We’re stranded on a ship in the middle of the ocean with a killer!
So I saw the trailer for this on Netflix and instantly added it to my to-watch list.
It looked so good!
One day my friend and I were hanging out trying to find something to watch when I suggested this. We started watching it and could NOT stop! And that ending, WOW!
Fridays are when I review TV episodes, but as this show can’t be broken episode by epiode, I’m reviewing the whole first season. I did the same thing last year with American Gothic. So the show is actually filmed in Spanish, its real name being Alta Mar, but you can listen to it with the English (or other language) voiceover. I have to say they did really good with this, there are only a few times that it didn’t sync up.
So the TV series takes place in Spain after WWII. The cruise ship is departing from Spain to Brazil. Carolina (Alejandra Onieva) and Eva Villanueve (Ivana Baquero) are headed on an Ocean Cruise liner as Carolina is getting married. Their father passed away two years ago and after his death she discovered that their shoe factory trucks were used to aid the Nazis during WWII. With that news, coupled with her father’s death-Carolina decided to sell the business. Instead, after their marriage she will join her fiancé, Fernando Fábregas (Eloy Azorín), cruise business.
Eva is a writer and is happy for her sister, but sad that the family business ended, and she will be separated from her sister-as she will be in Brazil and her sister will be traveling. She doesn’t like Fernando as something doesn’t feel right about him, but when she investigated a rumor that he was a gambler, she turned up nothing.
As they are driving with their maids Francesca and Veronica de García when they hit a woman in the street.
They rush out to help her and she tells them she is being chased by her fiancé. She doesn’t wish to marry him, but he wants her and has decided he must have her or no one can. She is intent on getting away, and getting on the ship.
Carolina, Francesca, and Veronica want to give her over to the police-but Eva wants to help her and convinces them all to smuggle the girl, Louisa, on the ship in their travel trunk.
When they get on board the ship they meet the Captain and the first officer, Nicolás Vázquez (Jon Kortajarena). Nicolás is very interested in Eva, but she shrugs him off trying to get the trunk to her room. When questioned why the rest of their luggage remains below, Eva deftly comments on how Carolina is the owner’s bride.
They get to the room where they free Louisa, and she and the maids go to their rooms down below. Francesca loves the Ladies, having been like a mother to them-but Veronica does not. Having grown up playing with the girls and is now serving them-she is very unhappy at her lot an does not want to be a servant, she wants to be more.
Veronica helps the ladies dress for dinner and remains in the room, seeing a man try to break in. He claims to have mistaken it as his room, but Veronica is unsure. She leaves, but does not go down to steerage.
Meanwhile, Louisa and Francesca are in the room, and Louisa grabs a vase and knocks Francesca out. She then escapes to the Carolina and Eva’s room and starts going through their things. The man comes back from before and he and Louisa fight.
Dinner is a wonderful affair, and of course the two ladies are honored guests and sit at the Captain’s table. Carolina gets up and dances with her fiancé Fernando, the two then separating as Carolina wants to change her shoes. Earlier, Fernando had a mysterious message telling him to meet at a certain point at 12, but he lies to Carolina that he is receiving a cable. Suspicious.
Eva goes out for some air and is followed by Nicolaus, who is really interested in her. He flirts and things are leaning his way when they hear a woman scream from above and a body hit the water.
Eva is worried about her sister and goes searching for her, finding the room a mess. She continues to search and finds her in steerage aiding Francesca.
The girl’s search their room but can’t tell what is missing. While they are doing that, the crew searches for the body and only find a dress-the one Louisa was wearing.
Eva and Caroline come clean about what happened and everyone wants to hush it up. Fernando has a lot riding on his ship and can’t have it be known as the Murder Cruise or else all is lost.
They say it was an accident, and everyone but Eva and Nicolaus believe that to be true. The two begin investigating.
This will be a dangerous voyage as Eva has no clue who to trust and wants to do everything she can to protect her family and find justice.
Nazis, arson, shady deals, dark secrets, three deaths, a murder masked as suicide, and more combine in this show as we have a wonderful cast of characters.
Nicolas is the dashing first officer and the one who was with Eva when they heard the body fall. He is kind, caring, funny, handsome, and intent on finding justice as well. He used to be a street thief until Captain Santiago Aguirre found him and enlisted him on the ship. He seems to be the perfect one to trust-the Tommy to her Tuppence, but Eva discovers that he has a secret-can she really trust anything he says?
The fiancé-Fernando. He I really do not like as he didn’t meet Carolina when she arrived, when she comes to see him pretty much ignores her for work, and just seems altogether shady. The way he wraps the case up pinning it on an innocent steerage passenger, pretends to be robbed-throwing his rings over the boat and lies about the telegram-having received none. Is there something darker going on with him? Or is he the murderer?
