“Good Morning, Veronica” opens by making its intentions clear: This is going to be a story about the abuse of women.
This recap of Good Morning, Veronica episode 1, “Good Morning, Veronica”, contains spoilers.
There’s a fair amount going on in the opening of Good Morning, Veronica, the first episode of which is pointlessly titled the same thing. We begin with the contrasting morning routines of Veronica — she wakes up in bed with her partner and child to several alarms set a couple of minutes apart — and an initially anonymous woman, her mouth blistered and her eyes damp, sending a desperate email that subsequently bounces. Both women end up in the police station at the same time, where the father of a woman who has been raped and murdered runs into her killer thanks to a negligent bit of timing. The distraught father pulls a gun on the man, and in the ensuing scuffle, the woman, whose name we learn was Marta Campos, picks up the gun and uses it to blow her head off.
In the aftermath of this tragedy, the police want to bury it, which Veronica is disgusted by. When she gives Marta a once-over in the mortuary, she somehow determines from her chipped fingernails that she was depressed and looking for help that nobody was willing to give her. At home, she tells her partner to hold her. Talk about a bad day at work.
We’re subsequently introduced to Janete Cruz, who has just been discharged from the hospital and is being medicated and tended to by her husband, to whom she apologizes. The implication from their dialogue is that she has miscarried; this dude wants a son, and he doesn’t seem like he’d be willing to budge on that issue.
Back at the precinct, Carlos Alberto, some kind of local politician, visits Wilson Carvana, soon-to-be-retired police chief and surrogate uncle of Veronica, to let him know how much negative press is being drummed up by the viral video of Marta’s suicide that is doing the rounds. With the urgency surrounding the case, Veronica finesses the go-ahead to look into Marta, who we quickly learn was registered with a dating site.
Marta wasn’t drunk or on drugs beyond antidepressants, but her mouth ulcers were a side effect of Rohypnol. As the case gets juicier, Wilson wants Veronica off it, but she isn’t keen on that idea. Instead, she pokes around Marta’s place and spots a suspicious-looking dude on the premises, who is presumed by her and Anita, the no-nonsense detective, to be Pietro, the man who catfished Marta on the dating site. But there isn’t any more conclusive evidence there. These two women have radically divergent methods and interpretations of the case. Veronica is empathetic and sees Marta entirely as a victim, whereas Anita sees her more as an idiot who fell for an obvious ruse. Veronica also takes the case home with her; her kids have seen the viral video, and when she tries to get freaky with her husband, she imagines Marta’s ulcers, which isn’t exactly conducive to romance.
Also not conducive to romance: Whatever weird controlling business is going on with Janete and her fella, who she ever-so-politely asks for some money to buy something nice for dinner, and finishes the remains of his breakfast after he leaves for work. What exactly is going on here isn’t clear in Good Morning, Veronica episode 1, but some kind of domestic abuse seems a very safe bet at this point. When she returns home after shopping, she removes the labels from the purchases so she can hide the change in a little stash, and she makes a phone call to her sister but can’t bring herself to say anything. It seems that this show is going to be very strongly about the abuse of women, depression, and coping with a fraught existence, which is made clear when snippets of Janete and Marta are spliced in with a speech Veronica gives to her colleague about all of these themes. It doesn’t work as natural dialogue, but it gets the point across.
While she and her partner, or I suppose captor, eat, Janete spills food on his shirt, which sets him off. He berates Janete about how worthless she is; at serving food, at being a mother. He confronts her about calling her sister. He tears his shirt off like the Hulk. And then he does what all abusers do — offhandedly mentions that the food is tasty and carries on as though nothing has happened.
Veronica figures out that Marta met Pietro through a dating site called Ideal Love, but her suspicions won’t do as evidence. She gives a statement to the press, though, encouraging any women in similar situations to come forward, and Janete hears it on the television — it seems very much like she’s making coded notes in her puzzle book, which I’m sure will be important later. But in the meantime, her husband forces her out to entice a young woman with the prospect of a well-paid maid job; he bundles the young girl in the back of his car.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.