The Nightclub Brawl
Episode 1 of The Innocent Season 1 begins with a haircut. Interlaced around that though is the pulsating sound of techno as we’re introduced to our club scene. And an argument.
Mat decides to leave Isma behind, but he’s approached by a young woman who convinces him to stick around. This doesn’t sit well with Marcos, eventually culminating in a fight breaking out between this group of boys outside.
A slick rotating camera shot ensues, eventually culminating in Mat pushing a boy called Dani back and inadvertently killing him. His death causes Mat to serve four years in prison. It’s not a life sentence because of the circumstances surrounding the fight. As Mat hardens up while behind bars, time passes and he’s eventually set free.
Isma has a stroke though and passes away, joining Mat’s Mother and Father who passed away years earlier. A grief-stricken Mat gets at least some happiness though when he finds out Olivia is pregnant. This happens to be a girl he spent time with while out on furlough. Taking a call out in the hallway, he spies Dani’s Father from afar.
Two months pass and Mat and Olivia move into a new house. Across the way from them though happens to be Hugo and the girl who started the big fight that night. Both of them happen to be living in the same neighbourhood.
While Olivia is out the room, Mat checks his phone and notices messages from Sonia, asking to meet in the usual spot. He simply replies “yes, see you tomorrow xoxo”
Well, Natt shows up at the art gallery after driving Olivia off to the airport. It turns out Sonia is actually Dani’s Mother and she’s been pretending Mat is her son. This seems to be some sort of coping mechanism. Anyway, Mat breaks this roleplay up and tells her Olivia is pregnant.
Mat eventually shows up at work but he receives a message from Olivia. It’s not her but instead a selfie from a strange man. Unsure what this means, Mat messages back jokingly until he notices her go offline. Unable to contact Olivia, he tries ringing the hotel but they have no record of her.
While out driving, Mat receives a video message from that same strange guy. Within this, it shows a room number of 2507, orange shoes and a wig. A further video shows him naked in that very same room while Olivia is sprawled out on the bed in her underwear.
Ringing his phone, this man tells Mat he knows his deep, dark secrets. Mat hangs up and steps into the road, where he notices a suspicious looking car and calls out for it to stop. Only, it instead mows him down.
A menacing bald man steps out and looks down on him, pointing a silencer at Mat’s face. The clip is empty though, and after squeezing the trigger he eventually leaves.
Deciding against going through the main police channels, Mat instead turns to a private investigator called Zoe, showing what he’s found out so far. She believes that Olivia is cheating on him and his meetings with Dani’s Mother could even be a part of all this.
Unsure where else to turn, Mat speaks to Sonia about Olivia. She confirms that her husband, Jaime, is actually seeing someone as well. Mat starts to dig up his past, only to receive another call from Olivia.
This time though there’s nothing out of the ordinary, as she claims she’s at the hotel. Olivia confirms she didn’t send anything and that she’s at the hotel. As we cut across to see Olivia, she happens to be sitting on the bed with a bag full of money.
Mat meanwhile, speaks to Zoe outside. She’s dug up some crucial details. The car that hit him was rented out by a guy called Ibai Saez and he has a criminal record. Mat claims he doesn’t know who he is but this man matches the description of the one who took videos on Olivia’s phone.
With a lot to think about, Sonia rings too and she confirms her research. She’s figured out that Olivia used her card to pay for the taxi and she withdrew 50,000 euros in cash that very morning. This would explain the cash but it’s also all of her and Mat’s savings. She’s clearly mixed up in something dangerous but quite what remains to be seen.
The next day, Ibai rings and tells Mat that someone is about to knock on the door. If he opens up, he promises to cut Olivia’s tongue out. Keeping quiet for now, Mat notices a card slipped under the door. Opening it up, the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
After a pretty heavy dose of exposition early on, The Innocent settles into typical Harlan Coben territory with a very intriguing opening chapter. Already there are lots of question marks hanging over this one.
Much like Harlan’s previous three entries on Netflix, The Innocent has a way of really hooking you into the mystery and this Spanish flavoured new arrival is no exception. It’s still early days of course and there’s lots more to unpack.
There’s certainly a lot of possible reasons why Olivia is wrapped up in all this. Could it be that Jaime is involved in what’s happened to Olivia as revenge for Dani? We’ll have to wait and see but so far this one has got off to a very intriguing start.