TV Review: 30 Coins 1×3, “The Mirror”

Joseph Braverman reviews 30 Coins' season one, episode 3, "The Mirror" in which our Padre deal with his past.
User Rating: 7

Mirror Mirror on the wall, what is the scariest show of them all? After this week’s bonkers episode, 30 Coins might have to claim that title. “The Mirror” literally has Padre Vergara (Eduard Fernández) facing himself and the violent past he ran from. This time, Giacomo from Gaeta is presented in ghoulish corpse form, paralyzing Vergara as he’s forced to confront the terminal damnation he wrought on the young boy.

This episode also ends Vergara’s gaslighting of Elena and Paco (Megan Montaner and Miguel Ángel Silvestre, respectively), finally cementing trust among the unlikely heroic trio. They’ll need to work together if they want to stop the evil enveloping the town of Pedraza, now spreading to the locals. An angry mob led by a false idol is freakishly relevant to our current American crisis.

Before we get to the torches and pitchforks mayhem, we have to roll back the tape a bit. The third entry in the supernatural saga begins with holy matrimony. One of Paco’s hotels is the venue for a private wedding, though the groom and bride’s steep discount has the mayor feeling extra sleazy. He rightfully explains to his wife Merche (Macarena Gómez) that the optics of a mayor offering exclusive discounts for rich friends aren’t ideal. Merche has no problem reveling in her husband’s wealth and privilege. In here mind, flaunting power is a better business than Paco sticking his nose into mystical mumbo jumbo, especially if it involves Elena.

Unlucky for Merche, the town’s next freak occurrence winds up crashing the wedding. More specifically, the groom’s cousin crashes his car while en route to deliver the wedding cake. Just before the accident, he spoke to his wife over the phone and sounded distracted by inescapable fear. Later, the wife confesses to Paco that their apartment — located above the town pharmacy — is haunted by a giant wall mirror, believed to be the source of her spouse’s mental breakdown. Elena and Paco are most certainly on the case, though what they discover further creases the wrinkles of this mystery.

When they reach the apartment, nothing seems out of the ordinary. The mirror looks like a relic of the home’s original furnishings, but otherwise, nothing to be frightened by. Then, Elena notices that something visible in the mirror doesn’t exist in reality: a large book resting on the table, waiting to be opened. Elena and Paco write down the book’s inscription markings and pass the information along to Vergara. He tells them a stunning revelation that would even shock Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code.

It turns out Jesus was in cahoots with Judas, the great betrayal actually a part of destiny that needed to be fulfilled. The ancient book is known as “The Gospel of Judas,” which discusses how Judas was simply following his spiritual leader’s orders to sell him out to the Romans. This means that God is not only tolerant of evil, but he views it as a necessity to bring balance to his creation. If such a secret ever got out, it would shatter the barrier of the righteous and the sinner.

The order that does God’s evil bidding is known as the Cainetes, the same group of priests who communicated with Elena last episode. “The Mirror” confirms their location: Rome, where they plot to collect all of the missing coins belonging to Judas. Whether the combined currency will usher the apocalypse or simply keep humanity slaves to the Christian dogma remains to be seen. For now, Vergara can no longer ignore the existential threat the Cainetes poses to not just Vergara but all of humanity, already under a pious spell. The priest is willing to help destroy this mirror, but before he can, it reveals the pleading corpse of Giacomo, not to mention a version of himself possessed by the demon from the past two chapters.

That “bizarro” Vergara kidnaps the true version of himself and switches places as an imposter. He then commands the townsfolk via sermon to hunt down Elena to recover the lost coin. The locals turn into a hypnotized mob, as rabid as the vet clinic animals barking bloody murder. Though ultimately unsuccessful by the episode’s end, it appears as though evil still has a lingering hold on the villagers.

Elena and Paco put their energies into rescuing Vergara from the realm on the other side of the mirror — coming face to face with Cainetes, who have Vergara bound and gagged in their meeting hall.  It turns out the mirror serves as a portal to the sect’s headquarters, with the trio meeting their main adversaries before they are ready to confront them. Luckily, they can make a lucky escape, quell the mob, and shatter the haunted reflector once and for all.

“The Mirror” concludes on a nonsensical note: Elena throws the coin over the bridge and into the river below. Doesn’t she realize keeping the coin hidden is far safer than risking someone stumbling upon it once it washes ashore? I guess desperation doesn’t make room for logic. The good news is that Vergara, Paco, and Elena are on the same page and bound to the same fight. However, it’s them against their community, as even Vergara and Paco’s high social status cannot dissuade the dark acolytes living among them from being a part of God’s no good, very bad plan.

Season One of 30 Coins is now available to stream on HBO Max

7
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Written by
Joseph Braverman is a 31-year-old film school alum from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Digital Media. He considers himself one of the biggest Star Wars fans in the galaxy, living by a golden rule that there is no such thing as a “bad” Star Wars movie. Joseph lives in Los Angeles, CA, and enmeshes himself in all things entertainment, though he’ll occasionally take a break from screen consumption to hike in Malibu or embark on new foodie explorations. Vehemently opposed to genre bias, he feels strongly that any good film is worthy of Oscar consideration. Joseph is also a proud member of the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association.

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