With no introduction needed, let’s jump right into the biggest plot twist of the movie: Paula is Raimunda’s daughter…AND sister.
This reveal really had me h*cked up, but once Mama spilled the beans to the audience, Raimunda’s role in the Paco situation definitely made a lot more sense.
I was honestly ready to fight Paco on sight, so the close up shot between my girl Paula’s legs just sealed the deal there. That being said, I wasn’t surprised when she killed him, because who wouldn’t? I WAS surprised about how easily Raimunda took it. At 19:45, she cries after Paula tells the story, but I really believe the crying is solely about what Paula went through. Without hesitation, she takes the blame for what happened to him, should anybody ask (but nobody does because Raimunda was That Bitch™️ and didn’t leave a trace) (even though I’ve seen enough crime shows to know it really isn’t that easy to dispose of a body, but that’s besides the point). She lies, scams, and does whatever she needs to do to get away with this murder.
Point being, Raimunda is not upset that her husband was murdered, and I believe that this is due to a case of repetition-compulsion. Paco was very drunk when he first appears in the movie, and asks Raimunda (who worked all day) for more alcohol. He had gotten fired from his job, meaning he’s either not a good worker or he made some big mistakes there. When Raimunda denies him sex, he finishes himself off right beside her (not consensual and probably brings her back to a dark time with her father, which makes her cry). In “The Uncanny,” Freud writes that “[w]e are able to postulate the principle of a repetition-compulsion in the unconscious mind, based upon instinctual activity and probably inherent in the very nature of the instincts…” (Freud 427). These two things, Paco’s behavior and Freud’s statement, lead me to believe that because Raimunda was sexually abused by her father as a young woman, she subconsciously chooses another man who has the same abusive behaviors as her father. She doesn’t realize it, but she brings another abusive man into her home with the unknown intention to “best” him and right her past. Unfortunately, that responsibility is brought upon her daughter, who is around the same age as Raimunda when she was abused. (All the more reason for Raimunda to be so quick to take the blame for it, though.) She is satisfied when he is dead because, with Paula as the representation of her dark past, it means they had both (kind of) overcome the traumatic situation that had been looming for some time.