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Episode Descriptions: Season Two

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Ofelia and Esteban in The Wedding, the first episode of the new season.
Ofelia and Esteban in "The Wedding,"
the first episode of the new season.

PBS' widely acclaimed drama series chronicles the multigenerational saga of one family's pursuit of the American dream. The new miniseries, AMERICAN FAMILY - JOURNEY OF DREAMS, interweaves the Gonzalez family's courageous escape from the Mexican Revolution in 1915 to seek a better life in America with the sacrifices the family made in the 1990s to send their first-born son to medical school and the consequences of those sacrifices as seen through the war in Iraq. The series stars Edward James Olmos (Jess), Constance Marie (Nina), Yancy Arias (Conrado), Jesse Borrego (Shady), Patricia Velasquez (Adela), Kate del Castillo (Ofelia), Parker Torres (Cisco), Austin Marques (Pablito) and Raquel Welch (Dora), with special guest stars Esai Morales (Esteban), Lynn Whitfield (Major Hall) and Rachel Ticotin (Vangie), and special appearances by Sonia Braga (Berta). Producers: El Norte Productions and KCET Hollywood in association with Greenblatt Janollari Studio and Fox Television Studios.

THE WEDDING
The Gonzalez family celebrates the wedding of Esteban and his bride Ofelia. However, sadness looms over the festivities when Jess' eldest son, Conrado, a doctor in the U.S. Army, tells his father he's being shipped to Iraq. This bitter news causes Jess to remember why his family escaped from Mexico during the Revolution to seek a better life in America, and the sacrifices the family made in the 1990s to send their first-born son to medical school.

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    THE WAR BEGINS
    As the war begins in Iraq, a war at home ensues as Jess and his liberal daughter, Nina, argue about Iraq. Conrado prepares for the first battle and is haunted by the memories of his first love, Alicia. In 1917 Mexico, Jess' grandmother Adela decides to leave war-ravaged Mexico to come to the land of dreams, America.

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    THE FAREWELL
    Ofelia and Esteban return early from their honeymoon to find the Gonzalez home in an upheaval - Jess has thrown his daughter Nina out of the house. Meanwhile in Iraq, Conrado confronts the first casualties of war, and tries to save the life of an Iraqi woman and her child. As he struggles to come to grips with his conflicted feelings, he's reminded of the sacrifices the family made to put him through medical school.

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    A DEAL WITH GOD
    Jess, plagued by fear over Conrado's safety, believes that he must make a deal with God: if he amends the wrongs he did during his life, his son will be returned safely to him. Esteban, during an arson investigation, is reunited with his old gang buddy, Shady.

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    THE DOORS TO THE PAST
    Jess confides in Juana, telling her how he is haunted by the mistakes he made in the past. Desperate to right his wrongs, Jess searches a homeless camp for his brother, Robert. Shady tells Esteban that it's payback time - Shady went to prison for Esteban, and now it's Esteban's turn to cover his back. In Iraq, Conrado struggles with the harsh realities of war and the media's glorification of the horrors. In 1990, Conrado and Alicia throw caution and medical school to the wind and take a romantic road trip. Meanwhile, young Esteban and Berta are shocked when they witness Jess making the mistake that tears the Gonzalez family apart. In war-torn Mexico, Adela and her children begin the harrowing journey across the desert towards the Land of Gold.

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    THE BROTHER
    As Esteban and his family try to build a new home, their happiness is threatened when Shady, the leader of Esteban's old gang, stalks them. Fearing for his family, Esteban remembers the violent days of his youth with Shady. Meanwhile, Jess' sister, Dora, has a secret meeting with their long-lost brother, Robert. Jess believes he has found his homeless Vietnam Vet sibling and brings him home in hopes of amending the mistake he made of having kicked Robert out of the house.

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    SHADOWS
    Ofelia reveals to her friend Alicia that she is pregnant, causing Alicia to remember her own love affair with Conrado in the 1990s. Esteban confronts Shady and warns him to stay away from his family. Meanwhile, in 1917, during the Mexican Revolution, Jess' grandmother Adela and her children are stopped in their journey to America when they are attacked by rebel soldiers.

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    THE SEARCHERS
    Jess and Cisco search for Jess' estranged bother, Robert, hits a roadblock when their car breaks down. Against the wishes of his commanding officers, Conrado tries desperately to save the life an Iraqi soldier. Shady, wanting to be cleared of arson so that he won't go back to prison, implicates Esteban in the crime. Esteban's badge is taken away when his past relationship with Shady is revealed. In the 1990s, Conrado and Alicia's love is threatened when Esteban is arrested for a shooting. (AMFA #208, 5/23/04, 1900-2000)

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    THE BURNING FIRE
    Jess and Cisco arrive at Robert's home, but not before Jess has a chilling encounter in the desert. News of the hostage-taking in Iraq reaches the U.S. as Conrado and his unit experience the loss of one of their own. As Esteban's troubles with Shady worsen, Esteban remembers Shady's volatile nature as he recalls his involvement in a near-fatal shooting. History repeats itself in 2003 when, alone in the abandoned brewery, a desperate Shady puts Esteban's life in mortal danger. Meanwhile, Adela and her children, hungry and exhausted, continue to move north across the barren wasteland, only to be abducted by renegades who threaten their lives.

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    VICTORY
    Esteban and Shady struggle in a burning building. The Gonzalez family holds a family dinner to celebrate the end of the war in Iraq. In flashback to the Mexican Revolution in 1917, Adela and the children are captured by renegades.

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    THE CHILD
    Dora throws a surprise baby shower for Ofelia. In flashback to 1990, Alicia goes to the Gonzalez home looking for Conrado; Jess tells her Conrado never wants to see her again. In the Mexican Revolution, Roberto and Evangelina are serving dinner to the renegades when Roberto grabs a knife and runs away.

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    THE NIGHT SUN
    Jess, abruptly awakened when his old wound from the Korean War begins to bleed, sees his grandmother Adela sitting in his rocking chair. Cisco and Ofelia begin packing, as she, Esteban and Pablito prepare to move into their new house. Meanwhile, Major Hall, Conrado's Army superior, visits the Gonzalez home.

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    THE FLOWERS AND THE SONGS
    Season finale – Esteban and Ofelia decide to remain at the Gonzalez family home with Jess. Nina and Jess put their differences aside. Jess receives a letter from Conrado, thanking him for all the sacrifices the family made for his education. In 1917, Evangelina and Adela finally find their way to America.

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    Click here to see episodes from the first season.



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