Episode 1 of Jaguar begins with a shadowy group closing in on their suspect. Sporting numerous pictures and a brief timeline, these men are encouraged to keep vigilant in the wake of their pursuit.
Their target happens to be a girl called Isabel who’s haunted by the ghosts of the past. We’re in Madrid, Spain 1962 and the memories of the holocaust are still just as raw and painful for her as they were before. The scar across her forehead confirms as much; a harsh reminder of being struck by Nazi officers with the butt of a gun as a child.
Isabel is blinded by vengeance, determined to go after those responsible for destroying her family – and home. Her father’s death is still a raw and painful scar. Back then, she was forced to watch him die at the hands of an officer called Otto Bachmann.
Isabel has been a waitress for nearly a year and she’s been biding her time to exact revenge on this man. As she checks the reservation for the restaurant the following day, she notices that Otto is scheduled for dinner.
News of this gets across to our shadowy group, who use their intel and wits to realize Isabel is about to kill him. As they mobilize their forces and prepare to stop her, our protagonist is tasked with waiting Otto’s table that evening. The opportunity presents itself to strike, and a vial of poison gained from a woman at a club the previous night is just the opportunity Isabel needs to silently dispatch her target.
With the food served, Isabel does well to hide the satisfaction from her face. Only, there’s a problem. The vial she’s been given seems to be a dud, and with the Germans not doubling over in pain, Isabel panics and skips out the restaurant, determined to enact Plan B. And that plan is simply shooting Otto in cold blood.
Just before she fires, a man (whom we later find out is called Castro) shows up and tries to wrestle the gun out of her hand. Eventually it leads to Isabel skipping away the park and hurrying home. However, Castro is not alone. Isabel is chased through the streets by cars and bikes, all members of this group that are dead-set on apprehending her.
In Isabel’s hastiness to et home, she fires blindly at the car and cuts her hand badly on the fence. This act is enough for her to be followed back home, where she’s eventually tied up and in a rough way. As she’s questioned and close to losing a finger, a guy called Lucena demands to know who she is. Even at this point though Isabel keeps calm, which is enough to impress him.
All of this appears to be a test, as Lucena fronts this crew of Nazi hunters. They’ve been following Isabel for weeks now and Lucena soon meets his female contact, Ramos, at a gallery. He exhibits concerns over using Isabel but Ramos believes she could be useful.
Lucena soon returns to Isabel and reveals that Bachmann is part of Odessa, an American codename coined in 1946 to cover a series of tunnels and networks between countries. The purpose of this is to basically help former SS and Gestapo members avoid arrest when their cover is blown.
This crew need Bachmann alive as he could well be the key to uncovering more of this network – and who is being kept hidden
Lucena is actually a Holocaust survivor too, which explains his stake in all this. He intends to bring all the Nazi to justice but needs them to be publicly outed before enacting that sense of justice. Before reaching Bachmann, their first target is going to be Aribert Heim. Lucena decides to bring Isabel along for the ride, encouraging her to show up at 9’o clock at Chamberi metro station.
Isabel makes her choice and shows up, right on time. With the team assembled, a thin smile crosses Lucena’s face as he hands over a gun to Isabel and promises that they’ll make Heim pay for what he’s done.
The Episode Review
The first episode of Jaguar sets the scene nicely for the story to come, taking cues from Amazon Prime’s Hunters and spinning it into a distinctly Spanish flavour. The result is a really intriguing opening episode, one that sticks to the usual tropes of a revenge thriller but blending that in with historical fiction.
Isabel is an easy character to root for too, and seeing her poisoning plan go awry is a decent inclusion to show that she’s not quite as untouchable as she once thought.
Likewise, the show manages to introduce the supporting players in a compelling way, especially after that opening scene, and sets everything up nicely for an exciting season of action to follow.