'Queen of the South's Alice Braga on Teresa's Dark Path in the Season 4 Finale

John Russell
Finale Patti Perret/USA Network

Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga, above, with Joseph T. Campos and Ryan O'Nan) is closer than ever to becoming the ruthless, untouchable drug lord that we've seen in snippets since the riveting narco drama's very first episode.

Throughout Season 4, Teresa and her loyal crew established her narcotics operation in New Orleans, where she's battled local officials and rival criminals and had to dodge a hitman from her past. Most crushing of all, she experienced yet another devastating loss when her godson Tony (Julian Silva) was killed by the murderously corrupt Judge Cecil Lafayette (David Andrews). 

As a result, Thursday's season finale finds Teresa on what Braga describes as a very dark path, thanks to her partnership with NOLA gang leader Marcel Dumas (Alimi Ballard) and Oksana Volkova (Vera Cherny), a new character with ties to the Russian mob.

"So much has happened that I think she realized there's no way out of being in this business and having to make hard decisions related to choices between the people you care for and the people who are threatening you," Braga explains. 

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Aldous Huxley's 1932 novel serves as the show's inspiration.

That dark path may lead to new opportunities for Teresa to expand her operation to New York and even Europe. "There is a sense of going bigger and growing stronger in the business," says Braga. "But there is a big turnaround in the last episode, and I cannot talk about it!"

Right, we've seen what happens to snitches.

(Skip Bolen/USA Network)

Queen of the SouthSeason 4 Finale, Thursday, August 29, 10/9c, USA