The Barrier: (S.1 Ep.9) – Remember Who You Are

"Remember Who You Are" dramatically brings some huge turning points. Consequently, Hugo (Unax Ugalde) and Julia (Olivia Molina) face immediate
Remember

Synopsis: Events in “Remember Who You Are” dramatically brings some huge turning points. Consequently, Hugo (Unax Ugalde) and Julia (Olivia Molina) face immediate reprisals for taking Sergio (Ivan Chavero). Alma (Eleonora Wexler) is furious with both of them, and lets them know. Meanwhile, Emilia (Angela Molina) and Alex (Daniel Ibanez) make plans regarding the stolen children’s plights.

 

Story

With some inevitability, Alma retaliates, when she discovers Hugo and Julia took Sergio. This results in her sacking both, which means Hugo will be unemployed. Furthermore, it means that they’ll lose Marta (Laura Quiros), as all children whose parents don’t work are taken to be “looked after” by the state. This brings a dark meaning to the episode name “Remember Who You Are”. Because he relies on them, Hugo must “constantly remember his social rank is inferior. A rank, granted, that can be removed at any time. Fortunately, Luis (Abel Folk) uses his considerable influence and reinstates both. After listening to Hugo and Julia tell him about Sergio’s parents Luis decides they should be consulted, so organises a meeting with them.

Back at their house, Emilia and Alex continue to discover dark secrets. They view more of the computer files that they discovered in last week’s episode. Marta tells them that she recognises some of the children. Alex makes posters, and begins distributing them. But he gets apprehended, then incarcerated. They torture him, until one of the senior guards tell them not to, and to bring Alex to his office . . . Luckily, Danila turns up and informs them she’s his legal representative.

Following the meeting with Sergio’s parents, Alma manages to convince Luis that Sergio should stay with them. Her manipulation of the situation is as chilling as ever. So too is the response she concocts, with Enrique (Manu Fullola). Even more sinister is the final scene, where Enrique guns them both down. More harrowing stuff from The Barrier.

The episode finishes on a hopeful note, as Emilia begins to arrange gathering the many parents of the stolen children. Real resistance may be coming, soon. A strong example of this show’s vital message that only people fighting back can ultimately defeat facism.

 

Acting

A strong week for Daniel Ibanez as Alex, who gets a decent share of the screen-time. This allowed him to show his acting ability. He showed the grit and resolve of Alex, during the torture scenes. Ibanez seems to understand that his character doesn’t remember as much of the time before, as Emila, Hugo and Julia do. An important week for both Alex and for Ibanez, who portrayed his struggle well.

Eloenora Wexler gave another convincing display of Alma’s ruthlessness. Her character’s capacity to get the job done was powerfully evident. Scenes with her and Enrique continue to be electric. The dynamic between Wexler and Fullola is further explored. Both actors have charisma and a chemistry that  brings tension to the scenes, simply by them so passionately engaging with one another.

CGI & Effects

Alex’s torture scene looked like it was actually happening. Basic brutality the weapon of choice, which made for a tangibly realistic feel. It’s the state administering violence, so freely, that is chilling. Wonderful make up and lighting helped to create the disturbing imagery.

Generally, the show’s careful use of effects is what puts it so high above any other depiction of a dystopia, as the best there is. Uniforms and boots, symbols of power and the abuse of it are what help to create a terrifying world. These, and the use of contrast with colour, between the world of the many and the world of the few conjure the story-world into a visually visceral setting.

Overall

An important episode, yet one that for the first time did slip a little. The show has been faultless, on so many levels. Building tension, telling a story. The way the world seems. truly wonderful acting and some great heroics of the ordinary. This week, Luis seemed to have forgotten that he felt so threatened. His ongoing investigation didn’t get mentioned. That said, there was an important story to tell. It’s possible that he is playing the long game. He’s clearly still onside with Hugo and Julia, as he did reinstate them. It could be that he’s playing the long game. It wouldn’t have done any harm to have him mention that.

The show has been so good in so many ways, that a rare off week is easily forgivable. Things are definitely going to boil over soon, so that may explain why this episode felt that bit less believable. The scenes with Enrique murdering Sergio’s parents in cold blood, was as ever stark and well executed. It was further intensified by Alma’s realization, that Marta’s the key to all of the research so far.

 

8.9
The Barrier: (S.1 Ep.9) - Remember Who You Are
  • Story
    8.5
  • Acting
    9.1
  • CGI & Effects
    9.4
  • Overall
    8.7
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