In Review: The Barrier: (S.1 Ep.7) – A Family Matter

The Barrier turns even darker. Luis (Abel Folk) discovers his best friend knew too much.  He's in danger, but doesn't realize how much
The Barrier

Synopsis: The Barrier turns even darker. Luis (Abel Folk) discovers his best friend knew too much.  He’s in danger, but doesn’t realize how much. Him and Hugo (Unax Ugalde) must try to protect his friend’s lover, and her unborn baby. Alma (Eleonora Wexler) continues scheming, along with Enrique (Manu Fullola). There’s further developments between the two, in more ways than one . . .

 

Story

Seemingly out of nowhere, this week’s The Barrier cranks the excitement right up. As ever, there’s the usual cerebrally charged atmosphere, too. Early in the episode we see Julia (Olivia Molina) have a final night with Carlos (Juan Blanco). To her surprise and dismay, he tells her he must leave. For her safety. The news comes even more painfully, as she only discovered he was alive in last week’s episode of The Barrier. A fine continuation of the storyline, and the two lovers’ arc. Every bit a modern version of star-crossed lovers. Love scenes, when written well, like this one, always pack a punch.

Luis’s dying, mysteriously and suddenly, was somewhat predictable. Though, the impact of it and the reaction from Luis made it far more than just a convenient plot device. It involved Hugo, too. Further still, she gave crucial information, expressing deep fear her baby would be taken. Luis seemed to believe this now. With what followed, he’ll likely begin to believe more firmly he may be next.

In her new role, Alma meets the President. This further cements her importance in the proceedings. Slowly, and with deliberate planning, she’s beginning to usurp Luis’s status as the most powerful and influential of the two. This well built plot line’s paying off.

The Tension Mounts

The big scene, is the assassination attempt. Conveniently, all of the plot lines of the episode are tied together, here. Simultaneously, ongoing arcs are also incorporated, such as Carlos’s.  The usual sneakiness of Begona (Angela Vega), and her dangerous snooping also ties in with this. A strong scene, intensified by the fact that mother and baby were on the way, under the care of Emilia (Angela Molina). Very much a feeling of things beginning to close in. Julia discovering the single drop of blood, from one the children, gave even more gravitas to the increasingly hostile atmosphere. Alarmingly, a tipping point is very close, orchestrated by Alma’s plans.

 

Acting

The two central stars of The Barrier, Olivia Molina and Unax Ugalde were less relied on this week. Nevertheless, they continue to provide hyper-real dual protagonists. Both bring a deeply human touch to their respective roles. Again, Ugalde’s skills meant that he showed a real desire to continue to protect Marta (Laura Quiros). Similarly, Molina’s portrayal of Julia caught her natural concern for the children. She’s wholly convincing as someone aware, that in this story world, to love is to actively rebel. Consistent characterization.

Abel Folk (Luis), had another strong week, expressing well crucial changes to the character he plays. Real fear seemed present, now, fitting in with events. Capable, and convincing, Folk again offers viewers his capacity to rely on a broad range of emotional depth.

On the antagonist side, Wexler’s Alma continues to offer the all-important “big bad” of The Barrier. Wexler understands the character of Alma, demonstrating false empathy, to Luis’s friend’s recent widow. In his scenes with her, as well as those without her, Fullola’s Enrique is dynamic. Fullola manages to insert the crucial jealous anger and resentment of the Police Commander, towards Luis.

 

CGI & Effects

Perhaps the single drop of blood, mentioned, that Julia finds, best encapsulates the visual power of The Barrier. Continually, the show has used such simple imagery to devastating effect. Seeing the very stuff of life stolen, that being children’s, too, is truly terrifying. Much more so than computer-based imagery. The impact is guttural and raw. There’s not really anything more frightening than the blood of children being harvested. Especially so when the wicked deed’s done not by demons, but monsters who are human.

Overall

Very much a sign of things to come on The Barrier. Alma having her plan officially sanctioned will allow for a more direct sense of drama. A move away from the guise of “state of emergency” that has become accepted, to an even more directly oppressive regime. A good time to introduce such a change. Escalation of the dangers faced by Hugo, Julia, and the others, must occur. Interestingly, this week’s episode chose to reveal how this will pan out. they chose to overtly highlight one of the show’s key themes. The phrase “hyper-democracy” was used in a negative sense, depicting freedom and liberty as problems to be solved by the state. Such concepts will strike a chord in the current climate, in ways that wouldn’t usually be possible. The relevance of The Barrier is chillingly significant.

9.2
The Barrier: (S.1 Ep.7) - A Family Matter
  • Story
    9.1
  • Acting
    9.3
  • CGI & Effects
    9.3
  • Overall
    9.2
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