The Grave English language promo shot with Nadav Netz as Yoel, Liana Ayun as Avigail, and Shalom Michaelshwilli as Niko

The Grave, on Topic, begins with an earthquake that opens up a pit in Eden Nature Reserve. Inside are three skeletons who have been there for several years. The police are shocked to find that the DNA of the skeletons is a 95% match to three people who are currently alive. Yoel Russo (Nadav Netz) is the ranger at the Nature Reserve, who is raising his 9-year-old son Noah (Daniel Scwabe) alone after losing his wife in a car crash while on the way to deliver baby Noah. Niko (Shalom Michaelshwilli) is a renowned mentalist (mind-reader), who, in the world of this story, legitimately gets visions of the future. And Avigail (Liana Ayun) is a twenty-something orphan who is currently serving a prison sentence for killing a guy outside of a club. Detectives Chava (Michal Kalman) and Gabi (Tsahi Halevi of Fauda) try to make logical sense of the DNA match, but soon realize that they are dealing with a supernatural explanation.

The main characters in The Grave

Yoel is a depressed guy. If you saw Manchester By The Sea, Yoel reminds me of the Casey Affleck character. He’s dedicated to his son, but can barely summon energy for anything else. In flashbacks, we see how different he was before his wife Hila (Daniel Gal) died. Before the DNA results are in, police find a wedding ring with his and Hila’s names engraved in it attached to one of the skeletons, and he is called into the station. He’s mystified. Yet a mysterious number inside the ring leads him to find a memory disc with a video on it. The video is himself, insisting that he (Yoel the viewer) is not crazy. Before Video Yoel can explain what is going on, he gets cut off.  Meanwhile, Niko meets a woman, Keren (Ortal Ben-Shoshan), at one of his events when she volunteers to come on stage. But when he gets near her, Niko receives a disturbing vision of Keren in a body bag, on a dock. That doesn’t stop him from sleeping with her though. Turns out the vision takes place at the Nature Reserve. But Keren isn’t one of the skeletons. Avigail, the prisoner, has a lawyer who is in love with her. He is trying to get her out on a plea of self-defense, but it is unlikely. It seems Avigail isn’t telling him everything. When she sees the news about the grave, she makes a call from jail to a shady guy and says, “They’ve found the grave.” There’s clearly more to her story.

Our Take

The Grave was created by Omri Givon, who created the popular Israeli series Hostages and When Heroes Fly. So far, I’ve only seen 3 episodes, because it is released weekly on Thursdays. The show is intriguing, and richly developed. However, I’m not a huge fan of the Yoel character. He could be a little more dynamic, and less of a jerk to his sister and frankly everyone but his son. I like Chava, who is middle aged and no nonsense, but I’m disappointed that they haven’t given Gabi more to do. The first episode is a little slow because they have to introduce everyone, but it gets more engaging. Clearly there is a time travel thing happening here, and I’m looking forward to figuring it out.  (I’m not even going to go there with Dark comparisons) I’m less than halfway through it, so it could still go off the rails, but because of the credibility of the creator and the actors, I think it will stay the course.

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