HBO’s 30 Coins: La caja de cristal (The Glass Box) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of HBO’s 30 Coins, La caja de cristal (The Glass Box), Angelo (Cosimo Fusco) begins to consume the village in a thick fog as Elena (Megan Montanor) and Father Vergara (Eduard Fernandez) make their way back.
Angelo entering the village sparked a sense of impending doom at the last week’s episode and we essentially see him take over the town by gaining assistance from an unlikely ally and consuming the town in smoke. Although Antonio (Javier Bodalo) has been teeing himself up to be Angelo’s right-hand man, he realizes that he’s just a pawn in Angelo’s plan. He even tries to sell Angelo out to the town, but he’s still the town crazy so everyone just laughs him off. Angelo looks to get help from someone who’s going through some troubles of their own. Maybe even someone who going through a tough separation with the town mayor. That’s right, Merche (Macarena Gomez) ends up cozying up with Angelo as her relationship with Paco (Miguel Angel Silvestre) hits an all-time low.
Even though she does what some of the villagers tell her and change up her look to make Paco see what he’s missing, it doesn’t work. Paco’s looking to leave Merche everything in order to start from scratch and it upsets Merche that Paco is essentially cutting her out of her life. I have to say, even though I’ve been hating on this soap opera love triangle, it’s really great to see how it has a big impact in this episode. Merche’s distraught mentality makes her the perfect person for Angelo to manipulate and it leads to both a strong showing of Angelo’s influence as he convinces her to act out aggressively and follow his plan and Merche playing a relevant role in this series. There’s something really interesting about her growth in this series from just being a controlling wife to Paco to finding her independence to be a pivotal part of Angelo’s plan. Sure, she’s obviously on the wrong side of things, but it’s cool to see her come into her own role and Gomez’s performance elevates the anger and frustration that drives Merche to do some pretty crazy things.
Angelo might have covered the town in thick, virtually unseeable smoke to the point that it looks like the village is covered in a cloud from an outside view and even empowered rat trap fluid to create a forcefield that makes it so no one can leave, but Merche helps make other things possible. From sneaking a card from Angelo into Paco’s jacket to basically shut down his whole body to opening up a secret window in the church so that Angelo could burn it down and nearly take all of the villagers with it, Merche is the one making some real moves. She even has a scrap with Elena after she returns that involves some disturbingly violent fighting and a fall down some comically long stairs. Her biggest action though, is snagging the coin from Elena and handing it over to Angelo. It’s a moment that solidifies which side Merche is on and puts all the power in Angelo’s hands making it unnerving to wonder that nightmarish hells await us in the finale.
As for everything else that happens in this episode, it’s pretty much what you’d expect. The two female officers that arrived last week continue to poke around with no real purpose yet and Elena returns to basically deliver the coin to Angelo through Merche. Father Vergara’s return is much more epic as it took a lot to get there. After seeing Vergara talk to a much calmer vision of Giacomo (Riccardo Frascari), the boy who died from an exorcism and put the coin in Vergara’s hands, we watch him actually go through some tense sequences in order to escape execution. The action heavy sequences are really intense and it’s great to still see Vergara take Giacomo’s words to heart about him needing to find hope. Nothing compares to his return to village though, as him gearing up to take on Angelo is truly bad ass. If you want to hype up the big finale battle, this is how you do it.
The stage is set for one hell of a finale as Angelo has now created a hellish battlefield filled with smoke as he gets the last coin and Elena and Vergara return to prepare themselves for the fight of their lives. All of the pieces are in place for a true battle of good and evil that hopefully delivers some of the creepiest horrors and thrills yet.