Spanish drama thrillers never go out of style. The theatrics and histrionics showcased in these shows never seem to end, and there is a large portion of the audience that enjoys such content. Elite, The Snow Girl, and Money Heist are some of the prime examples of thriller drama shows coming out of Netflix Spain. Holy Family is an eight-episodic series that was released last year and is about a family that seems to have decent social standing but is burdened by many secrets.
Season one began with middle-aged mothers Blanca, Gloria, and Alicia frequently meeting at an eatery to consume copious amounts of Margarita while they trudge through their lives as mothers. The show throws light on all kinds of issues these women face. Blanca has been married to a pilot while raising her son Lorenzo, who suffers from Down syndrome. Meanwhile, Alicia is a teacher at Lorenzo’s school, and she’s been struggling with adopting a child with her husband Pedro. Gloria is a recluse, for she keeps Blanca and Alicia at bay while taking care of her newborn child, Hugo. Gloria always has her nanny Aitana around. The show begins with Gloria finally opening her home for all her mom’s friends to celebrate her son Hugo’s first birthday.
Unbeknownst to many, Aitana happens to be Gloria’s older daughter and her real name is Mariana. Gloria has kept her other son Eduardo alias Abel confined in the house with bare minimum access to a life outside of their house to avoid any suspicions. Gloria, whose real name is Julia, has committed some crimes and is planning to move to Canada with her children and her infant, whose real name is Nico. Nico is her oldest child, Santino’s son, who unfortunately passed away while trying to save someone from drowning. Gloria was a surrogate for Santi and his wife Natalia, and she refused to part from her grandson after her son’s passing. Natalia moved back to Argentina with a heavy heart, but her father hatched a plan to get his grandson back forcibly. To avoid being followed by the father and the daughter, Gloria faked the deaths of her family along with the newborn kid and took up brand new identities until they could migrate to Canada. This is a rather convoluted tale of a dysfunctional family, which is a regular feature in Spanish-language shows.
As Julia is now Gloria, none of her friends know about her real identity until Caterina joins their group with her husband German and their daughter Anna. They were a bunch of private investigators hired by Natalia’s father to get hold of Gloria and her family and bring back Nico to him. As the story unfolds, many unpleasant truths come out, including about Gloria’s children. While Mariana wants to be a pianist and Eduardo wants to be a filmmaker, both become witnesses to their mother’s paranoia, as she is suspicious of many people around her. Gloria had changed since the day her son died, and through flashbacks, Natalia was a witness to an unusual bond between Santi and his mother. She was taken aback by her mother-in-law’s decision to be a surrogate and was upset with Santi and Gloria making all the decisions for the sake of the family. This is the kind of uncomfortable and taboo subject that Spanish Netflix relies on, and there is a genuine awkwardness surrounding the attachment shared by Gloria and her grandson.
Since Caterina and German are not a couple, they seem to have found a way to co-exist with infant Anna whose mother is a drug addict. German is gay and falls in love with Eduardo. He intended to get more intel on Eduardo’s family, but the love he has for the young man ruins his plans, and he is of two minds about whether to double-cross him or not. There are a lot of issues about motherhood and the roles women have to play which have been discussed this season. Blanca is under societal pressure to be the perfect mother and wife, which is why she refuses to take any advice from Alicia regarding Lorenzo.
Gloria goes out of her way to make sure she and her children, including Nico, obtain passports to leave the country. Her state of mind goes into a frenzy because she starts believing people have caught on to her family’s real identities. Gloria had indeed committed a crime, but no proof was found against her, which made it easy for her to go below the radar for a long time until Natalia’s father sent people behind them.
There were two main deaths, and they were a direct result of Gloria’s paranoia. The children realized that their mother had become a different person altogether. Mariana lost her boyfriend, Marcos, because of her mother’s need to protect everyone around them. There were plenty of over-the-top theatrics and logical plot holes that were not explained. Gloria found Caterina and German’s role in finding out about her real identity but when she began doubting them is not explained. Eduardo was willing to go against German by blindly trusting his mother, but several plotlines before, he and Mariana were planning to make their mother pay for the crimes she had committed.
Despite Caterina and German not being a couple, they eventually sleep with each other because of a lack of love in their lives. This was a convoluting plotline as well, for German was projected as gay from the start. Hopefully, the makers of the show will expand on German’s state of mind because he was in love with Eduardo. Caterina, on the other hand, who was having a hard time taking care of the infant, ended up forming an attachment to Anna and did not want to give it away to the child’s biological mother.
The last two episodes were purely dedicated to Gloria’s life spiraling and restricting Mariana and Eduardo’s movements without realizing her friends and other neighbors would question her decision. Caterina requests Alicia’s husband Pedro to babysit Anna so that she can sort out the matter with Natalia’s father, and she informs German about it too. German, in the hope of sustaining his love for Eduardo, crashed his car into Caterina’s vehicle in a bid to stop her from making a mistake. The makers were busy trying to join the dots and give season one a chaotic ending.
Natalia, who had gotten in touch with Marcos, ends up meeting her sister-in-law Mariana at Marco’s funeral. In a bid to end her mother’s madness, she offers to take Nico to Natalia. The young girl wanted to end this feud, but Gloria wanted the child at any cost, and she did not hesitate to stab Mariana as well. The last scene of the first season involved German being injured in a car crash, but there was no update on Caterina’s life. She most likely died in the crash. German whose real name is Diego might survive and come back for Eduardo.
Season two will be the continuation of this tale as well as an end to this saga of mothers going miles for their children. Gloria could kill, Blanca could finally make a leap to understand her son, Alicia might consider adopting the baby Anna, and Caterina finally developed maternal instincts before she was killed. The name of the show does not correlate with the plot because neither of the families mentioned in the show is pure or pious. All of them have erred as mothers and plan to rectify their mistakes.