Heirs to the Land – Season 1 Episode 8 Recap, Review & Ending Explained


Does Arsenda accept Mercé as her daughter?

Episode 8 of Heirs to the Land (Los herederos de la tierra) begins with Hugo and Caterina reopening their tavern. Mercé wants to meet her birth mother, hoping she’ll change her mind about her. So, Hugo brings Mercé to see Arsenda. Mercé tries to convince her that she is a devoted Christian. She kneels before the Virgin Mary to pray while Hugo beseeches Arsenda to listen. Arsenda eventually joins in on the prayer. But before Mercé can rise, Arsenda leaves.

Does Hugo’s family save Arnau from Marta?

Marta keeps Arnau away from Guerao, claiming the boy is sick. She sees Arnau every day to secretly give him his “medicine.”

Guerao knows she’s lying about caring for the child. He comes to Hugo’s tavern to tell them the countess is poisoning Arnau. She’ll end up killing him before Bernat returns.

He says he can help kidnap and hide the child until he gets better. That night, he sneaks Hugo and Mercé into the palace, where they find Arnau and carry him out

There’s a crowd of guards and women blocking their way out of the palace, but Caterina seduces a guard and leads them inside to clear the path. She later meets them back at the tavern, shaken.

A friend of Barcha’s transports Arnau to Arsenda. Mercé begs her to care for him as her own.

How does Marta react to the kidnapping?

The next day, Marta’s parents arrive with guards to accuse Mercé of kidnapping the child. They can’t find Arnau, but they still arrest Mercé so they can torture her for a confession.

On his way back to the palace, Geurao is seized. Guards put him in a noose, and Marta demands to know where Arnau is. When he gives her nothing, they hang him. Marta spreads the idea that Guerao took his own life, tormented by his betrayal of Bernat.

Does Bernat go after Arnau?

When Bernat returns from battle, Marta tries to persuade him of her story. He can’t believe Geurao would betray him, but still distrusts Hugo’s family. Bernat tells Hugo that if his son isn’t found in a few days, he will kill them all.

Arsenda mostly keeps a distance from her grandson. But one day, he sneaks away and joins her in prayer. She reaches out to take his hand.

Bernat visits Mercé in jail. She cries, asking why he didn’t defend her. She claims Marta poisons Arnau and murdered Guerao. He asks again where Arnau is, and the next scene sees him riding furiously to the convent.

Arsenda answers the door, but refuses to give Arnau up to him. Bernat will wait outside until she is willing.

Do Hugo and Bernat reconcile?

Hugo visits the convent at night and whistles for Arsenda like he used to. They embrace, and she apologizes to him for her hateful actions. Hugo wants to sneak Arnau out without Bernat noticing. But Arsenda tells him he won’t be able to live in peace until he resolves his conflict with Bernat.

The next morning, Hugo approaches his old friend outside the convent. Bernat punches him repeatedly, and they duke it out with their fists. While Bernat beats Hugo into the ground, Arsenda calls on them to stop. She has Arnau by her side and gives Bernat a letter.

Does Bernat defend Mercé to the queen?

We next see Barnet ride off with Arnau, while Hugo departs on his own. Bernat approaches guards to demand Marta’s arrest, but her father pleads before the queen on her behalf. 

The queen next sees Bernat. She tells him to stop threatening Marta and try to seek an agreement with her family. Bernat refuses.

He urges the queen to release Mercé, but she knows her as the devil’s daughter. The queen says Mercé can be tried by ordeal by the cardinal. God will decide her innocence or guilt.

When Bernat assures her he will kill Marta and the Destorrents, the queen dismisses him as the admiral of the navy. This still doesn’t change his mind. 

What is the trial by ordeal?

A trial by ordeal was a practice used to prove either one’s innocence or guilt by putting them through a dangerous test. Mercé’s challenge is to walk across burning coals.

Hugo worries about Mercé’s trial by ordeal. He asks a priest if anyone has passed this test before. The priest simply tells him to have faith (that surely means “no”).

Arsenda prays fervently in the convent, while guards lead Mercé out to scorching hot coals. As she steps onto the coals, Bernat challenges Destorrent and his men outside. Mercé slowly and resolutely walks across the hot coals until she makes it to the end, where she kisses the cardinal’s cross. Just as she completes her impossible test, Bernat is struck through by a foe’s sword.

Does Bernat die?

He falls to the ground before a statue of the Virgin Mary, holding his bleeding side. Hugo, Caterina, and Mercé run toward him. “The Virgin. You see her smiling,” he says to Hugo. “Yes Bernat,” he responds. “She’s smiling at you.”

Bernat says he knows Mercé will take care of their son. “Forgive me,” he says, just before taking his last breath.

How does Heirs to the Land Season 1 end?

Hugo and his family later learn that Bernat settled his affairs before his death. He appointed Arnau his heir and Mercé their son’s guardian.

Marta, he gave the very minimum the law requires. But he granted Hugo the right to buy the vineyards that belonged to Jucef and his family. 

Heirs to the Land Season 1 ends with a happy family reunited. Hugo and Caterina marry and claim the vineyard as their own. Mercé slowly starts to get to know Arsenda.

In the last scene, Hugo gives Arnau a model of Bernat’s ship. He speaks of the bravery of the boy’s father and grandfather, and of their adventures on the seas. He says they will make the ship sail again, and the two of them walk through the vineyard together.

The Episode Review

The season finale of Heirs to the Land drops the interesting thread of church corruption to simplify all the religious conflict into a determination of Mercé’s innocence or guilt. Formerly pressing concerns of the clergy repeatedly assaulting nuns is only pitifully addressed through Arsenda’s unconvincing denial of Mercé’s ‘devilish’ origins.

The other major plotline also fails to compel. The show has repeatedly attempted to push this idea that Bernat and Hugo are somehow connected through Bernat’s father and Hugo’s promise to avenge him. The sense of connection remains faint and poorly executed, and it makes for an underwhelming conclusion to make the season finale largely about the reconciliation between two men who weren’t exactly ever even friends.

The last scene, though sweet, was largely unsatisfying. Even after every disgusting action we saw from Bernat, the finale’s ultimate purpose is to propose that Arnau will carry on the legacy of the men in his family. I suppose this is in keeping with the episode’s theme of “redemption,” but even so, it doesn’t at all feel earned.

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