HBO’s 30 Coins: El doble (The Double) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of HBO’s 30 Coins, El doble (The Double), the whole town marvels and question’s the return of Elena’s (Megan Montaner) husband Mario (Victor Clavijo) while Father Vergara (Eduard Fernandez) enlists the help of Sandro (Leonardo Nigro) as Santoro (Manolo Solo) attempts to get Vergara to become a modern-day Judas.
The return of Elena’s husband creates quite a stir in the town with some people finding his reappearance a little odd and others questioning what he’s been up to. While we know that Mario is simply some demonic scarecrow brought to life by a white-haired witch in the village, no one else does but the villagers thinking he’s real brings out their real thoughts of him. Some think he’s hiding some big secret or been living a new life with a new relationship, but Paco (Miguel Angel Silvestre) and Elena don’t seem to care either way since his return ruins any chance of them having a relationship. Paco is quick to sulk and drink his sorrows away, but Elena is ready to hop right into bed with this fake Mario for a passionate love-making session. Like I said last week, the whole love triangle in this series is probably its dumbest element, but it is fun to watch the other villagers make fun of it by calling it a soap opera.
Things aren’t so pleasant for Father Vergara since he’s being held captive by Santoro in a disgusting jail while he invades his dreams to extract information on where the coin is. The opening of Vergara hiding a dog he accidently killed as a child and Santoro flipping the script on him in the dream was perfect and shows how powerful Santoro has become since he sold his soul. Honestly, if this episode embodies anything, it’s that Santoro and his followers are not to be messed with. The sequence of Vergara walking into a room filled with white clad followers that are undeterred by his presence and Santoro showing the knowledge and power they’ve obtained over the years really gives them a daunting presence. Even Santoro getting in Vergara’s head by flexing the power he’s obtained and twisting Vergara’s action to make it seem like he’s already a part of the cause make him a delightfully entertaining mental threat. However, Vergara isn’t buying it and knows that he’s just doing Angelo’s (Cosimo Fusco) bidding and tries to make a quick escape, but not with director Alex de la Iglesia delivering some of the creepiest horror visuals yet.
Just as Vergara attempts to make a great escape, Santoro uses his power on a dead body to summon a create so grossly chill-inducing and stomach turning that it legitimately gives the visuals from The Thing a run for its money. The sequence of the dead body bubbling up and chasing Vergara and Sandro is absolutely horrifying and its movement just makes you tense. It’s easily the strongest, most compelling visual that Iglesia has brought thus far and it leaves a deep impact with it eviscerating Sandro. While he might have been the MVP alongside Vergara for how he went all in on saving him, Sandro’s time finally came to an end here in a gruesome way. It’s sad to see him go out with his entire lower half being torn off by the monster and it leave Vergara all alone in facing this threat.
Back in the village, things aren’t much better as Iglesia creates some creepy moments around everyone discovering that Mario isn’t who he says he is. The creepy turn that Elena and Mario sex scene takes with all of Mario’s actions also being portrayed by the old witch is perfectly unexpected and takes all of the pleasure out of the moment in the best way possible. Nothing compares to the horrors behind Mario’s actual fate as it’s revealed that he’s actually been dead this time since Jesus (Paco Tous), who we met in the first episode, is responsible for killing him. It’s a strong reveal that’s pretty terrifying to watch unfold as Paco digs up a skull in the ground and Jesus walks through town with a shotgun to kill this fake Mario. Elena’s in the worst position though since she discovers this while Mario demands her to reveal where the coin is. The entire sequence of Mario brutally killing other people and beating Elena to find the coin and this whole thing eventually comes to end with Mario turning to dust and falling into the rushing water. Overall, it’s a great sequence of events that amps up the horror and puts some things to rest – but not everything. Before turning to ash, Mario does mention that the coin will naturally find its way back to Elena and it looks like Roque (Antonio Velazquez) is going to be the mode of transportation – which was a perfect end cliffhanger.
30 Coins delivers its strongest episode yet with absolutely bone-chilling horror and strong story sequences that set up a daunting future. With Santoro showing Vergara that his cause is quite powerful and Elena closing the book on her relationship with Mario as her Judas coin makes its way back to her, things are about come to head with this series and it’s hopefully going to be just as amazing as this to watch.