The Third Victim
Episode 7 of The Mess You Leave Behind begins with Raquel returning home after being given the ashes of her dead dog. It’s a really sombre moment but one that’s immediately followed by a burst of uneasiness as Raquel feels like she’s being followed home. Unsure who else to trust, she heads over to Mauro’s and asks for help.
Together, they drink wine but Mauro is a bit touchy-feely with her which should ring alarm bells but she sticks around for the time being. It turns out Mauro knew about Viruca’s cocaine habit too and as we see from a further flashback, so too did Iago.
In the present, German wallows in pity at the bar before confronting Nerea and Roi about his dead dog while they’re heading to school. He threatens both of them but lets them go for now. As the kids walk together, Roi comments on Nerea’s changed personality and how she doesn’t read or write anymore. She bites back though, telling Roi that he too has changed.
Needing answers, Roi turns his attention to Iago and decides to head into his house and do some snooping around. In Iago’s room, Roi breaks into his laptop and finds numerous different files. He puts headphones on to see for himself and as he leaves, shocked at what he’s seen, he leaves a voicemail for Raquel telling her he’s heading over to see her.
On his way, Roi is approached by someone who grabs him and starts beating the boy down to the ground. He’s in a pretty bad way too and winds up hospitalized on the back of this beating. When Raquel finds out, she realizes this has something to do with the case and quickly takes some pills in the bathroom to calm herself down.
When Raquel hears her voicemail from Roi, she finally understands why he was beaten and how important he is to this case. Raquel snaps at Nerea in class and berates the girl in front of everyone. Only, Marga happens to be watching from the doorway and requests Raquel follow her to the office.
While Raquel is told to drop the case, Nerea tries in vain to talk to Iago about what happened to their friend. He’s cagey, unwilling to spill anything which eventually leads to her breaking up with him.
In the past, we see Iago pushing Viruca’s buttons and trying to make her confess to what happened between them in class. Afterwards, Viruca lays it out straight and tells the boy that they’re over and what happened between them will never happen again. Iago has her number though and threatens to reveal everything.
After class, Iago shows Nerea an audio recording he has of Viruca from when they made love together. This catches us up to the moments during episode 1 as Viruca heads outside and finds graffiti strewn across the side of her car. She confronts Iago about this and threatens to tell his Dad everything. Tellingly, Nerea happens to be watching them from afar.
In the parking lot, Iago hurries over to Viruca and drops off a USB stick for her. He tells her to check the folder labelled “comments” and promises it should be enough to incriminate his Father. He also tells her not to watch it with anyone else around.
Raquel receives a call from Pascual, the officer at the hospital from earlier. They have CCTV footage and want her to see if she recognizes who the culprit may be. It’s not clear but she sees the hooded guy dragging Roi and leaving him in a crumpled heap at the hospital.
Meanwhile, German heads back to see Demetrio and learns that the permit from the Xunta has been approved. It turns out Viruca did her part after all… or was it someone acting on her behalf? Just before German leaves, he tells Demetrio to cover for him but it’s no good, the police are there and arrest German for assaulting Roi.
On the back of this, Claudia blames Raquel for her son being arrested. It’s a tense conversation and one that eventually sees Raquel turn to Mauro for comfort.
Mauro encourages her to get dressed in Viruca’s clothes. As she does, we cut back and forth between the past and present. In the present, Raquel winds up making love to Mauro while in the past, Viruca checks the laptop and is shocked by what she sees.
A quick flash to the not-so-distant past reveals that Mauro was the one looking for Viruca’s phone and also responsible for what happened to Raquel’s dog.
The Episode Review
So it looks like Iago is not the one responsible for killing Viruca after all. From the looks of it, everything seems to be pointing toward either Mauro or Tomas – my money is on both of them together. The situation with the restaurant is yet another red herring to throw us off the scent and to be fair, the show has done quite a good job to keep things relatively interesting with a lot of guess work.
However, the actual mystery elements themselves are quite straight forward if you ignore a lot of the sub-plot strands and it seems that whatever Iago has on his laptop is the same thing that both Roi and Viruca have now seen. Clearly it’s incriminating evidence against Tomas.
The weird romance between Mauro and Raquel is probably the one element of this story that just doesn’t work. Neither of them have any chemistry together and worse, it doesn’t fit with the characters. It’s also incredibly weird too, especially as Raquel happily puts on Viruca’s clothes without really batting an eyelid.
With the finale up next, all eyes now turn to see exactly how this one will conclude. Unfortunately this has not quite been the bright spark it started out as which is a bit of a shame.