‘The Cleaning Lady’ Glorifies Drug Smuggling While Illegal Migrant Still the Hero

October 13th, 2022 2:08 AM

Fox Entertainment’s The Cleaning Lady season two is out, and it’s carrying on with the same old themes from the first season -- that is, illegal immigrants living in the United States can do no wrong, even if they commit crimes, because there's always a justifiable reason. 

The story is about a young Cambodian mother, Thony De La Rosa, who overstayed her visa after a donor backed out of her 5-year-old son Luca's life-saving bone marrow transplant.

Now, Thony has yet to attempt to go through the legal process of getting her visa extended, instead she carries on working as a cleaning lady in Las Vegas, Nevada despite having a medical degree.

In the first season, Thony witnessed a murder and eventually begins working for the perpetrator and for the criminal organization, not only as the cleaner of their crime scenes, but also as their doctor.

Episode four, 'Bahala Na,' aired on Monday, and the drama has been escalating with each episode as Thony continues to get more entangled within the criminal organization while forging her own path.



Now, a lot has happened in season two, starting with the accidental death of her husband, which she ended up helping cover-up to protect her sister-in-law's son.

Thony’s husband (they're separated) attempted to take his son out of the country without her permission, which led to a family confrontation at a seedy motel. The conversation got heated and eventually led to her nephew shoving Thony’s husband Marco down the motel staircase which led to his death.

In episode two, 'Lolo and Lola', Thony is tasked with a money delivery to bail mobster Arman out of jail. She successfully pulls it off and later teams up with him to have prescription drugs brought across the border illegally.

She explained to him that he "could make money and help people." 

Thony needs medication for her son and convinces Arman that he can make money by having his contacts bring truck loads of medications for them to sell to those in need. 

Arman, who was selling guns, no longer has suppliers willing to deal with him as FBI agents have been watching him closely following his release from prison. He's desperate for money as he owes another mobster a large sum of cash that was borrowed by his wife to pay his bail.

On its face, the effort to bring in medications doesn’t sound all too nefarious, that is if the real intention is to truly “help people.” But, all that doesn't change the fact that this effort is illegal.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s illegal for individuals to import drugs or devices even for personal use.

There are some exceptions and guidance when it comes to what foreign nationals can bring with them in regards to personal medication when traveling to the U.S. from a foreign country, but the limit is a 90-day supply:



Thony: You're dealing guns again? I thought you said it was one last score.

Arman: That was before I owed $1.6 million to Kamdar. If I don't pay this debt, it's my life on the line. The gun business is all I know. Just one big sale, and I can get out from under this guy. I just need cash now. 

Thony: You can help me sell meds. 

Arman: I know nothing about that. 

Thony: But I do. If you can convince Bosco bring them across the border and we get a bigger supply, you can make money and help people. There's an opportunity here, and it can benefit both of us. 

Arman: Bosco wouldn't stick his neck out for a side hustle. Like, that's too dangerous. I'll be in touch after I hear from Bosco, and I'll make sure he gets Luca's meds. 

Thony: Thank you.

And of course, in the show, the emphasis is put on the 'good' that can come from this illegal activity and very little attention is brought to the chaos and death caused by drug traffickers:



Bosco: Is this what you had in mind? Blood pressure meds, antibiotics, immunosuppressants for Luca. 

Thony: This is incredible. Thank you. Thank you, Bosco. 

Arman: Gracias. We'll get you your cut as soon as we sell these. We know the kind of risk you're taking with Sin Cara. 

Fiona: Wait. Did you get Luca's meds? 

Thony: Enough to last for a few months. And in the Van is Samantha's insulin, some more meds for the clinic, and some left over to sell. 

Fiona: Yes! Yes! Ooh! 

Thony: So, it's your shipment, plus a little more. 

Drug Dealer: I’ll say. What do you have? 

Thony: Well, not so fast. You'll get your shipment, plus what your customers want first, but you'll have to put me in touch with all the buyers you know, and you'll get a 10% cut. I have to move these fast. 

Drug Dealer: Let’s do it.

Music Plays while Thony and Fiona see patients and sell medications.

And it sounds like it’s not going to stop at medications. The show hints that this might lead into a full blown drug trafficking operation, but I guess we'll have to wait to find out next week. 

As a side note: I get that it’s just a show, but it's interesting to see the now almost predictable subtle messages that are crammed into popular network and cable television shows.

It’s clear Hollywood writers love to produce sympathetic plots when it comes to people living in the U.S. illegally.

Although, I must say, the writers have done a good job of making the viewers want to root for the characters even when they are doing naughty and illegal things.