White Lines season 1, episode 3 recap – turning up the volume

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: May 15, 2020 (Last updated: December 5, 2023)
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White Lines season 1, episode 3 recap - turning up the volume


Things take a violent turn in White Lines Episode 3, as the hunt for Axel’s killer claims some victims of its own.

This recap of White Lines season 1, episode 3, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

Check out our spoiler-free season review.

Check out the episode guide.

Picking up right from where we left off, White Lines Episode 3 finds Zoe and Boxer making an urgent getaway, with the former exhibiting some heretofore unmentioned driving techniques while the latter pitches bricks of cocaine out of the window. Since one of the packages is split, it spills all over the car’s interior and Boxer has to hoover it up, making a nice mix of comedy and action in a well-shot opening sequence. When they’re finally forced to pull over in front of the police, Boxer asks the obvious question: “Where the hell did you learn to drive like that?” The answer: “Manchester”.

That’s where we go next, back to 1996 again, as Axel is saying goodbye to Zoe. He’s going to Ibiza in large part to run away from his father, who apparently isn’t well. He plans to take Zoe with him, but she decides against it; later in the episode, she reasons that this was perhaps a braver decision than she thought.

Despite some blagging on Boxer’s part, Zoe is charged with reckless driving. She could be looking at a couple of years in a Spanish prison and has to keep checking in with the judge every three days before the hearing, which you can tell is going to cause some scheduling conflicts.

Meanwhile in White Lines Episode 3, we see a bit of the deeply odd relationship between Oriol and Conchita. He’s fretting because investors keep backing out of the casino deal, but doesn’t seem particularly bothered about seeing his mother’s naked body. Is he used to it? Time will tell. Either way, she asks him if he knows who killed Axel and he says that yes, he just might, which is rather convenient. More on this shortly.

Zoe and Boxer run into Marcus at the hospital, and it makes it clear what happened: The Romanians broke his leg because the drugs were missing, and they’re going after his girls next, so he needs the cocaine back immediately. Which is obviously a problem, since Boxer threw it all out of the window during the high-speed chase. He and Zoe return to look for it, but there’s little hope of finding it. Zoe calls Mike, her husband, while Boxer racks up a few lines of coke from the recovered car hoover. Why not, at this point? Boxer reveals to Zoe that Axel suspected Oriol of having burned down one of his clubs, which leads us into a flashback of Axel meeting young Boxer, young Oriol, and young Conchita. He and the latter listen to Mozart together. “It’s pretty much techno,” he explains, which is hilarious. He also lays eyes on Kika for the first time, though she’s loved up with Cristobal.

In the present-day, Kika isn’t loved up, but she’s spending her time having women over which Andreu feels is an attempt at provoking him. She counters, not unreasonably, that bringing her here and then springing on her that he wants her to take over the business is pretty provocative too. Their relationship is obviously strained, though Andreu tries to justify it as having wanted to keep her away from the Ibiza nightlife that he was suddenly controlling. It’s a fair point.

Zoe and Boxer, meanwhile, argue about Marcus’s plight. Earlier they’d had a heated discussion about drugs, and here Zoe explains why she took lithium, and how Axel’s death affected her. Boxer declares he’s going to sort out the mess, but it doesn’t become obvious quite how much he means it until a bit later.

Until then, Zoe calls Marcus at the hospital. He’s still fuming and won’t speak to her. Kicking off with the nurses until he’s allowed to use his phone, he calls Boxer, who has left his phone with Zoe, and she answers again. Finally admitting defeat, Marcus asks her to retrieve his kids from school. She gets a lift from Kika in order to do so, and they start to bond.

White Lines Episode 3 fills us in on Oriol’s “investigation”, which is essentially to force Cristobal into admitting that he killed Axel, even though it’s clear to everyone that he didn’t. Nevertheless, Oriol’s goons lift a drug-addled Cristobal away in a portaloo and strap him to a wall of speakers playing pounding techno in the hopes he’ll confess, which he doesn’t. When Oriol arrives to personally oversee the interrogation, Cristobal starts screaming that he killed Axel because he was having sex with Conchita. Dirt! Oriol, making himself look deeply suspicious, turns up the volume until Cristobal’s eardrums rupture.

After their heart-to-heart, Zoe and Kika grab Marcus’s girls, including the gobby older one, unfortunately, and take them on a road trip. However, the girls spot their dog roaming alone at the side of the road, and stop to pick it up. They make a run for it.

In a shocking but rather welcome development, Boxer goes to see Grigor and Yuri. The former, he kills with a giant fishing hook and hangs from the rigging. The latter, he knocks overboard and then skewers with a harpoon. Both things he’s pretty blase about, which suggests killing people and dumping their bodies in the ocean comes quite naturally to him. That either bodes very well or extremely poorly for Zoe, depending on his things go.

And by the end of White Lines Season 1, Episode 3, they’re not going well at all, since she confesses to the police.

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