The Drug Bust
Episode 3 of the Spain portion of Criminal bows out this trio of Spanish episodes with a long-standing case coming to a close.
We begin with a police officer being asked questions around whether he was threatened or felt scared during a confrontation with a drug addict. The officer tells him the dealer was maniacal and goes on to weave his tale before being told he needs to put his story in writing. With the suspect brought in and the officer who made the arrest personally linked to Maria, Rai steps aside and lets Maria take the case head-on.
Before the interview Carmelo antagonizes Maria before sitting down and beginning their talk. After speaking about his character, the conversation turns to the case in question as he divulges details about what happened. Confidently, he spills everything, right down to explicit information about drugs, as his lawyer sits in silence listening to his story.
Carmelo goes on to say the police spoke to him and asked where his car was. After saying he didn’t remember, things got tense which lead to him receiving several blows to the face. This was enough for him to reveal to them where he left the coke. As he continues, Carmelo demands immunity from prison in exchange for revealing big details around who controls the cocaine in Madrid. Given with good behaviour he’ll be back on the streets in no time, he asks Maria whether it’s really worth pursuing the case to try and take him down.
Getting nowhere, she instead takes a different tactic, telling him that she’s not sure about his involvement in the jihadist attack. She questions his real motives with the cocaine and whether it was really connected to that. She also goes on to reveal they have statements from officers on duty regarding him trying to snatch the gun. As she continues, Maria proceeds to show him the medical results where he tested positive to drugs the day he was arrested, which backs up the officer’s story.
The evidence continues, as two hit and run incidents are linked to him along with a violent assault in 2014. Leaving him to ponder over the evidence, the Commissioner calls Maria into the room next door, where he tells her that she’s messing the case up. After all, they can nail those in charge of the cocaine in Madrid if she cooperates and gives him what he wants. It’s personal for her though and Maria vehemently refuses to give up on the case, especially given he could be back on the streets tomorrow after giving up information.
Heading back into the room, Maria grills Carmelo about what really happened but despite the lawyer asking to come to a deal regarding the murder, Maria tells them their time is up and prepares to leave. However, just as she’s about to leave he mentions the hit and run and proceeds to write down a statement with a confession.
As the case ends, Rai speaks to the lawyer and sabotages his own career for the sake of the Carmelo case. As he leaves down the lift, Maria is left to contemplate her own choices where we end the episode.
Despite a rather abrupt and bizarrely open way to end things, Criminal continues to impress with its latest episode. There’s some good drama here too and throughout the episode, Criminal does well to keep things interesting as it jumps back and forth between the rooms. Despite being one of the stronger episodes, the ending really holds this back from closing out the Spanish portion of Criminal in a more cohesive manner.
Still, there’s enough here to like though and Criminal continues to deliver decent procedural stuff around its simple premise.