We begin episode 4 of 30 Coins with a group of explorers heading deep underground. A priest is there too and as they examine a large statue, they manage to find another of these infamous coins.
Back in the village, all the residents gather to discuss the fire and how strange all the incidents that night were. Paco wants them to move past what happened and focus on the future. The others however, begin to point fingers squarely at Manuel after what happened. In fact, Merche pounces on this idea and rallies the mob, deciding upon gathering signatures to try and oust Manuel from his position.
Well, Manuel isn’t home. It turns out he’s actually on a flight back to Rome. As he’s seated next to a trio of guys drinking, Manuel gets thinking about the past. Specifically, an eerie encounter with two of his fellow priests, Sandro and Fabio. The latter seems to be easily seduced and reveals that fear encourages him.
Manuel continues to relive moments from the past including a particularly tense lesson where Manuel is forced out the room after questioning the teacher’s methods The way Manuel sees it, they need to learn more about their enemy before they can face it properly.
Well, Manuel’s methods attract the attention of the other priests, Sandro and Fabio, who bring him before a man seemingly possessed by the devil. With both his wrists chained, the man nonchalantly divulges all the details surrounding Manuel’s past; intimate secrets no one else knows.
Sandro loses his patience and confronts the prisoner. Taunting the man, he question about fire coming from his mouth. And just like that, Sandro suddenly bursts into flames. As the others quickly extinguish the flames, it turns out he’s still alive but badly burned.
Fabio seizes his opportunity and begins asking this man about Satan. As we soon learn, after the Primal Battle Satan withdrew with his best men. They essentially wanted a seat at the table – or at least a starring role in the story – but when they only appeared as credits, Satan rebelled.
“God doesn’t want to recognize that evil also forms part of Him. Is that what you’re saying?” Fabio quizzes. “Bingo.” Is the chilling reply. This man twists Fabio to his cause, telling him that God is in fact Satan. He poisons Fabio’s mind and encourages him to enter a room presumably holding his boss on the other side.
When Manuel refuses to follow, a brilliant white light consumes Fabio and he disappears. As we jump back in time further, we arrive at Jerusalem in 1992 as Manuel finds Fabio. After chasing him through the streets, Fabio is eventually picked up by an ominous black car that drives away.
In the present, Manuel heads into prison to visit Sandro. Stepping through the crowds, it turns out he’s a prized fighter – a far cry from the priest we saw before. Manuel lends his hand and steps inside the squared circle. As he begins sparring, Manuel speaks to Sandro between rounds and reveals what he’s seen. After the match, he old friend warns him that evil is coming and encourages him to run away.
Back in the village, Elena is not happy with the townsfolk and turns to Roque for comfort. When she returns home, Paco happens to be there waiting for her. He tries to convince Elena to stay but she’s already made up her mind – she’s taking a job out of town. Paco is furious and blames Merche for this, confronting his wife at the slaughterhouse.
After a big fight, Merche heads home but on the way finds Antonio out in the middle of the road, confined to his wheelchair and drinking alcohol. Antonio immediately winds her up, telling Merche that “she likes him, everyone knows.” This, of course, is a direct reference to Paco and Elena.
If things weren’t weird enough, Elena’s husband returns covered in mud after an earlier incident involving an old woman in a field. How he’s returned is still up for debate but it’s certainly a surprising turn of events.
Back in Rome, Manuel visits Father Lombardi who warns that something is happening in Spain. Somehow he can sense this from Rome. Well, to begin with Manuel wants to know more about the 30 coins. Lombardi whispers to him that Santoro is listening and to be careful. For some reason, Santoro has other plans for Manuel rather than just killing him.
Those plans may not reveal themselves entirely just yet but Manuel does learn that Fabio is the new Cardinal.
The Episode Review
30 Coins returns with one of its best episodes, divulging more details about the past and managing to weave that in with a continuation of the uneasy dread clinging to this show. When it comes to atmosphere, 30 Coins is absolutely dripping in tension.
In fact, the show itself has done a fantastic job so far building up its mysteries while giving constant hints that lead back to these coins. Elena throwing hers over the bridge is almost certainly going to come back and bite these characters in the future, while the hierarchy in Rome begins to show itself.
So it seems like Fabio has been seduced and turned to the dark side – exemplified by the fact he’s wearing red at the end of the episode. His past flashbacks and the trio of priests feels very reminisce of the scenes from The Exorcist TV show, where our three priests work together to exorcise demons.
And how has Elena’s husband returned? And why? What sort of dark, sinister magic caused this? There’s lots of questions hanging over this one as we cross the halfway point, but 30 Coins has been an undeniable rollercoaster ride so far. This is certainly a strong contender for one of the best shows of 2021 so far!