HBO’s 30 Coins: El Espejo (The Mirror) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of 30 Coins, El Espejo (The Mirror), Father Vergara (Eduard Fernandez) continues to fight against the demons that are after the Judas Coin while Elena (Megan Montaner) and Paco (Miguel Angel Silvestre) deal with an eerie mirror that gives them a better perspective on what Vergara is hiding.
As with its previous episodes, 30 Coins continues to reenergize familiar genre props to deliver its own kind of creeps with the characters interacting with a haunted mirror. Although we’ve seen plenty of haunted mirrors throughout the genre, the way that director Alex de la Iglesia captures the mirror and uses it to create some intriguing shots is great. The way he blends both the mirror world and reality together offers some slow-building suspense and some genuinely creepy shots of a mirror world filled with ominous warnings and fears. Iglesia builds a great presence for the mirror with how he pulls the camera out of the mirror perspective to create this daunting atmosphere for it and slowly adds something new to what everyone sees in the reflection to constantly pique your interest about what horrors await. The slight goofiness of the horrors in this series is even maintained as seeing Elena and Vergara interact with things is perfectly, oddly weird. The real best thing that this mirror brings though is answers as we finally start to understand what Vergara is exactly hiding and what these demons want with the Judas coins.
At the start of the episode, we once again see a man possessed by that strange necklace rob a jewelry store in New York City and take a Judas coin in a bloody mess. The moment when he rips the clerk’s throat out is such a shocking turn and the blood just spills everywhere. Up until now, it’s been sort of a mystery as to how these deadly possessions connect to what we’ve been seeing in Spain. However, our main trio’s experience with this mirror starts to flesh out what exactly these demons are after with the coins and Vergara.
So, after seeing a strange book in the reflection with the words Gospel of Judas in Greek, Paco begins to understand the meaning of the book after talking to Vergara. Vergara says that the book gives insights that Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was actually planned and that there is more to that story than Judas simply being a traitor. Now, the details of this are still a little hazy since Vergara sure likes to keep his secrets and even while his reaction and uttering of the details seems legit, it’s a tad hard to believe since it came from the mirror. It could be something that to throw Elena and Paco off and with Antonio (Javier Bodalo) working with the demons to “bring back Judas,” it’s hard to believe that there’s not something more sinister in store. Not to mention, the entire sequence of Paco and Elena seeing Vergara tied up and surrounded by a bunch of Roman priests holding Judas coins showcases the strength that this opposition has and how they aren’t too fond of Vergara – much like the village.
While Vergara attempts to hold a service to a nearly empty audience, the village celebrates a wedding officiated by Paco. It’s a simple, but effective showing of how recent events have sort of ostracized the church and Vergara from the community. His necessity to keep secrets has made him suspicious to everyone and things come to a head when his time with the haunted mirror causes a mirror version of himself to enter the real world. Everything with Vergara’s doppelganger is actually really impactful as he’s able to turn the whole village against Paco and Elena and live up to evil power these forces have been built up to be. He not only uses Paco officiating a wedding outside of the church against them to rile the village up but offers some interesting insights into why the Judas coins are so important. While it’s not much, the Vergara doppelganger does say that dark entities are always on the prowl for objects with a dark history – making the 30 Judas coins kind of perfect for whatever they have planned.
There’s definitely something dark on the horizon with whatever these Roman priests and demons have in store and there’s a lot of things that Vergara needs to answer for. With the entire town now having become involved with these demonic activities after they trash Elena’s veterinarian office and Elena and Paco seeing more of what Vergara has kept secret, there’s no real hiding places left for Vergara and he’s going to have to face his past. Also, things are made a little more complicated with Elena throwing the coin into rushing water – although this likely isn’t the last time we’re going to see it.
30 Coins’ mysteries and secrets start to unravel with a delightfully suspenseful and strange episode that has its characters face their fears with a haunted mirror and fleshes out the power seeking out the Judas coins. De la Iglesia continues to deliver an enticing horror/suspense experience like no other and creates strong intrigue as to the dark presence that’s slowly approaching.