‘Queen of the South’ Season 4 Finale Recap: Where Did Teresa Land This Time?

Day one Queen of the South fans have gotten used to seeing Teresa Mendoza fight her way out of the worst conditions across multiple state, country, and continental lines. Becoming her own cartel boss—one with compassion—has not come without a price for our Teresita. This season took her to New Orleans to expand her territory, but she ran into issues at every turn. It’s been an intense, bumpy, and at times, a sad ride.

Early in the season, Teresa’s wade into the dating pool seemed like a heartbreak waiting to happen. But there was more to worry about and more to digest: Tony’s reemergence and tragic death, sketchy dealings with the scummy judge (and his lapdog detective), a love-hate working pact with local boss Marcel, and war with El Gordo. While we’re happy Teresa, Pote, Javier, George, and Boaz were on guard going into tonight’s finale, some fans wished she never trusted Randall in last week’s trickery-filled episode. Now here we are. There’s nothing but spoilers ahead, so don’t read if you haven’t watched.

‘Queen of the South’ Pictured: (l-r) Alfonso Herrera as Javier, Alice Braga as Teresa, Hemky Madera as Pote | Patti Perret/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Things kick off with a reorganization and Teresa’s willingness to be ruthless

With Teresa taking over El Gordo’s operation, Boaz is running things in Miami, but they have to be careful. Meanwhile, the gang is trying to outwit the judge. Javier, riding around with Lafayette’s son, David, finds out that Randall killed Emelia. He’s enraged, and David urges him to exact revenge.

In a different scene, Teresa requests to meet with Oksana’s cousin, a Russian drug boss. Such an alliance will make her almost untouchable, but Oksana warns her he’s crazy. She’s okay with that.

The Queen of the South comes up with a way to take out Lafayette

During a sit-down with Marcel, Teresa tries to convince him to kill the judge, but during the discussion, George finds out Marcel was responsible for killing Birdie. He looks upset. Teresa and Marcel work out a plot against Lafayette, who’s nervous and cautious. However, Pote tells Teresita he is worried about George being a loose cannon.

While that’s unfolding, Javier finds Emelia in shallow grave. Anguish. Javier tells Boaz about Emelia, and they are both incensed. Boaz says make sure whoever did it dies a painful death. It’s on.

Teresa and her guys visit a prostitute whom Lafayette treats like a “caged pet,” in the interest of luring him into a trap and catching him off guard. It almost works but…

David, tired of his father’s nonsense, spills the beans to Randall. He connects the dots and figures out the judge is probably vulnerable since David switched his loyalties.

Pote tries to infiltrate the bordello to kill the judge, but Randall shows up and a shootout ensues. He shot Randall but he’s wearing a vest and the cavalry is on the way. The judge lives to see another day.

Teresa and her crew have to activate plan B

George and Teresa get to talk, and he explains he’s upset about Birdie but worried about dealing with the Russians. But Teresa replied, that linking with the Russians is a necessary evil so that they can “ become powerful enough that no one can touch you.”

Interrupted by a phone call from Pote warning them the plan didn’t work, the two end their chat and scramble to close the bar since they knew the dirty cops were on their way. Randall and his men are not happy about learning that the distillery has been cleaned out too. So far, Teresa is playing it smart, but they are arming themselves and are hiding out at a motel with Kelly Anne’s help. Pote and Kelly Anne share a tender moment. Then Javier shows up.

The truth comes out

Javier finally confesses what started this whole mess, telling them about his deadly fight with the judge’s nephew. Pote is angry, tells him that because of him, Tony is dead. Teresa is contemplative and not ready to kill Javier. They regroup.

She calls Lafayette to try to negotiate, but he demands she hands over her man, calling her riff raff. She refuses to turn Javier over, and the judge issues a threat. In that moment, they all realize that judge’s demands will never stop, whether she gives in or not. They weigh their options, but Javier is willing to do whatever it takes.

Lafayette recruits Marcel Dumas for his war

The judge and Marcel meet up and they shake on a hit on Mendoza, but does anyone believe he’s on the judge’s side? I don’t. That’s why he was smart enough to handle the operation himself. Oh Marcel, what do you have up your sleeve?

Randall, his cop team, and Marcel’s men surround the motel where Teresa and her men are holed up. Marcel was never on Lafayette’s side. Shootout! With all his men down, Randall is hit in the arm and tries to run, but Javier chases him. They exchange fire until Randall gets away.

George, still holding a grudge about Birdie, turns a gun on one of Marcel’s guys. He tries to reason with George about starting up a war again and talks him out of it.

It’s not time to celebrate yet, because the judge calls Teresa to tell her he kidnapped Oksana. His pet Randall shot her men, and now he’s demanding Javier in exchange for Oksana’s life. He doesn’t care about escalating the war. Javier says, “You know what you have to do.” Teresa, reluctant, says, “It doesn’t have to be like this,” but what choice do they have?

Javier is not done, and Teresa encounters a new threat

Back at the bar, they pour four shots, and in a sad scene, he says his farewells to the team before being carted off to Lafayette’s dogs. Try not to cry. Oksana returns, unscathed.

The judge drags David out to watch them kill Javier, who’s a tough soldier to the end. Battered and bloodied, he gets tossed into a car trunk and covered in gasoline. We know what’s about to happen. But wait. He jumps up and grabs Randall from behind who drops the lighter, setting them both on fire. Javier goes out in a blaze of glory, avenging Emelia and taking one for the team. Yes!!!

Kostya, Oksana’s cousin is now in business with them. Teresa’s next strategy is to take the judge’s power away. In the meantime, his son, hurt, sad, and sick of the lies and trauma, kills himself (we think). Lafayette finds him in the greenhouse.

Toward the end of the episode, Kelly Anne and Teresa talking shop, and we learn there’s a new sheriff in town. Teresa, looking fresh in her white suit, sees her old boyfriend walk into the bar. This time, she tells him the truth (he was trying to connect the dots), and tells him how much danger he’s in. She urges him to go away.

At the very end, the gang is at the warehouse and are surprised when a car rolls up on them at full speed. They draw their guns as a man steps out. The camera pans upward from his feet, up to his bloody abdomen and then his face. Who is it? James! He says, “They’re coming for you.” Next season? We’re promised Russians and probably the DEA. The show was just renewed for season five!