The Innocent episode 2 recap – from the window, to the floor confessions

April 30, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

The Innocent episode 2 changes focus to introduce a new character and another mystery that eventually ties in with what we’ve already seen. But just what is going on here?

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3.5

Summary

The Innocent episode 2 changes focus to introduce a new character and another mystery that eventually ties in with what we’ve already seen. But just what is going on here?

This recap of The Innocent episode 2 contains spoilers.


If you were wondering what happened after the end of the previous episode, well, you’re going to have to wait, because the second episode of Harlen Coben and Oriol Paulo’s The Innocent changes focus entirely. The opening moments of this chapter introduce us to homicide detective Lorena Ortiz (Alexandra Jiménez), first as a child accidentally witnessing the suicide of her beloved father, and then as a careerist adult shaped by that loss and personally requested to investigate a suicide at the Catholic orphanage where her uncaring mother abandoned her as a child.

The Innocent episode 2 replicates the second-person narration that gave us a cliffs notes version of Mat’s backstory; it establishes Lorena as driven, haunted, and capable of deception, such as in how she never told her boxing trainer and boyfriend that she aborted his baby, terrified of starting a family that resembled the only one she’d known. She’s personally sought after for the orphanage case since the headmistress, Baltierre, knows she’s sturdy and will understand how Catholicism considers suicide. Obviously, it wouldn’t do for a nun at a prestigious Catholic institution to be throwing herself out of a window, so the matter needs to be kept quiet, even if a torn-up photograph of a girl in a nightclub with the words “forgive me” written on the back in the nun’s handwriting suggest that suicide is the least of the problems this case might present.

Maria Calvo, it turns out, is a ghost. None of the Maria Calvos the police have on file are the victim, and the convent where she spent many years before arriving at this one has burned to the ground, taking its records with it. She presumably had fake papers, but nobody ever suspected anything. She doesn’t seem to be a particularly good nun, either, since at the morgue Lorena learns that a) she had fake breasts, b) she has a tattoo reading “Hannibal”, the Carthaginian general who led war elephants against the Roman Republic in the Second Punic War, and c) she had sex, “front and back”, the very night she died. Hardly a beacon of Catholic chastity.

One of the sheepish-looking students, Claudia, tells Lorena about a clandestine dare game that all the students play at some point, which is why she was roaming the halls in the middle of the night and witnessed a shady woman hurrying away. Claudia doesn’t know who she was, though, and Lorena’s efforts to trace Sister Maria’s implants through Tetco, the company that supplied them, prove fruitless without a warrant that she’s apparently not going to get.

Running parallel to all this in The Innocent episode 2 are various scenes of a woman (Juana Acosta) who looks very much like an older version of the one in Maria’s photograph — perhaps the same one Claudia saw roaming the orphanage’s halls. She’s clearly troubled, as becomes obvious in the shifty way she carries herself, and in a meeting with a therapist that implies there are things she can’t say out of fear of obligating him to break doctor-patient confidentiality. At the zoo, a man recognizes her from Marbella years ago and says her name is Emma, but she hurries away from him.

Despite the adversity she’s facing from higher-ups, Lorena nonetheless returns to the crime scene with forensics and makes some more observations, which are interspersed with flashes of what looks to be someone else clearing the room up in the first place. The chair was moved from the middle of the room; a note was partially flushed down the toilet; the pillowcase has been changed. Lorena tells the mortician to reconstruct Sister Maria’s face, an unenviable task given how mangled it is, to see if there are cotton fibers from the pillowcase in the mouth and throat.

The Innocent episode 2 also introduces Teo (Jose Coronado), from the Special Crimes Unit, who is particularly interested in Sister Maria. It was him who stopped Lorena from being able to look Maria up through her breast implants. His superior insists he drop everything else he’s working on and pursue this immediately. It’s obvious that Maria was hiding from someone at the orphanage, and with the Special Crimes Unit looking for her, what might she have been up to?

The note from Maria’s room yields lipstick and a phone number for a guy named Antoni, who is promptly called into the station and confesses to sleeping with Maria the night she died. He’s a serial cheat and an abuser of his wife, but did he kill Maria? He claims not to have. He says he simply dropped her off on a street somewhere and left, and this turns out to be true, which we see on CCTV and in flashback after the mortician reveals to Lorena that there were cotton fibers found in her trachea as if she was gasping for her beneath something made of cotton. A pillowcase, maybe? Either way, suffocation becomes a viable cause of death, and the facial reconstruction is what triggers the flashback we see of Maria meeting Antoni in a bar, having sex with him, and then being dropped off by him, just as he claimed. Maria returns to the orphanage alone — this is when Claudia saw her — and hides the evidence of her excursion. Someone is hiding in her room, though, a man in a balaclava with a silenced pistol. He asks where “she” is, presumably referring to the picture, but Maria won’t say. He holds the pillow over her face and has her seated in the middle of the room, so Lorena’s discoveries at the scene are coming together. When Maria gets an opportunity, she throws herself from the window and falls to her death.

The CCTV footage reveals that the would-be assassin staggered out of the orphanage after this and braced himself on a car to vomit — not exactly a hardened killer, then. Crespo (Javier Beltrán) is able to dust that car for prints, while Baltierre identifies a suspicious call in the logs that she can’t explain. As the episode concludes, we see Teo arrive at the morgue, asking to see Maria’s body, and Lorena arrives at a house where she pushes a note reading “Call me as soon as you can” under the door. Seconds later, Mat opens the door.

Now, look, I’m writing these one at a time without having seen the rest of the season, so you’ll have to forgive a little bit of my confusion here. But “Emma” and Sister Maria look really alike, to the extent that I’d say they’re the same person, except when we first see “Emma” she’s hopping on a bus outside the orphanage as the police pull up outside — after Maria’s death, then. So, twins? Possibly, and that would explain the torn-up photograph; I can very much see that being put back together to reveal the two of them together. While Maria is being interrogated by the man in the balaclava, she has vague flashbacks to what looked like a couple of women dumping a body out of a boat. Anyway, I’m just bringing this up because it wasn’t entirely clear what timeline the “Emma” stuff took place in, they seemed to be wearing the exact same coat, and the reconstructed face of the victim didn’t actually look much like either of them. I’m assuming that’s just a consequence of it being hastily sewn back together, though, and I’m probably just being paranoid. But twins, right? We’re going with twins.

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