We begin the Spain portion of Criminal with episode 1 and a story about love, dogs and murder. After a discussion about love with flamboyant Isabel dressed all in white, two detectives listen to her story, chiming in with questions about her dalmatian. It turns out they’re after her brother and as they sit and listen, they tell her she’s not helping them try and solve the case. They want to know where Silva is. As Isabel crosses her arms, she tells the detectives she’s used to people not taking her seriously but they refuse to be drawn into her games, asking again where Silva is, given he was last seen at her house.
With Chief Detective Maria outside the room watching their every move, she liaises with the judge while the two detectives try to find out the truth. They go on to tell Isabel if she calls in her solicitor their informality will end and instead, be replaced by something more formal and serious. Leaving her to ponder what to do next, they head outside and speak to Maria about where to go with this case.
Taking a drink from the familiar vending machine, Maria warns the detective not to fall for the tricks Isabel is weaving as they head back inside. It’s here the detectives tell her what they think happened – that she tried to get 1000 euros from Silva but the argument progressed to punching before shouting at Piti who in turn, killed Silva. Silence descends on the room before she tells them that Dalmatians don’t bark but instead, when they become agitated they lose their skin. Annoyed that she’s being accused of murder, she demands to leave which the detectives agree to allow her, before leaving the room to sign the paperwork.
In the room next door, Maria prints out some documents as one of the detectives, Rai, speaks to her about the case. She has a risky proposition, and as Isabel’s dalmatian is brought in, Maria prints out an illegal warrant with the intention of using it before the real one arrives. The other detectives refuse to play along, bickering about their differences, leaving the responsibility to fall to Rai, who begrudgingly agrees to give her the warrant at an opportune time.
Alone, Maria heads in and talks to Isabel about the case, telling her that the judge is considering what to do next. From here, she goes on to discuss the case itself as Rai arrives with Luna, the dalmatian, who’s clearly agitated. Rai hands the warrant to Isabel and shows her they can now open up the dog as they suspect she fed Silva to her. Clearly distraught, outside Rai tells the police to take the dog away as Isabel frantically sifts through her bag and finds her phone, desperate to phone her own lawyer.
As she begins panicking, losing that calm demeanor from the start of the interview, she collapses off her chair and begins weeping. It’s here she finally snaps and reveals the truth, that Silva was like a pig and as she left, she heard he and Piti shouting. When she returned, Piti had two bags. Holding Maria’s hands she goes on to talk about men before applying her lipstick. Leaving the room, the detectives smile and tell her Maria did a good job before speaking to Rai outside where she reveals the location of Piti’s address and solving the case.
With a slightly different flavour and a bit more of a soap opera feel, Criminal continues to deliver an intriguing slice of drama, with Isabel’s acting just about balancing out between maniacal and over-the-top melodrama. The episode delivers a pretty straight forward interview too, although the bending of the law is something that certainly throws some scrutiny over the way police conduct their business sometimes.
Despite that, the episode does well to keep things interesting and there’s certainly plenty of promise for the remaining two episodes in the Spanish portion of Criminal.