A Psychic Arrives and a Ghost Haunts the Ship: High Seas Season Two (2019)

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.

On our way!

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?

Hmm…

So when they came out with season two last December we were so jazzed to watch it, but that enjoyment faded as it stunk.

Ugh…

It was like someone decided to take everything people loved about the first season and then do the opposite.

***Spoilers***

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?

Going mad! From Possessed

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.

I don’t trust her.

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.

Seriously

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.

Tell ME!!!!!

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)

 

 

Why Miss Fisher the Movie Flopped for Me: Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (2020)

Hey everybody, for this year we are doing something special: Sleuthing Sundays. Each Sunday I’ll post a film with a super sleuth! To start us off we have:

****Contains Spoilers****

So I watched this during the COVID-19 #shelterinplace with my friend for her birthday. As we couldn’t be together, we decided to each watch at the same time and then text each other our thoughts. It is hard enough trying to make plans and now we have more time, but can’t get together.

Ugh! It’s so unfair

Now I’m not a big Miss Fisher fan. I have watched the show but I don’t really like the content. The mysteries are okay-usually there isn’t a whole lot of detecting and the answer just comes at the end. I’m not a fan of the book series either as I read a couple before I watched the series and just couldn’t get into it.

What I do like about the series is the characters-that’s the only reason I kept watching them: Mr. Butler Dorothy “Dot” Williams, Constable Hugh Collins, Detective Inspector John “Jack” Robinson, Cec, Burt, etc.- and I like how they interact with each other and Miss Fisher.

So quick recap for those of you who haven’t watched the show. Miss Fisher (Essie Davis) grew up poor but after WWI inherited a distant relatives fortune and now has boundless dollars. She does whatever she wants in 1920s Australia, often being asked to look into mysteries or crimes that have happened. She has a best friend/companion/lady’s maid in Dot, fosters a young girl Jane, hires two taxi drivers to assist in her investigations (Cec and Burt), and is constantly helping out/being a thorn in the side of Detective Inspector John “Jack” Robinson and his Constable Hugh.

This film takes place after the final season, when we last saw the crew Phryne saved her father, Dot and Hugh married, and Phryne asks Jack to pursue her twice. So now that the recap is over-let’s move onto the mystery.

Mystery, you say?

So we start off the film with the opening lines of “agitators” and I totally thought it said alligators. My friend did too, not a good font choice.

So we start off with a figure-Miss Fisher-running through the streets of a Middle Eastern city. Oh no, her hijab caught on a stick, I hate when that happens, you know your clothes get caught on things.

The hijab is pulled off and we get to look at Miss Fisher’s dress- it sure is something, look at all those sequins. Miss Fisher always has fantastic clothes.

So while Miss Fisher is running through the streets, all I can wonder is, where is Dot?

Hmm…

Or why is Miss Fisher there?

Hmm…

And where is Detective Jack (Nathan Page)?

Where is everyone?

So Miss Fisher is searching for someone/something. Ew, she was scaling the wall and then put her gloved hand in hr mouth-gross. That wall is probably super dirty as I’m sure it has never been cleaned. 

So she is looking for a Shirin. Why is she looking for Shirin? How does she know her?

What the heck?

Police follow Miss Fisher in a car while she and Shirin are on a motorbike. Good thing cars didn’t go fast back then or else they would be easily caught. They ditch the bike and get on top of a train with Miss Fisher in her heels being able to manage that.

I hate when movies and book do that. The train is going through a tunnel and she isn’t going to make it! Fade to black. We then switch to Australia

Oh, no! Is that Dot crying? Aw, she’s pregnant, she and Hugo are having a baby!

How sweet!

This timeline feels off, but that happens when they make movies. So it turns out that Miss Fisher is presumed dead again, and they are holding a funeral in London. Hugh and Dot can’t go because she is so far along, but Jack journeys to it.

The funeral starts, and Aunt Prudence doesn’t sit on a regular chair but has to have an armchair. She has to have the best of the best.

