In Review: The Barrier: (S.1 Ep.12) – The Speech

In "The Speech" Luis (Abel Folk) huge decisions to make. Manuela (Yaima Ramos) is still gravely ill, but hope for her remains.
The Barrier

Synopsis: In “The Speech” Luis (Abel Folk) huge decisions to make. Manuela (Yaima Ramos) is still gravely ill, but hope for her remains. Meanwhile, Hugo (Unax Ugalde) and Julia (Olivia Molina)) tussle with Alejo (Marcelo Converti). Marta’s location’s (Laura Quiros) still not known. As things between the citizens and The State come to a head, Alma (Eleonora Wexler) finally reveals all . . .



Manuela and Alejo and Ivan

The action follows directly on from last week’s episode. Manuela’s rescue comes via Hugo (Unax Ugalde) and Julia (Olivia Molina). Their showdown with Alejo, Alma’s (Eleonora Wexler) looked realistic. Hugo’s reactions were that of someone driven to threaten someone at gunpoint. That Alejo didn’t expect Julia (still posing as her dead twin sister, Sara) to be there, shows that Hugo and Julia really do come as a pair. They rely on one another, for their lives, forever bonded by the harsh reality of their awful experiences. This includes kidnapping and tying up Alejo. It’s clear none want to harm anybody, but must do so to defend state tyranny and oppression.

Manuela’s deteriorating, and it doesn’t look good. What worked really well in this scene is Julia’s passion. Her attitude embodied a key theme of the story: all lives matter. That is really the morality at pay here. The lives of many pitted against the live of the few. Julia’s sheer humanity is what saved the life of Manuela. That, and Hugo forcing Alejo to do what he can to save her. It really looked like Hugo might lose control, at one point. That Julia could keep him just calm enough shows the importance of the duo’s dynamic.

Despite only just recovering, Ivan (Nicolas Illoro) is furious. Again, the scene was really realistic and showed a real sense of humanity.

Alma, Luis and The President

Following an outbreak of the virus, Alma tells Luis what he has been trying to find out. Consequently, him, Alma and Colonel Enrique (Manu Fullola) are summonsed by The President. It is declared that Luis should make a speech. To sure up the people. Inform them that the taking of the children is necessary. That they’ll be safe. And that it’s for everyone’s good. Crucial for future survival. Really good use of Luis’s connection as a “man of the people”. Also, this scene shows the considered manipulation that is used in political lies. It seems like Luis is genuinely coming around to Alma’s plans. So much rests on him for now, and what he chooses to do next.

The Speech and Julia

The scene with Luis and the speech is the big scene of the episode. Just when he needs to, Luis does what’s right. The danger and the tension is magnificent. Alma banging on the door. More, though. The way that his decision shows the absolute gulf between him and Alma. Furthermore, the support of his daughter, Daniella (Belen Ecija) is extremely poignant. She show’s proudly she’s his daughter.

At the very end of the episode, we see the rising up of people. The turn. Luis’s evoking of the words of Federico Garcia Lorca made a massive impact. And the in the next moment, we see Julia summons the spirit of rebellion, refusing to give in to Alejo. And Alejo’s true colours. This scene was key, because now her time posing as Sara is surely up. Her survival hangs in the balance. Will she survive?


As mentioned, the most crucial scene of the week was Abel Folk’s. His delivering what he knew to be right. What was particularly fine about the scene, was how it was turned by Folk. On a knife-edge. The expected message came in a reserved, unemotional manner. But when he told the masses the truth, Abel gave the character a burning sense of righteousness. Folk captured all the repressed rage of the years. The having to stand by and ignore what he knew to be wrong. This scene was crucial to the entire series, not just the episode. Folk allowed the sense to come through that Luis may really have been turned to Alma’s side. This created superb tension.

The scenes with Fernando (Oscar de la Fuente) were also very well acted. The actor palpably showed  Fernando’s emotions bubbling up and spilling over. What came through was the aspect of knowing the danger of his actions. But despite that, trying to communicate with his son anyway. Not being able to help it. Whilst a small part, Oscar de la Fuente’s performance made it one much bigger.

CGI & Effects

The show continues to rely on visceral effects, over the technology driven ones. For example, the use of lighting continues to be impressive. The children being seen under the blue lighting of the compound makes for an eeriness. It casts the literal situation over the concept of their fate, in the future. The dread of the story-world comes through. And the idea that their lives are being made the property of the state. Also, this comes through by the cold looking, bare, stark fixtures of the facilities that they are kept prisoner in.

Costumes are another vital tool that really help the show’s world feel so chilling. The plainness of them. How all the children look the same, in them. Details such as this help to create a sense of a world with no colour. One which holds no sense value for individuality.



Good stories ask questions. More than they answer. The Barrier is a good example of this. And this week’s episode, “The Speech” even more so. When comes the point that we justify something, for the so called greater good? And who should get to decide that? This what Luis realises. And so, he makes a call to arms. He risks everything. Because he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t. He seems to realise that it truly is better to die fighting than to live in fear and tyranny. What’s more, Luis uses his position of privilege for good, before he gives it up. Forever. He becomes a part of the history that he quotes from. Makes sure he’s definitely on the right side of it.

With the big finale next week, it will be sure to be an all action affair. This show really does feel like no other, right now. precisely because of right now . . . We chatted about this aspect of the show on our most recent podcast episode . Seeing masks being so common place, and other such topical things. How the story-world is divided into sectors seems relevant, too. The lack of self-determination, so apparent currently. It makes for slightly uncomfortable viewing, at times. But in the best possible way. As previously stated, this is one of the most, if not the single most important show right now. Let’s hope that there’s much more of it to come soon.


In Review: The Barrier: (S.1 Ep.11) - The Speech
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Effects
  • Overall
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