Fernando’s sister and her husband are also on the cruise and they are very strange. Natalia is always drunk, unfocused, and a shadow of a person while her husband just exudes bad feelings. His is also unfaithful as he immediately sets his sights on the lounge singer, Clara. He promises to help her, then rapes her-making her promise not to say anything or he will rip her to shreds. No wonder his wife is the way she is-married to that guy. Clara is not the first and could he have been after Louisa too? Or was he involved in the shady business dealings with the Nazis and want to keep that from being found out. He is extremely eager to get to Brazil.
Eva and Carolina’s uncle, Pedro Villanueva has been watching over them and being there ever since their fathr’s death. He, their father, and Doctor Rojas used to be business partners. Was their father killed in an accident…or murdered? Murdered by their uncle or longtime family friend? They are both nervous and trying to search the girls things for some microfiche. What’s on that film?
Veronica wants more in life than being a maid and Sebastián de la Cuesta, rich and famous playboy, pays a lot of attention to her…but is he honest in his feelings? Is he just playing with her heart-using and losing, or does he really feel for her? It turns out Sebastian is bankrupt and trying to hide it from all. Could that be all he’s hiding. Could he be involved in something nefarious? Something he wants to keep hidden?
Dimas Gómez is the sweetest guy, working as valet to Sebastian and also interested in Veronica. He has an idea to turn cane sugar into ethanol. He presents his idea to Sebastian (who may or may not steal it) and pretends to be Veronica’s sweetheart so her mother doesn’t discover she is sleeping with Sebastian. He seems like a great guy, but he was the roommate of the man who confessed to killing Louisa. Is he more involved in this than he lets on?
Plus to top it off we have a Captain who lost his wife and is very suicidal, a skulky crewm ember with a mysterious burned face, and a ship detective who doesn’t care about solving the crime.
And that’s not all, this show will have so many other twists and turns, once you start watching you will not want to stop!
So this movie reminded me a lot of Dangerous Crossings with the cruise ships, wedding, suspicious guy skulking about, being unsure who to trust. And just like that movie I really, really liked it. It was extremely compelling and the characters are amazing.
I couldn’t help but compare this to American Gothic which I reviewed last year. American Gothic had a great idea, but fell apart in the middle as it would lead is in one direction, then have an episode that turned it back on itself saying that it was false and this was the answer…oh wait, no that’s false-this is the answer, making it not enjoyable and obvious you couldn’t trust the show.
With this, it was done like Twin Peaks or Veronica Mars with each episode adding to the solving of the mystery. There were twists and turns along the way, and was amazing to watch!
And the other reason to watch this? The CLOTHES!! THE CLOTHES are GORGEOUS!!! I want everything Eva and Carolina wear. Even the guys’ clothing are beautiful.
This film is also a Non-Austen Film for Austen Fans
Yes, I think that this is a perfect film for Austen fans.
At the center of the mystery is the love sisters have for each other. Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are both stories that focus on sisterly bonds and friendship. Even though these two sisters have been doing other things, they have reunited and care strongly for each other. Their first thoughts are whether they are okay-and doing all they can to make sure that their sister is taken care of and safe-sometimes hiding things to keep them from being put in danger. In P&P and S&S the sisters were each other’s best friends and always there for each other, just like in this film.
In this show Carolina is poisoned and Eva stands vigil doing all she can to help and aid her sister-Just like Elizabeth caring for Jane or Elinor caring for Marianne.
Carolina reminds me of Jane-beautiful, kind, caring, always thinking the best of people even though they clearly do not deserve it. She is the older sister, but often falls way to the younger sister’s persuasion.
Eva made me think of Catherine Morland: a reader, strong imagination, an investigative spirit. Like how Catherine searches out the Abbey for clues to the murder she believes to have happened there-Eva does the same on the ship. Except in Eva’s case there actually is a murder! Eva doesn’t automatically make me think of Elizabeth but she is just as stubborn and not interested in the main love interest…at least at first.
Nicolas and Eva’s interactions again make me think of Catherine and Mr. Tilney. Like Mr. Tilney-Nicolas is fun, witty, kind, and makes his interest known. Their interactions are fantastic banter.
VIctoria, Sebastian, and Deemis’ love triangle make me think of Isabella Thorpe, Captain Tilney, and James Morland. In Northanger Abbey, Isabella comes from not a super wealthy family and is on the prowl for a wealthy man. She catches James Morland, Catherine’s brother, believing the Morland’s are wealthier than they are but exchanges him for a larger quarry-Captain Tilney. Captain Tilney is not interested in settling down and after sleeping with Isabella, is done with her. Now Victoria, like Isabella, does not want a second class passenger, she wants first class. She has the love of a good man, Deemis, but she won’t even bother with him as she wants someone with and from more. But Sebastian is a famous playboy, and we see after sleeping with her he uses the same lines on another lady.
And the final reason why this made me think of Austen’s works and why you should watch this?
Yes, the very handsome officers. Mrs. Bennet, Lydia Bennet, Louisa Musgrove, Henrietta Musgrove, and Anne Elliot would all approve.
To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)
For more Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans, go to Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: The Buccaneers, Episodes 3-5
For more mystery cruises, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)