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Recap / The Ministry of Time S03 E01: "With Time on His Heels"

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A strange blue light surges through the gates, one person falls through one of the time doors... and we jump to a funeral. Amelia comes out of a car, along with others, and she starts crying.

Battle of Teruel, 1937. Amelia and Alonso run through trenches, while Republicans and Nationalists fight each other. Tanks cross the battlefield, artillery bombards everything, Julián stops to heal an injured soldier... and as Julián follows Alonso and Amelia into a bunker, we see his tomb: Julián Martínez is dead.


Two weeks later, it's July 1958, and Pacino, on a hotel after a mission, snogs his partner Marta after a mission, gifting her a necklace he stole from Joseph Bonaparte, but then he receives a strange message with just one symbol, the letter pi. He runs out and finds a Soviet man, from whom he takes something. Before he can do anything else, he hears his partner screaming... and finds her dead, at the bottom of the stairs. When a waiter appears, he thinks Pacino is the killer. Not the first time this happens to him.

Back in the present, the Ministry is undergoing reforms, Salvador has his leg in a cast and there's a problem with the air conditioning, so the heat is getting everyone rather irritated. They discuss who is to replace Julián, and Pacino's name come up.

While Pacino wonders what to do next, Amelia and Alonso are still feeling the pain of losing Julián (saving poet Miguel Hernández). Then, Pacino calls Amelia: he needs her and Alonso in 1958.


Meeting in San Sebastián, July 1958, Pacino tells them about what has happened, and also that he does not want to tell the Ministry about what happened because he's afraid about moles... but he does not know that they are being followed by the Soviet agent Pacino found in the hotel.

Salvador is fed-up with being in the Ministry, and sees someone coming out of the well, wearing headphones, and he thinks he's found a gate, but neither Angustias nor Irene believe him.

The thing Pacino took from the Soviet agent is a photograph film that reveals a known face: Alfred Hitchcock, who, by coincidence, is in Spain to present Vertigo in the San Sebastián Film Festival. The famous director is giving an interview, and he will be giving another interview the following day in the cemetery.

That night, Pacino has a Catapult Nightmare about Marta's death (in a Shout-Out to Vertigo), and he discusses with Alonso about the problem of losing someone you care about, and Amelia, whom both hope will get over Julián.


The following day, Amelia and Alonso, playing journalist and photographer, try to get in to interview Hitchcock: they are not in the list, but the director, captivated with Amelia, allows them to join, answering Amelia's questions while Alonso takes photographs. Hitchcock asks Amelia if she's interested in becoming an actress, and invites her to the premiere.

Meanwhile, though, Pacino, who's looking around, follows a mysterious woman and gets attacked by the Soviet (a scene mirroring Psycho and Rope), only to be saved by Alonso just in time. The trio takes the Soviet to his hotel room, where Pacino proceeds to discharge his fury over Marta's death on the man, much to Amelia's discomfort.

In the present, Irene, prompted by Salvador (another Shout-Out, this time to Rear Window), discovers that someone is indeed going down. The man claims to be looking for the loo, but it turns out he's doing something else. Before Irene can notice this, though, Amelia calls her. Pacino, meanwhile, has managed to get the Soviet agent to fess up: they are trying to kidnap Hitchcock, to make him film propaganda movies for the Soviet Union.

While this should not be much of a problem with Spanish history, President Dwight Eisenhower is due to visit Spain in 1959: if Hitchcock were to be kidnapped, it could butterfly the agreements that allowed Spain's economy to recover and the restoration of international relationships. So, now, the team must protect Hitchcock, and for that they must attend Vertigo's premiere, taking advantage of a little known historical fact (Hitchcock left before the movie ended, as the movie as shown had an extra two minutes added to the end because of Executive Meddling) to get to the director before the Soviets.

During the projection of the film, Pacino is watching, and is amazed to see someone that should not be there: Marta. She tells him that the entire mess was because the Soviets learned about the Ministry, and kidnapped her father: now they want Pacino to carry out the kidnapping, or they will kill both Marta and her father.

Just before the ending, Hitchcock leaves, and Amelia goes out to get him out of the way, but Pacino stops them, getting Hitchcock to follow him by promising chipirones (Truth in Television: he openly stated he liked them during the visit). When he arrives to the backstage, Marta's waiting there with the remaining Soviet spy (the waiter), but Pacino has realized it was all a lie: Marta was working voluntarily with the KGB (her father has been dead for years), although she has not told them about the Ministry. Alonso kills the other spy, and Pacino has a discussion with Marta, where she states she planned the kidnapping precisely to put an end to Franco's dictatorship (which would have fallen without American support)... and revealing she works for someone else. Pacino decides to let her escape. Amelia tells Hitchcock (who, in a touch of meta humor, has become the episode's Living MacGuffin) she cannot go with him to the United States, but suggests him to seek Tippi Hedren - and also tells Alma Hitchcock she will get better from her cancer, much to Mrs Hitchcock's confusion.

When they return to the present, after the debriefing, Pacino requests Salvador if he can rejoin Amelia and Alonso, which Salvador agrees to without discussion, having expected it. The Soviet agent knows little to nothing, so he will be returned to his time. However, that night, the same worker Salvador and Irene had seen going downstairs sneaks into the room where the Soviet agent is and kills him with a syringe full of poison.

Alternative Title(s): El Ministerio Del Tiempo S 03 E 01 Con El Tiempo En Los Talones


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