Sky High – Season 1 Episode 1 “The Living and the Dead” Recap & Review

The Living and the Dead

Episode 1 of Sky High begins with an unsuccessful robbery job by Rogelio’s gang. Rogelio is our main character and he hapens to be Madrid’s biggest stolen merchandise seller. He is a smart operator and seldom needs inventory to store as the deals are made before the merchandise is stolen.

He runs a gang of six men – Fernan, Tono Nando, Gitano, Motos, and Compi. The first job is stealing premium quality hams that are approximately valued in millions. Fernan, Motos, and Nando steal an Estrella Galacia truck to commit the robbery. Gitano and Compi keep watch outside a diner where the police officers working for the ham company are resting.

While the trio uses the Estrella truck to barge into the warehouse, Gitano prepares another getaway truck and places it near the loading bay. They get the ham and go off but Campi notices the officers being alerted to the alarm blaring due to the break-in.

Despite their best attempts – throwing the expensive ham on pursuing police cars – the robbers are caught. Rogelio is informed by Antonio about last night’s debacle. Rogelio has other things to worry about like explaining the hacked job to the buyer, who is now short of premium hams.

Sole, Rogelio’s daughter and Angel’s widow, bail the robbers. The robbers actually worked for Angel before his death but by freeing them, Sole has gone against her father and perhaps might fancy becoming their leader. This way, she aspires to own her own criminal gang.

Duque is an experienced police officer who has been chasing the gang for years but they have always eluded him. This time, though, Duque has a man inside the gang. That man happens to be Fernan, whom Duque warns that failure would mean the mole has no safety net to fall back to. It will be over for him and he will go back to jail.

Sole owns a gym clothing store called Decimas on Gran Via street. Sole has been on her own for the last few months. Angel committed suicide but the reason is still unknown. She visits his grave and has to raise their son Pablo alone. In his personal diary, Sole finds a number and a name: “Excavations and Demolitions.”

At Pablo’s birthday party, Sole expresses her wish to work with Mercedes, an expert lawyer who used to launder money for her father Rogelio before. She was fired a few years ago. Fernan shows up at the house and pays back some amount of the bail. Sole invites him in. Her friends Yolanda and Candela take a fancy to him but Sole does not have any interest in him.

Rogelio tries to warn Sole against working with Mercedes and getting involved with Angel’s gang but Sole says she wants to run this gang in her own style. She has money to move but cannot find any help. Does this mean she is going against her father and becoming his enemy? Perhaps not but it cannot be ruled out yet.

The delivery girl who delivers a pack of beers to the party is Rosa, someone from Sole’s past. We see she also occasionally supplies drugs to her friend Fita.

The next morning, Sole hands over the money to Mercedes to launder. Sole is behind on rent payments for her store but Mercedes promises to help. She will also help invest the money by growing it. Estrella calls Sole at night but we discover that it is actually Rosa at the other end. Estrella is dead and Sole is indirectly responsible for that.

In a flashback, we see when Duque arrested Sole after the Chinese businessmen alleged she stole their money, Sole used her phone call to call Estrella. She wanted her to take the two bags of money hidden in a hotel but the Chinese traced the calls and killed Estrella. Rosa is Estrella’s cousin.

In the morning, Mercedes and Sole report the threatening calls from Estrella’s phone to Duque but he says the phone got lost after Estrella’s mother, who took possession, also died a few months ago. He warns Sole to stay away from Rogelio as Duque will soon catch up and arrest him.

Sole expresses to Mercedes that she has rage inside her for what happened to Angel and Estrella. That night, the group performs another hit job; this time, at a jewellery store.

Their real purpose is to steal a safe box that Sole has ordered them to steal. They almost get away this time despite the police’s best attempts.

Sole strikes a deal with a man to steal blueprints to a place while Fernan and Motos disguise themselves as construction workers to steal a bulldozer.

The Episode Review

Everything about Sky High has seemed run of the mill in the season opener. While the pacing of the storytelling is slick, like most recent Spanish offerings, the contours of the story seem limited. From what we see here, the show is basically about gang wars and internal conflicts within the groups.

The scales of power are being fought for between outsiders and insiders as well. Asia Ortega seems a captivating lead as Sole, someone looking to make it out on her own and come out from the shadow of her illustrious father.

The two heists we saw in this episode were not executed well. That lack of excitement stems from the poor conception as the heist scenes felt too unrealistic and rushed.

One also feels the pain of the makers not establishing clearly what the title means in the context of the story. Hopefully, the next few episodes give them an opportunity to catch up. If that does not happen, there is no catching up at all.

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You can read our full season review for Sky High here!

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