The second season of Antena 3’s Sin Identidad (No Identity) hits the ground running. It continues in 2011 Madrid when María (Megan Montaner) successfully returns to Spain after being incarcerated in China for ten years. She now calls herself Mercedes Dantes, the kickass version of her former self. She now sports shorter and darker hair, colored contact lens and oversized glasses. To top her not-so-drastic (or Superman-like) physical transformation, she wears mostly black leather and totes a handgun she can barely hold. Although her appearance does not change greatly, she is not the same person who was shipped to China a decade before. The present day María lives and breathes to kill those who played a role in her “death”.
With her camera and long lens, she stalks her family members and finds out that they have moved on with their lives after they buried her. Luisa (Lydia Bosch) and Francisco (Jordi Rebellón) separated years ago. Luisa fills the emptiness in her life with her work at her foundation while Francisco finds a younger and warmer woman who is able to give him a María Junior (Ariadna Polanco). Enrique (Tito Valverde) is a major player in the health sector, giving him unprecedented access to money and power. Amparo (Verónica Sánchez) and Bruno (Miguel Angel Muñoz) are proud parents to Enrique “Quiqui” Vergel (Mateo Jalón), the second cutest boy I have seen on TV (after Bran of Game of Thrones). Amparo still wears fishnet stockings but she pairs them with clothes that cost ten times as much as her annual salary before. To her dismay, her supposedly incorruptible boyfriend Juan (Daniel Grao) works for Enrique, and is in a relationship with Helena Prats (Silvia Alonso), the heiress to a huge pharmaceutical corporation. It should be noted that Helena’s mother, Miriam (Mar Regueras), is Enrique’s partner in his schemes.
María forgets about Pablo (Eloy Azorín), but Pablo believes that she is alive and keeps tabs on internet searches about her. Time has been kind to Pablo; he lives and works in a two-storey house with skylight, has better clothes that fit well and most importantly, he looks cuter. 🙂 So we know whom I am rooting for in Pablo-María-Juan love triangle. Unfortunately, Pablo has found love in Eva (Andrea del Río).
Pablo finds María and promises to help her after she tells him the despicable things that happened to her in China. After laying some groundwork of lies, María returns to China, calls her family to give them the shock of their lives that she is alive, flies back to Madrid, feigns amnesia when she sees them and claims that she can only remember events that occurred before she met her biological mother. All of them believe her story hook, line and sinker. To give her a stable family, Luisa begs Francisco to pretend to be together. Enrique pretends to be the doting uncle and not the uncle responsible for her kidnapping.
María is a busy girl. She works closely with Luisa and Juan at the foundation. She perfects revenge plotting while making out with Pablo and Juan and wrecking two romantic relationships in the process. She unearths dirt on Enrique right under his nose while using his swimming pool to relax and his grounds to meditate. Unknown to him, she tries to take him down a couple of times but her cunning is matched by Enrique’s forethought and his driver/bodyguard/gofer boy/hitman Álex’s (Raúl Prieto) efficient work.
Amparo, who has a greater role in the second season than in the first, is not to be outdone by her sister. She has her own axe to grind, too. In the eyes of Enrique and Luisa, she is just a prostitute who got lucky that a man of Bruno’s stature impregnated her. They never respect her opinion and look down on her, from the way she dresses to the food she serves at a party. To prove them right she uses her body to get results. She achieves a certain level of success with this until she blackmails and almost murders Enrique to secure her son’s future. This is where she finds out that it is hard to play ball with the big boys. In addition to her role as one of the thorns on her father-in-law’s side, she is also the biggest friend AND foe of María. Scenes that feature the sisters are almost always entertaining, with one confiding to the other about boy problems or murder plots.
The last four episodes of Sin Identidad are excessively explosive with astonishing confessions, beautiful betrayal, overflowing sex, and violent deaths. The fast-paced storytelling enables the show to pack several major events in each 75-minute episode.
The show finale is one of my favorites on TV ever. I was in a bind for the most part – I wanted the good guy (or girl) to win in the end, but Enrique is just so deliciously evil and wickedly smart that I would not mind him escaping unscathed and live out the last of his days in a remote beach in Mexico, sipping margaritas in Hawaiian shirts. His message to Quiqui touched my heart and I just wanted to hug Enrique, Quiqui or Han Solo. I am not choosy. Not. At. All. What I want to happen is too much even for the fantastic world of TV, but Enrique’s last scene is fitting for a character so real and so beautifully flawed that I am not complaining. I know I digress somewhere in this paragraph.
Sin Identidad continues with María’s revenge, and this time she focuses her attention on Amparo. This is the twist I did not foresee but thoroughly enjoyed. As they say, revenge is dish best served cold.
