Recap/Review: ‘Party of Five’ 1×04

On this week’s episode of Party of Five, Emilio tries to take the business to the next level by catering a private event. However, things go south when the client expects certain things from the caterers. Emilio does everything he can to appease her but draws a line when Beto gets yelled at by the guest of honor.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

The Party

At the restaurant, Vanessa mentions that a lady called inquiring about whether or not they cater events. They usually don’t, but according to Vanessa she mentioned that she is willing to pay $75 per head so Emilio thinks it’s worth calling her back and seeing exactly what she would require.

Mrs. McDonald, the lady hosting the party, meets with Emilio and Vanessa and tells them that she’s wanting “authentic Mexico” vibes for her party. He seems pretty confident that they can execute her vision. But when Emilio tells the rest of the Acosta siblings about the offer, they think it’s a bad idea. “You guys need to look at this as an investment in the future,” he tells them. “Down the line, the plan will be to keep the restaurant open and expand our business by catering events.” 

Emilio, Vanessa and Beto all take a trip to Mrs. McDonald’s house so they can see the space that the party is going to be held. Emilio and Vanessa walk off with her and Beto runs in to her granddaughter, who is lounging by the pool. Beto puts on the charm and flirts hard with her. It’s unclear at first whether she’s actually interested in Beto or not, but Beto is clearly interested in her, especially since Vanessa is no longer available. “You didn’t see what I saw,” he tells Lucia later that night. “What, a house?” she asks. “The future. I really think this could be the start of something,” he says remembering the girl. Yeah, okay Beto. You keep on telling yourself that.

On the night of the party, setup seems to be going off without a hitch. Until Mrs. McDonald asks where the mariachis are. Emilio just assumed that the pictures she gave him were for reference, but he promises to make her request happen.

While he’s setting up, the girl that Beto had been flirting with earlier approaches him while he’s setting up. She asks for a shot of something because she has to give a toast later and she is definitely not liquored up enough. He agrees, as long as she tells him her name. Ella then proceeds to take her shot and leave, but Beto seems to be feeling pretty good about himself.

Just when everything seemed to be going well, disaster strikes. The lady who was supposed to make tortillas is in labor so Emilio calls Lucia and asks her to come help out. Lucia shows up to the party and sees Emilio singing in full mariachi costume and is disgusted that he would even stoop to that level. Emilio admits that it’s a little gross but he can’t exactly make a sting about it. She tells him he should have stood up for himself and he tells her not to go all “social justice warrior” on him. “These are rich people, connected people,” he reminds her. “We make a good impression on them and this could lead to, I don’t even know what. Something better, something bigger for all of us.”

Back with the young lovebirds, Ella opens up to Beto while she’s sobering up. She’s struggling about what to say about her dad and his new wife since she doesn’t really believe that they love each other. She asks him whether his parents love each other and how he can tell. He says it’s corny but he can tell by the way they hold hands. “They’re always doing it, reaching for each other’s hands, whether they’re sad or stressed,” he describes to her. “It’s like they’re phone chargers. They need to be plugged into each other for a few hours each day.” She’s taken aback by his comments and tells him that he has “unexpected depth”. 

Things get worse when Lucia gets the tortilla stuff out of the van, but forgets to put the parking brake on causing the van to roll down the hill. It ends up hitting a party attendee’s bumper and to say he’s pissed is an understatement. He asks for her license and insurance, and she comes clean about not having either. He wants her to pay for the total cost of repairs, around $5000. But since she knows more about cars than most, she knows that that is a ridiculous number and haggles him down. Ultimately, they settle on her paying $1250 by the end of the night.

Ella steals Beto’s hand holding story for her speech and when he calls her out on it, in a flirty way of course, she tells him that she saw her dad and new stepmother do it under the table while her mom was sitting across from them. She gets vulnerable and admits to Beto that she’s a mess and wishes her parents would have stayed together even though they hated each other. 

In what could be described as a moment of weakness, Ella asks Beto to kiss her, which he of course agrees to. The two of them start making out and end up running into and knocking down one of the temporary walls. This interrupts the party and Ella’s dad is furious because he thinks Beto is taking advantage of her. Her father then scolds Emilio about the “kind of business he’s running”, which Emilio responds to by yelling at Beto. 

But that’s not enough for Ella’s dad. He wants Emilio to fire Beto right then and there. “I want to know you’re not just ‘yes’-ing me here, that you’re going to make sure he learns his lesson before you drop him back on whatever street corner you found him,” Ella’s dad says. Emilio’s had enough and tells his team to pack it up. The McDonalds are shocked that Emilio is doing this, but he continues to stick up for Beto. “That’s my brother, and as long I’m around, no one – no one – is going to ever talk to him like that,” Emilio says.”

Lucia ends up paying the guy the money she owes him, and as a result, they end up coming out behind on the night. Beto apologizes to Emilio but Emilio tells him it’s all okay. 