So the funeral is interrupted by a plane overhead, and it is so obvious that it is Miss Fisher. So now that we know she is crashing her funeral, who are all these other people?

I mean for real!

I mean right away I know that one guy is Rupert Penry-Jones, you know Captain Wentworth, but who is he in the film?

I looked him up and his character is Jonathan Lofthouse, but who is he to Phryne, they never say in the film-although the flirt a lot so we know he isn’t a close relation.

Hmm…

Oh no, poor Jack. He won’t be happy, I’m surprised he hasn’t had a heart attack with how many times Phryne has “died”. Oh..his face might get stuck in that expression.

Phryne: Why are you so angry?

Really? Really? And you just kissing everyone like it’s no big deal. Ohmygosh! I wanted to slap some sense into her. Don’t you know how that would make Jack feel? And then she is all tell me what you wrote in your eulogy and he’s all it says I’m done with you. And she is offended? Really?

You know why he is angry and you are being so caviler with his feelings. He believed you dead! Phryne ca be fun, but in this she is kind of a jerk-especially the way she flirts in front of him with all these other guys in front of him. Like this guy wanted to marry you, he LOVES you and you don’t care one iota for his feelings.

And who are these people? Especially the guy she keeps kissing-Jonathan? Like why does she know them why are they at the funeral?

Hmm…what’s going on?

Jonathan and his older brother are fencing while taking about the war and those two have serious issues. They also are talking a bit about what happened in WWI, but there is a whole angry subtext going on underneath.

So the Sheikh is Shirin’s uncle and he and Eleanor, the wife of Jonathan’s brother seem too close.

Hmmm…

So Sheikh Kahlil Abbas, Jonathan, and his brother-I guess I should look his name up…let’s see Lord “Lofty” Lofthouse. Seriously? Who came up with that name? Anyways…They have some business plan that they are doing-something that needs to go through or else the Lofthouses will lose everything as Lofty sucks at keeping the finances together.

I’m pretty over it and are focusing on more important things. When is Jack coming back? If he has just a cameo I am going to be very disappointed.

We need more Jack!

Hmm…is this sheik a good or bad guy? They seem to be setting him up to have a secret of some kind but is it a red herring or foreshadowing?

Seriously

I really miss Mr. Butler the Butler. He was awesome. This butler is super creepy and weird. He slinks around and freaks me out.

Shirin Abbas gets a note from someone saying he is a friend of Shirin and has information regarding the death of her family. When she was little her whole tribe was killed in a sandstorm. She remembers someone slaughtering everyone and sparing her-but the English government has gone with the sandstorm story and jailed her for stirring things up (that’s why Phryne had to save her). Phryne doesn’t want her to go, but decides to take her place.

Phryne goes to see Jack to assist her who is staying at a pretty crappy hotel, I mean the door is pretty see-through. Jeez Phryne, you could have offered him a room at the mansion you are staying at Phryne.

I mean for real!

Jack is also made because Phryne got married! WHAT????

So she didn’t want to marry Jack as she “wasn’t ready” but then went and married some other guy?

This girl!

They go to the meeting place, a church, which is pretty deserted. If this was me I’d want my back to the wall as it is the perfect point to assassinate someone.

Phryne finds the friend who looks crazy and possibly drugged. He speaks of demons.

So with the WWI talk, the Sheikh, the English government controlling the country, and most likely the massacre of the tribe- here are my theories:

A) Maybe this guy was one of the English troops (best guess from all that was said earlier and how they mentioned the sheik is now indebted to the government) sent to kill the tribe but spared her a she was a toddler.

B) Maybe the sheikh isn’t really the sheikh but they murdered the tribe to hide the fact that they were placing someone else in who would allow them to takeover the country. The solider spared the girl because she was so young and she had never met her uncle before so she wouldn’t be able to tell if he is or isn’t the real sheikh.

