Santo – Season 1 Episode 1 “Invisible” Recap & Review


Episode 1 of Santo starts with a young child innocently playing with his toy car while in the back seat of a car. Two motorbikes suddenly pull up, one of the people on the motorbike shoots the man driving the car, and the other grabs the kid from the backseat. They then set the car on fire and quickly drive off with the young boy.

The next scene opens up in a Madrid police station, the officers are having a briefing on the case. The boy taken away is named Mario, he is 8 years old. They think the case is tied to a previous shooting that happened last week in Moratalaz, whereby another trafficker was shot. Luckily, the trafficker (who is named Chinche) survived the attack.

Agent Millán goes to visit a man in prison; he is looking for a lead into the kidnapping of Mario. The man is Juan José Velilla AKA Ronaldo who is a leader in a drug trafficking gang in Madrid. The conversation with Juan leads us to believe that Agent Millán may not be a clean cop. He has been taking pay-outs from this man to find the bikers and get rid of them. After a little hand-twisting, Juan reveals to Agent Millán that Chinche told him that the bikers are Norwegians.

Over in Salvador, Brazil the police have found the body of a male child who was decapitated before being buried at sea. Given the way the child was killed, they believe the child was murdered by a drug lord named Santo. It is his signature to remove his victims’ brains. The police are tasked with notifying the next of kin about the demise of their loved one. In this case, Agent Cardona will do the notification.

After giving the bad news, Agent Cardona goes to meet Inspector Luis Freitas. Agent Cardona wants to become an undercover agent in Santo’s organization. Inspector Luis warns him of the dangers of going undercover but Cardona is determined to bring Santo down. They begin the stint and Cardona goes undercover. His cover is blown in the first operation.

Inspector Luis who is in charge of the operation is forced to order an intervention. However, there is a risk that Cardona will be killed during the intervention as the other team doesn’t know Cardona is an undercover cop. The intervention team goes in hot and they kill the man who was in the car with Cardona. Cardona does his best to escape as they shoot at him and he loses contact with his team. 

Back in Madrid, Agent Millán is having a meal at a restaurant with his daughter when a news report on TV catches his attention. Juan has been killed in prison and police believe it is a contract killing ordered by a foreign gang.

In Brazil, Agent Cardona is able to safely return home. He has gotten a new lead to the Santo case. They found Santo’s mistress and Cardona wants to pursue the lead but Inspector Luis is against it. He thinks it is a trap and that Cardona is putting everyone at risk. They gear up and head out to her last known location.

At the location, gunshots rent the air as Cardona and his team returns fire with Santo’s men. They get to his mistress just in time to save her from being hanged. Cardona is hoping that Barbara is going to snitch on Santo and lead them to him. Barbara tells them that she doesn’t know the identity of Santo as she has never seen his face in the approximately 3 years she has been his mistress. Cardona is curious why Santo wanted to kill Barbara.

It turns out Santo has a pact with (Iku) death, he has to provide Iku with sacrifices to be freed from his enemies. That is all Barbara divulges, it is unclear if she offered herself as a sacrifice or if she was forced to do it.

In Madrid, Agent Millán’s shady activities may be catching up to him. Susi, his colleague, has found out about his calls to Juan and warns him that she will have to include her findings in her report to their bosses. Agent Millán refuses to tell her more about his relationship with the late Juan. They head to a briefing and they are brought up to speed with the Santo case in Brazil. Santo is in Madrid and they will coordinate with Interpol and the DEA to arrest him.

In Brazil, Agent Cardona is riling from grief after Santo kills his lover. He is more determined than ever to catch Santo. Santo tries to rescue Barbara from the cops while they are transferring her to the attorney’s office but fails. This forces the police to change their plans and send Cardano to Madrid.

In Madrid, Agent Millán is hot on the heels of the bikers and he can make an arrest. He however tells the suspect to not mention the name of the person who paid them to buy the bikes. He is a shady cop. The police find a lead in the suspect’s phone and while pursuing the lead, they find Cardona. He is in an unstable state and seems to have been kidnapped and has gone through a hard time. The only thing he is saying is Barbara’s name.

The Episode Review

This was only the first episode and it was intense and quick-paced. There are a lot of moving parts simultaneously in Brazil and Madrid, viewers have to concentrate or they will miss important clues to the storyline. Agent Millán in Madrid has some bones in his closet and I am excited to see when they will be revealed.

I don’t understand why Agent Cardona remained active in the case after Santo killed his lover. Either way, it seems like he and Barbara never made it to Madrid safely. I am hoping the next episode will tell us what happened to them and where Barbara is. Overall, this series has the makings of a good crime-thriller and I am hoping the next episodes will continue to deliver.

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You can read our full season review for Santo here!


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