The Mess You Leave Behind episode 2 recap – “They Know” murder, she wrote

December 11, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

“They Know” thickens the plot, as murder begins to look more likely than suicide, and Raquel starts to wonder if she might be next on the chopping block.

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3.5

Summary

“They Know” thickens the plot, as murder begins to look more likely than suicide, and Raquel starts to wonder if she might be next on the chopping block.

This recap of The Mess You Leave Behind episode 2, “They Know”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

Check out our spoiler-free season review.


The big idea of “They Know” is that Viruca didn’t commit suicide but was murdered, which was floated in the premiere but really calcifies here. Mauro, in particular, believes this to be the case. The episode opens with him hassling the police about their inaction, and let’s just say he doesn’t drop the matter from there.

It’s no wonder, really. The students are still trying to goad Raquel by comparing her to Viruca, pushing her to share something deeply personal with them as their previous teacher once did. This is a far too cozy teacher-student dynamic in my opinion, but nobody in the show seems to think it’s all that weird, least of all Viruca. She shares with the entire class how, at 16, she got pregnant and faked having been raped in order to trick her mother into allowing her an abortion.

As well as pushing the idea of Viruca’s murder, “They Know” is also about getting to know the students, mostly through the personal letters they write to Viruca in response to her own revelation. Roi has a particular focus in these missives, and he gives a lot away about himself, especially his unhealthy fascination with Iago, but it’s obvious that him, Iago, and Nerea are the suspicious triumvirate in this narrative and probably all have something or other to do with Viruca’s death.

We also see how Raquel is getting much more on-board with the idea of Viruca being murdered and looking into the matter herself, while also trying to maintain a certain amount of respect at school. When Marga attempts to intervene in the kids bullying her, Raquel won’t allow it, deciding she has to take charge instead and threatening the kids with failing them all if they don’t admit who left her the sinister note.

Raquel also has family issues to deal with, as her relationship with German takes another hit when they argue over his parents selling up the restaurant and him deciding to turn it into a B&B rather than continue being a writer.

But the real turning point comes at the end of “They Know” when Raquel receives not just messages from an unknown number but a video of her having sex with someone who clearly isn’t German. It seems these students, as well as being obnoxious, are a lot more in-the-know than they seem.


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