Episode 3, “As Smoke in Air” feels slightly winded by the two opening strong episodes, but it’s still progressive as much as it’d like to be.
This review of Bitter Daisies Episode 3, “As smoke in air”, contains spoilers. You can read our review of the previous episode by clicking these words.
Episode 3, “As Smoke in Air”, gives a sense that Rosa (María Mera) is a little worried that her investigation is not moving forward. In one scene, she confesses she is anxious that her first case will not be solved. There is a sense of urgency, even if the pace suggests otherwise. Bitter Daisies does not platform a potential serial killer on the loose though; it’s not like every episode is plagued with murders.
Rosa enjoys dressing up for the strip club since the disappearance of Erika, paying Pamela another visit, but this time they act intimately with each other, so the boss does not suspect any investigation. Rosa needs to know if there was any client that enjoys cross-dressing, but as usual, everything feels like a dead end.
Retracing old steps seems to be a theme in “As Smoke in Air” as Rosa revisits the hostel that Marta used to blackmail her clients. She finds six hidden SD cards in the old broken TV, which has footage of Marta’s sexual encounters, which spurs the cross-dresser investigation. Rosa delves deeper in her role as the investigator, pretending to be Marta in a chatroom to see if any more information can be sought, but ultimately, this fails.
The story does briefly move to Xabier, who is sweating over his relationship with Samanta who hasn’t visited in a while. He also attacks his brother Bernabe in frustration but later apologizes. In Episode 3, he vows never to pay Samanta again, sealing their official relationship by enjoying dinner together. They try not to act bothered by others who know she’s a prostitute.
Back to Rosa. With each episode, she gets more familiar with the community, but her relationship with colleague Mauro is still faint. She decides to visit their house for a meal, but all that causes is his wife to get insanely jealous and ask multiple questions about her life. Her responses prompt Mauro to investigate her, but the Captain insists he’s got the wrong attitude and that they should trust her. Mauro may have bigger fish to fry, as Miguel is seeking revenge, lurking in the outskirts of the town.
The second half of “As Smoke in Air” sees Rosa nail down the cross-dresser, which they find out to be Xancobe. He was a suspect briefly, but he is dead after having been found in women’s clothes while masturbating with a bag over his head. Also, the man who is most likely to be the serial killer is still teasing prostitutes with his knife, blindfolding them and obsessing over their underwear. It’s confirmed that his name is Matilla, and Rosa still has his dog, which she keeps promising to return. It’s weird that she’s held on to the dog for so long; Matilla’s daughter is genuinely worried about it.
“As Smoke in Air” ends with two stories interlinking, however, I am not sure if they correlate directly. Rosa’s investigation leads her to a broken down farm, and as she investigates, she finds a possible Satanic cult environment with candles everywhere. As she roots around further, she finds a skeleton in the dirt. While this is happening, Rebeca, who is not over Brais, has been convinced by David to do a modeling shoot with him. He escalates it quickly, asking her to take off her bra.
You can check out our thoughts on the fourth episode by clicking these words.