TV Review: 30 Coins 1×2, “Ouija”

Joseph Braverman revies episode two of 30 Coins, "Ouija" in which Padre Manuel Vergara and the team continue dealing with spooky situations.
User Rating: 7

Evil doesn’t sleep in the village of Pedraza. There are no breaks, no warm cups of milk to be had before the endless terror that tomorrow brings. There’s only one mystery that begets another, and so on and so forth. As you may recall, a demon is tracking down Padre Manuel Vergara (Eduard Fernández) for the hermetical coin he possesses. This episode, Vergara’s nemesis employs a traditional horror trope to have his demands heard: a good old-fashioned game of Ouija. Mayor Paco (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and Elena (Megan Montaner) get pulled back into the fold after the classic board game causes a local girl, Sole (Carla Tous), to suddenly vanish. While “Ouija” is a bit of a quality drop from the premiere, the show’s true enemy is beginning to reveal itself through the fog of confusion.

The episode begins by identifying the men pulling the haunting strings: a group of cardinals led by an elder named Santoro (Manolo Solo). Because they appear to others as apparitions or visions — with the exception of the first scene — it’s difficult to tell if they live in a spirit world, come from the past, or are truly at the current Vatican plotting the destruction of mortal men and women. Either way, they aren’t a lot to be trifled with. They use the aforementioned demon as an extension of their will — identified as Giacomo of Gaeta to the teenagers who activate the Ouija’s séance powers. It turns out Giacomo is linked to Vergara, as that was the name of the boy he exorcised who ejected the coin from his skin right before dying.

Just like last time, Vergara feigns ignorance to anything supernatural connected to him. On this occasion, however, pretending he doesn’t have a landline to the spirit realm bodes violent consequences. The group of cardinals, via Giacomo, have possessed Sole and threaten to self-harm unless Vergara hands them the coin. The trouble is, Elena has at least one, and is contemplating leaving town for good. The community shuns her, believing her “madness” drove away her husband, who disappeared a few months prior. Village playboy and horse jockey/breeder Roque (Antonio Velázquez) tries to get Elena to move away with him, but she refuses, still clinging to hope that her husband might return.

Another thing keeping her around that isn’t spoken aloud is Paco — the two have undeniable chemistry. Their harmonic sleuthing enrages Paco’s uptight wife Merche (Macarena Gómez) every time she sees them together. Merche feels Elena is a negative influence on her politician husband, who should be concerned about improving his town’s reputation, not embracing scandal. Elena tries to deny the reality of her encounter with the giant spider baby, but the undead keep reeling her in. Pulled into the Ouija’s orbit as an intermediary, she’s able to free Sole from the realm she was kidnapped to, only to watch the girl wander around town and make predictions about when villagers will die.

The mayhem all comes to a head at Elena’s home, where Sole breaks in to try and find the coin once she learns the animal clinic worker has it. When Vergara, Elena, and Roque confront Sole — who has slashed a wide cut across the side of her mouth — the combined powers of the Cardinals summon a tornado that rips open Elena’s roof and nearly kills the trio. Roque is injured but still clings to life, while Sole is finally subdued. The temporary peace won’t last long, as the closing scene finds “village idiot” Antonio (Javier Bódalo) — still recovering from his wounds from last episode — whispering to himself about Judas. Does that mean Giacomo is really Judas demonically incarnate? Inquiring minds will find out in the next installment of 30 Coins!

Season One of 30 Coins is now streaming on HBO Max

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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