Mortel Season 1, Episode 1, “Super Bad” is confusing for the viewer as it is a muddled but confusing start to the supernatural crime series.
This recap of Netflix series Mortel Season 1, Episode 1, “Super Bad” contains significant spoilers. You can read the season 1 review by clicking these words.
We get a taste of what our lead character is like in Mortel Episode 1, “Super Bad”. Sofiane (Carl Malapa) is running away from his enemies and his friends do not want to hang out with him anymore. The Hall Monitor Kaina catches him trying to hit the smoke alarm. The counsellor insists that his behaviour must stop and references that his brother Reda Kada ran away. Sofiane tries hitting a weak spot by offending her, but it does not work.
Moments after, Victor confronts Sofiane and asks about his missing brother. Sofiane rejects his offer and cruelly raises how Victor tried killing himself. Our broody lead character has a nasty side to him.
He’s also got a girlfriend called Melanie, and he kisses her passionately in the corridors. She has a go at him, but he sweet talks Melanie, insisting they can have a normal night in.
It’s easy to have mixed feelings for Sofiane.
Mortel Episode 1, “Super Bad” introduces the audience to Luisa, who is talking about her drawings to a teacher. She wants to tell her story through art as a young black girl. The teacher is prepping Luisa for an interview.
Sofiane’s day gets worse as one of his brother’s friends confronts him. Sofiane suggests that the boys confronting him are in a sexual relationship so one of them punches him square in the face. He’s not a popular kid it seems.
We get insight into Sofiane’s family life in Episode 1, “Super Bad”. When he returns home, his father is angry at him for putting up missing person flyers for his brother. Sofiane goes upstairs and rolls a spliff — ready for a chilled night. He senses a strange disturbance and walks on to his balcony. There are red flashes appearing in the corner of his eye, and a man with red glasses turns up behind him. Sofiane runs away but soon hurts himself. The man calls himself Obe and he states, “I’m here for your brother”. Obe shows Sofiane a vision of his brother in a struggle. Obe asks Sofiane to bring someone to him — a trade for his brother to live.
Now that Sofiane is embarking with something supernatural, his approach to others seems a little different. In class, Victor reads an excerpt from a book and begins crying. After the class, Sofiane tries talking to Victor and apologizes for his behavior and accepts his help. Sofiane is cunning too.
Episode 1 then brings us back to Luisa who is having a hard time with her boyfriend Bastien who is desperate for more commitment. He wants to meet her grandmother but Luisa warns him against it. When Luisa returns home, her grandma asks for help. Luisa enters the living room to see weird concoctions — her grandma is into voodoo magic. There’s a naked man on the table and her grandma tries talking to the evil spirit inside of him, asking him to leave the body. After an intense five minutes of the spirit fighting against Luisa and her grandma, the spirit gives up. The man thanks Luisa’s grandma for helping with his cancer.
Back to Sofiane who is walking around the block putting up posters with Victor. Obe appears and tells Sofiane to push Victor off the edge of a high-rise building or his brother will die. Obe talks about sacrifice and Sofiane opts to commit suicide to help his brother. Meanwhile, Luisa’s grandma feels something.
Sofiane stands on the edge of the ledge, but Victor stops him from jumping — “murder is not suicide”. Obe talks about Reda’s soul and how he helps transfers souls from the living and the dead. Obe shows a vision of Reda getting stabbed. On the way home, Sofiane tells Victor that Reda is dead and he is not sure how to tell his parents.
Victor returns home and his mother is desperately worried. Sofiane meets Melanie and she’s angry with him for now showing up for their “normal date”. She sees he is upset and lets him into her home. While Sofiane sleeps with Melanie, Victor draws on his walls. Two characters, two different outlets.
The next day, Sofiane speaks to Luisa about her grandma’s business and asks if she could control a God. Luisa advises Sofiane to stay away from powerful beings.
Sofiane decides to call Obe out and claims he will kill the person who killed his brother. Sofiane makes a deal with Obe but says there need to be two people in the dead. Sofiane chases after Victor and they make a blood oath.
Mortel Season 1, Episode 1, “Super Bad” ends with Sofiane in class. A teacher has a go at him, and somehow Sofiane controls the teacher and forces him to bang his head against the wall repeatedly. The opening episode is a muddled start but there’s something in this story that can definitely grow into something better.
You can read the recap of 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.