So last year my friend and I started watching Alta Mar/High Seas after watching the trailer as it looked really good. We were both thoroughly pleased as it was AMAZING and we couldn’t stop until we finished it.
The story is of two sisters, Eva and Carolina Villanueve. They lost their father, their home country of Spain was greatly changed because of WWII, and both ladies are looking for something new. Carolina had been running the family business, but decided to sell the company and is planning to marry Fernando Fábregas (owner of the ocean liner the Barbara de Braganza). Her sister Eva doesn’t like the changes Carolina is making but is still supporting her. She is also traveling on the Barbara de Braganza to Brazil to meet with a publisher interested in her book.
They are on their way to the ship’s dock and hit a woman, a woman running away from an abusive man with powerful connections. Eva takes pity on her, ignores Carolina, and sneaks her aboard as a stowaway. However, this woman is not who she says she is and the sisters are in for quite the journey.
Someone is murdered on the ship, it turns out their uncle Pedro and family friend Dr. Rojas have some secret they are keeping from the girls, their stowaway vanishes, someone they thought was dead is alive, and more. All this while they are on a ship in the middle of the ocean-you can see how it makes for one fantastic season.
So even though I absolutely loved it, the end of season one left quite a few things unanswered. Who did Fernando need to meet at midnight the first night? Who were those people in the middle of the ocean from a distressed ship? The guy they arrested for the murder “committed suicide” but we know he didn’t as he didn’t kill the guy. So who murdered him? Why did Fernando lie about the wedding rings being stolen?
So when they came out with season two last December we were so jazzed to watch it, but that enjoyment faded as it stunk.
It was like someone decided to take everything people loved about the first season and then do the opposite.
So after the events of the first season the uncle is okay, (his brother attacked him in the throat), the father jailed, the stowaway jailed, the evil Doctor Rojas is jailed, and Fernando picks up a group from the distressed ship: one of the people rescued, Casandra Lenormand, says she is a psychic. Is she lying? Telling the truth? One thing is for sure, she will be trouble either way.
So to make this the easiest way I can, I’m going to take this person by person. We are going to start with Carolina (Alejandra Onieva). Carolina married at midnight to Fernando, who is still acting like a jerk and lying/hiding something very important from her. Things start going downhill immediately as strange things start happening to Carolina but only things she sees. For example, her clothes in a mess about the room, and later suddenly put away. She sees a shadowy figure, but no one else does and it is gone. Is she going crazy? Or being gaslighted?
Carolina is approached the psychic who just wants to help her.
I can’t believe this. Her inserting into Carolina’s life, her just happening to be there, her “helpfulness” that make Carolina worse, and her “friendship” causing her to separate from her sister and husband-this girl is no good.
It was interesting as Beth Moore talks about people like this in her study Breaking Free and her book The Undoing of Saint Silvanus. Like this followed everything she warned about.
Casandra uses her Ouija board, revealing the name Rosa Marin. There are ghost sightings and Carolina believes that the ghost is haunting her and the ship. Carolina doesn’t trust herself, she doesn’t trust to tell her sister, she doesn’t trust her husband-espechially after finding out he was involved with Rosa Marin. The only person she finds herself trusting is Casandra.
Carolina starts suspecting that Fernando is the one that murdered Rosa Marin, the former owner of the ship. Casandra starts putting the moves on Carolina and Carolina finds herself confused-married to Fernando but now she is uncertain of their future and considering Casandra. But it turns out the
psycho psychic is a fake.
Yes, just like I thought it turns out she is a liar and her the sister was Rosa Marin. She thought Carolina murdered her sister as Fernando and Rosa were involved and going to run off together. Casandra was making Carolina think she was going crazy as she thought she killed her sister to keep Raoul. But then, she fell for Carolina and decided that Fernando must be the killer.
I feel bad for poor Carolina as she is in such a horrible mental state as Casandra and her people have been driving her crazy, AND she discovers that her husband was cheating on her and planning on jilting her. She is like all levels of just what is going on. And instead of Carolina and Eva working on this together and trying to figure out what happened- Carolina spends zero time with her sister until the very end. The sisterly bonds was what I found so enjoyable about the first season, and they completely threw it out the window.
So you think after all this Fernando would have Casandra locked up, you know due to the fact she contrived a way to get there (creating a mayday signal and claiming their ship sunk), was trying to drive Carolina insane, and frame Fernando for murder of her sister because she believes he is the killer, right? But no, even though Cassandra just did a huge Scooby-Doo plot and harassed Fernando, the ship’s owner, and his wife– she just gets to be on the ship and enjoy a jolly holiday. Why isn’t she imprisoned in her cabin? The sisters still have her help them! This is literally insane!
Who wrote this? Why would you trust her?
