Call it naivete, call it being accustomed to the age of the miniseries, but something about me was sure that there would be resolution at the close of season one of INGOBERNABLE. Emilia would be reunited with her children or she would get to address the nation and put an end to all this corruption. That was what my hopeful heart wanted, and convinced me was the truth: that the former first lady of Mexico and those who helped her would finally get some sense of peace. I was a fool.
Season one of Ingobernable wraps up with its characters in more precarious situations than before, simply begging Netflix for a second season. All of this is not to say that there were not some answers finally given to a desperate audience at the close of the season. In classic mystery fashion, there was a hydra of questions that got answered, and two new questions sprang from the answer. For example, the big reveal was that Emilia’s father, Tomás was one of the people who worked with the CIA set up Diego to be murdered. He had been painted as 80% fatherly, 20% corrupt before, but how the tables do turn.
Tomás’ allegiance was a reveal that was saved until the very last episode, showing him conspiring with the team who brought down Diego: General Armada, the now deceased agent Peter, and a mysterious woman who is in charge of the whole thing. In a flashback, their conspiracy is revealed and how the group had a hand in all the tragedies that happened the last few episodes. The big one that he was unaware of is the kidnapping of Maria, Tomás’ own granddaughter. This kidnapping was what finally got Emilia out of hiding and lead to one of the best, albeit most tragic moments of the series.
The penultimate episode is all surrounding the hand off of Maria for Emelia. Of course, things never go that smoothly, and this meeting sees casualties abound. Maria eventually gets kidnapped and taken to the US, while Emilia is taken captive in a warehouse. There is a moment, when they are being forced into their helicopter and van respectively, where mother and daughter see each other, and fight with all their might to have a reunion. Their struggles are in vain, but there is pure heartbreak of seeing these two characters who have tried so hard to see each other and have that singular mother-daughter bond. When they yell each other’s names out, both performances stand out, and though it’s not the touching reunion we hoped for, it shows how this connection is worth all the violence that these characters must face.
Another highlight of the final few episodes of Ingobernable is the character arc of Anna. It was high time for her to be the villain turned hero of the show, and she didn’t disappoint in any way. When she finds out that her agency and also boss/boyfriend had a significant hand in not just the murder of Diego, but the kidnappings and corruption that have plagued the country and the season. Anna reacts in the best way she can: she stabs him mid-sex. It’s not a subtle move, and that is what makes it great. There is some pure and exciting irony in her guilt at the blood on her hands resulting in literal blood on her hands. Also, who doesn’t love a good coital murder of a bad boyfriend.
Anna’s turnaround doesn’t stop at the stabbing though. Things rarely do. The finale starts with Anna rescuing a confused and angry Emilia from her kidnappers. These two women truly despised each other due to Anna sleeping with Emilia’s husband, among other things, a rescue is still in hand. Even though there is the definition of bad blood between them, the collaboration between these two women is a great move. It’s not a coincidence that these women are the one who have the backbone to try to overthrow to government and it fight back for the morals. Even if that means stabbing someone, getting to see these two complex characters fight through the stacked odds together is compelling.
This is one of the last moments of positivity the show sees. As the season ends, a military strike is ordered on the Barrio, making everyone in danger. A full on riot breaks out as the people rise up to fight against the army taking over their territory. Again, this show is a bold political move, explicitly calling out the government for killing those in the poorer neighborhoods. Ingobernable definitely has a point of view and it’s not above yelling the message from the rooftops. It’s hard to watch at times, this degree of violence, but the show is smart about always villainizing and never glamorizing it.
The other big downer at the end of the season, is when Emilia (with the help of Anna and Canek) finally makes it back to the Barrio to meet with her father. Of course, his hand in everything is still unknown to Emilia, who has already been through so much. She’s faced with her father and his gun, and him saying if he doesn’t kill her, they will kill Maria. Again, poor poor Emilia. As a mother and a daughter, this is definitely one of the worst situations she could be in. And that’s how they end the season. Not with a whimper or a bang, but with the audience whimpering at the idea of a bang.
It’s tragic and action-filled and violet, but the first season of Ingobernable knew what it was about, and it made us care about these characters. It was dirty and messy and at times very sexy, and not perfect, but it did what television is supposed to do and kept us on the edge of our seats.
Season 1, Episode 11-15 (S01E11-15)
Ingobernable is available to stream on Netflix.
Raina spends most of her time watching television and trying to find the perfect bagel and lox, because she likes being emotionally distraught.
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Raina Deerwater | Contributor