The Hidalgos are probably the worst when it comes to treating their partners well. We hear a lot about the Hidalgo name and prestige in Through my Window and its sequel, Across The Sea, especially from Artemis, but we never know what they do or how important they are. Are they just another rich family, or do they hold some political pull in society that requires them to only make connections with people like them in the interest of compatibility and the emotional and social protection of the person involved? The reason we are asking these questions is that by making three films based on the men of this family, the audience has clearly been asked to excuse their toxicity. We understand that the story started from a Wattpad fantasy, so our imagination was supposed to make up for the gaps in this information with cliches. The problem was that the format in which we consumed it was not as a written story but as a movie on the screen. That meant that we had higher standards for the story and seeing them left unmet has only annoyed us.
First of all, to repeat our previous point, we know this cliche fluffy romance is off Wattpad, but in real life, if a set of brothers were actually named Ares, Artemis, and Apolo and called themselves the Alpha 3, it would be very embarrassing. We are surprised that, as a writer, Raquel did not realize that. Our judgment of Ares and Raquel’s relationship is based on real-world standards, where toxicity is recognized as such instead of being labeled as romantic. The worst part about these two is that they are so basic, and that is not what you expect when you are watching a romantic fantasy, no matter how cliche it is. Two movies later, we still don’t know anything about Ares except that he looks good. We also don’t know anything about Raquel except that she wants to be a writer and likes the way Ares looks.
In the first movie, Through My Window, we came to know a bit about Ares’ past and how he had found his mother cheating on his dad, who used to be frequently away on business trips. Ares had not wanted to say anything, but Artemis had tattled to their father, who had simply told Ares that he used to do the same thing when he traveled. We understand that this was a bad way of revealing the truth to a child, possibly traumatizing him, but it sounds like an open marriage for all intents and purposes. Did Ares never realize that? Let’s say he didn’t, but this whole trope of boys who weaponize the trauma inflicted on them by their parents to hurt their girlfriends is getting old. This is Ares’ entire personality, and he shows absolutely no growth in the two movies. The fact that he did not fit in well at college, a place where he was not automatically worshiped or found things easy, shows the lack of grit in this man. As for Raquel, she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her father by becoming a writer. She was successful and had a bright future ahead of her. But then what? What are her likes and dislikes? What is her personality? What does she like to do when she is not pining after Ares? The writer could have just made her a cliche pick-me. We would have still disliked her, but it would have been better than leaving her as a blank slate.
This is interesting because, though Ares and Raquel were so dull, they still made a better couple than Artemis and Claudia, who showed some individual personality (at least a little bit). Artemis was manipulative, controlling, and hyper-conscious about the family’s image. He got in the way of Ares and Raquel in the first film and was just an awful boyfriend in the second film. He was dating Claudia, but he deemed it appropriate to tell his brother that he couldn’t go out with someone not in their social class. In Through My Window: Across The Sea, Claudia wants to break up with him, but he does not let her, saying that he will turn things around. Yet his behavior just got worse. His parents were terrible enough to ask Claudia to cover her natural red hair with dye to avoid any resemblance to Hidalgos since Artemis’ mother sported red hair, except that she wasn’t a natural.
Artemis had to have known that his family wouldn’t ever accept Claudia as his partner. Yet, it hurt him and terribly bruised his ego that she was moving away from him. When he asked her to get him a whiskey glass and then spilled it onto the stairs, asking her to clean it, it was a move to show that he still had power over her. When he fired her from her job, instead of standing up for her for what was such a minuscule matter, that of hair color, he declared that he could never be the man that Claudia wanted or needed. Artemis probably thought that he could drag the relationship for as long as it suited him and then break up with her when he ran out of feelings. He clearly did not respect Claudia or her feelings, and she was right to turn him down.
Towards the final moments of Through My Window: Across the Sea, when Artemis held Claudia’s hand, we believe we caught his mother watching them in surprise. Artemis promised Claudia that he would be what she needed, but we believe that he doesn’t deserve another chance. Let us assume that people can change, but it also remains true that not all mistakes deserve forgiveness, despite the redemptive steps taken. Artemis showed Claudia a lot of disrespect, and he does not deserve a second chance, in our opinion. Contrary to that, we believe Ares and Raquel should get back together. It is better that these two be with each other than ruin someone else’s life. We don’t know what kind of journey they are going to start after the tragedy, but we hope that they find their way back to each other while Artemis stays miles away from Claudia.