He gets shot, TOLD YOU! Perfect place for an assassination, but passes on an emerald amulet . They call the police who are incredibly rude to Jack, and he holds their passport and Jack is upset that he can’t return to Australia. Phryne is mad at him, but geez-Jack has a real job and is not rich like you. Remember he took off time for your funeral.

I mean for real!

Like you grew up poor, you think you would remember parts of what it was like.

They go to meet Phryne’s friend who is involved with art and antiquities, she had run into him on her earlier escapades, and he goes upstairs to look for something He takes a really long time and they hear a noise. Phryne follows as she is all Danger? Where? Let me at it! She doesn’t even want Jack to go with her.

Such a man!

So that guy is safe, but another one comes in and then a fire, wow it went 0-6 real fast.

Phryne runs after the thief but doesn’t shoot at him and he disappears in the fog. Well you should’ve hit him in the leg or something.

Jack saves the amulet and Phryne and him get really close when the firefighters come. They are like oh yeah, there is a fire.

They show the necklace to Shirin who remembers it. She has a flashback to her mom holding it. I think it might be a key as the way it is shaped, it could fit into something. My friend also pointed out it is a triangle-just like her tattoo.

Supposedly, there is a tomb and they were supposed to protect it I’m guessing. Th necklace MUST be a key. They also find a compass. Hmm, maybe it is supposed to be like in Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark and they need it to find the crypt of tears.

Hmm…treasure?

The Lofthouses and the Sheikh were involved in what looks like a shady business deal. Hmm…thought so.

Phryne wears a sweater with a big “PF” on it. Wow, I have no words.

Wow…

So the Sheikh wants Shirin to forget all about the past and focus on London and the ball they are throwing her. I can’t hep but think that it is a huge deal to accept her so she should be happier, but when she leaves the Sheik, he seems to be thinking about it. Is he planning something bad or helpful?

Hmmm…

Shirin tells Phryne about the past and says it was three men who destroyed the village-I would have thought they would need more to destroy a whole village.

I think the Sheikh is somehow involved and that the men forced the mother to open to the tomb.

Hmm…

That night at the party Jack looks good in his fancy duds.

That evening the Sheikh fights with the Lofthouses, not wanting to agree to the deal anymore. Maybe he isn’t involved. Hmm….

Hmm…

Everyone is shouting secrets at this party, like shouting. The extra in a yellow dress and gold jacket was like oops, heard all of that. Mr. Lofthouse and the Sheikh are causing a scene as well.

All I can think is, why did Phryne marry that other guy. They better tell us, and soon.

This is like the worst party ever, at least no one died…but just wait…Oh no a gunshot! There it is.

The cop on the scene is pretty sharp putting things together. When it comes to alibis Jonathan tries to protect his brother (or him), by saying they were together, but the butler says no he and Jonathan were together. Wow really threw the older brother under the bus. Hmm…we know that Jonathon wasn’t with his brother, so why would he lie?

Hmm…

Maybe the butler doesn’t like the Lord of the manner, but then again who does?

So the Sheikh is the one who is dead and Phryne sets off to investigate his room. She looks in a vase and finds a ginourmous emerald. Why would you have an emerald that big and hide it out in a tomb in the desert. Why wouldn’t you take that to your palace?

I mean for real!

So Alexander the Great curses the emerald that whoever takes it death will follow. How come he had those powers? Where did they come from? I wish I had powers like that. I’d be cursing all kinds of objects.

Phryne decides to leave for the Middle East and the tomb and Jack wants to go with her but sorry only two fit in the plane and she’s taking Shirin. Ouch.

Jonathan going to come too and fly Jack, but how can they do that when Scotland Yard had their passports?

So they end up in the Middle East and the guide they hire is really shady. He has a big rifle and is all that’s for hunting. What do you hunt in the middle of a sandy desert?

Hmm…

Obviously he is lying, but why? Who put him up to it? Who is behind this all. The Sheik died so that leaves us with Lofty, Jonathan, Lady Eleanor, and the butler. There is no others they introduced unless Shirin is secretly a child mass murderer. They wouldn’t…would they? Nah!

