‘Reyka’ Season 1 Recap & Ending Explained: Who Was The Actual Killer?

The South African crime thriller Reyka is based on the story of a real-life serial killer, Thozamile Taki. The killer was responsible for the deaths of 13 young women in a sugarcane field in South Africa. The series also explores several complexities of the mind, including the Oedipus complex, pedophilia, and Stockholm syndrome. Director Rohan Dickson has explored the complexities of the human mind in the series to ensure that greater depth is added to the narrative. The plot revolves around the life of Reyka, a girl who was abducted at the age of 12, and the way she struggles to battle her inner demons all her life. Will Reyka be able to save her daughter Thuli from the clutches of Speelman? Will the serial killer eventually be found? Let’s find the answers to these questions!

Spoilers Ahead


What Was Reyka’s Relationship With Angus Speelman?

Reyka had been abducted at the early age of 12, which had scarred her so badly that the incident had completely obliterated her ability to tell good from bad. She had developed a strange liking for her kidnapper, Angus Speelman. The kidnapping had caused Reyka to develop Stockholm syndrome, along with other issues like dissociative amnesia. She had also fallen victim to an Electra complex, which is evident in the closeness that she had with any father figure in her life. Besides being close to Speelman, she also tries to be physically intimate with Hector, who earlier had an affair with her mother. She could not stop herself from going to meet her kidnapper in jail. She often got flashbacks of her days spent at Angus’ house. He tried to poison her mind, saying that her mother must have stopped looking for her and that he was the only family that she had now.

Reyka also thought that she heard another girl at Angus’ house, but she never got a glimpse of her or had any proof of her existence. Later, when Angus ended up in jail, there were many times when Reyka tried to get the other girl, Lucy’s, information out of him, but all in vain. He told her that he would give her all the details about Lucy if she withdrew her complaint against him and helped him meet Portia, his wife. Angus was extremely manipulative and had been able to manipulate Reyka once again into retracting the charges against him for her kidnapping. She had flashbacks of how Angus had been betraying her from a young age. He had told her that she was the only daughter that he had, but she had seen his picture with Lucy (1997) at a farmer’s association banquet. He had been manipulating and using her sexually, but when the fact that she was not the only child he was using dawned upon her, she fled the house after injuring Speelman.


What Were Suresh’s Intentions?

Suresh Pillai, an Indian shopkeeper from Sugarlands, was involved in investigating soil samples from the cane farms of the Tyrone family. He had been invested in this investigation as the poisonous insecticides used on the farm had caused his son to suffer from heart ailments. During his investigations, he used to frequent the cane fields, and that made him one of the prime suspects in the serial killing case in the town. The chief’s niece, Mbali, had been murdered, and the blame for it had been put on Suresh. However, due to a lack of solid evidence, Suresh was released from police custody. During the investigations, the police found out that Suresh belonged to a fishing business background and could have easily tied the fisherman knot that was found around the victims’ limbs. There was a possibility that he was associated with all the murders, as he could have tried to signify that black women were slaves and belonged to lower strata than the Indians, who were also once oppressed by white-skinned people.

It was later found that Mbali was close to many men in the area. The police found out Pastor Zik’s credit card statements matched Mbali’s prepaid phone card bills. They also found out that Mbali was pregnant one month before she was murdered but had then undergone an abortion. They started considering Pastor Zik’s hand in it, but when the DNA of Mbali’s unborn child matched that of Suresh, they understood that he was the killer. Suresh, being a family man, had a fight with Mbali about the baby and eventually murdered her in the cane field. He had thought that many women were being murdered in the field recently, and the police would never doubt him as Mbali’s case would count as one of the victims of the serial killer.


What Was The Pattern In Which The Killer Murdered?

There was a particular pattern in which the murders were happening. The cases were being compared with the case of the Blue Lagoon Killer, Alfonso Abrahams. He was responsible for shooting nine and raping six women at the Blue Lagoon teahouse. Every victim in the recent cases was bound with some twine around their hands and feet. The police initially thought that the hitmen were associated with the murders and raided a black community in Manhattan. Tanner approached Vilakazi, a mafia member in the area, in order to gain some information about the killings, but he was unable to help him.

The killer was leaving behind no trace for the police. He was also not afraid to dump the bodies in the same place after killing the women. He was only attacking women of color and functioning in the same place. He maintained consistency in his murders, which was a trait of a serial killer. He also intentionally left a beer bottle at the crime scene as he watched Reyka and Nandi while they were in the field. Reyka understood that the killer was enjoying the attention that he was getting from playing games with the police and had left the beer bottle on purpose to misguide them.


What Happened To Nandi?

