In Review: The Barrier (S.1Ep.8) – No One’s Child

The Barrier intensifies. Luis continues investigating Alvaro's death, as well as his own shooting from last week's episode.
The Barrier

Synopsis: The Barrier intensifies. Luis continues investigating Alvaro’s death, as well as his own shooting from last week’s episode. The terrible truth he’s close to comes closer. Disaster strikes, when Julia (Olivia Molina) and Hugo (Unax Ugalde) take Sergio (Ivan Chavero) out for the day. Sergio’s abducted, but the identity of his abductor reveals a startling secret about the boy’s real identity . . .

 

Story

The opening flashback scene in this week’s The Barrier further explores Luis (Abel Folk) and Alvaro’s relationship. Relating to the current plot, this scene takes on dramatic significance. Quite how close the two were is revealed. Yet, Luis doesn’t attend Alvaro’s funeral. Luis’s concern for his immediate safety prevents him from doing so. A great tension of opposites. Consequently, Alma (Eleonora Wexler) demands to know the reason for his strange behaviour. Luis’s doesn’t back down. His suspicions are confirmed. This is due to evidence he finds at Alvaro’s secret flat. Alma fears for his safety, and turns to Enrique, who is growing more powerful and influential. Perhaps even more so than Alma, it seems. She learns of an impending cabinet reshuffle. Some fine writing, that shows how the power dynamics in the show are everything. This aspect can be changed easily, and dramatically impact upon the story.

A fairly settled week for Hugo and Julia. That is, until Sergio’s abduction, as him and Marta (Laura Quiros) are playing in the street. A brilliantly worked scene, as you’re not sure if it’s Alma behind things. She may well have ordered this, to continue to be able to experiment on the boy. There’s real tension, as you try to work out what’s going on. That Alex (Daniel Ibanez) happens to see him is feasible within the story-world, so events don’t feel forced. As it is, the person who takes him is justified. A fantastic way to begin really unravelling and connecting multiple plot lines.

Acting

The character of Luis is honed in on, this week. It’s done with the craft of a fine actor, with Abel Folk is. The character’s loyalty is what defines him, yet also threatens to be his undoing. Folk is aware of that, and shows it with skillful clarity. He makes a character who’s on the edge look believable, and not like it’s just a part of the plot. Undeniably impressive talent and delivery from Folk, in yet another impressive week for him in the role.

Eleonora Wexler again shines, this week giving a slightly different, somewhat more vulnerable Alma, not yet seen in The Barrier. It’s handled perfectly by Wexler, whose portrayal is charged with an emotionally driven centre of a different sort. Superb job done.

Child actor, Ivan Chavero, deserves particular recognition this week. He made his kidnap scene, and the recovery of him seem realistic.

 

CGI & Effects

During the opening scene, the contrast between the old dam that Luis and Alvaro drove past was breathtaking. Use of light and dark once more showed that The Barrier is very much a show that considers the visual impact things will have. The whole of what used to be, and what now was, were devastatingly illustrated. The simple freedoms afforded by the residents of Spain as it was were shown. The blue water and the sunshine powerful metaphors for relative utopia. Certainly, relative to the dystopia now installed, as the shot faded back to the dried out dam, a grim and hard symbol for the current state experienced by the majority inhabiting the story-world.

 

Overall

At times this episode is reminiscent of the atmosphere of Game of Thrones. Enrique is no fool, that’s for sure. It may be very soon that Alma pays the price for messing him around. How his forecast rise to become Vice President occurred felt genuine. Once power is gained, in this world, it’s almost absolute and is therefore heavily guarded against. In one moment a pivotal shift can occur. This really captures the mechanisms of totalitarianism, and the politics of it. Especially behind the scenes, where everything’s won or lost.

One scene in particular helped to show how the new regime arose. The police coming to the nightclub where Hugo was reminiscing, to stop the band performing. The intolerance of cultural expression, and eventual banning held topical relevance, to current affairs. Whilst ours are likely to return once Covid 19’s impact wanes, the scene was a strong reminder of their value, and why democracy is so vital. One more reason why watching The Barrier continues to be an experience like any other series. It’s the show for right now.

 

9.3
In Review: The Barrier (S.1Ep.8) - No One's Child
  • Story
    9.3
  • Acting
    9.2
  • CGI & Effects
    9.6
  • Overall
    9.2
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