‘Queen of the South’ Season 5: Alice Braga Dishes on Teresa, James, and the Judge

Fans will welcome Queen of the South Season 5 to their screens on April 7, marking the premiere of the TV show’s final installment. With James Valdez (Peter Gadiot) back on the scene, some are wondering about his motives and whether he and Teresa will rekindle their romantic flame. However, he is not her only focus.

It is back to business following Javier’s death and the gang is still in New Orleans. Alice Braga recently spoke about what to expect for her character, James, and Judge Lafayette.

'Queen of the South' with Peter Gadiot and Alice Braga
‘Queen of the South’ Season 4 with Peter Gadiot as James Valdez, Alice Braga as Teresa Mendoza | Skip Bolen/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

James is not fully trusted by the ‘Queen of the South’

Missing in action since he took off with Devon Finch in season 3, James mysteriously showed up in the season 4 finale as a wounded man. When season 5 opens, viewers will see that Teresa takes him in and helps nurse him back to health. But that doesn’t mean he’s being welcomed back into the fold with open arms.

Understandably, there are trust issues. Queen of the South co-showrunner Dailyn Rodriguez told Entertainment Weekly that Teresa and crew will learn what James has been up to with Devon.

“Working for Finch has broken James a bit. You learn early on that he hoped to return to Teresa, who up until this point abided by a certain code of morality,” she said. “He learns quickly that things have changed. He’s very much in a place where he’s exhausted with the life he’s been living.”

Questions abound about how he tracked Teresa down, who’s coming after her, and why James is a marked man.

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Alice Braga explains how romance with James is difficult

It is undeniable that James loves Teresa and they have a history, but is there really room for love when your life is wrapped up in a drug cartel? Alice Braga does not think so.

She told EW, “In this world, love weakens you. It puts you in a very dangerous situation because it can be used against you, to hurt you.” She explained that viewers will see her work through losing Tony and how her toughened exterior affects her relationship with James.

Braga is right. Loved ones are used as collateral and it can be deadly for anyone involved. Does Teresa need to let anyone outside of her circle see she has a soft spot for James? Probably not.

The tables will turn on Judge Lafayette in season 5

Teresa didn’t flee New Orleans. She stuck around and expanded her territories. Now Boaz and others are in charge of certain locales. Judge Lafayette is still in war mode, and the animosity is mutual as the series heads into season 5.

Braga stated that the judge’s racist tendencies will be addressed and so will his past transgressions against her and her team. But with that comes Boaz’s double-edged anger over Javier’s death. He wants answers.

Co-showrunner Ben Lobato assures fans there will also be a surprise callback to earlier seasons of the show in these final episodes. Tune in to see how Teresa, Pote, King George, Kelly Anne, and the rest of the Queen of the South family figure things out on April 7 at 10 p.m. EST.