to him that Ella broke up with her last boyfriend because he forgot their one-month anniversary so Beto, of course, starts freaking out because their one-month anniversary is tomorrow and he hasn’t planned anything.

Later on, Beto offers to go to restaurant and help out in Emilio’s place since he’s busy dealing with the pipe situation at home. But Beto has the audacity to ask to be paid for the hours he works because he needs fast money. Emilio asks whether or not Ella is pregnant, and Beto quickly shuts that down, telling him that he just wants to take Ella to a fancy restaurant for her their anniversary. “I need to show her how much I care,” Beto says, but Emilio just tunes out his first world problems. This scene is yet another great example of what Niko Guardado and Brandon Larracuente have brought to the Beto-Emilio relationship that has made it realistic and such a breath of fresh air.

Beto ends up taking Ella to some fancy fondue restaurant. He suggests ordering the prix fix menu, but Ella’s got her eyes on more expensive options like lobster so Beto’s plan is clearly already in the garbage. 

At dinner, Ella brings up the idea of traveling together this summer. Beto reminds her that he has summer school, but even if he didn’t he wouldn’t be able to afford it. She said she would have paid for it, but Beto tells her that he doesn’t want her paying for things for him. She doesn’t understand why it’s a big deal that she can afford to pay for things and ends up calling Beto out: “What are you mad at me for, Beto? Being a girl who likes things you can’t afford to give me or being a girl who likes to give you things you can’t afford?” And cue Ella storming out of the restaurant.

Emilio shows up to bail Beto out and asks the question we all want to know: how did Beto get the money to pay for dinner at a fancy place like this in the first place? Selling his plasma, that’s how. Emilio chastises him and rightly so. I mean, who does that just to take a girl on a nice date. As Emilio is pulling out money to pay the check, he makes an off-handed comment about being even. When Beto asks whether he means the two of them, Emilio says he meant him and Ella, explaining that Ella went behind his back and paid for Val’s dance classes. This prompts Beto to rush out before Emilio can even put down all the cash.

Beto shows up outside of Ella’s house and she’s seemingly calm at the entire situation. However Beto is still upset though, especially after learning that she’s paying for Val’s classes. She says she did it because Val wanted them and she deserves to get something she wanted after everything she’s been to, but Beto counters back that it was just a power move to get Val to like her more. Ella doesn’t see what the difference is between what she did and what he did back at the restaurant, but Beto says what he did wasn’t a bribe, “it was a mistake.”

She tearfully asks if he’s breaking up with her, and he says he doesn’t know. “I keep thinking how in your family money equals love and I think on some level you believe it,” he tells her. She counters that by saying that her dad offered her a trip to Fiji and diamond studs to break up with him and she said no. “Maybe that’s why you like me,” he says. “Cause your dad doesn’t.” She then continues to yell at him, asking if he really thinks she’s so shallow that she couldn’t possibly like him for him. “Maybe that’s one way losing your parents really screwed you up,” she tells him. “It made you think that being a good person just isn’t enough. But you are, Beto. And that’s enough for me.” They agree not to break up for now before Beto says interrupts their serious moment by saying he has to go to the bathroom. 

Freeform/Gilles Mingasson

Lucia + Matthew

One of Ella’s friends won’t stop bugging Lucia about Matthew at the get-together at the Acostas’ house. But Lucia doesn’t have much to offer her because “he’s not much of a talker.” She goes over to tell Matthew that Ella’s friend is interested, but he could really care less. Lucia encourages him to at least go say hi, but he doesn’t want to because he wouldn’t know how to proceed after that. “And then what?” he tries to explain to her. “She says, ‘Tell me a little bit about yourself’ and where do I start? Undocumented or homeless?” And that’s about as far as their conversation goes. 

Lucia is leaving the hardware store when she sees Teresa Sullivan, who works for DREAM for Justice, standing up for an immigrant who’s about to be arrested and ultimately deported. She asks Lucia to turn her phone on and record the whole thing. Lucia, of course, obliges and feels super empowered that she’s helping someone out.

She shows the video she took to Matthew at the restaurant that night, still completely in awe of what Teresa did. She mentions to Matthew that Teresa is probably an expert in DACA renewals, but he still doesn’t want to go down that road. “I’m all set,” he tells her. “Grateful and set.” But Lucia doesn’t listen to him, instead continuing to guilt him into it by reminding him of all of the things he could do like have friends and a girlfriend if he didn’t have to lie about his status. She tells him he doesn’t have to be afraid, and he scoffs at her accusation. “You think I’m afraid?” he says. “That’s what you think this is about? I like my life hard, okay? Makes me feel like I’m actually living it.”

Lucia goes to see Teresa at her job and asks for advice about what Matthew should do in his situation. Teresa is quick to remind her that both her and Matthew could be charged with identity theft, which is a felony. But she’s more curious as to what Lucia’s real motive is. “Maybe your the world’s greatest good Samaritan who’s happy to jack a social security number for some kid she’s just met,” she says. “But I’m just wondering if maybe there’s something in it for you too.”

This gets the wheels turning in Lucia’s brain. She finds Matthew at the skate park at the end of the episode and tells him that she doesn’t want anyone else disappearing on her, especially after what happened to her parents. “Your DACA renewal, that’s for me,” she tells him. “It’s what I need you to do to make me feel secure. And that’s not fair. So whatever you want to do, even if its nothing, whatever your reasons are, even if I don’t understand them.” 

Matthew finally opens up a little bit more to her. He tells her that his mom used to get mad at him as a kid as everything he did reminded her that he wasn’t the little girl she always wanted, even though he tried to make her happy. “Lucia, for me to renew DACA, I would have to present my birth certificate,” he explains. “It’s the only way. But that name, that’s someone I never was and I won’t go back and say that’s me, not for any reason.” She tells him she understands as she lays her head on his shoulder.

Episode Notes

  • “It’s not tap. The brochure said tap-ercise. It’s also open to ages 10-100. I’d rather be dead.” I don’t know what Val’s talking about. I think tap-ercise sounds super fun.
  • “It’s 2020 and women don’t need men to pay for them.” Might be the best thing Ella’s said in all 3 of her episodes. 
  • “I made a good dramatic exit, and now I’m over it.” Actually, this might be the best thing Ella has said on this show. If only getting over things were that easy. 
  • “I took off 25%, friends and family discount.” “But I’m neither.” “Not yet.” Does this mean we are confirming Natalia and Emilio are endgame down the line?!?! I’M HERE FOR THIS.

What did you think of the episode? Let me know in the comments below!

Party of Five airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Freeform.


  1. So I’m still a bit confused by Matthew, is he transgender and if so doesn’t he need hormone treatments? How does he get them? If not, is it that his mom tried to make him be a girl?

    1. From what has been revealed on the show, he is not transgender. It is just that his mom wanted him to be a girl and treated him like the daughter she didn’t have and he wasn’t comfortable with that, which is why he ultimately left.

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