The Chosen One episode 1, “Missionaries of Death” is a well-thawed start, embedding the characters early to expose us to Village Aguazul.
This recap for Netflix’s The Chosen One Season 1, Episode 1, “Missionaries of Death”, contains significant spoilers. We have provided extensive coverage on the thriller, and you can read the review of season 1 by clicking these words.
The Chosen One season 1, episode 1, “Missionaries of Death” presents the three doctors with an option. As they reach Village Aguazul, there’s a broken down old bus with the sign “Do Not Enter”. It’s the old age situation of characters presented with a clear warning, but naively ignoring the apparent danger. I enjoy this scenario every single time, wondering what I’d do if I were given that sign.
“Missionaries of Death” introduces us to the three doctors; Lúcia Santeiro (Paloma Bernardi), Enzo Vergani (Gutto Szuster) and Damião Almeida (Pedro Caetano) who are tasked by the Brazillian Government, and the all-fearing Doctor Ramiro, to vaccinate remote villages for the Zika virus. Episode 1 sells doctors who are accustomed to process and governance procedures, bringing a compelling start to the Netflix series.
[su_pullquote align=”right”]Episode 1 tells the story of a well-run cult that is accustomed to their ways.[/su_pullquote]
The Chosen One episode 1, “Missionaries of Death”, immediately raises suspicions when the doctors reach the village and their mobile signals cease to exist. The villagers are not responsive either, an ominous tell-tale sign. The objective is to find Doctor Lorenzo, who is nowhere to be seen, and once they reach the health center, they are surrounded by the entire village who heckle them, a lady called Zulmira leading the charge, eventually pushing them back into the river.
And this is where the Netflix series gives us a middle-man in “Missionaries of Death” — Mateus (Mariano Mattos Martins) arrives on the scene, apparently angry for presenting a wrong impression to their guests and showing an unusual early liking to Lúcia. As the audience, we know we cannot trust Mateus, and it is confirmed a few scenes later when he angrily berates the villagers and lectures Doctor Lorenzo for not being at the scene to take the vaccine pack so that the doctors can swiftly depart. The Chosen One gives us an odd, quirky set-up very early on.
Episode 1 tells the story of a well-run cult that is accustomed to their ways; once we meet Doctor Lorenzo (Kiko Vianello), who is flagrantly drunk, it’s realized that the entire village is a meant to be a well-oiled smoke-screen to deter visitors. He’s not an operating doctor — Lorenzo is a front. The condition provided by Mateus is that the villagers will take the vaccine, only if Doctor Lorenzo injects them.
Episode 1, “Missionaries of Death” sideswipes the audience by randomly providing flashbacks of Lúcia’s childhood, with her father having health problems, but due to religion, her mother refuses blood transfusions. Stories like this verily annoy me as someone that chooses science over faith. The flashback is useful, serving a point regarding Lúcia’s future choices in the Netflix series. The Chosen One confirms Lúcia as the principled leader in the story.
The vaccines are eventually delivered to the villagers, but the twist was forthcoming – after Damião receives a tip from a creepy older woman, they realize that the vaccines were swapped for fakes, prompting Lúcia to request the military police transport them back to Aguazul, almost as a way of intimidating the community.
When you think the series could not get any weirder, The Chosen One season 1, episode 1, “Missionaries of Death” ends with Mateus asking Lúcia for a late night discussion regarding the vaccinations. He is determined to convince the doctor that no-one gets sick in the village, and in fact, nobody dies unless they choose to. The opening chapter ends with Mateus slitting his throat to an understandably shocked Lúcia, and it quickly switches to a dark screen to complete the cliffhanger.
Our coverage of The Chosen One season 1 does not end here. You can read the recap of episode 2 by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.