'Cuéntame' almost broke the family to vindicate it in its outcome

At the beginning of the season of Tell Me How It Happened, when the images showed Alcántara more divided than ever at Herminia's funeral, it took a few minutes to understand that the writing team was going to get the plot right with which to say goodbye to the series: Merche's (Ana Duato) decision to hand over the inheritance while she was alive had gradually broken those bonds that were believed to be unbreakable.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
29 November 2023 Wednesday 16:36
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'Cuéntame' almost broke the family to vindicate it in its outcome

At the beginning of the season of Tell Me How It Happened, when the images showed Alcántara more divided than ever at Herminia's funeral, it took a few minutes to understand that the writing team was going to get the plot right with which to say goodbye to the series: Merche's (Ana Duato) decision to hand over the inheritance while she was alive had gradually broken those bonds that were believed to be unbreakable.

They could have survived arrests, terrorist attacks, police raids, cancers and any historical event in Spain, which in one way or another affected them, but the inheritance of Merche and Antonio (Imanol Arias) could put an end to Sunday paellas, like Grandma lamented days before she died. Cuéntame scrutinized until I reached the essence of the family.

Tension, for the record, had always been present in the Alcántara home. It was impossible with a father like Antonio, always reluctant to any change that did not directly benefit him (or from which he could make a little money) or to any decision of his children that deviated from the path that he had planned in his head. Being able to see how the distance widened between Inés (Irene Visedo), Toni (Pablo Rivero), María (Carmen Climent), a Carlitos (Ricardo Gómez) settled in New York and the parents was painful.

It was because, upon hearing them speak, upon noticing the boredom in the actors' performances, one perceived that truth that settles in the uncomfortable silences of families, those greetings from the other side of the street, that false tranquility that flies over the streets. Christmas meals with the threat that a bomb could explode at any moment, possibly during desserts.

When representing this unfortunate reality, which usually develops when children become emancipated and stop considering their parents as their direct family, there were two key interpretations: that of Irene Visedo and that of Ana Duato. Inés, at times irritating, at times hateful, was recognizable in her inability to connect with her mother without reproaches from her.

He had no shortage of reasons to complain, but he also showed a stubbornness to destroy any bridge of healthy communication or to accept mistakes and apologies in order to move on. She was so aware of everything that she morally considered was owed to her that she did not even consider what she should offer in her relationship with her parents.

For her part, Mercedes, with sadness in her eyes, transmitted an unconditional love but not without harshness: she did not give that unconditional support that they were looking for in her, that idea that parents should override her character, her personality and her way of reasoning to have a relationship with your children. It could even be debated whether Inés subjected her mother to permanent psychological blackmail: either you say what I want to hear, or you give me what belongs to me because I am part of the family, or you can't see my hair.

In the last sequence, luckily, Carlitos found a way to strengthen the ties between all the Alcántaras as the long-suffering Herminia had asked him to do. Inés and Toni, who were like the dog and the cat, danced. Later, both Inés, Toni and María, tempted to flee emotionally from her brothers to symbolically settle into her husband's family, hugged Carlitos when they discovered that Karina was pregnant. In those looks, after so much distance, there was the intimacy that only brothers can have: people who were not chosen but who know each other more than any other person in this world.

With this image, Merche and Antonio were able to say goodbye to the Cuéntame audience, proud of their four children. But, once the camera focused on the night sky of Sagrillas, the public may wonder if the reconciliation was definitive or a temporary truce resulting from the funeral circumstances. At the end of the day, not even they can escape the complexity of the family, which the writing team x-rayed so well in this last season, and the arguments that separated them are still there, lurking, waiting.