The Room (La Sala) is a Spanish series on Walter Presents about Yago Costa (Francesc Garrido), a “genius” detective who, as we see on surveillance footage, strides into an interrogation room, gun out, and shoots the person sitting at the table. We don’t know who that person is, but trust me, when it’s revealed, you will be shocked. Jaw-dropping twists are the specialty of The Room, which uses the framing device of a pretty young journalist, Sara (Natalia Rodríguez), interviewing Yago in jail 2 years after the murder. What makes this series interesting is that it is both serial and episodic: as Yago slowly moves toward explaining the murder, he tells Sara about other cases along the way. Soon it becomes clear that Yago is manipulating Sara, but she is a formidable opponent.
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The Set up
When The Room opens, we see a takedown go sideways. Yago and his partner, Luis (Raúl Prieto), are chasing a baddy named Tachenko (credit withheld), who is trafficking young women into Spain. What’s unique about Tachenko is that he has a Russian star tattooed on his jaw. When Luis approaches him, he grabs a young prostitute and threatens to cut her throat. Yago tries to talk him down but Tachenko cuts her throat anyway, and gets away. Back at the station, Yago says he is done with Luis as a partner, but his commander tells him, “I know you prefer to work alone, but I’m not going to let you do it. You and Luis stay together.” Luis is a loose cannon, always ready to explode forward, whereas Yago is measured and observant. Obviously Yago is not going to let this case go. Lola Solozábal (Goya Toledo) is a strict new judge who adds an element of tension to the partnership. Although the narrative is plot driven, the professional and personal relationships between these three characters are the heart of the series.
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Our Take on The Room
I run hot and cold with The Room. While I enjoy the twists, often I can see the gears working. Sometimes I feel the series is too clever by half. One beef I have is that the timeline is VERY confusing. I can help you out by telling you that the “present” in 2018, and Yago has been in jail for 2 years. The Tachenko fiasco was in 2010, although it rears its head again in 2016. But otherwise, trying to keep track is tough, especially when you add in the episodic crimes that change every episode. Yago can be intense, remote and manipulative, especially with Sara, and he refuses to deviate from the script in his head. He is going to tell his tale the way HE wants to tell it. But that being said, it’s a fun ride, and I am invested enough in the story that I will finish the last two episodes, which I haven’t seen as of this writing. If you are willing to be led into a complicated but compelling journey, The Room is for you.
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