Serious SPOILERS ahead!
If you have yet to watch Queen of the South Season 4 Episode 2, turn back now.
You've been warned.
Queen of the South frequently gets my heart rate up. It's left me breathless with action and intrigue on more than one occasion, but this may have been the first time it left me close to speechless.
There were a few moments when all I could do was point at the screen, mouth agape, incoherently sputtering, "That's... That's..."
The same Kelly Anne who tearfully begged forgiveness after she betrayed Teresa.
The same Kelly Anne I truly believed had been shot and killed by James after Pote couldn't pull the trigger.
How could she possibly still be alive?
Her explanation was simple. After Pote walked away, James pulled the trigger but didn't shoot her. He told her to run and let her go.
I absolutely adore Kelly Anne, and I've missed her, but it doesn't mean I trust her completely.
Where has she been all of this time? Has she really been on the run, hiding out, or could she be working with the CIA?
James went with the CIA. Castel is supposedly their asset. It's not so far fetched to think that Kelly Anne came back to help Tony but could also be using it as a way to get back in with Teresa's organization.
Kelly Anne: Tony and I had a system, if he ever got in trouble he’d ping me on the app. He said his roommate had been shot and a bunch of guys were running after him so I got in my car and I drove down here as fast as I could.
Pote: Knowing that you would be killed on sight?
Kelly Anne: He was in trouble, so yeah.
Or maybe the truth is exactly what she says it is. Perhaps she's just tired of running and facing Teresa is better than living the rest of her life in hiding.
The look on Pote's face when he saw Kelly Anne in the woods probably mirrored my own. It was like seeing a ghost. It made no sense, and yet, there she was.
Kelly Anne and Pote's connection has always been one of those special relationships that remind us that there's a heart beating in that ruthless hitman's chest.
But just because he loves Kelly Anne doesn't mean he won't kill her if he's ordered to even if he hesitated the last time.
Kelly Anne: Teresa doesn’t know I’m alive, obviously, right?
Pote: Not yet.
Kelly Anne: Do you think she’s still going to want me dead?
Pote: I don’t know.
Kelly Anne: If she does, she’s going to ask you to do it. I won’t hold it against you. Honestly, I rather you than anyone else ‘cause I know you’ll make it quick.
It's incredibly difficult not to love Kelly Anne in moments like that.
Kelly Anne's wasn't the only familiar but supposedly dead face we saw in this installment.
Brenda returned, and it was good to see her even if it was only in flashbacks.
Brenda: Would you be Tony’s godmother?
Teresa: Yes. Of course!
Brenda: No. Listen to me. No, ‘cause I’m not talking about just a godmother who’s going to pose for the baptism photos. What I mean is, if something happens to Chino or me, will you take care of him?
Teresa: Yes, of course.
Brenda was no fool. She knew the life they were living, and she knew that she might need someone to step up to take care of Tony if she and Chino were gone.
I can't say I care much about Tony. He's useful in giving Teresa an obvious vulnerability, and in this case, to bring Kelly Anne back into the fold.
That said, it's clear that Teresa will always protect Tony like family, which also means he'll always have a target on his back.
And sometimes even when your enemies are dead, they still keep trying to destroy you.
Pote: It was Cortez. He paid them before he got killed.
Kelly Anne: But if he’s dead why’d they come after you?
Pote: He got paid. It’s like a bullet leaving the chamber, you can never take it back.
I couldn't help but chuckle at that Queen of the South quote. It's the assassin's code. Once you get paid, the job gets done.
While Pote was chasing down Tony, Teresa and the crew had their own crisis with which to deal.
It's ironic that Marcel only thought he was hijacking a truck full of tequila and accidentally uncovered Teresa's shipment of liquid cocaine.
The locals in New Orleans may not be cartel, but they aren't to be triffled with either.
Marcel's end game is unclear. Does he still want to push Teresa out of New Orleans or is he more interested in working with her to turn a bigger profit?
And then there's Raoul.
The guy is unstable. He likes to make money but he's prone to violence, not just when his business gets threatened but as a means of feeling less insecure.
Raoul enjoys making sure people are afraid of him.
Killing George and Birdie when he'd finished with his cigar was an indiscriminate time frame, and had nothing to do with whether his nephew was safe.
If Raoul had shot George and Birdie and his nephew was still alive, the logical next step would have been for Teresa to kill the nephew, but Raoul either didn't think that far ahead or didn't care. I'm not sure which it is.
George: If you gotta kill someone, you kill me. She’s a civilian, she’s got nothing to do with this.
Raoul: How brave. But I’m a man of my word. If it’s any consolation I’ll kill you first so you don’t watch her die.
Birdie: (Spits at Raoul) I hope your nephew's dead and Teresa sends you to join him.
Raoul: Okay, you first.
Birdie certainly showed she's not just a bartender. The girl's got backbone.
Not only did Birdie impress George, but she also saw through his wisecracks and bravado. Not many people call him out on that, but Birdie did.
George: You did good today. Held your water. That ain’t no easy thing staring down the barrel of a gun.
Birdie: Yeah, well, my father ran numbers in the French Quarter. He used to use me as a runner so I think the first time someone put a gun to my face I couldn’t have been more than nine.
George: Whoa, Jesus.
Birdie: So this is not the first time but it is the first time someone’s offered to take a bullet for me.
George: Just how my Mama raised me.
Birdie: Don’t do that.
Birdie: You don’t have to be on all the time, I mean, not with me.
George: My coping mechanism.
Birdie: Okay, I think I’ve got a better one.
George looked utterly gobsmacked when Birdie made the first move and kissed him. He obviously wasn't expecting that.
Teresa's got her hands full here in New Orleans with Marcel and Raoul, and Judge Lafayette wasn't even in the picture this go around.
Not to mention the CIA monitoring her from afar, and Camila and Isabel must be out there somewhere still plotting against her.
If this second installment is any indication, Queen of the South Season 4 is going to be one hell of a ride!
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.