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If there’s one thing that day-one Queen of the South fans know, it’s the defining scene where Teresa Mendoza takes a bullet in her bathroom and says, “I knew this day would come.” As the show winds down with its final episodes, there are many thoughts, predictions, and wishes about Teresa’s fate. Will she make it out alive? Will she go to prison? Will that scene come true?

With season 5 full of chaos and death, she seems to be edging closer to a fatal outcome in the TV show. But here are two ideas that may explain how the scene connects to her fate.

'Queen of the South' Season 1 with Alice Braga as Teresa Mendoza
‘Queen of the South’ Season 1 with Alice Braga as Teresa Mendoza | Justin Stephens/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

‘Queen of the South’ Season 1 Episode 1 defined an unexplained moment

Teresa Mendoza has had several moments that foreshadowed her possible future. The most recent one occurred in season 5 when she chased a woman through New Orleans’ streets to the top of a building. That woman turned around and was a younger, greener version of herself, and Teresa shot her. The old Teresa? Dead.

However, season 1 felt like it set a certain tone when she stepped off the helicopter (with Pote) in her signature white suit and walked into her fortress. The camera cuts to her taking a bump of cocaine from her gold-adorned trinket box before standing up and getting hit with a sniper’s bullet. Teresa narrates as she lies on the floor with blood dripping out of her mouth.

Teresa could have been dreaming

One theory posits that the haunting scene is simply one of Teresa’s dream sequences. So much hangs in the balance as she contends with Kostya, Boaz, and hostility throughout her territories. Teresita has a lot on her mind, and it’s possible the sniper shot is a figment from her own imagination as she sleeps.

She’s had dreams, hallucinations, and nightmares before, including one with Guero and their imaginary daughter. Back in season 3, she dreamed about Guero warning her that violence and drugs is not the life he wanted for her, and white-suited Teresa popped up to remind her it’s her life. But viewers have not seen fragments of this scene anymore.

While a sniper could very well take out Teresa as seen in season 1, it’s possible the writers merely tried to illustrate the stakes for her lifestyle via her dreams.


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What if the sniper angle with Teresa is more meta?

There’s another idea floating around that Teresa’s death by sniper is metaphorical. She wants to get out of the business, and she’s already sent Pote and Kelly Anne packing. Teresa still has to deal with Devon’s order to kill Kostya, and Boaz deserves payback. But she still aims to go legit. That requires her to walk away from the drug trade and everything it entails.

With that in mind, she’ll have to leave a part of herself behind too. Fans saw this theme before when Teresa went through that initiation with El Santo. After ingesting the beetle juice, she experienced a death and rebirth of sorts. Some fans believe that the sniper shot and her resulting death symbolizes Teresa leaving the drug business.

And never forget the meaning of her arm tattoo. “Moyocoyotzin” is the name El Santo gave her, and it means, “She who creates herself.” There is a chance Teresita survives season 5 and beyond, but as a newer, cartel-free version of herself. Watch Queen of the South Wednesdays on USA at 10 p.m. EST.