The Mess You Leave Behind or El desorden que dejas is a psychological thriller series created by Carlos Montero and based on the novel of the same name by Montero. The 8-episode-long series stars Inma Cuesta, Bárbara Lennie, Tamar Novas, Arón Piper, Roberto Enríquez.
Psychological thrillers, if done right, are a godsend. With twists, turns, lies, secrets, deceit and lots of death, they can make you forget where you are and how time flies by. That’s the gist of what your experience will be with The Mess You Leave Behind.
The Mess You Leave Behind follows two women – Raquel and Viruca, who are both high-school literature teachers of the same school. Well, these two women are present in two very different timelines and one joins after the death of the other, replacing her. In an effort to control her students and her life, one must find out the reason behind the other’s death but will she lose herself along the way?
The series’ biggest positive, for me, was its overlapping timelines. Raquel and Viruca’s lives never met, but they’re still intertwined with each other in the most intimate ways possible. At no point do we really see a clear distinction between these two worlds, but you won’t lose the strings of the story at any point either. The story deftly takes care of these two women’s stories and gives us a breath-taking 8 hours with amazing twists and turns along the way.
The Mess You Leave Behind does a great job at holding on to its tension throughout the journey. Whenever you feel like you’ve reached the answer to this tricky mystery, there are more secrets that come forth that makes the water murkier. All of these characters, especially our leading ladies, are various shades of grey. However, there’s something good in them regardless and that is how you push forth with supporting them on their quest – be it Raquel trying to win her students over or Viruca trying to find peace in her very disturbing life.
It’s also interesting to note that both Raquel and Viruca, although with very distinct personalities and traits, and very similar people. While Viruca is full of confidence and does not shy away to bare all to get her students’ trusts, Raquel is more fragile and one small jab from her students makes her visibly upset.
The series does a good job at portraying that although they are different, both of them have immense strength to ward off any adversary that comes their way. This is more apparent by how The Mess You Leave Behind is shot. Every time we make a jump from one timeline to another, it is made apparent as to where we are by the leading lady – they make the headline here.
The Mess You Leave Behind Ending Explained
The Mess You Leave Behind has a lot to unpack especially in its last two-or-so episodes. First of all, Viruca didn’t commit suicide. She hatched a plan with Mauro to blackmail Iago’s father Tomas and get some money since both of their parents were broke. This led her to discover a shocking truth about Tomas and Iago. When Tomas got to know about it, he killed her and framed it as suicide.
Iago confesses about his father’s deed and that’s how he is arrested for Viruca’s death. Tomas ran a sex racket and used his son in that mess as well. However, unlike how terrible he was throughout the series, he’s shown to be apologetic about what he has done and seems to have turned around. However, we don’t get to know if he gets to lead a normal life afterwards, with his father now in prison.
Raquel and German break up, and she goes on to become a writer, although they are in good terms with each other.
Summing up: The Mess You Leave Behind
The Mess You Leave Behind is a slow-burn series that keeps you on your toes and makes you scratch your head wondering who could be behind it all. It’s a series worth your time that’s extremely interesting and fun to watch.
The Mess You Leave Behind is streaming on Netflix.
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