Who Killed Sara? Even if we never find out, we’ll keep watching
First of all, do yourself a favour and watch with the original Spanish dialogue and subtitles; the English dubbing is so abysmal I almost gave up after the first 10 minutes of the first episode. Once I switched, it didn’t take long until I was hooked. Also, you’ll pick up some cool Spanish words, like cabrón, which I am absolutely going to add to my vocabulary. It’s all about context.
Who Killed Sara? (¿Quién mató a Sara?) is a Mexican crime drama mystery thriller – yes, all of those things. The title is self explanatory and, thanks to multiple layers and storylines, numerous suspects (which increase exponentially), flashbacks, and recaps of events from different perspectives, the series has plenty of momentum, with viewers bingeing and hanging on for the next succulent morsel.
Season 1 has 10 episodes, and Season 2 is eight; being halfway through the latter at the time of writing, I’m not convinced we’re going to get an answer to the burning question as to who killed Sara any time soon. Which is fine because it keeps us watching.
A recap for newbies: a group of teenagers are out on a boat on a lake, drinking and generally being teenagers. When parasailing is suggested, Skinny Sara (Ximena Lamadrid) insists on going first (we find out why later in the season). The harness breaks and Sara plummets to her death.
The wealthy Lazcano family urges Sara’s brother Àlex (Leo Deluglio) to take the rap and promises him he’ll only do a couple of months’ jail time. This turns into 18 years.
When Àlex (Manolo Cardona) is released, he’s got only one thing on his mind: revenge. You’re going to have to overlook the highly improbable scenario that no one involved gave the event another moment’s thought, or even discussed it, in nearly two decades.
Àlex is focused on the Lazcanos: Rodolfo (Alejandro Nones), who was Sara’s boyfriend at the time; Chema (or José Maria, Eugenio Siller), the younger brother who is gay (and this is an important plot point or I wouldn’t mention it); Elisa (Carolina Miranda), the baby sister who was too young to know what was going on at the time; César (Ginés García Millán), the father, and one of the most deliciously loathsome and utterly vile antagonists I’ve seen in a long time; and Mariana (Claudia Ramírez), the mother, who is just as evil in her own special way, and deluded in her religious hypocrisy.
They all have motives, but there are several more players. There’s Clara (Fátima Molina), daughter of the Lazcanos’ cook, who pitches up in Chema and his husband Lorenzo’s life, and, in turn, her jilted scumbag boyfriend who knows rich when he sees it. There’s Elroy (Héctor Jiménez), a man with a troubled childhood, whom Mariana took in as a child. The timelines, past and present, are well-portrayed by younger and older actors for the most part, allowing the narrative to blend seamlessly. Even so, look out in the episode synopses for jumps of six months, for example, or you’ll get completely lost.
As Àlex digs into the past, he attracts the interest of Elisa, who has her own conflicts with her family. There’s a mystery person calling themselves Diana The Huntress who is communicating with Àlex via text, offering titbits of information that contradict his theories. There’s a casino with a brothel in the basement. There’s a sleazy business partner who may or may not have brutally murdered an unknown number of prostitutes and video taped them. There’s Marifer (Litzy), with whom Àlex and Chema had a threesome when they were teens. And on and on and on.
It’s impossible to explain all the details of a show that borders on soapie territory with plot twists like deceased characters who aren’t actually dead, and secret family relationships and pregnancies in which fatherhood is questionable, and not give away all the juicy details.
Season 1 covered all this, and then ended on a complete “WTF?” moment in the final minutes when Àlex discovered two things: Sara’s diary hidden in the wall, filled with clues that reveal she is not who we thought she was; and a skeleton buried in his back garden.
While we still don’t know who did the deed, in Season 2 we are given more food for thought, and more characters who might have had a motive, as well as clues as to whose the body in the yard could be. The drama, shocks, surprises, madness and betrayal are relentless, and you’ll never slide into complacency as alternative theories and angles – literal and metaphorical – are constantly presented.
Sure, some you’ll see coming. Others, not so much. Melodramatic it may be, but Who Killed Sara? is totally addictive.