Warning: Contains Spoilers from Season 2!
It’s almost time to see Teresa Mendoza again. Queen of the South returns Thursday on USA, but if you can’t wait (we know we can’t!), star Alice Braga is here to preview what’s coming up in season 3.
Season 2 left off with Teresa killing Epifanio Vargas (Joaquim de Almeida) and breaking her relationship with Camila (Veronica Falcon). Camila’s not the kind of boss you can just leave with two weeks’ notice, so we can’t wait to see how Teresa makes it on her own and faces the issues her enemies conjure for her.
Here are nine things to look forward to in season 3 of Queen of the South!
1. Season 3 Begins Shortly After Her Escape
If you want to know where Teresa was headed after her final encounter with Camila and Epifanio, you won’t have to wait long.
“Season 3 picks up a little bit after Teresa and Camilla broke up their relationship,” Braga said. “Actually, we shot in Malta -- which was beautiful. It picks up in a moment that Teresa’s just trying to take care of her own life and follow her own path without anyone dictating how she should do it.”
Malta is a good place for Teresa to hide.
“They were talking about choosing specific countries in Europe and then Malta came up,” Braga said. “It’s such an interesting story because it’s an island that has been invaded by many different countries. It was just a perfect hideout for Teresa to flee. She stayed there, so we kick off the season there.”
2. Teresa Has to Face the Business
Teresa has had to get her hands dirty on her rise to the top. That makes good television, but it’s not what Teresa wants. This season she’s starting to learn she cannot avoid it.
“I think she’s learning, this season especially, that there are some things in this business that she cannot run away from, which are violence and having to make decisions that involve people’s lives.” Braga said. “She wants to protect people who she believes are innocent and also protect what she’s building -- so she’s very active. I like that about the character -- that she’s a very active character, very passionate, very committed, and pragmatic.”
She may not be Queen of the South yet, but this is a big step from where she was in Season 1.
“It’s interesting to play this transformation,” Braga said. “It’s different than you’re just running for your life and trying to survive – this trying to build her business. It’s a nice character change.”
3. There’s A Lot More Action
Teresa may want to settle down and be left alone, but it wouldn’t be Queen of the South unless she was shooting at something or running from explosions!
“In Season 3, there’s a bunch of explosions -- a lot of explosions – and a lot of running!” Braga teased. “I think the fans are going to be very excited because we did a lot of action when we were [in Malta] so everything looks very exciting. I know our fans love action sequences and there are a bunch of very exciting moments, especially for my character.”
Braga likes it too.
“There are definitely a lot of shootouts, which I love playing,” she said. “I love doing action sequences so, every time we do it, I get excited by it.”
4. Teresa’s Future Self Gets More Screen Time
The viewers have seen Teresa as the Queen of the South in the future, but now the future Teresa has started to speak to Teresa mid- adventure. Braga teased more appearances from her future self.
“I think her journey is already written for her,” Braga said. “She knows there’s no way out from this.”
Right now, that Queen image is still hard to reconcile for Teresa.
“I don’t think she sees herself as the queen, but I think she knows there’s no way out of becoming what those visions are,” Braga explained. “That subconscious image that comes up to her all the time that is her future… that that’s her path.”
5. Teresa Is Ready to Face Camilla
Camilla’s not going to go down without a fight, but Teresa spent her time with Camilla learning her tactics and personality.
“I think Teresa could see Camilla understand the situation that she had with Camilla, but I never believed that she fully trusted Camilla one hundred percent because she doesn’t trust everyone easily,” Braga said. “She’s someone that, since she was a kid, was very skeptical. She was always observing people and trying to figure them out.”
That’s not to say Teresa was conning Camilla the whole time. She tried to make it work but learned that it couldn’t.
“I think Season 2 was a lot about how this dynamic could work,” Braga said. “I think Season 3 is a lot about being in charge of your own life. Whoever is on her path – and in her way -- she’s going to struggle to survive and take power for that.”
6. There May Be A New Romance
When it comes to love, Guero and James have had a good run. It may be time for a new lover in Season 3. Braga wouldn’t say, but could her silence suggest there may be someone new for Teresa?
“I cannot tell you,” Braga said. “But there is a lot of passion in Season 3; I can say that. There’s always been passion but in Season 3, I think we have some flavor in it. “
7. She’s Making Peace with Epifanio’s Death
Killing Epifanio may have been Teresa’s biggest coup yet. That sort of thing has to change a person, but Teresa keeps it in perspective.
“He was part of her life in the sense tha,t with Guero and with the life that she had in the past, he was part of a moment in her life,” Braga said. “At the same time, he’s the reason that everything fell apart for her. So, there is a regret because it’s a past that existed in her life but also it was necessary. His death was something that was pushed toward her. It wasn’t that she simply decided on the death. It was something that happened as a consequence.”
8. The Book May Still Find Its Way Into Season 3
USA’s Queen of the South tells a different story than Arturo Perez-Reverte’s book, but Braga still refers to the book. Some of your favorite character moments may be inspired by his writing.
“I try with Teresa to keep her core from the book,” Braga said. “Some personality qualities -- not even qualities, but just nuances -- of who she is from the book… Even though it’s not the same path, I’m always grabbing inspirations from her soul.”
9. Queenpins! They're Just Like Us!
Okay, so most of us won’t build a cocaine empire, but we can still relate to Teresa. The more outrageous her life becomes, the more Braga finds something real to relate it to.
“It’s so much about life and death and the limits of choices and struggle and all of those qualities for a show,” Braga said. “They’re so powerful for the audience to engage with and have the heartbeat with the story. It’s very exciting.”
For example, Season 1 was Teresa on the run. A lot of people can relate to trying to escape a bad situation. Season 2 was about Teresa’s alliance with Camilla. Lots of people may try to make the best of a doomed partnership.
“Now [as Teresa], I’m struggling to take care of my own life and she’s struggling to just follow her own path,” reflected Braga. “These are qualities that I think everyone goes in life in a way. We’re always evolving and growing up as human beings. I think the audience connects with it.”
That said, since will become the Queen of the South. At that point, maybe people shouldn’t try to be quite like Teresa Mendoza…
“I try to humanize Teresa as much as possible,” Braga said. “Not in the sense of being good or bad character -- because she is a drug lord and a queenpin -- but trying to ground her as much as I can so the audience can relate to her choices, her pains, and her soul more than anything.”
Are you ready for Season 3? Watch the premiere of Queen of the South Thursday, June 21, on USA Network!