The Glass Box
Episode 7 of 30 Coins begins with Manuel deep underground, still seeing frightening visions of the past. This time, he sees his old friend who tells him he needs to finish his work. He tells Vergara to have faith, as the lid is opened and Manual awaits his fate.
After being driven up to their death sentence, the truck is suddenly attacked as gunshots rain down. Manuel is set free, as he races across to an abandoned car in the middle of the wasteland. Unfortunately the soldier closes in on him, forcing Manuel to take his foe out.
As he grabs the knife blade with both hands, Vergara grabs the blade and snaps it, turning it against the soldier. As he thrusts the steel into the man’s belly, Vergara looks at his own hands which mirror the scenes from the opening visions in the basement.
Back in the village, the new priest, Father Angel, arrives to meet Merche. He holds up at the nearby motel and awaits Vergara’s return, chuckling eerily when Merche asks if he’s going to come back.
Alone, Angel starts eating strange black liquid from his trunk while sporting numerous tattoos across his body. Antonio follows this priest as he heads out and drops off a bag full of dirt to our conjuring witch. As she empties it into the drains, she begins cackling.
With Paco on the fringes of the village, he leans on Laguna for help. However, the officer is interrupted by the duo of criminologists from Madrid who decide to take Jesus’ bones away to study the cause of death.
When they receive the report back, the pair notice that Jesus died from a shotgun blast. Unfortunately, Laguna’s story – the true story of what happened – is scoffed at by the officers who eventually arrest Laguna and hold him in custody for the time being.
Paco is forced to attend a difficult meeting of his own, as Merche hands over everything he has, unwilling to even negotiate with his wife.
Back in town, Angel takes Merche into confession and poisons her mind, convincing the girl to open up and confront Elena, showing her the pain she’s going through. He even hands over a strange devil card for Merche to slip into Paco’s jacket.
Angel tells her not to warn Paco though and watches as she leaves. Merche heads in to Paco’s room, noticing the newspaper on the bed about the killings in Paris. Thinking nothing of it, she turns to the wardrobe and slips the card into Paco’s jacket.
Across town, the dirt that was originally thrown in the drains begins to protrude up, choking the atmosphere with a thick fog. This choking haze of evil consumes the village, as Paco heads back to his room.
He leaves a message for Elena on her phone, confirming that it’s happening again as he puts on his jacket – that same jacket that Merche placed the card in. He immediately slips back and finds himself caught up against the wall.
Paco eventually composes himself and speaks to the villagers, telling them they’re in the midst of witchcraft and worries that everything is connected.
Our priest Angel, heads out into the fog and begins emptying black ooze across the floor. Antonio arrives though and takes over, following the priest’s instructions of circling the entire town with this goo.
Angel arrives at the bar midway through Paco’s speech and takes over, twisting the villagers to his way of thinking. Paco begins slipping down into ill-health while Antonio arrives and calls Angel the devil. He continues on, telling the villagers about the line surrounding the village.
Well, the two officials from Madrid believe this is witchcraft after seeing severed pig heads on the door. The village is completely closed off, as Merche scrambles to try and get help for Paco. He’s burning up, consumed by a nasty cough and a fever, as they realize the fog isn’t just any fog.
When Elena shows up in town, it immediately piques the interest of Angel who senses her arrive. However, Fabio too notices her presence, claiming that the party is about to start. And start it does.
Laguna races out the police station in a car which smashes into an invisible barrier on the outskirts of the village. With Laguna passed out, the two officers show up and realize they’re trapped inside this village for the time being.
Elena arrives in Paco’s room as Manuel, now fully recovered from his ordeal abroad, arrives back at the village. He notices the black ooze across the ground and steps into hell. Merche too steps outside, slipping out the back window of the church. It’s just as well too, as Angel drops a match inside and begins burning the place down.
Merche immediately heads up to Paco’s room and notices Elena there, wrestling with her at the top of the stairs as they both tumble down to the ground.
Merche is enraged, repeatedly smashing Elena’s head against the stairs until Paco shows and stops her. He grabs Merche and demands she hand over the coin she’s holding onto. As she steps out, she walks into Father Angel and does just that, dropping the medallion into his hands. Oh no…
The residents inside the church manage to escape their hell, just in time too from the looks of it, as they all run head-first into the barrier that’s kept them all locked inside this town. As the fire spreads, Manuel prepares for battle, collecting up numerous guns and dousing all the bullets in holy water.
The Episode Review
30 Coins bows out its penultimate episode with an excellent hour of drama, one that’s arguably the best of the bunch so far. Throughout the episode there’s a masterful use of music and audio design, with the rhythmic thuds late on building up to a dramatic crescendo that sees Angel collecting the last of the coins.
This Spanish horror has been an excellent medley of different ideas, woven into a cleverly written narrative combining real history with alt-history theories about the past. This helps to authenticate some of the material here while this episode in particular feels like a mash-up of Stephen King’s Under The Dome and The Mist.
The entire episode feels like a claustrophobic, chaotic pressure cooker, and the cliffhanger ending leaves the door wide open for the finale. If this episode is anything to go by, it looks like we’re gearing up for quite the dramatic conclusion to this one.