My Favorite Characters
Pablo – He is the moral compass of the show, even if his moral compass is a little skewed at times because it points to María’s well-being and not to real justice. His metamorphosis from loser-nerd to cool-nerd between seasons 1 and 2 is just the cherry on top of a delectable ice cream cone with one scoop each of intelligence, loyalty and bravado. He is a successful entrepreneur, loving brother and passionate lover to Eva and María. And he has sniper friends so that is +1000 pogi points.
Enrique – He is the perfect villain, and should be up there with the wicked stepmothers of the fairytales of my youth. He has money, political clout and respectable public persona that he uses for detestable deeds. Moreover, he is a thinking antagonist who has forethought on top of another forethought. He has plans A, B and C. And when plans A, B and C all go to hell, he has driver/bodyguard/gofer boy/hitman Álex to do the dirty work for him. His evil is just one side of him. He is also a loving brother and a caring grandfather. He is loyal to those he loves and generous to those he trusts.
Amparo – She is one hellion of a woman – in bed and out of it. She has that survival instinct borne out of poverty. She knows how to fight for what is hers and how to keep it. Despite her shortcomings as a daughter, sister and wife, she is a good mother to Quiqui. Her breakdown scene in the hotel room with Enrique and Bruno is masterful. On a lighter note, she rocks all her outfits, even the studded jacket and shoes. The scene where she and Quiqui are leaving the Vergel house shows her walking with so much confidence, with her fashionable clothes and purse, only for her to have an emotional breakdown inside the cab. Perfection.
My Favorite Bromances
Enrique and Álex – What is not to love? An old intellectual in suits, albeit corrupt and murderous one and a young, hot killing machine in leather jacket join forces to wreak havoc in Madrid. For the most part, they seem like equal, with Álex giving suggestions on how to eliminate a threat and Enrique agreeing with his hitman’s plans. They are the dynamic duo of deception and death.
Pablo and his desktop/laptop – For more than half of the show, Pablo and his gadgets were inseparable. His technological gifts saved his life and María’s several times. They are also the source of his income and free time to do María’s bidding.
Amparo and her cigarette – Technically, not a bromance, but let us say it is, just for the fun of it. Amparo’s cigarette is her unchangingly faithful companion. They were together when she was poor and they were still together when she became Mrs. Vergel with all the perks that go with her new surname. She lights it after the death of her mother, after lovemaking, after a fight, after hearing stressful news, and after committing a crime or two, among others. She is (or was?) asthmatic, by the way.
Things I Learned from Sin Identidad (that might be useful in the not-so-distant future)
1. If I commit any crime, I will make sure that I turn the CCTV off before I do it or destroy the original and copies of the recordings after I do it.
2. If I jot down bribes and/or money I pilfer from someone else’s account, I will make sure that I will not write them on a notebook with no lock and key like some giggling schoolgirl’s diary.
3. If my phone contains incriminating information, I will make sure to use a password that will take hours, if not days, to crack.
4. If I have a safe or drawer that contains my medicine for some terminal sickness, I will make sure NOT to keep the key in spitting distance of said safe or drawer.
5. This is a two-part learning: If I live in a house with glass walls, a) I will make sure to do my scheming in a secured location. Never in an area where my daughter-in-law who hates me can hear. b) If I make-out with someone else’s fiancé, I will make sure to close the curtains so no one will witness the deed.
6. If I have another identity and documents to go with it, I will make sure to keep said documents in a location other than under a loose wooden panel near the bathroom sink.
7. If I affix my signature on any document, I will make sure to read every word of it. (rolls eyes at Luisa)
8. If I plan to avenge my “death”, I will buy a gun AND practice how to shoot it.
9. If I get entangled in a web of lies and find myself in a precarious position, I will not go home to get a handful of clothes before I escape. OR if I do go home, I will make sure that my house has motion detector sensor AND I have a gun. AND I know how to use it.
10. If I attack my enemy and plan to kill him, I will not wear boots with heels. If I really have to wear boots with heels, I will make sure they have retractable spikes and/or they emit toxic fumes that will make the recipient catatonic.
I am glad that Sin Identidad is the first Spanish series I finished. It is a well-written series with pretty consistent characters (with María’s character as the only exception) and intriguing premise. It is bittersweet saying goodbye to it, and I know I will miss hearing María’s spiel: El 9 de septiembre de 2013 he vuelto a nacer. Desde hace más de diez años, mi familia me da por muerta. En realidad he estado ingresada en una prisión de china con una falsa identidad. Soy Mercedes Dantes y he vuelto para vengarme (On September 9, 2013 I have been born again. For more than ten years, my family gives me up for dead. In reality, I have been admitted in a Chinese prison under a false identity. I am Mercedes Dantes and I have returned to avenge myself). I hope that she is happy with Pablo and María Junior. 🙂