The episode ends with Beto lying in bed at night, trying to think of a clever text to send Ella. She ends up texting him first, asking him if he wants to go for a ride. He then hears honking and rushes to the window to find her outside his house. When he comes outside, she throws him the keys and tells him they can go wherever he’d like.

Emilio’s Love Life

Emilio’s love life is on full display in this episode. The episode kicks off with Vanessa and Emilio are having another sleepover and things get steamy fast. But they can’t go all the way because they ran out of condoms. So of course that means it’s the perfect time to have the DTR talk! Vanessa clearly wants to be exclusive, and although Emilio hesitates at first, he ultimately agrees. 

Emilio is getting his guitar out of the van when he runs into Lauren, a former waiter at the restaurant that Beto called on to help them with the party. He seems taken aback at first, especially after we learn that Emilio had a crush on her when he was 17 but it never went anywhere because he was “jailbait” and the boss’ son. 

Vanessa runs into Lauren and they have an awkward conversation. The conversation doesn’t really hold much weight except to remind us, and Vanessa, that Emilio was once a player and that it’s a big deal he agreed to be exclusive with her. 

Lauren and Emilio have one last talk before both leaving that disaster of a night behind them. She tests him to see if he’ll fall for her once again, but he doesn’t this time! “I guess the third Vanessa is the charm,” she says. It’s only been 4 episodes but our little Emilio is already growing up right before our eyes. You love to see it!

But then Emilio goes and is such an asshole to Vanessa. The two of them drive home and she tells him not to beat himself up over the party because nobody could have predicted that it would have gone the way it did. He opens up to her about the way her father ran his business. “The truth is, he didn’t need to walk out those doors to feel like some big shot,” he says. “People came to him, his terms, not the other way around.” She tells him that maybe that’s the lesson, that it’s a good business and maybe it doesn’t need to be more than it is right now but Emilio tells her he needs that. 

This is where things get intense. He tells her that he wants to go back a week when he made her a promise he doesn’t think he can keep but he also doesn’t want to break up or see anyone else. “Then what’s the problem?” she asks him. “One day I will, one day I’m going to want to be with someone else,” he honestly says to her. When she asks him how he knows, he tells her that he doesn’t want everything he has in this moment to be everything he’s ever going to have.”

He asks her if things can go back to the way they were, but she can’t seem to wrap her head around agreeing to that. “So what are you thinking?” he asks her. “I’m really going to miss your family,” she honestly answers. Like really Emilio? You thought she’d be okay with you essentially telling her she’s not your forever and want to still be together after that? NOT COOL.


Lucia finds one of Val’s training bras and scolds Beto for buying it for her. Beto scolds her right back for not being around and asks her to help out with Val more, especially when it comes to the girly stuff he’s totally unqualified for. 

Val comes home with groceries and tells Lucia she’s going to make their mom’s menudo soup. She asks where the recipe is and Lucia tells her that she never wrote it down. Val wants to call their mom to get it from her, but Lucia stops her because they all agreed that Val calling her parents all of the time is a bad thing. Val asks for Lucia’s help instead since their mom taught her how to make it and she ultimately relents.

Lucia and Val get to cooking and Lucia is clearly a natural, although she tells Val that she hates it. Lucia mentions that the reason their mom spent so much time teaching her how to cook was probably just because she was the girl in the family. “I’m the girl,” Val says. “And I want to learn. Who’s going to teach me?”

When it comes time to taste the soup, Val mentions that it might even be better than their mom’s and Lucia gets all defensive. “I’m not a cook, okay?” she yells.

After Lucia rushes out to go help Emilio, Val does FaceTime their mom to show her how well the soup came out when another little girl around Val’s age answers. Apparently, it’s the girl that Gloria has been nannying, which upsets Val.

Lucia and Beto return home from the party and Val is still upset and she tells them why. “That girl has two mothers and I don’t even have one,” she says. She then gets mad at Lucia, telling her that she wouldn’t have called her mom in the first place if Lucia had been there. “It’s not about not wanting to spend time with you,” Lucia explains. “It’s about not wanting to be mommy. I don’t want be good at the things she’s good at because what if that’s all I’m good at.” 

Episode Notes

  • I feel so bad that Emilio can’t go overseas with his band because he worries about being able to get back in the country with his DACA status. It’s clear that music is still his passion and it’s sad that his opportunities are now limited because of this.
  • “What does a training bra train anyway? Don’t they know what to do on their own?”
  • While I did like Emilio and Vanessa together, it was weird every time the lady referred to them as “husband and wife”. TOO SOON. TOO SOON.
  • Speaking of Vanessa, so did she quit the restaurant? Is she off the show? I really hope not because part of me is still holding out hope for her and Beto down the line. 
  • “Be sure to be there for every wedding, just in case that’s the one that sticks.” LOL GREAT LIFE ADVICE

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

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

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