It doesn’t thrill, but it certainly intrigues. Bitter Daisies Episode 1, “Through Me…” is a slow burner to open up the series.
Bitter Daisies sells itself as a slow burner, a mystery confined to the limitations of a nosey town where everyone knows each other’s business and the police have their hybrid law based on traditions. Episode 1, “Through Me…” is slowly paced, but only to demonstrate Rosa Vargas’ (María Mera) challenge in this small town, as she is called upon as a Civil Guard Officer to investigate the disappearance of a missing girl.
It’s a strange opening episode; one of the first scenes presents a family breakfast and a young girl concerned about a missing dog called Dori. You never understand how this is relevant in “Through Me…” until later on, and the light bulb moment happens. As the little girl goes to school with her mother, the father looks anxious while reading the paper.
Bitter Daisies then swerves to a teenager named Rebeca, on the phone with her friend about meeting up. Her parents are concerned about her social life so ban her from going out, but she sneaks out anyway to find her friend is not there.
And then enters Lieutenant Rosa Vargas, stone-faced and ready to take on this town. She’s been assigned to a missing person’s case, and from the offset she is knuckled down by her colleagues who try and insist on not worrying about the missing girl Marta. They tag officer Maura to her assignment, following her wherever she goes. You can almost sense that this town is a pain.
“Through Me…” then kind of stands still, with Rosa moping around the place, trying to get a feel of the community, that is close-knit, almost incest-like, where people are unconcerned by the potential of crime. She learns that Marta was once done for holding a small amount of drugs, and questions Rebeca’s friendship with her. She learns that Marta was in a motel room, with a compilation CD and a note that reads, “There’s no way out of here”. It’s all like the video game LA Noire, and I liked it.
There’s a scene in particular in Episode 1 when Rosa is sat in the cafe with Maura eating what looks almost like a blue steak, and a mentally challenged man named Bernabe creepily sits next to Rosa, asking her for a photo. The series pays way too much attention to him for him to not be significant.
Episode 1 also introduces us to Brais, who is Rebeca’s boyfriend, but happened to have given Marta a library book that Rebeca had borrowed. It’s clear that he was cheating on Rebeca, which is confirmed later in the episode when he’s deleting photos off his phone. Rosa’s investigation leads her to a garage, where Marta’s old license plate is found on the floor. They are trying to build a case against the garage owner Muniz.
As the episode ends, Marta finds the dog Dori, which takes us back to the owners, and the father that looked way too concerned. The dog sniffs out some clothes in the woods, which leads to a forensic team, and Rosa concluding that she believes the town has a serial killer. Bitter Daisies acts smart, and it is, so let’s hope the writing remains the same.
You can check out our thoughts on the second episode by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.