The Other Shore
Episode 4 of Welcome to Eden starts with Africa awakening in Astrid’s house. It’s the morning and Astrid decides to make public what they discussed the previous night. With a contract on the table, Africa is encouraged to sign, claiming that they can “do great things together.” For now, Africa remains cautious about signing up for anything that may interfere with her agency.
Down on the beach, Zoa promises to return to Nico, before collecting up the gang in Eden ready for their departure. Of course, Aldo is not there given he was killed the night before. And now Zoa starts to grow a little suspicious.
In fact, she speaks to Nico about it, who confirms he’s never seen anyone actually leave Eden. He urges her to keep quiet about her suspicions. Although, that’s easier said than done though when Bel grows suspicious about her.
Meanwhile, Ibon decides to stay and become part of the cult family. Erick and Astrid are delighted, and hand over a contract for him to sign as well. In doing so, the wristband is removed and he’s told to relax. Ulises also shows up too, whispering to Astrid that their Aldo problem has been taken taken care of.
Over in Barcelona, Gabi and her mother work together and team up with an officer to discuss Zoa’s disappearance. They report her officially as a missing person and get the ball rolling on this. Gabi is also encouraged to look through Zoa’s things in the meantime and see if there’s a hint to where she may be; a receipt, plane ticket, something of the kind.
On her desk Gabi finds Zoa’s phone (wait, wasn’t this with the Eden volunteers? Didn’t they have to hand over their phones?) where messages from David pop up. Gabi messages back and starts communicating. David confirms she was with Zoa on Eden. Gabi agrees to meet up with David, needing a change of scenery and desperate to find out what happened.
Interestingly, Ibon’s father is a big businessman and he hires a private investigator to look into his son’s disappearance. Will she team up with Gabi to try and track her down?
Back on the island, Africa makes her decision and also chooses to stay in Eden. She helps Mayka come up with a farewell message for her followers, claiming she needs some time away from social media. With the kids taking the plunge, we see little glimmers of how this cult works.
The crosses on the forearms appear to be some sort of hierarchical level, something that can grant access to different parts of the facility. Eloy, the deaf Eden worker, teams up with Bel to steal Orson’s card after this. They want to find out what secrets Astrid and the others may be hiding.
Bel heads deep into the facility, where she learns that Zoa’s evaluation is still pending but for Aldo, he’s been “eliminated.” After seeing what she needs to, Bel charges back and drops Orson’s card where it was originally found to avoid suspicion.
Zoa and Charly talk down on the beach, with the latter discussing how Aldo has infected him with paranoia and put “crazy ideas in his head.” The irony of this statement, in the presence of this cult that everyone has just willingly walked into, is not lost on me, dear reader! Anyway, Charly makes his decision and – because the boat hasn’t shown up when it was supposed to – decides to walk away.
Astrid talks him around though, encouraging him to join the circle in the courtyard just like Zoa did. And once again we get an exposition dump, this time from Charly. He talks about the past and, more specifically, his ties with his sister and why he’s consumed by guilt.
When Charly was 8, he took his sister out diving with him. She was 5 at the time. Unfortunately, Charly’s sister drowned while diving deep in the caves. He’s been consumed by guilt since then. It’s something that weighs heavily on him, and it’s not helped by his mother, who hates him now too. Beatriz was always her favourite. Shunned by his own parents, Charly’s reason for being hand-picked is now clear. Astrid promises that his pain is everyone else’s too.
Zoa has heard enough and steps up, pointing out that Charly’s pain is his own and if he wants to leave the island he should. When Zoa walks away, Nico follows and warns that no one is going to leave the island. The cult won’t allow it. He also encourages her to leave her wristband by her bed that night as she’ll understand exactly what he means then.
Nico leads Zoa down to the shore where she’s shown Judith’s dead body. It would appear she was killed for asking too many questions and seeing more than she should.
The Episode Review
The halfway point of Welcome to Eden continues to show these characters making dumb decisions until they finally start to come around to the idea that this cult isn’t all it’s shaped up to be. The ending certainly hints that Zoa has been given a pretty grim and heartbreaking wake-up call, while the other members of the group get a bit more chance to shine this time around/
The whole group therapy session is essentially an excuse for an exposition dump and it honestly feels like a really lazy way of giving information about these kids and what they’ve been through. I mean, even a flashback to the time, showing Charly and his sister diving, would have been better than a hurried 5 minute dump at the end of the episode.
These little details, combined with the characters acting in rather egregious ways, makes this a real mixed bag affair so far. As we cross the halfway point of this one, we’ll have to wait and see what the rest of the show has in store for us.