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'Unauthorized Living' Season 2 Premiere Review: Is Mario Alive?

Unauthorized Living Vivir sin permiso Mario Mendoza Álex González Netflix Telecinco
“Unauthorized Living” (“Vivir sin permiso”) picks up eight months after the shocking events of its previous season's finale in its Season 2 premiere. The time-jump means that a lot has changed in between the two seasons. There are a lot of pressing questions, including if Mario is alive after that seemingly deadly fall.

Before getting into any of that, I will give my spoiler-free thoughts on the Season 2 premiere on Netflix. “Unauthorized Living” had a lot to live up to following its incredible freshman season. It earned its place among last year’s best TV shows, thanks to its binge-worthy plot twists, outstanding performances, and vivid characters.


There is excellent news regarding the show’s quality. It is still marvelous! Of course, a lot has gotten shaken up. The symptom of any show leaping into its next installment. In the Season 2 premiere of “Unauthorized Living,” there is no indication that the crime drama is suffering from a sophomore slump. Time to get into Mario’s fate and more!

Spoilers for the Season 2 premiere of “Unauthorized Living” on Netflix is discussed below!

“Unauthorized Living” wastes no time revealing whether Mario survived getting pushed off that cliff. In fact, it almost literally leaps right into it. Mario (Álex González) is alive and in hiding at a monastery when the authorities show up. There is a new judge in town! Marta Larralde, who played Belén on “Gran Hotel,” joins the show in said role.

What Is Next for Mario

Marina (Marta Larralde) wants to bring down Nemo (Jose Coronado), and she wants Mario to help her do it. Mario is resistant at first. He claims he is a new person now, wants to steer clear of Nemo, and has no desire to return to his former self. You see, Mario blames everything that he has ever done wrong on Nemo. Seriously?

Related: 'Unauthorized Living' Season 2 Ending on Netflix: Did It Satisfy?

It is tough to swallow Mario’s holier than thou attitude when viewers know what he did to Carlos. If he is so repentant, why does he not come clean about it? Instead, he is marching around, acting like the victim when he knows Nemo pushed him because he was having one of his Alzheimer’s episodes.

Mario’s anger seems related to the reveal that Nemo killed Mario’s father after learning he had betrayed him. Whether or not it is old school revenge, I do not buy that Mario is a different person. Nor do I buy his excuse and laying all of the blame on Nemo for his despicable behavior. It will be interesting to see where “Unauthorized Living” takes this rivalry in Season 2.

Mario and Nemo are well-matched, and thanks to a significant plot development in Season 2’s premiere, they are put on more even ground. More on that in a minute! It is worth noting that Jose Coronado and Álex González do an excellent job shifting gears in playing their characters' new dynamic.

Mario: Different Or Still The Same?

Mario manipulated everyone in truly diabolical ways, last season. He made his former wife believe she was having life-threatening health problems, so she would be forced to get an abortion. Mario is ruthless and horrible. Despite a lot of ominous talking, I have not seen Nemo do anything as cutthroat and awful as that. Hence, Mario does not have the moral high ground from where I am standing.

In the Season 2 premiere, he comes partially clean to Nina about manipulating her. He leaves out the part where he drugged her brother into a comatose state after Carlos learned the truth. Mario also conveniently left out the part where he made Nemo falsely believe Chon (Pilar Castro) and Carlos were trying to have him committed.

That is why Nemo signed the papers giving Lara control of his affairs. Mario made Nemo think Chon and Carlos betrayed him, and vice versa. None of them actually acted treacherously towards the other. It was another manipulation by a scheming Mario, and he is happy to have them keep believing it.

Unless he comes clean about what could really hurt him, “Unauthorizing Living” has not convinced me that Mario has changed. I hope Chon learns the truth about what Mario did to Carlos and legitimately softens towards Nemo. There is real love there, and Nemo needs to open his eyes to it. “Unauthorized Living” made it clear she has been a good wife to him.

Meanwhile at Nemo's

In what seems to be a genuine change, Lara (Claudia Traisac, “High Seas”), is actually treating Nemo well. She does not yell at or act combative towards him throughout the entire Season 2 premiere. A new record! It is a much-needed development as her attitude was one of last season’s roughest aspects. “Unauthorized Living” makes some other shifts.

Chon’s sister and step-nephew are still living in the mansion, and are cemented as major players going forward. Sadly, Carlos (Àlex Monner) is nowhere to be seen in the Season 2 premiere. It is unfortunate because Carlos was one of the first season’s best attributes, and “Unauthorized Living” suffers without his presence. Will, what Mario did to Carlos, ever get exposed? Stay tuned.

While her brother is missing, I like the direction they are taking Nina (Giulia Charm). Seeing her and Lara team-up against Mario and forge a relationship as true sisters would be nice. However, “Unauthorized Living” seems to have other plans, and I am okay with that. Here is hoping they learn the truth about Mario’s true nature eventually and before it is too late.

Season 2 Shifts

In related news, the addition of Marta Larralde’s Marina is an excellent one. Larralde was a scene-stealer on “Gran Hotel,” and nothing has changed. Last season, the characters in law enforcement pursuing Nemo were not sympathetically drawn on “Unauthorizing Living.” Hence, Larralde’s Marina is a refreshing change of pace.

The Season 2 premiere's most thrilling development is Nemo being treated with an experimental procedure to help stave off his Alzheimer’s. I was hoping for a reveal that Nemo’s condition was another manipulation by Mario. It is apparently not. That said, “Unauthorized Living” introduces a successful procedure that should give Nemo a chance to regain his mind for some time. I want it to last throughout Season 2!

The only shake-up that Season 2 has made in the premiere that I do not like is the absence of Carlos. Otherwise, there seems to be a lot of positive, forward momentum. On that note, I am of the mind that “Unauthorized Living” has the legs to be a show that lasts for years. There is such a rich story here.

Other Viewing Suggestions

For those who have already binged both seasons of “Unauthorized Living,” and are looking for something to watch next, I highly recommend the Kevin Costner starrer “Yellowstone.” It and “Unauthorized Living” have a lot in common. Both shows feature patriarchs fighting for their dynasty while facing a health crisis. They also have adopted sons as their right-hands and entertaining adult children.

The parallels between the addictive dramas (minus a Mario-type character on “Yellowstone”) makes for complimentary viewing. It is just something to consider! Now, yours truly is off to binge the rest of “Unauthorized Living” (“Vivir sin permiso”) Season 2! The first two seasons are currently streaming on Netflix.

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