The Secret Place
Episode 5 of The Mess You Leave Behind begins after Raquel’s accident; our protagonist desperately clings to Viruca’s phone as she composes herself and heads back to school. She tells the other teachers she swerved off the road, tellingly omitting the part about potentially being followed. The teachers tell her to take the day off, which she jumps on and eventually goes off with Mauro to visit Tere for answers.
In turn, Tere introduces her to Dario who happens to be a whiz with computers and deciphers Viruca’s phone messages. In doing so, she finds all the photos of Iago topless and the blackmailed messages.
In the past, we see flashbacks of Viruca in her house rattled by Iago’s presence. She tries to get rid of him but he refuses to go. Eventually she succumbs to her desires and winds up sleeping with the boy. When Viruca awakens, she ignores a call from Tomas and realizes just what she’s done while Iago gets ready.
In the present, Raquel heads out to the woods with Mauro who shows her the spot he believes Viruca was potentially murdered. The water is warm which seems to point toward it being near the hot spring too.
After her car accident, Raquel returns to class and eventually opens up about what happened the moment of her car crash. The kids don’t believe her though, especially when she mentions literature helping her pull through, and instead picks up on Iago’s “joke” about pills. It turns out Nerea was giving these to Viruca.
Back home, Raquel checks Viruca’s phone again and deliberates over a picture of an abandoned shed and quite what this means. As we see from a further flashback, this holds some history for her given it’s a spot Viruca and Iago went together. As they discuss their future, both of them hang over a bridge with rushing water below.
Interestingly, another flashback shows that Raquel and Virucas’s Mothers were both in hospital at the same time. They found comfort in one another’s grief as they sit in the waiting room and mull over their situations.
Viruca makes a call to Tomas and confronts him over what’s happening with her parents and their financial situation. She promises him that she’s not with Mauro now and winds up sleeping with him. Viruca tries to sneak out in the morning without Iago finding out but all her sneaking around is in vain as he turns the corner and sees her putting her shoes on to leave.
In the present, Raquel figures out the GPS coordinates on Viruca’s phone link to the last place she was before she died. This brings Raquel to a car park overlooking a beautiful lake. Talking to one of the men there, it turns out Viruca used to come up and go canoeing. It must be often too given the man there knows her by name.
While he’s distracted with a customer, Raquel checks Viruca’s bag stashed next to the canoe and finds wads of notes inside. Unsure what this means, she heads home to find German has thrown a big party in their house. Iago happens to be there too and he talks “nicely” with Raquel, telling her to keep her nose out of his business or she’ll pay for it.
Heading out to the party, she checks her call history and rings the last number on Viruca’s phone. As she looks out across the party, she locks eyes with a worried German, who happens to be the person Viruca was messaging.
The Episode Review
This series is just starting to drag a bit and feels quite slow. Perhaps it’s just me too but I feel like a lot of these scenes could have easily been condensed down or edited a bit quicker to increase the pacing of this mystery.
There isn’t a lot of plot progression here beyond certain moments in the past but most of this has been well orchestrated and a bit obvious – especially the affair between Viruca and Iago.
Speaking of which, it seems like Iago may not be the one responsible for what happened to Viruca. He seems to be the real red herring in what’s otherwise an elaborate scheme concocted by German and perhaps Mauro too. Could it be that he and Mauro are in collusion together?
For now, the questions continue but hopefully we’ll start getting some answers soon.