The Barrier season 1, episode 4 recap – what happened in “Skin Contact”?

October 3, 2020
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Recaps


Episode 4 is action-filled but also contradicts some of the rules — there’s still promise in the story as Hugo and Julia get closer to the truth.

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Episode 4 is action-filled but also contradicts some of the rules — there’s still promise in the story as Hugo and Julia get closer to the truth.

This recap of Netflix’s The Barrier season 1, episode 4, “Skin Contact” contains significant spoilers.

We will be recapping this weekly — check out the archive.

The opening

Episode 4 begins with Hugo lifting the cover of the dead body — it’s not Marta; it’s Felipe. But then he sees body fridges and starts looking through them. None of them is Marta. Meanwhile, police forces enter the building looking for them. The officer declares it as a false alarm but they aren’t out of the frying pan that quickly.

Seeing Marta

Episode 4 sees Hugo being crippled by the love of his daughter as he is desperate to see her again, understandably.

Julia and Hugo continue walking through the facility and they hear children singing. Hugo sees Marta but Julia has to calm him down. Hugo knocks on the room that children are asleep and whispers Marta’s name. She gets up to greet her father. She tells him “It doesn’t hurt”. Suddenly, officers are heading upstairs and they need to quickly go.

Do not mention my name

Alex continues to go on his own secret mission — I’m pretty confident Hugo is unaware that the uncle is trying to find Marta as well — it might be best that they communicate with each other?

Alex relives his moments with the nurse — he’s probably more gutted that she was a worldie than the fact that she tried to kill him. Emilia gives him an address to visit and a code to get in. She tells him not to mention her name.

Alex visits the address and uses the code given to him by Emilia. They ask who gave him the code and he shows them a handbook with people’s names who are in danger. They knock him out for not giving a name.


Julia and Hugo continue to attempt to escape the facility as the officers get closer. As they reach the roof, both characters have to jump from a roof onto a vehicle. Both characters have managed to flee successfully.

Give us back our daughter

The next part kind of doesn’t make sense in the context of this dark, corrupt, Big Brother world.

Julia and Hugo head to Luis’s place and they demand to talk to Luis. Hugo talks to Luis and about the CIM facility and demand that they free his daughter. Hugo is out of control and he’s restrained. Luis tells him to calm down. Julia explains how they entered the facility. Alma says it’s all a lie and storms off as Julia talks about children and a morgue. She uses Emilia’s name and states it is her granddaughter.

Luis speaks to Alma and says Julia is an old friend’s daughter and he is going to clear it up. Alma wants to join him but he tells her to relax and rest. It’s very clear in this scene that Luis knows nothing about the situation which irks Alma. She makes a call and triggers the eviction protocol.

The only thing that bugs me about this whole scene is that the rules have suddenly been relaxed by Julia and Hugo — suddenly, they can storm Luis’s house and have a civilized conversation about their daughter.

Show me

Hugo shows Luis what he saw however when they get to the room it is empty. Luis asks the doctor what this place is. Outside, Hugo hears the children getting escorted so he runs. He enters a van and asks for Marta. Luis sees the children in the van and he looks shocked. Marta is not there. She’s missing again.

Alma tells Julia that she isn’t valuable and if she and her daughter disappear, no-one will care. Julia holds herself together and tells Alma to rest. Meanwhile, the children are gassed in the van. One of the children in the van is Marta.

The lawyer from the registry

Alex seems to find himself tangled with women in this series and episode 4 shows the same pattern emerging.

He’s tied up and water is thrown over him to wake him up. He explains where he is from and that he met a pretty nurse who is a whistleblower — notice how he called the nurse pretty? He’s not over it — neither would I be. They threaten to kill him but then the lawyer from the registry that helped with his paperwork shows up. They let Alex go.

The next morning

Julia remembers a time she had sex with Carlos and it is torturing her mind. It’s the morning after and she is still at Luis’s residence. Rosa is disappointed that she shouted at her bosses — she lectures her about respect and how the minister protects her.

It’s a priority

Episode 4 sees how Luis is on Hugo’s side more than his wife.

The Major of the Security Bureau meets Luis after having a conversation with Alma. He tells him that finding Marta is a priority — he wants to be informed every step of the way. Hugo is still restless and Luis asks him to relax. He shows her a photo of his daughter. Luis tells him to not talk to him disrespectfully and that he will look into it himself.

The Major speaks to the doctor that works for Alma — he talks about how Alma gave him orders to test on children who showed antibodies to the disease and shows the reports.

Alma speaks to Luis after a long night and she makes out that she was deceived. He shows her a photo of Marta and tells her to find her.

At least tell me your name

The lawyer checks up on Alex who has had to sleep outside all night due to the curfew. Before he can ask more questions she has to go to work. He asks for a name but she smiles and walks off. Looks like he’s moved on from the nurse quickly — as we say, “we move”.

It’s been a while

Episode 4 reminds the viewers of the gap in wealth in this dystopian world.

Luis gives Julia and Hugo a ride home in his car. He talks about how it’s been a while since he’s been in the city and he cannot tell if it’s changed much. When they arrive, citizens admire the car as they don’t see it often. As Julia walks off, Luis asks her to say hello to her mother. But he gets the chance to say hello himself as Emilia invites him for dinner.

The police ask Julia to come to the station to talk about her sister. Julia agrees to come to the station and Hugo offers to join as well as her “Husband”.

You almost get the sense that Hugo and Julia will hook up eventually.

I’m not angry

We get a little bit of context to how Emilia and Luis know each other.

Emilia makes Luis beef stew. He tells her she hasn’t changed one bit. Emilia says he’s still good at lying and that he better live up to his promise to bring back his granddaughter. A flashback shows Emilia telling Luis that she’s marrying someone else and he drops a plate. Suddenly he isn’t hungry and wants to leave.

This is only a slither of the story — I’m sure it will be expanded even more.

The ending

Outside, Alex asks if he can join Luis in his car. Block Chief Begoña then tells Emilia that her daughter is at the Station. The scene flits to the station and they ask Julia about her sister. She denies her sister committed murder and that she knows nothing. The police officer shows her items that belonged to Carlos — she remembers being in bed with him and she is slightly dazed. She has to hold in the ears. He then shows her his ashes (he’s not dead so its evidently mind games). Julia manages to keep it together.

Episode 4 yet again relaxes the rules for this world as Luis just allows anyone to the other side now; it’s not about special permission or favors.

When Alex arrives at the residence, Luis offers to get him a pass. We learn that the lawyer is the daughter of Luis and Alex is shocked. Luis introduces his daughter (the name is revealed — Daniela) to Alex. She asks Alex what he’s doing.

Late in the night, Alma and Ivan visit the children in the van and they take Marta.

The Barrier season 1, episode 4 is action-filled but also contradicts some of the rules — there’s still promise in the story as Hugo and Julia get closer to the truth.

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