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Topic Summary

Posted by: Yakub Oloyede
« on: September 13, 2020, 04:06:37 AM »



This recap of The Barrier season 1 from Netflix, episode 1, "Another Planet" includes major spoilers.

The opening

Well here we go, Netflix has scheduled a weekly series that is not in their catalog for once in Korea. It starts with a young Julia looking outside for a violent commotion. The Spanish President is on television reporting that their climate has been devastated by World War III, resources have dwindled and the economy has crashed. He continues to speak about threats and new viruses that arose as a result of the fallout — he declares a state of emergency. Julia 's parents are watching the television and looking ready to pack and travel. Father Ramón gives necklaces to his children, and then knocks at their doorstep.

Returns Mother Emilia, and Ramón is taken away. Emilia checks on Julia and Sara's daughters. This is an aggressive opening, and is immediately fascinating. Let's hope the remainder of the series holds a similar pace.

25 Years Later,

The Barrier Episode 1 then takes us 25 years later to Madrid offering the scenery of a dystopian world. Julia's employed at an underground bar for sex workers. She hears a young woman criing in one of the rooms. She attempts to get the young woman out of the room but then a man comes in and attacks them; Julia is strangled but she is stabbed in his side.

Her partner Carlos makes her jump and she confesses to killing a soldier and sobs. The explosive start continues and so far this is a well-constructed pilot.

Be Quiet

Hugo is on a coach with Álex and his daughter Marta on their way to Madrid. Uncle Álex tries to make jokes but a soldier orders the party to stay silent. I think this scene shows how the world has been militarised

He arrives in Madrid with Hugo, Álex and his daughter Marta. A man evidently has a virus so the soldiers take him away when they board the bus. Marta tells the soldiers she 's living with her mother but she's coming soon. They are all disinfected until an ID has been given. What a horrible world this has become. They are exploring the city and looking pleased with what they see. This scene reflects their age — they don’t know what “good” looks like so this version of Madrid is a positive for these characters.

You need to leave

At the underground sex worker bar, the military is investigating the murder of one of their soldiers. Meanwhile, Julia’s partner Carlos tells her she has to leave after she murdered a soldier. He offers to go with her. Julia is worried about her mother but Carlos reminds her that her mother wants her to be alive.

Reunion

The Barrier season 1, episode 1 eventually brings some of the characters together to finally provide a firm dynamic and a grip on where the story is going to lead.

Meanwhile Marta sees Emilia as her grandmother and gives her a hug. It is an intense meeting. Then Hugo meets Julia and she is excited to see him and Marta — the young girl tells Julia that she looks exactly like her mother, bringing proof that she is Sara 's mother. Emilia informs the party that it's crucial that nobody learns that Sara died of the virus — she says there's no cure either.

A curfew begins after their brief talk and all of the power in the city is switched off. The family sits down under candlelight and has a meal. Hugo states that many died and illnesses came because of the last World War and the earth has not yet got a cure. Emilia explains it was the government that started the war and removed everyday freedom. Julia claims they will get it back. The family toast to freedom but there’s this strange sense that they don’t really believe it.

Blood tests and interviews

The next day, the family goes to a hospital for blood tests and interviews. The nurses find a test that shows something in one of their blood — it’s Marta. They ask for their family to be interviewed split — they want to interview Marta separately.

Marta is taken

The interviewer keeps asking Hugo why they didn’t come with Marta’s mother Sara. He keeps lying and she believes in the story. The interviewer hands Hugo the papers that don’t include Marta’s. They are taking her away so Hugo and Álex run outside. Hugo clambers on the back of a bus and Marta is inside. She tells him she loves him as Hugo falls off. Hugo keeps running but he’s stopped by the military and beaten to the ground so Álex calms him down. This is one of those scenes where you wonder how the father did not see it coming.

The unemployed

Hugo alerts Emilia of what happened — the block chief Begoña introduces herself. She tells Hugo that they took his daughter to the colony of the unemployed and that she will be looked after and protected. This briefly reassures Hugo but you can tell he isn’t fully convinced. Álex vows that they must fix it but Hugo is now wanting a job immediately so he can have his daughter back.

A favor

Emilia meets Luis in a fancy car. She asks Luis for a favor — she wants her granddaughter back. Luis offers to find a job for Hugo as soon as possible in order to resolve the issue — he’s clearly in a position of power. He suggests a job at his place so gives Emilia an address and a pass so Hugo can get through the barrier. As Emilia walks off, it’s clear there’s some history between them both which will be fleshed out in later chapters.

The interview

Hugo hops on to a small black bus and he’s taken to a mansion that is presumably on the other side of the fence. It’s noticeably a nicer area with natural wildlife and a greener environment. It doesn’t feel dystopian. Inside the mansion, he’s asked to wash his hands before his job interview. A man named Iván enters the kitchen and tells Hugo that the house is prettier on the outside than the inside.

Rosa takes Hugo to his job interview. Daniela greets him before walking off with her latte — this is all done to set the scene; a fancy cup of coffee seems out of the ordinary. The interviewer tells him he will need to scrub and serve and listen to Rosa. He’s got the job. She asks about his wife and states that they wanted to hire a couple. Hugo says he will arrive tomorrow with his wife. This will clearly be a problem for Hugo whose wife is dead. I wonder if he will ask Julia to pretend to be his wife?

These children are special

Marta is working in a colony run by the same woman who is hiring Hugo — she’s called Alma. She calls the children very special. After she greets the children, she vents her frustration at doctor Thomas, claiming the doses are not high enough. She says these children are their last hope. At this point, we can only assume that these children are offering humanity a chance to rid the virus judging by the blood test earlier.

The ending

As the episode ends, the characters are settled in their respective lives ready for the next day; Marta is settling in the colony, Hugo needs to figure out his job, Luis is looking at a photo of a younger Emilia and Julia is ready to flee.

The episode closes with the soldiers finding Sol.

The Barrier season 1, episode 1, “Another World” is an effective world-builder. By slowly introducing the characters and giving them a perspective of their new world ensures that it’s a firm, exciting pilot.

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