Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
I love a good mystery but then again, who doesn’t? There’s just something about trying to figure out the answers and hoping your theories are correct that makes you feel like Sherlock Holmes himself. Growing up I devoured Nancy Drew mysteries and as I got older my love of thrillers expanded into movies and television. So when Who Killed Sara? popped up in my Netflix queue I just had to give it a go.
With two seasons available and the second one giving us the answers to the big question, I figured I’d break down what worked and didn’t. But instead of my usual Best and Worst, I’ll be giving an overall review of each season. So let’s search through the clues, eliminate the red herrings, and figure out if Who Killed Sara? is worth your mystery-loving time.
The first season is told mostly through the point of view of the titular Sara’s brother Alex (Manolo Cardona of Narcos, War of Likes) who was tricked into taking the blame for his sister’s death by his best friend Rodolfo’s father, Cesar Lazcanos (Gines Garcia Millan). Released from prison 18 years later, Alex is bent on revenge and his heart and mind are set on destroying the family who destroyed his life while finally solving the mystery of who killed his younger sister.
Like any good thriller, series creator Jose Ignacio Valenzuela knows you have to hook your audience from the jump, and with a strong lead performer in Cardona and a quick introduction to our lead suspects, the rich and powerful family members of the Lazcano clan who all seem like they have something to hide, your interest is piqued. I also think the pacing here is very well handled. The back and forth of jumping to the past and then coming back to the present is something that can easily wear on a viewer, but it never feels lazy or gimmicky because information is key to a good mystery. And each time they would revisit Alex’s past there was something new to learn, which of course would add to your excitement for the next episode. This is a very important element to any television series, especially one that encourages you to binge your heart out.
Overall Season 1 made for a very strong outing and by the ending the story expands in unexpected ways, easily inviting you to stick with the series. Yes it may be exasperating to some, as I also honestly thought we would have our answer to the main question by the end. But you know what? I wasn’t mad, as everything you think you know is basically turned on its head, and I found myself excited to see what comes next. That’s the way you hook viewers people!
Score 7 out of 10
Season 1 ended with quite a cliffhanger and audiences were shown there was much more to who Sara was than we initially thought. In doing so they created a legitimate reason for why we had to wait a whole second season to figure out who killed Sara. The writers also did a great job of bringing back little moments from the first season that seemed inconsequential at the time (the stolen gold statue for instance) and adding them back into the story. It’s smart little touches like these that can elevate a mystery and make for fun viewing.
This season also finally (mostly) gave us the answers we were searching for, which SHOULD of been the end of the story but it turned out (groan) there’s still more! We discover there is a much bigger conspiracy at the heart of it all which of course means we’ll be getting a third season. Therein lies the problem.
This is one of those traps I’ve seen other similar types of shows fall into. You start out with one story to tell or one main story, but the problem is you can only go so far with one story before you have to shut that door. It’s not that it’s impossible to expand beyond your original tale, because you absolutely should, the problem here is the show is trying so hard to tie everything back to Sara (maybe they should’ve called the show something else) that they’ve veered from being an intriguing mystery into just another soap opera (or in this case, telenovela) styled show. We all know how those turn out.
If they keep on this path I’m afraid Who Killed Sara? will lose all its charm and intelligence and just become another over-the-top mess. Hopefully the writers are aware of this pitfall and find ways to get back on the path that made Season 1 so enticing. With Sara’s mystery being wrapped up there may be light at the end of this tunnel though. I guess we’ll have to wait for Season 3 to be sure.
Score 6 out of 10
Overall I would still recommend checking the series out if these types of shows appeal to you. The acting is solid, the ever-growing plot developments keep you on your toes, and if there’s one thing you can be sure of, figuring out Who Killed Sara? is nowhere as easy as you’d think it would be.
So are you a fan of Who Killed Sara? Feel free to sound off in the comments. You can also check out more thrilling content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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