The Mess You Leave Behind – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

Downward Spiral

Episode 4 of The Mess You Leave Behind begins with Raquel returning home to find Simon and German together. She heads inside and tries to remain calm in the wake of these two talking business. It’s no good though and eventually she heads out for some air.

While walking her dog, Raquel phones Tere and updates her on thee current situation. She wonders whether German knows about the affair and worries about the future.

Back home, Raquel probes German over what Simon had to say and it’s obvious that there’s no love lost between German and Simon – which just makes everything that much more awkward.

At school, Raquel speaks to Roi about the blackmail and believes he’s the one responsible. However, Roi tells her that if she tries to report him for anything, the tight-knit community will band together and have each other’s backs.

In the past, Mauro and Viruca’s marriage problems spills over to school. Mauro tries his best to salvage what they once had but it seems in vain as she walks away from him. It’s clear she’s having an affair with Tomas but Iago doesn’t know this, as he watches her leave Mauro’s side with interest.

When Iago confronts her about the pictures, she simply shrugs it off and admits that she spoke to his father and showed him the pictures. Telling, she very obviously omits the details about the affair.

In the present, Raquel changes her tact and gets in Nerea’s good books. She brushes aside the questions from the blackmailer as a simple test to get the kids in the right frame of mind to think. Raquel even manages to spin this into a talk about feminism and equality.

When she returns home, Simon happens to be there and grabs Raquel round the waist from behind. It turns out he too received messages from someone posing as Raquel. Within the messages, they told her that this is her fantasy. It isn’t, of course, and it’s yet more game playing from someone trying to rattle and unsettle this distressed teacher.

Unsure where else to turn given the police officers know German, she instead speaks to Mauro and tells him she’s desperate to find out the truth. With the keys to Viruca’s apartment, she heads in and starts looking around for clues. Within the walls she finds Viruca’s phone.

As she picks it up, we cut back in time and see Tomas and Viruca together. She wants to talk but he’s having none of it, instead determined for them to make love first.

As they sleep that evening, Iago returns home enraged as he realizes Viruca is with his Father in bed. Tomas throws his son down the stairs when he confronts him and, with blood over his face, leaves the boy in a crumpled heap on the ground. When Viruca finds out, she leaves in disgust. Iago meanwhile, watches her leave while struggling to hold back tears.

Tomas kicks her son out the house and he’s forced to take refuge at Viruca’s house where he stays for the night given he has nowhere else to go.

Unfortunately Raquel’s investigation causes her to neglect Nerea and show up late to her lecture. The girl is none too happy and leaves Raquel to fumble her way through until the pressure becomes too much. Apologizing, she quickly bolts from the room.

It’s clear she’s having bad dreams but after a particularly frightening one involving Ramon at school, German awakens her and asks Raquel outright why she was calling out these names during her sleep. Raquel doesn’t have an answer but eventually retreats into her room alone to think over what she knows.

Deciding to keep the investigation into Viruca alive, Raquel heads to the gym and manages to find Viruca’s belongings. However, Nerea happens to be there and she messages Iago (presumably, given he’s the next person we see) who watches her leave.

Raquel believes she’s being followed and tries to grab Viruca’s phone while driving. Only, when she looks up she finds a biker in front and swerves to avoid them. As she does, Raquel ends up crashing the car as paramedics race to the scene to try and save her.

The Episode Review

Was Raquel being followed there at the end of the episode? It seems that way but then again it could also be a red herring – something this series has done quite well with so far.

The actual mystery elements are quite good and the back and forth flashbacks definitely help to paint a picture over what’s happened in the past.

It also sheds light on what’s happened while remaining clear that whoever this blackmailer is, they know all of Raquel’s intimate secrets and will stop at nothing to exploit her.

Then again, the same can be said for Viruca too so whoever the culprit is, they must have ties to both characters. For now though, things are left wide open after a dramatic end to the episode.

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