Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Say what you will about Spanish thriller High Seas, if there’s one thing this series knows how to do it’s build a mystery. From the first season’s simple but effective hook to the second’s equally endearing murder, High Seas brings back everything great about those first two seasons into this 6-part third season. However, it also brings back the bad too.
Picking up a year and a half after the events of season 2, our characters have long put to bed the story of Rojas and the ghost. Instead, all of our familiar faces have moved on with their lives. However, Eva is quickly thrown back into the thick of the action when a mysterious undercover agent known as Fabio requests her help.
There’s a new threat boarding the Barbara de Braganza this time around and it comes in the form of a mysterious man with a virus. Given her familial ties to those onboard, she’s recruited to the cause to track him down before it’s too late.
As the story progresses, big secrets are revealed and shadowy figures move their chess pieces around the board. All of this builds up to a climactic and somewhat fan-servicey ending where everything including the kitchen sink is thrown at the show.
Logically, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and there’s a few twists here that really don’t work. However, there’s an undeniable campy charm with this that makes it more of a guilty pleasure to watch than it has any right to be.
Some of that comes from the hilarity of seeing everyone back onboard the boat after a year and a half. Inspector Valera is still larking about, as are most of the central characters from the second season. Nicolas meanwhile is relegated to the back-burner, taking a minor role which is a bit disappointing.
Instead of romance, the show doubles down on its drama and in particular, some of the more elaborate ploys that felt very make-or-break in the second season. While there’s no spooky ghosts this time, there is an equally sci-fi-esque idea that’s not really given much of an explanation. I won’t spoil that here but it is worth bearing in mind.
Although brownie points are definitely awarded for a surprising twist over who the killer is, it also comes at the expense of believability. The reasoning behind the viral outbreak is incredibly far-fetched and a couple of the subplots that are drummed up for dramatic purposes are quickly wrapped up by the end.
Despite its problems with the writing, High Seas remains a serious guilty pleasure. The mystery is really endearing and there’s enough with this to keep you sticking around for the ending where all is revealed.
This big “aha” moment is one of the better ones across the three seasons but it’s a shame that it comes at the expense of trying to throw everything at the finale to make it exciting rather than carefully crafting a satisfying ending.
It’s not perfect and much like being on a boat across choppy waters, High Seas Season 3 features some serious ups and downs. If you have the stomach for it and can ignore some of the obvious contrivances, High Seas is a real guilty pleasure. Given the fourth season lies on the horizon, this certainly isn’t the last voyage we’ll be taking.
Verdict - 6.5/10