Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3/5
Shows like Who Killed Sara live and die by its delicate balance of melodramatic beats, intriguing revelations and crazy characters. Season 1 did an admirable job with that, tightroping across a wobbly rope but coming out the other side all the better for it.
Season 2 lost some of that nuance the first season had, doubling down on the twists but losing the tight plot and mystery as a result. Season 3 just throws everything and the kitchen sink at these 7 episodes, navigating around realms of thriller, melodrama, mystery, horror and even fantasy.
Despite the short and snappy chapters, season 3 still somehow meanders through its plot before actually picking things up for the final 2 or 3 chapters, ironically titled “What happened to Sara” and “What Did You Do, Sara?”
Both of these are relatively straight forward chapters but the route leading there is certainly wrangled with diversions, flashbacks, drip-fed reveals and some genuinely bizarre character turns.
I won’t spoil everything here, and I’ll try to keep things as spoiler-free as possible without going into detail about the contrivances this show wrestles with throughout its run-time.
In terms of story though, the third season picks up where we left off at the end of last year’s romp. Marifer has survived the fire -barely – while Alex is more determined than ever to learn the truth about what happened to Sara.
When Sara’s grave is dug up and revealed to hold an empty coffin, he sets to work trying to uncover, once and for all, exactly what’s happened to his sister.
The format this year tries to mirror what we saw in season 1, with interspersed shots of Sara’s ordeal and how that ties into Cesar, Reinaldo and a secretive area known simply as Medusa Center. The latter point is where the show moves into fantasy and light bites of horror, which feels juxtaposed to how Who Killed Sara had played out originally.
Instead of a whodunit murder mystery, Who Killed Sara instead turns into a bit of a cat and mouse game but it doesn’t feel anywhere near as effective.
I mentioned horror before and perhaps that’s a little too strong a word to describe what we see. There are no jump scares or paranormal entities, but between skull drawings up on walls, madness-driven isolation and a secretive group doing horrific experiments, you can see where I’m drawing these parallels from.
Because of this shift, the other subplots just don’t feel anywhere near as strong. As an example, there’s a whole separate thread involving Chema trying to survive and it goes absolutely nowhere until episode 5, leaving you wondering what the point of it all was.
There are also several other soapy subplots that don’t work either, including an early thread involving Nicandro that peters out into indifference. However, all of this pales next to the central plot.
I understand that in a meta sort of way the writers are aware of how crazy this show has become and want to one-up themselves, but going back to that tightrope analogy earlier, season 3 wobbles, stumbles and topples over without ever looking like recovering.
That’s still entertaining, in the same morbidly curious way you’d watch the above scenario play out in real-time, but the result is nowhere near as entertaining as a more successful routine (ala. the first season.) But if there’s one bright spot in a rickety season of highs and lows, it’s that we do, in fact, find out who killed Sara.
Verdict - 4/10