30 Coins – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

The Double

We begin episode 5 of 30 Coins in Spain 1970 with a look at Manuel’s past. Tensions between his Mother and Father simmer while Manuel reels over the death of his dog, which he buries in the ground after a game of fetch goes horribly wrong.

In class, Manuel struggles with his studies, instead deciding to trade cards with his young friend. Among the cards is a giant spider while another depicts the Angel of Death. This causes guilt to consume Manuel when he sees it, but soon this flashback turns into a nightmarish dream as his friend demands to know where the coin is. This consequently jolts us back to the present as Fabio continues to question the priest.

Getting nowhere, these visions continue with Sandro somehow being sucked into Manuel’s latest vision. As he hears from a young Manuel that Elena has the coin, he jolts upright and leaves prison. Sandro heads straight to an Italian castle that may hold the clues he seeks.

While there he finds a whole group of shady priests heading off into the backrooms. Sandro knocks out a guard and follows in hot pursuit.

There, he finds Manuel being brought out before the other priests, introduced personally by Fabio who happens to be standing at a podium. He claims the last of the pieces will be back where they belong and promises the world will change. As Manuel tries to speak his piece, he spies Sandro in the back; a solitary black priest in a sea of white suits.

While he keeps Sandro held captive in the dungeons, Fabio tails Manuel into the Vatican archives; the largest library in the world. There, he guides the priest into a secret locked compartment. He shows Manuel the three gifts given to Christ. Only, these happen to be Books Of Magic – allowing a person to conjure up spells which could be interpreted as an act of God.

The plot thickens as Fabio shows Manuel gospels of Jesus himself. They haven’t been made public because of the damning messages they include within. “This is unbelievable,” Manuel says, as Fabio elaborates on what he’s trying to do.

For the last 20 years he’s been working to try and assimilate closer to God, working miracles to gain God’s favour. Manuel doesn’t believe him but Fabio offers  a choice – join him and he’ll be allowed to read the sacred texts.

Meanwhile, Paco and Elena head back into town with the latter obviously rattled by the news of Mario returning out of nowhere. As she heads into the police station, Elena looks on in shock and eventually takes her husband home.

The rest of the villagers are understandably weary over what this means and comment on the weird occurrences consuming their village. Well, it seems like the necromancer from the previous episode is controlling Elena’s husband Mario, conjuring forth powerful magic to do her bidding.

When Jesus finds out Mario is back in town, he heads into the main square to see for himself. Jesus is shocked when he sees the man and hurries off in fright. Paco follows though and tries to understand why Mario can’t be walking around like this. Jesus remains quiet.

Elena and Mario continue to grow closer together though with the latter desperate to move away and start a new life. That’s probably a good idea as an enraged Jesus grabs his shotgun and walks purposefully toward Elena’s house.

Well, Laguna shows up and hits Jesus in the shoulder, prompting the farmer to admit he killed Mario which is why he shouldn’t be walking around.

Well, Elena soon finds out for herself what’s going on as she heads out of town with this man. Mario suddenly snaps and asks outright exactly where she threw the coin. When he gets no reply, Mario bashes her head against the dashboard.

Elena grabs the steering wheel and manages to crash the car. However, not before disclosing that she threw the coin in the dam.

Meanwhile, Sandro is held captive as Manuel makes his decision and chooses to be on Fabio’s side. Only, this is a temporary ruse; Fabio lowers his guard long enough for Manuel to stab him in the chest with a knife.

Brandishing a gun, he grabs Sandro as the pair try and escape from their captors. On the way out the door, Fabio conjures more strange magic as one of the priests is turned into a strange spider-like creature that chases them down the hallway.

Unfortunately the creature catches up and curls its ugly tendrils around Sandro. He screams out in pain, crying for Manuel to leave, as it squeezes the life out of him and splits him in half.

Just as Manuel looks set to suffer the same fate, he tells the creature to let him go. Only, Manuel grabs the old sword and plunges it into the creature. This immediately stops the creature in its tracks as Fabio lets Manuel go for now.

With Mario enraged and under the influence, he takes Elena in another car after killing the owners and holds her over the top of the dam. He demands to know where the coin is.

However, Elena manages to send a text just before this moment, telling Paco that Mario is not himself and giving them her location. As they both fall over the edge, Elena kicks Mario until he dissolves and falls into the rushing water below.

With the threat passed for now, Elena and Paco catch up and look set to kiss… until Roque phones Elena. She decides not to stay in town and walks away.

As the episode closes out, a fish is cut in a restaurant and inside, a gold coin is presented to Roque. This happens to be the same gold coin that’s being collected up by Fabio and the others.

The Episode Review

As we cross the halfway point of this season, a lot of the magical elements are explained through these gospels of Christ and the apparent books of magic. There’s definitely an element of Da Vinci Code with this and the show does a great job blending that in with a more episodic structure with different monsters showing up each week.

This time it’s the turn of another strange spider-like creature while Mario’s return, courtesy of the necromancer in town, spells big trouble for Elena and the others.

There’s certainly a lot to like with this one and the eerie tone and atmosphere works perfectly against some gorgeous cinematography (the white priests against the solitary black priest is a particular highlight) while Sandro’s death is pretty surprising and ups the stakes going forward.

The ending certainly hints that things are about to take a turn for the worst, as we ready ourselves to be plunged back down the rabbit hole again. Roll on the next episode.

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