The Casa de Las Flores season 3 finale, “Laurel,” which also serves as the Netflix soap’s series finale, has all the makings of a happy ending. In penultimate episode “Elfdock,” Paulina de la Mora (Cecilia Suárez) proposes to her on-again, off-again love interest/former spouse José María (Paco León) and Pau’s little sister Elena de la Mora (Aislinn Derbez) goes into labor. These are two high-stress moments that could easily spell disaster for “Laurel.” Instead, they are resolved quickly and happily within the first few minutes of the finale.
With Paulina set to marry José María and Elena joyfully raising her baby — Pato, named after Elena’s real biological father — in the most “modern” manner, “Laurel” should be smooth sailing. Then you realize central Flores villain Purificación (María León) is skulking around in the shadows, fashioning an elaborate murder scheme against her would-be sister in law, Paulina. In the final seconds of “Laurel,” Paulina is saved… by none other than her dead mother Virginia de la Mora (Verónica Castro as an adult; Isabel Burr as a teen).
It’s a delightfully zany telenovela twist, perfectly in line with Casa de Las Flores’ magical realism roots. But, this finale surprise also speaks to the central theme of the Netflix series' final season: forgiving, and celebrating, the complicated character of Virginia de la Mora.
In the second to last scene of “Laurel,” the de la Mora kids — Paulina, Elena, and brother Julián (Dario Yazbek Bernal) — convene on the front lawn of their family home to talk about their feelings during the wedding. Pau has said her “I do’s” with José María, while Elena and Julián are successfully raising Pato with their respective partners, Pablo (Roberto Flores) and Diego (Juan Pablo Medina). Everyone is genuinely starting new chapters in their lives, and there’s no going back — that’s why the siblings are standing next to a prominent “for sale” sign during the conversation. Their house, which Casa season 3 confirms is filled with generations of inter-family horror, will be off their hands soon enough.
Then Pau flips the sign. The house isn't for sale — it’s sold. The death of murderous family matriarch Victoria (Isela Vega) has led to this permanent evolution for her grandkids. After three seasons of betrayal, drama, and jail time, everyone will really has to leave the nest.
However, Casa holds one final trick up its sleeve as the de la Mora siblings are talking about all their growth: Puri. Over the course of “Laurel,” José María’s villainous sister escapes from her mental health facility, purchases a gun at a taco stand, and crashes her sister’s wedding. Puri ends up hiding at a window in the de la Mora home, stalking newlywed Paulina as she chats with her siblings. We’re meant to assume Puri will shoot in this moment, possibly hitting Elena or Julián by accident in a very soapy twist. She doesn’t. Instead, she waits for Pau to be alone and then points the gun at her while screaming Paulina’s full name. Just when it looks like Paulina is done for, Puri is hit over the head and falls to the ground. With everyone partying at the wedding, it’s difficult to understand who could have saved Pau.
But, Paulina solves the mystery, saying, “Mama?” Then we see someone wearing Virginia’s signature lavender skirt suit walk into the frame of the open door and close the curtain. It really was Virginia who stopped Puri. This is an easy twist to accept, as Casa has a long history with ghosts. In “Laurel” alone, each of the living de la Moras sees some shadow of their younger selves running around the house. Earlier in the episode, Paulina has a full conversation with the ghost of Roberta Sánchez (Claudette Maillé), her father’s mistress and the woman whose suicide began the chaos of Casa.
Having Virginia save the day in the final moments of “Laurel” is one last way for the series to tip its hat to its central figure — without actually forcing her adult portrayer, telenovela superstar Verónica Castro, to return for a full arc after Castro's season 1 exit. As Pau learns in “Elfdock,” there was more to Virginia than the imaged-obsessed, cold-hearted woman she knew as her mother. In the penultimate episode, Pau finds out her grandmother Victoria murdered her husband — Virginia's dad — and convinced her daughter that she was abandoned by her father. Virginia's friend/one-time lover Pato was also murdered in a homophobic battery incident.
“Poor thing, she was traumatized,” Pau gasps about Virginia, who was once a carefree and openhearted girl.
“Sometimes when we are young and we want to take on the world, we feel free and we have no prejudice, we don't have a sense of what's good, what's bad for us,” Casa creator Manolo Caro told Entertainment Tonight about Virginia's tragically illuminating 1970s arc. “Then how the criticism, the stress, the way we have to behave in order to feel like we belong, all affects who we become. That's what I tried to explore with Virginia. It is a very important point that we will see this season.”
With Virginia's last-ditch effort to stave off yet another bloody de la Mora crisis — just when things finally looking up! — she finally becomes the mother Paulina has only just realized Virginia could have been. For the de la Moras, that’s a fairy tale ending.