The Lazy Herd
Episode 1 of Somos Season 1 begins with the cartel making their presence felt, burning a brothel and taking off with two women in a truck. It’s an ominous opening, one that paves way for us to cut back three months prior.
In the town of Allende, Chema celebrates three years of sobriety. It’s a big moment for him as his wife Irene expresses how proud she is of him that evening.
It’s around this time where we get accustomed to the different residents around town. The big drama here though comes from the farm. Cut barbed wire and ill cows lead Anselmo to eventually ring Erika, the town’s veterinarian. He suspects foul play but needs to be sure.
Upon closer inspection – and samples from the cows – Erika believes the cows may be suffering from a fungal infection. To be sure though, she needs to send the data across to the lab to be tested.
A fire breaks out at Beto’s car wash later that day, something that sees the residents unnerved and on edge. This is the second time this has occurred. They brush it off as kids messing about but it seems like there’s more going on. This much is especially true when a whole bunch of silver cars race past the farm and into town.
Among the residents in town is Paquito, a lay about who’s currently mooching off hardworking Mrs Chayo. When he heads to the billiards hall, the others question his motivation and send him off to buy beers. Pacquito is stopped by a couple of police officers en-route though, who look set to arrest him for stepping out in front of them.
Thankfully a call comes in to save Paquito’s behind; this definitely feels like foreshadowing.
Meanwhile, Benjamin gets caught up in the dangerous world of drugs. He makes a deal late at night but he’s encouraged to make his payments on time. Although he promises to do so, it’s pretty obvious this is going to be a big story point going forward.
Erika receives word back from the lab. It turns out the cows – and subsequently the entire herd – have been poisoned. This was definitely a deliberate act but by who? Well, things turn from bad to worse when Erika shows up at the farm and sees the entire livestock gone, burnt to a cinder.
As we zoom out and follow the authorities, it turns out Allende plays host to key players in the ranks of the cartel. This explains why the town is so important and just what’s been going on.
The Episode Review
Somos kicks things off with a really compelling opening chapter. This one is definitely a slow burn and there a lot of different characters at the heart of this. The show does well to juggle all these players together though and certainly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the dialogue and setting.
The intricate relationships and the way these characters know each other is explored really well across this 50 minute chapter. The main focus here is on the farm and Erika’s findings about the poison, but there’s a lot more going on under the hood that’s been restrained.
So far it’s too early to tell where this one is going, although if you’re familiar with the original story then you probably have a good idea. Despite that, this raw and unflinching look at this small Mexican town offers up a slightly different lens than what we’re normally used to with shows like Narcos when it comes to the cartel.
The ending certainly leaves on an ominous note as this series looks set to simmer up in the coming chapters.