Nandi went undercover to search for the murderer in the ghetto. Soda recognized her and took her to the field. Later, when Nandi was severely injured by the killer, the police thought that Soda was the actual murderer. Samuel was blamed by Hector for the situation, as he had asked Nandi to go undercover without informing anyone. Later, Soda was arrested and interrogated. They also found out that Soda used to work for a fishing company as a bait boy, making him the major suspect in the cases. However, Soda’s arrest angered the people of the community, and they attacked the police station. Later, he is released due to a lack of solid evidence against him. However, Nandi succumbs to his injuries, and the police department asks Hector to take action against his son, Samuel, for the incident.


What Were Alex’s Intentions?

Alex, the heir to the Tyrone fields, had been spraying their lands with poisonous insecticides. When Suresh tried to dig up dirt, he tried to mislead him by replacing his collected soil sample with a fresh sample. His father, John, was against the poisoning of the lands and wanted to give the lands back to the community that they bought them from to uplift the black community. John Tyrone had, however, tried to cover up his son’s misdeeds of poisoning the land with the help of Hector. Later, when someone tried to attack the Tyrone household, a man called Sanele was called in for an interview by the police. After a lot of hustle, he told them that it was Alex who had hired him to kill his father. Alex was arrested for attempting to murder his father for giving up Tyrone Land to the black community. Alex had always thought of the wealth and power he had and was not ready to give them up for noble causes. He thought killing his father would help him retain the land.


Why Was Samuel A Suspect In The Case?

There were many possible suspects in the sugarcane field murder cases. After Samuel arrested the chief for the murder of Soda, he was dismissed from his position by Hector. People were also looking at Detective Samuel in the light of a murderer. Reyka and Hector were discussing why he might’ve been a possible murderer. He had lost his sister Rosie when he was very young. His sister had epilepsy and had drowned while they were playing on the beach. It is possible that his inability to save his sister had left a mark on him, and he had become a murderer. Later, when the detectives found out that the bullet in Soda’s body did not match his weapon, he was released from the suspicion of being a murderer.


Who Was The Actual Killer?

When Reyka had gone to investigate the case undercover, Alfred Zaquel Igual kidnapped her. He started torturing her by binding her limbs and tightening the noose around her neck. Reyka analyzed his problems up front and realized that he had an Oedipus complex. He was narcissistic and had deep-embedded childhood traumas. His narcissism was empowered by the thought of him being a police informant and having greater power than the other men in his community. He had also misled Soda and told him to flee the place so that others would suspect him. His intentions were made crystal clear to us when he attacked Reyka. She had already done a background check on him and told him that his stepfather would often ask him to lie down with him, and when he went to tell that to his mother, she did not believe him. Instead, she beat him up with a handbag. She thought that he was not man enough to be beaten up with a club or a belt. Therefore, he murdered the women and stole their handbags. His sexual fantasies were fulfilled after he stole their bags and caressed them. It is possible that Reyka recognized the ill motives behind his facade as a police informant.


What Happened In The End?

At the end of the series, we see that the Tyrone property is given back to the people of the community. The serial killer Alfred Zaquel Igual was arrested and taken into police custody after the police found his hiding place. Eventually, Reyka’s life was saved! A greater conflict was seen in Reyka’s life when Angus got out of jail and abducted her daughter, Thuli. It is revealed that Nina, Thuli’s sitter, was actually Lucy, whom Reyka had been searching for all this time. Angus had always misguided Reyka by telling her that Lucy was just a figment of her mind. Her intuitions were, however, proved right in the end, and she rushed to Angus’ house to free her daughter. She saw Angus trying to woo Thuli and telling her that her mother had stopped searching for her. When she pointed her gun at Angus, Lucy threatened to kill Reyka. Later, Portia came in and killed Lucy, which eventually got Angus arrested for child molestation. He had created an army of little girls who were loyal to him and would do anything for him. The amount of manipulation that Angus could do could be compared to the manipulative qualities of the killer, Alfred. He would lure women into the cane fields, persuade them, and then murder them effortlessly.


Final Words

All psychopaths have a tendency to manipulate people into believing them. Reyka’s childhood had been ruined by the traumatic experiences that she had, causing her to develop some unusual preferences towards father figures. How dangerously a traumatic event can forever change an individual’s mindset and perspective has been brought out effectively. This series explores a plethora of mental defects stemming from traumatic experiences. Starting from the Oedipus complex to the Electra complex, the series is loaded with psychological elements. However, it would have been more challenging if the director had chosen to explore just one facet of mental trauma rather than exploring multiple premises like the Oedipus complex, the Electra complex, pedophilia, Stockholm syndrome, and others.


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Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti’s obsession with creativity and travel fervor has helped her branch out into the entertainment genre. Her love for psychological thrillers helps her get a daily dose of adrenaline. A regular caricature of the films and its characters is what keeps her going!

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