“A Place for Everyone” neatly wraps up a complex season, delivering a number of satisfying payoffs for almost everyone.
This recap of The Cook of Castamar season 1, episode 12, “A Place for Everyone”, contains spoilers. It also contains an open discussion of The Cook of Castamar ending. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
So, Diego and Enrique’s duel to the death threatens to live up to its name at the beginning of “A Place for Everyone”, since Enrique is already dead and Diego is rapidly on the way, even if Clara manages to get him back to the manor, covered in his blood. She returns to the kitchen a minor celebrity, and it’s Mrs. Berenguer who personally cleans her up. Diego will apparently be fine.
And he is — sort of. He’s unconscious for days, and when he wakes the first person he asks for is, obviously, Clara, who isn’t there. Of course, she’s in the kitchen, which is where Amelia visits her to thank her for what she did, though she doesn’t miss an opportunity to remind Clara that her father’s execution is the next day. Of course, she wouldn’t want to be at the wedding during her grieving process, would she? Oh, the sass.
Mrs. Mercedes wants the wedding to be quick and discreet anyway, which you can’t imagine Amelia is thrilled about, given how she is. But that’s nothing on Gabriel, who wants her to cancel it entirely and be with him. She’s reluctant, for the sake of her future, but she can’t bring herself to say that her feelings aren’t reciprocal. She does drop the bomb that she’s with child, though, which sends Gabriel into a tailspin. He immediately confronts Diego about this and asks to take Amelia away, describing Castamar as “a golden cage”, which is a nice way of putting it. Not nice for him, obviously, but you know what I mean.
Diego catches Clara packing her bags. After their conversation, Diego writes up a declaration of all the crimes committed by the Marquis of Soto and the duel that ended his life, to be delivered to the King immediately. It’s his big moment in the service of justice and such, but the subsequent scene with the kitchen staff, who all rally around Clara and sit with her late into the night, is much more touching. Amelia and Gabriel also spend the night together, and he proposes they go to Cuba — at first, she’s a bit thrown by the seriousness of the suggestion, but he wins her around with a pretty evocative description of their lives together.
Sol is found dead in the forest, where she has been for the last couple of weeks after having been thrown from her horse — apparently, anyway. This is hardly watertight forensics.
As Clara leaves Castamar, the royal guard arrives to take Diego away. But it isn’t anything to do with the Marquis. The King instead wants Diego to tutor his loony son, Luis, for his impending kingship. As an exchange for this favor, he asks Diego if there’s anything he’d like, which I think we can predict, since The Cook of Castamar episode 12 cuts immediately to the execution of Clara’s father, where she’s kicking up quite a fuss. Diego arrives in the nick of time, though, to call the whole thing off. Justice won in the end, although I suppose “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” that’s more fitting.
In the meantime, Gabriel tells Mrs. Mercedes that he’s leaving, who figures out immediately why he’s thinking of going. She knows she can’t tell him not to, but she does show him some documents that prove he is as tied to Castamar as Diego is. It’s a touching scene between mother and son, biology be damned, and a lovely moment for Gabriel, given all he has been through throughout the season. This leads him to come to terms with who he is, and he embraces Diego, his brother — another nice moment — and agrees to not only walk Amelia down the aisle but to love her as a brother, however much they both might want more.
With everyone assembled for the wedding and in high spirits, Adela de la Marca arrives with an urgent message for Mrs Mercedes, who apparently must see something before the celebrations. It’s a letter to Sol from Amelia confessing that she is carrying Enrique’s child, not Diego’s, and Mrs. Mercedes is, to put it mildly, fuming. Amelia counters with what’s worse — the secret or the scandal? Since Diego loves Clara and will never marry anyone if he doesn’t marry Amelia today, the entire duchy is at risk if Mrs. Mercedes exposes the truth.
Well, needless to say, Mrs. Mercedes doesn’t keep her mouth shut. The wedding is off. Gabriel is raging. But it’s probably for the best.
The Cook of Castamar season 1, episode 12 cuts to six months later, immediately after the publication of Clara’s book, Cooking for Everyone, which she happily presents to her father, who’s looking much healthier. The kitchen at Castamar has acquired the same volume, and Elisa shows it to Diego, who takes it to read (when he isn’t trying to find Prince Luis, who is evidently causing him many problems.) In his chambers, he looks over the book and has flashbacks of his time with Clara while stirring orchestral music plays.
Elsewhere, Gabriel goes to visit Amelia and swears to take care of both her and her child, which has been wrenched from her. Not exactly a happy ending, obviously, but better than nothing, and besides, we get the happy ending with Diego and Clara. Having evidently had enough of Luis, he gives up his title and instead elects to spend the rest of his days with Clara. They marry immediately, and one assumes they live happily ever after.