After watching the first five episodes of Netflix’s INGOBERNABLE, there was a slight fear that this 15 episode made to binge series would lose its momentum. That fear, needless to say for those who have seen the majority of the show, is alleviated. Not only do the middle episodes of Ingobernable pick up speed, they introduce a much darker and more politically active tone than was seen in the beginning.
Though Emilia is still front and center in the show, focus shifts from her running away to her fighting back. It’s a smart move, seeing how there is only so much paranoid running sequences an audience can take. The turnaround comes in just in time, and makes the show both more interesting and extremely different than the beginning. All of this comes by way of a video that has been the Chekhov’s gun of this whole show. The video that Diego begged Emelia to watch before his untimely (but welcome) death.
It turns out that said video contains Diego’s plan for the future of Mexico, and fighting back against corrupt regimes. The video is a little too heavy handed, and tries to get the audience to sympathize more with the deceased Diego, which, considering his violence toward Emilia, is not something that will happen. However the message of the video within the context of the show is so fascinating, that it still makes for a good story. The most interesting part is when Diego says that to protect Mexico, they need to stand up to the “white collar drug dealers” of the USA, which fuel the cartels. It’s such refreshing role reversal from our country’s media that always puts the blame on Mexican drug lords. In this move, Ingobernable fights back against that, and cleverly puts up the middle finger at the American portrayal of Mexico. If this show has something to say, it will not be subtle about it, and that can be a good thing. Diego’s video and the rest of the show is yelling at its audience that corrupt higher up officials are problem with Mexico, not everyday people fighting for their lives.
This reveal of who the is enemy does wonders to push the show along. It also does wonders to take it to a very dark place. The crew, which now consists of Emelia, those who kidnapped her, and the young, handsome, and damaged Canek, investigate to find the the military, headed by the villainous General Aguirre, has been kidnapping people and keeping them in a literal torture prison. It’s honestly nauseating. Mostly, in these types of shows, we hear about the torture prisons, and glance at them for a moment. Ingobernable is not pulling any of these punches. It invites the audience to live inside this prison, to see just how terrible the circumstances are.
In an exceptionally violent episode, Canek gets arrested so he can take on the prison from the inside, and rescue Mosca, the woman they have been searching for this whole time. It’s a very dumb plan, but Canek is ruled by emotion. As opposed the majority of the show, this episode “The Oath,” only follows Canek’s plot, of him inside the prison and Emilia and co. staging his rescue. Its urgent and dark, with the show sparing no violence about what is going down about this facility. Though it is at times hard to watch, it takes the message of the show and puts it out front and center. The government is doing this. The government is doing these inhumane things and needs to be stopped by any means necessary. The bleakness continues when they do successfully rescue Canek, but it is a rescue with many casualties. All the prison guards (good riddance), Mosca’s brother Chris, and worst of all Mosca, all die, the latter by her own hand. It’s cold and dark, and a slap-in-the-face critique of the Military Industrial Complex.
Besides “The Oath,” the show continues the format of following both Emilia and all those affected by the aftermath of Diego’s death, and those probably responsible for it. The most interesting plotlines out of all of them all involve women, in a move that doesn’t feel coincidental. The character of Anna Vargas-West is probably the most compelling of all the politicians because her allegiance is essentially unknown. She was having a torrid affair with the president, but is currently working for some sort of spy agency, and always knows how to rock the blazer. Through these episodes she gets herself fired, manipulates herself back into the job, gets threatened by her fellow spy, and has guilt ridden nightmares about Diego. All of these put her on the edge of someone we should root for or not. She’s clearly involved in all sorts of corrupt activities (not torture prison thankfully), but her guilt and her smarts make her a prime character to shift allegiance when the time is right.
Another aspect that the show goes into is how Emilia and Diego’s kids are affected. It’s mostly focused on the eldest, Maria, and her anger at her mother for leaving them. It’s truly devastating, given that we know how Emilia’s priority is her kids, to see Maria lash out at the idea of her mother. Lest we forget that Maria also had an affair with the assistant to the prosecutor in her father’s case. It’s less fun than it sounds, fueled by anger and sadness and trying to comfort, but it gives a good level of intrigue to the story, knowing that at some point this affair will come out and plummet the investigation. Also, it helps garner affection for poor Maria. Has she not been through enough? Emiliano, the 11 year old son of Emilia and Diego is given less to do than his sister, but toward the end of this stretch of episodes, he discovers a diary entry from his mother from when she was kidnapped. Again, this show is unafraid to go dark. This poor boy has to deal with both his father’s death and the ghosts of his mother’s past.
With only five episodes to go, Ingobernable has definitely established what kind of story its telling. It all begs for sweet revenge on the governmental systems. Fingers crossed that this show delivers a climax that is so sweetly promised by these intense episodes.
Season 1, Episode 6-10 (S01E06-10)
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