So let’s move on to Eva (Ivana Baquero) and Nicolás Vázquez (Jon Kortajarena). So in the previous season, Nicolás was trying to get Eva to go out with him as he fell for her right away. They spent the whole last season sleuthing and Nicolás became the captain when Capitán Santiago Aguirre had to be pulled from duty. Nicolás has had a sad life of being an orphan turned thief, to being found and saved by Capitán Santiago Aguirre, married, fought in WWII, wife taken as she was part of the resistance, and then she passed away in a concentration camp giving birth. He finally found happiness again with Eva.
Now I LOVED them together! The two were like Tommy and Tuppence, and the best part of the series. I loved their chemistry and interactions.
So as I mentioned, Eva and Nicolás are an item, and all of us are so happy for them. Well…except for the writers who decide that Nicolás’ wife is alive after being declared dead for years-yes and after all he did to find her and couldn’t, she somehow managed to find the ship he is on and get to Brazil, preparing to meet him when he arrives. To make things even worse, Nicolás receives the telegram right after he and Eva sleep together.
Nicolás still loves Eva and wants to help her as he worries about her with all the crazy shenanigans on the Barbara de Braganza but she won’t have anything to do with him as he is a married man. On one hand, I’m like good for her to avoid him as being with him is just setting herself up for heartbreak. But on the other hand, I hate these two being separated SOO much. So yeah, they spend hardly any time together.
Eva spends most of the season alone more than anything and trying to find where her father disappeared (he escaped from being imprisoned) and investigating whether Cassandra the psychic is who she says she is, and also not talking to her sister.
Then we have beautiful, sweet Clara (Laura Prats) the singer. In the last season she was raped by Aníbal de Souza and when she threatened to tell on him, he attacked her. His wife, Natalia Fábregas (Fernando’s sister) helped fight him off (as he didn’t treat her any better) and killed him on accident. Instead of notifying the doctor, the wife convinced her to hide it and help her move the body to make it look like he was drunk and fell.
Clara is suffering a lot from this trauma and the guilt and Natalia is a horrible human being who doesn’t help. The ship detective, Varela, who has bumbled around the first season doing nothing-finally has his brain cells work figures it out and starts blackmailing Natalia. Clara finally tells her boyfriend Pierre what happened and he wants to support her but doesn’t know how. I actually thought it was well done as he wants to help but is utterly clueless. Pierre leans on Natalia as he wants to protect Clara, and she tangles him in her web as she starts to desire him. She puts the moves on him, and poor traumatized, lost little Clara sees it and it pushes her over the edge-and she commits suicide.
You precious cinnamon roll! You were too good for this world! I’m crying!
So in the last season Sebastian de la Cuesta, a rich playboy and friend of Fernando, and Verónica de García, (daughter of the Villanueve sister’s maid and their maid as well), got involved. They were hiding it from her mother, she pretending to be with the boy her mother liked-Sebastian’s valet Dimas Gómez. I love Dimas, but Veronica doesn’t. She and Sebastian are getting more serious, but Sebastian has a secret-he has no money. Dimas has a plan to create ethanol and just needs financial backing. He went to Sebastian for help, but Sebastian stole it and showed it to another friend who double-crossed him. Sebastian tries to win it back in poker but loses the plans and his family castle.
He proposes to Veronica who refuses him, and ends up going off with Dimas. I actually didn’t want them together as I think Dimas deserved better. He’s like Fanny Price, the person they longed for is not worth it.
So whodunnit? In the end the killer was their housekeeper and surrogate mother, Francisca de García. She found out that Fernando was going to run off and she didn’t want Carolina hurt. She went to talk to Rosa, who was such a nasty horrid girl who only cared about herself and was rude to Francisca. Francisca snapped and killed her.
Oh yeah, and the stowaway is just running about and hugely pregnant-when did that happen?
The stowaway escapes with the Nazi gold from season one, Nicolás runs off to a woman wearing a wide-brimmed hat (that’s right we don’t even get to see her), and the Villanueve sisters and Fernando get in a car and drive away. This journey is over, but another will start…next year.
It was horrid and I hated it. I would rather just go back and watch the first season again.
Although, they have sucked me in with Nicolás and his wife. As soon as that last episode ended, I knew I would be watching the next season as I had to know if Nicolás and Eva got back together.
The only thing that didn’t disappoint this season? The clothes! I love 1940s fashion and I want nearly EVERYTHING they own.
For more High Seas/Alta Mar, go to We’re Stranded on a Ship in the Middle of the Ocean with a Killer!: High Seas (2019)
For more ghosts, go to An Insane Doctor, A Hysterical Herbalist, and Murder in a Magician’s Mansion + A Possible Persuasion Reference?
For more mysteries, go to Why Miss Fisher the Movie Flopped for Me: Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (2020)
For more psychics, go to Every Twenty-Third Spring for Twenty Three Days, it Gets to Eat: Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Also – the last episode of S1 has Captain Nicolas doing the wedding because he’s captain, and suddenly the 1st episode of S2 has Captain Santiago back on the bridge acting like he’s captain WITH NOT A SINGLE EXPLANATION AS TO WHAT HAPPENED!! It’s like the script writers forgot what they wrote the previous season!
I know, the first season was so good and then the other two just got worse and worse.