Control Z Season 3 review – teen hackers fight for their futures once again

July 6, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
3

Summary

The final season of Control Z doesn’t feel like anything new, but it has enough twists and turns to sustain an audience excited to see the conclusion.

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3

Summary

The final season of Control Z doesn’t feel like anything new, but it has enough twists and turns to sustain an audience excited to see the conclusion.

This review of Control Z Season 3 review is spoiler-free.

You can check out all of our previous coverage of this show by clicking these words.


Control Z is one of those strange middle-ground shows that is just intriguing enough to sustain an audience until the end but not so intriguing as to linger in the memory for very long afterward. I’ve covered both prior seasons extensively, and I still found myself doing some detective work at the beginning of this new (and final) season, trying to remember who’s who and what’s what. In part, that’s because the story is relatively complex, with a big-ish ensemble cast and a nest of interweaving relationships and rivalries. But it’s also because despite the immense popularity the Mexican teen drama garnered when it debuted during the Covid-19 pandemic, it just isn’t that good.

Not that it’s bad, of course, but you can really feel the story has run out of road in this final clutch of eight episodes. All three seasons have followed the same essential structure: A hacker begins tormenting a group of high-school students by disseminating their most closely-guarded secrets, so the students, but primarily socially introverted Holmesian amateur sleuth Sofia (Ana Valeria Becerril), try to get to the bottom of who’s tormenting them and why. What has changed across the seasons is the relationships between those characters and the underlying stakes, especially since the Season 2 finale saw the core cast agreeing to cover up the accidental death of National School Principal Susana.

The third season picks up 15 months later, with the students, relatively secure in the pact they made to never speak of their involvement in Susana’s death, on the cusp of graduation and beginning to think about their personal futures. Sofia and Javi (Michael Ronda) are together. Raul (Yankel Stevan) is trying to sustain his party-hard lifestyle despite some crippling financial woes. Gerry (Patricio Gallardo) is in a rehabilitation center for young offenders. And so on, and so forth. But the reemergence of the @_allyoursecrets_ handle from the first season throws the entire group into disarray as another torrent of personal secrets threatens to be revealed, among them the circumstances of Susana’s death.

So, the stakes are higher, admittedly, but there’s still a feeling of having seen all this before. The characters feel it, too. They’re fed up with being constantly harassed and having their futures constantly thrown into serious jeopardy, and you can understand the feeling as a viewer, even if it’s hard to sympathize with the sheer number of bad decisions that they keep making. You’d think kids who have constantly been under surveillance and had the deepest aspects of their lives turned into viral videos would be a little more cautious, and that logical inconsistency conspires to make this outing feel a little more tired than the previous ones.

And these guys just don’t have that many more things going on in their lives, leading to a slightly reiterative feeling, especially for Gerry, who once again finds himself in a setting where he has to keep his sexuality close to his chest. That subplot has a decent payoff, but it doesn’t illuminate anything new about the character. I also continue to be unconvinced by Sofia’s apparently considerable deductive reasoning skills — in many ways, it feels like she’s the one who figures things out because she’s the only one who can be bothered.

Nevertheless, there’s a twisty enough plot across these eight episodes that fans of the show — and they’re certainly out there — will get their fill. With graduation working as a kind of ticking-clock device, there’s a welcome feeling that this season will be the last, and that helps to enhance the drama a little. Still, I’m glad it’s ending now, feeling like it has run its course, than at some point in the future when it had long-since jumped the shark.

You can stream Control Z Season 3 exclusively on Netflix.

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