Eric’s rash decision pays off in “There Is No Turning Back”, but the investigation might get him a lot more than he bargained for.
This recap of Invisible City season 1, episode 2, “There Is No Turning Back”, contains spoilers.
With Eric having crossed a line in the premiere, Invisible City episode 2 lives up to its title of “There Is No Turning Back” by opening with him burning his clothes, covering up the evidence of him having dumped the dolphin-turned-human body in Cedar Forest. At home, he researches the legend of the river dolphin until Marcia calls him to inform him about the body.
Having also lied to Marcia about taking the dolphin to Veterinary Forensics, Eric is walking a fine line. But he gets what he wants since he and Marcia are present at the crime scene alongside the homicide department, represented by an unpleasant guy named Mario who is dismissive of the environmental police’s function. It’s obvious why Eric did what he did, given how little respect his department gets.
Ciço is present in the forest, and while he says he recognizes the victim, he also claims not to have seen him in a while. The rest of the locals are similarly tight-lipped, shutting up shop as Eric and Marcia canvass the area, but Eric being Gabi’s wife does him some favours with her pregnant friend, Fabiana, who we met very briefly in the previous episode. She lets on that the dead dude’s name was Manaus, but João interrupts before she can reveal more much more. Manaus was always getting into trouble, apparently, drinking and womanizing, which ties in with the dolphin legend, and he was apparently not shy about telling the locals not to sell their land off to the developers. When Fabiana learns that Manaus is dead she has a little panic attack and the conversation is brought to an abrupt end.
Meanwhile, in Invisible City episode 2, Ciço goes to see Inês and tells her about Manaus being found in the forest. She knew he was dead, but not that he had been dumped there, and she immediately figures out that Eric is to blame, though she’s not yet sure why. Here in “There Is No Turning Back” is where we begin to get a real sense of the power of these modern-day deities. First, there’s Isac’s facility for appearing and disappearing as though he’s teleporting — fitting for a trickster type. Luna “summons” him with a trap, which he’s dismissive of, but the resemblance in her book between him and Saci is uncanny, and Luna obviously isn’t one to have the wool pulled over her eyes. When she asks him about Curupira, though, he distracts her and vanishes, helping to set up a later appearance of this mythical figure who, you’ll recall, we saw a brief and violent glimpse of in the first episode’s opening.
And then there’s Inês, who infiltrates the morgue in a gorgeous transition that sees her transform from a butterfly into herself, bathed in darkness. She lulls the guard to sleep with song and is able to find Manaus’s body, at which point we’re treated to a brief flashback of her finding him, very drunk, in a bar. He was clearly a liability, and remains so in death, but not for long. Inês summons a kaleidoscope of butterflies — that’s the real collective noun! — which alight on Manaus’s corpse and spirit it away. Inês later explains to Camila and Tutu that he’s now part of legend, but she can’t explain his white eyes that imply his soul had been sucked out — she knows Eric has something to do with it, though.
Speaking of Eric, Fabiana calls him in Invisible City season 1, episode 2, and says she’s willing to talk about Manaus. As it turns out, João used to be her fiance until the developers arrived and he, after a lifetime spent trying to be successful and leave his stifling hometown, abandoned his principles in order to cozy up to them. This pushed Fabiana away, and she fell into the arms of Manaus instead, someone who was very much about that conservationist life and who, according to everything we’ve heard about him thus far, was more than willing to keep his arms open wide for ladies of his general acquaintance. Fabiana’s unborn baby is his, and João didn’t take that news well. It seems Gabi was the only one to treat Fabiana without judgment, explaining her willingness to trust Eric. But while Eric almost immediately confronts João about what he has learned, he has an alibi proving he was out of town when the fire went down.
But “There Is No Turning Back” at least justifies Eric’s rash decision to dump Manaus’s body in the forest, since that and his disappearing corpse convince Ivo to authorize an investigation by the Environmental Police. They immediately requisition CCTV footage and visitor lists from the morgue, where Eric spies a butterfly on the wall, its papery wing obscuring the camera footage. Working late, he finds that the Cafofo Bar, where Inês and her crew chill, uses butterfly imagery. When he visits, he finds Tutu on the door and Inês all smiles inside, offering him the signature drink. But he’s enraptured by a song that Camila sings siren-style, reducing him to teary recollections of Gabi and vocalized anxieties about being a single parent to Luna. When he comes to, he’s in the water, and Camila, now a fish monster, drags him into the depths below.