The Mess You Leave Behind – Season 1 Episode 8 (Finale) Recap & Review

The Mess You Leave Behind

We begin episode 8 of The Mess You Leave Behind in the past as Iago arrives at Viruca’s door in the pouring rain, pleading with her to let him in. As she puts the phone receiver down, Viruca deliberates over whether to let him in or not.

Back in the present, Raquel awakens next to Mauro and notices the bites across his arm. She bolts upright, realizing he’s not being wholly truthful and holds a knife up in defence.

Eventually Mauro admits that he was in her house looking for the phone but didn’t kill Viruca. He panicked and the dog came at him so he defended himself.

It turns out Mauro and Viruca staged their marriage woes together as Mauro and Viruca wanted to try and steal money from Tomas. In order to do so, they played a long-game and used whatever Viruca found to try blackmailing Tomas into submission. Mauro needed her phone as he believes that something is definitely on the phone. Raquel though claims that she’s looked and nothing is there.

Back home, Iago is confronted by his father over the situation with Viruca. Sporting bruises across his face, Iago reluctantly shows his Father the video that Viruca has. Tomas rushes out the house as Raquel deliberates over whether to go to the police for help or not. In the end, she decides against it.

Interestingly, this also mirrors Viruca too, who deliberates going to the police and changes her mind.

Instead, Raquel meets Iago after a brief visit with Claudia and mentions Viruca’s phone. She’s seen everything and wants to help him. She knows that Iago is innocent and wants his help bringing the real culprits to justice. While Iago brushes aside her claims and tells her no one can help, Raquel heads to the bar and hands over Viruca’s phone to Concha, telling her to hold onto it. At least for now anyway.

At the scenic overlook where Viruca used to go canoeing, Raquel snaps a photo of the sign which has coordinates marked which gets her thinking.

Raquel takes this information and uses the unknown number on the phone as GPS coordinates instead. It seems to work too and following the clues leads her to a hidden area holding an external hard drive inside a plastic bag. With this in hand, she heads back home. Only, before she can watch what’s there she’s interrupted by Gabriel who tells her German is in trouble and needs to get in his car.

Only, he locks the doors when she sits next to him and tells Raquel she can’t see what’s on that drive. This, ironically, mirrors a scene from the past as Viruca is bundled into Tomas’s car after seeing too much.

Gabriel brings Raquel before Tomas and Iago who together tie her down to a chair in an abandoned warehouse. They’re prepared to kill Raquel by drugging her and making it look like suicide. Raquel tries to plead with Iago for help, as flashes to the past show this is exactly what happened to Viruca.

Despite drugging her and bundling the girl into the boot, Raquel manages to break free and takes off through the forest. Iago loses control of the car and drives straight into a tree while Raquel finds a couple out in the woods holding shotguns and forcing them to retreat. As Gabriel and Tomas scurry away, Raquel collapses on the floor.

Paramedics rush to the scene and take Raquel away in an ambulance to hospital. The same is done for Iago too. On the back of this, Tomas and Gabriel are both arrested. The police arrive to take Iago’s statement before appearing to have a warrant to search through Tomas’s house.

When Raquel awakens she finds herself with Tere. It’s been 3 days and German is there too. It turns out Iago confessed everything and on the computer they had files showing Iago being prostituted out to other men. Apparently he’s been doing that since he was a child. Tomas and Gabriel are arrested for their part in all this.

Roi happens to be okay as well, having pulled through and survived his injuries. It turns out it was Iago who assaulted him over the computer while German was the one who found him beaten and rushed the boy to hospital. German panicked and left Roi outside though, for which he apologizes.

Raquel eventually speaks to Iago about what happened. She tells him it’s not his fault as the boy leaves and begins crying softly in the waiting room. Afterward, Raquel and Mauro try to patch up their differences but to no avail. At school, Mauro leaves a note thanking Raquel for her help and telling the girl to get drunk for her.

6 months later, Raquel has decided to pack in the teaching and starts writing instead. German rings and thanks her for help as they both reflect on how different their lives are now.


The Episode Review

So I’m no forensic expert but I’m a little dubious over this murder being classified as a suicide. So as we’ve seen, Gabriel and Tomas manhandled Viruca, tying her down to a chair (possible restraint marks on her wrists?) and drugged her.

Then, they dragged her semi-conscious body through the woods and dumped her in the lake face-down and eventually killed her. This was classified as a suicide.

What about the toxicology report and the autopsy? What about the various footprints in the mud nearby and the wooded area? And what about the car apparently chasing Raquel? Was this Tomas? Mauro? Or neither?

And that’s before mentioning the police suddenly swooping in and saving the day at the end. Despite already writing this case off as a suicide, they suddenly come and incriminate Tomas and Gabriel after gaining a warrant to their house. And what was Gabriel’s motive in all this?

In the end, The Mess You leave Behind leaves a mess behind its 7 episodes, wrapping things up in a rather unsatisfying manner. It’s a shame too as there’s definitely been potential with this but between the illogical result to the examination, Raquel’s weird on/off affair with Mauro (which is completely brushed under the surface as she runs back to German) and the end prostitution reveal, everything just feels rushed and strangely uneven.

A shame for sure but despite a bright start, this one ends with a whimper rather than a roar.

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  • Episode Rating
2.5

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