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High Seas - Three Hours and Cain - Season Finale Review - Monster



This review contains spoilers for the season one finale.

High Seas concludes its first season with nearly all its mysteries solved but also with a sense that most of its characters' problems are just beginning. One storm might be behind them, yet a whole bunch more are brewing. The biggest revelation from the last two episodes was Carlos being alive and in cahoots with Luisa/Sofia the whole time. However, cahoots apparently meant just that. Despite Dr. Rojas freaking out and poisoning Carolina to get the microfilm back, he and Uncle Pedro are, in fact, innocent of working with Nazis. These facts come to light after other distressing revelations. Dr. Rojas forces Eva to steal the microfilm back, which leads to her holding a gun on Nicolás who is very chill about the whole thing. She is able to get the antidote in time to save her sister. The news of Carolina's illness brings Carlos out of hiding for a lukewarm family reunion. Neither sister completely believes his story after the week they've been having. The discovery of the gold among Francisca's things at first leads to the sisters responding with feelings of betrayal by yet another parental figure. And while I was just waiting for the devastating twist that Fernando was somehow involved, that wasn't the last revelation.
The pivotal scene of the season finale was Carolina's walk down the aisle. And what a walk it was. Since the show itself has been very restrained in tone and spectacle, Carolina and Eva confronting Carlos was akin to a smack of freezing water on a hot day. It was unmistakably Alejandra Onieva's moment to let Carolina roar. It was thrilling to watch her drag the suitcase of gold and basically throw it at her father's feet, demanding the truth. (It was equally gleeful when both Eva and Carolina yelled at Luisa to shut up.) Carolina's final barbs about wishing he was dead were loaded with angry truth. The scene was unforgettable. And it was nice to see Carolina reclaim her wedding day later by having Nicolás marry her and Fernando.
While the Bárbara de Braganza reaches the equator and the halfway point of its voyage, the other passengers have their own share of drama. Veronica kept her promise to Dimas and halfheartedly showed his ethanol plans to Sebastian. He wasn't interested until later, because his secret actually is that he's broke. He needs something to give a lender as collateral, and Dimas's bright ideas are just what Sebastian is looking for. I definitely heard some ominous musical cues when Sebastian asked Dimas if he had patented his idea. It's unlikely there's not something slipped into that contract that will cheat Dimas in a big way. Francisca now knows that Veronica is with Sebastian in all senses of the word, so it's going to be extra embarrassing when our aspiring social climber finds out her man is counting pennies.
There's also the matter of the two deaths on board. Awful-Brother-In-Law isn't missed, but the people he hurt still have to deal with the fallout. Pierre knows that Clara was involved. He warns her about her silver sandals, and she promptly tosses them into the sea. Later, she tells him the whole truth about what happened. He makes it all about himself and his own guilt for a couple minutes then proposes marriage. (I felt icky about that bit because it felt like something he was doing to alleviate his own feelings.) In a conversation with Natalia, Pierre calls her out on defending Awful, revealing that his father used to beat his mother. He will keep the two women's secret, but he's not the only person who knows. Detective Varela is on their trail, if he's even a real detective and we don't have a Mousetrap scenario on our hands. Even as he closes in on Natalia and Clara, it's revealed that he was alone with murder victim Manuel before the latter was found dead. Assuming that Carlos is telling the truth about not being the killer there, Varela could be up to some game of his own.
With all the layers of secrecy and how delicately they're woven together, I was not prepared for Carlos to go full Rick Grimes and bite a man to death. He then tried to concuss Uncle Pedro to death (but we won't know until season 2 if he succeeded.), and the whole thing felt a little too messy. It was also confusing that Luisa wasn't locked up because she's clearly involved. I was fully expecting Nicolás's wife to pop up and reveal herself to be investigating/pursuing Carlos and Luisa. She's definitely on that boat that sent the distress signal though.
Overall, High Seas had an effective central mystery in its first season, one that I'm not sure can be extended to the second season. Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was how moderately the show dished out drama and suspense and angst. There was only a little of each, which made the show feel slow at times, and I wouldn't mind them turning up the volume for their second season. The standout performances easily came from Ivana Baquero and Alejandra Onieva, and the best parts focused on the Villaneuva sisters.
Let's Put On Our Detective Cloaks:

Despite a general sense of conclusion for the main mystery, Carlos and Luisa and Dr. Rojas (really wants to set the ship on fire by the way) remain a present and very real threat to those on board.

Is Dr. Rojas the only doctor on board? If so, they are in trouble.

Why did someone kill Manuel? Carlos and Luisa were the only ones with any real motive, but it's apparently not them. Will season 2 reveal he was involved in some other secret?

We're definitely going to see more of that adorable safe cracker, right?

What is the agenda of the people in the boat? Are they heading to South America to hunt Nazis? Is it a coincidence they wound up near the Bárbara de Braganza or have they been following it the whole time?

Why did Fernando have a gun in his desk? Just because of his gambling debts? Or does he have more secrets. For Carolina's sake, let's hope it was just a precautionary measure, because their sweet relationship just kept growing on me through the whole season.

Thanks for sailing with us!