The Innocent – Netflix Season 1 Review

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5

 

Harlan Coben has a knack for making page-turning books that are difficult to put down. These books also make the perfect Netflix binge too. Now onto his fourth book adaptation on the streaming platform, The Innocent is a vast improvement over The Woods and could well be one of Harlan’s best adaptations.

Gritty, well-written and incredibly absorbing, this mini-series constantly keeps you guessing until the very end. There are some great twists in here too and when the puzzle pieces do eventually slot together, the ending satisfyingly wraps everything up in a great way.

The story here takes place deep in the heart of Spain. A nightclub brawl ends in tragedy when Mat accidentally kills a boy called Dani. After serving four years in prison, Mat leaves and tries to piece together his life. And he does a pretty good job of it too.

He soon gets in a relationship with a girl called Olivia, and the two prepare to start a new life together. Unfortunately, the past has a funny way of catching up to you and Mat soon finds ghosts of his past resurfacing. To make matters worse, Olivia heads off for a work trip to Berlin and ends up missing.

From here, Mat is thrown into a whirlwind of lies, distrust and thrills as he scrambles to piece together what has happened and discover the truth.

Coinciding with this story is a separate plot thread involving the death of a nun called Sister Maria. Investigator Lorena is on hand though and she sets out to find the one responsible. Her search inevitably intertwines with Mat’s, as the pair wind up intrinsically linked across the later stages of the season.

To add some extra intrigue into the fold is the ominous presence of a strange strip club in Marbella. There’s also SCU Agent Teo who may or may not have an ulterior motive.

There are a lot of twists and turns along the way though and the 8 episodes here do an excellent job keeping you guessing right up until the very end.

It helps that the show uses a unique stylistic device too, changing the narrative voice at the start of each episode to a different character. This allows for more backstory to bleed through, while keeping things interesting and engaging.

In fact, the show organically changes throughout the season too, beginning as a missing person’s case to a whodunit, and then eventually ending up as a cat and mouse thrill ride. On paper this sounds like a recipe for disaster and a complete tonal discord but it works surprisingly well.

Having said that, the show does have a fair amount of plot holes and inconsistency about it. On top of that, the show does a bit of a switch and bait with its main story. As someone who jumps into these shows without watching the trailer or even reading a synopsis, the premise here is a little misleading.

The story does begin by revolving around Mat but really, by the end he’s just another cog in the wheel for what’s ultimately a story centered on Olivia and Lorena. That’s not to take anything away from the series, but it’s definitely something worth bearing in mind.

The Innocent is undoubtedly an engaging and unpredictable thrill ride. Just be prepared for a few plot holes and moments that will raise an eyebrow or two. However, if you’ve enjoyed the previous Harlan Coben adaptations, this one is definitely up there with the best. This is a gripping mystery crime drama, and certainly worth a watch.


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  • 8.5/10
    Verdict - 8.5/10
8.5/10

3 thoughts on “The Innocent – Netflix Season 1 Review”

  1. No problems-thanks for the review. Perhaps a series about Detective Ortiz solving crimes in Barcelona. I really liked her even though the wig was distracting(I think it’s a wig as the actress has brown hair.

  2. Hey Ann,

    “the violence against women was a bit OTT” Yeah I completely agree. Some of those sequences were really difficult to watch. Sky Rojo had the same thing but I also felt, in terms of the narrative and motivations, it kinda made sense to show just how bad it was for them all. The moments with Kimmy in particular (no spoilers of course!) were particularly difficult to watch.

    Thanks for reading the review, really appreciate you taking the time to comment!

    -Greg W

  3. I will say that in this age of #MeToo, the violence against women was a bit OTT. I’ve never read the book and don’t know when it was written but I can see this being triggering for some people.

    I had to watch this as I watched a Jason Bourne movie- denial of reality as people don’t act like they should and the fact that everyone knew everyone else in the movie and has a million secrets. But as a binge watch week series, it was good, the acting was pretty decent for a Spanish show and the directing was stellar. And Barcelona will always be beautiful. My favorite person was probably Lorena the detective.

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