Hmm…

I think Jonathan might be the one in on it, why else would he leave his brother behind if he wants to “help” him so bad. That seems weird.

Hmmm…

Phryne of course looks glamourous in the hot desert and is all made up. She seduces the guide so they can overpower him and get the truth. Someone paid him to delay him. Who? Who? The guide doesn’t know.

Such a man!

She and Jack fight and he brings up her husband, at least we will get the truth about her husband, the Maharajah…but no Jack storms off and Phryne follows him falling into quicksand? Okay…whatever.

It turns out that the Maharajah is gay and there were rumors and he was going to be killed so to stop them Phryne married him but doesn’t live with him. Like how does that make sense at all? He could’ve married anyone and how does the wife not living with him keep people from thinking he was gay?

I mean he’s royal! He could command anyone to marry him. And most royal marriages married for an alliance and to produce heirs or for wealth, not love. It makes more sense for him to marry a royal woman to have a child and then continue with his life and what he is doing. This is the stupidest thing ever. What royal parents or people would want their maharajah to marry some Australian woman who doesn’t even live in the country. This is incredibly dumb and just a plot device to keep Phryne and Jack apart.

So the tattoo does help lead the way and they find the tomb. So Jonathan is being really strange, and I am hardcore believing it is Jonathan right now.

They get i the tomb and find Alexander’s desert bride, the first time we heard that one.

What??

Watch out she might come alive like in The Mummy.

They find a knife with initials on it and I know it will be JL, for Jonathan Lofthouse as he is weird.

So he wanted to return the emerald as his troop came and slaughtered the tribe for it. He felt guilty and after the Sheikh died hid it in the room as he knew Phryne would find it and return it. Okay I feel like you could have handled this a lot better in a completely different way. It seems really convoluted.

Or plot!

But he says he did’t kill the sheikh? If Jonathan didn’t do it, then who did?

Hmm…

It turns out the butler is there in the tomb and he did it. Yes the butler did it.

Yes the butler did, but why? It doesn’t make sense? And how could he afford to get there or know where to even find this secret tomb. This whole thing makes no sense.

This doesn’t make sense!

But Phryne knows, it is because he is secretly Jonathan’s father?

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What?

HUH???!!!

How did she know? Where were the clues? I mean he liked Jonathan better than his older brother, but just because Mr. Carson liked Mary better than the other girls I never suspected that he was secretly her father.

How did the butler not only get the money and knowledge to travel to the middle of nowhere, but how did he beat them?

What??

The butler is going to kill them, but Jonathan saves them as the tomb collapses-all make it out but those two. Phyrne and Jack are now alone in the desert, what happened to Shirin? And they end up sleeping together which I don’t like as Phryne was a GIANT jerk to him in this and Jack was so moral and wanted to marry Phryne not just be another guy she sleeps with.

As they are traveling a man comes from nowhere with a message that Phryne’s husband is dead and they need her to solve the crime. How, what, why?

So this film didn’t work for me. First of all Miss Fisher works because of the contrast between her and all the other characters-so removing her from them didn’t work at all.

Second, Detective Jack Robinson didn’t really work in this scenario either. In Australia, he is in a position of power, he can get information, he has a role-going to England and the Middle East doesn’t work for him. He has no power, he can’t do anything, he has no role to play but follow Phryne around.

And third, Phyrne is completely callous and rude in this. Like she does her own thing, and is light and airy-but she never is cruel like this.

Fourth-this story sucks. Like what were they thinking-this plot is everywhere. They should have thought smaller, kept it in Australia, and created better mystery. Like where were the clues? Everything just felt so out of left field. And what was up with this mythology of Alexander the Great?

For more female private detectives, go to Those Men Are Not Going to Stand for Nancy Drew Poking Her Little Nose Into Their Affairs: Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

For more detectives, go to What are you? I’m Batman: Batman (1989)

For more mysteries, go to The Last Puzzle: The Last Christmas, Shadow Island Mysteries (2010)