Tuka In ‘The Chosen One,’ Explained: Is Tuka Dead Or Alive?

The new Mexican Netflix Original, The Chosen One, is out, and so far, it has been one of the most interesting pieces of fantasy fiction to have come out on the platform this year. This coming-of-age drama is about a bunch of kids who are trying to understand the significance of the divine power that has been bestowed upon one of their closest friends. There are many characters in The Chosen One, and by the looks of it, this engaging drama involving kids might get a second season.

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Jodie, Tuka, Magda, Hipotila, and Wagner have been friends for a while. The kids are an integral part of each other. They seem too inseparable, and it showcases the bond they share. Jodie looks American but has lived most of his life in Mexico. Just like any other children their age, they prefer to have a sense of adventure and want to discover many new things. The five of them seem like kids from the Enid Blyton book, The Famous Five. Apart from what Jodie brings to the table for the rest of the group, we get to meet Tuka. He belongs to a local tribe, the Yaqui, and he is proud of the traditions that have been passed on to him for generations. We get interested in Tuka when he speaks about his fisherman uncle, who has not returned from the sea, and his family is worried. Thankfully, his uncle shows up and informs them about an otherworldly creature that he came across on the beach. Out of everyone, it was Tuka who was most interested in finding out about this creature named the Siren. 

The five reach the desert and make their way up to the beach. It was a long, strenuous journey, but the kids made it, and it was a symbol of how they worked as a group. They bond well and share their life stories. An excited Tuka feels dejected to not have found the mythical creature they were looking for. Maybe his uncle was hallucinating some otherworldly imagery after a long stretch at sea. But Tuka somehow wanted to believe in the existence of such a creature. This sets the tone of The Chosen One, as most of them end up believing in otherworldly creatures and supernatural and divine powers. Tuka, being from one of the oldest tribes in Mexico, worships nature as well, has a belief in miracles.

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Tuka, of all the kids in the group, is the most grounded and has no high-flying ambitions. The boy has always been proud of his Yaqui heritage and what it represents. Once they are back in school, long after Jodie miraculously recovers from the accident, the group plans to organize small storytelling sessions conducted by Jodie. All of them chipped in their time for the sake of entertainment and made some extra cash from it. It was the 90s, and all kids loved to do was listen to music and hang out as much as they could. This storytelling morphs into a magic show. Since the accident, Jodie has been called the miracle kid, and the town, which is filled with deeply religious people, wants to see if she indeed has powers. As the group takes advantage of the blind faith of the townspeople, Jodie not only heals Wagner’s brother’s eyesight but also manages to turn water into wine.

Tuka, of all the friends in the group, managed to understand that there was something about Jodie that led to such miracles. Every bottle of water that Jodie touched turned into wine. Tuka, who used the same water at church, was the first to discover the phenomenon. He was happy for his friend because he felt Jodie would feel important and that a lot of attention would come his way. This proves the two are very close as friends.

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The whole idea of introducing Tuka to the audience was to speak about the atrocities committed against local tribes by followers of the Christian faith. The Spanish invasion of the Americas led to the ethnic cleansing of indigenous cultures, and many were forced to embrace Christianity to survive. Tuka’s Yaqui tribe managed to survive all these years by embracing Christianity, but they retained a lot of their old traditions and rituals.

As the school celebrates Las Pastorales, a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Mexico, Tuka and Jodie crash the stage and start talking about the Yaqui traditions. Tuka is upset because he claims nothing about his culture is shown during the pastorales. It’s implied that his tradition and culture are never included in the school’s cultural programs. Since this is set in the late 1990s, there was never a conversation about inclusivity, and the tribes were never considered a larger part of Mexican culture. Tuka has probably witnessed how his family was kept at bay because of their rituals, which include praying to nature. The Chosen One is also a wake-up call on how the Christian faith demeans many cultures from around the world to project itself as the superior faith.

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Mr. Hernandez, the school principal, tries to manhandle Tuka, only to be reminded by Jodie that his ancestors were responsible for killing many members of the Yaqui tribe. Jodie was the only person who dared to speak up in a high-pitched voice and tell the truth. Hernandez was rattled by it because he knew everything Jodie said was true. This tragic accident that happened years ago still resonates with Hernandez, but he is shocked that someone outside of his family knew about this vile truth. Jodie’s revealing this truth about the incident was one of the first few that proved that Jodie had more than just healing powers.

Tuka was elated to see Jodie gaining all kinds of fame and being called the messiah by the locals of the town. But he was also the first to notice Jodie being carried away by the attention he gets, not just from the followers but from girls in his class who weren’t aware of his existence until he was called the miracle child. Tuka was disturbed by the way Jodie changed and how he wanted things around him. Tuka was the only one who understood how Jodie felt about the powers he had. Any kid his age would be troubled if he were given such limitless energy. Tuka tried to be there for his best friend, but Jodie chose fame over everything. Tuka took the time to finally let Jodie know that he was choosing others over his real friends. A frustrated Jodie disliked the way his friends came after him and offered advice. Jodie did not pay any heed to what Tuka said because he had reached a stage of fame where his friend’s advice did not matter to him. On the same night, Angelo came by the commune to kill Jodie. Angelo was hurt by the death of his father, who had been resurrected by Jodie himself. He felt his father become numb because of Jodie’s healing power, and he wanted answers from him. Angelo’s gun misfired, and the bullet hit Tuka, and the boy passed away almost instantly.

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At Tuka’s funeral service, Temastian pledges revenge for Tuka’s death. Temastian is followed by a mob of villagers, who drag Angelo out to be murdered in public. On the same night, Jodie appears during Tuko’s funeral and uses all his divine powers to bring him back from death. His powers caused a colossal event that led to everyone in the vicinity going unconscious. The next day, everyone wakes up due to a rainfall to see Tuka alive, dressed in church robes. The family, friends, and the entire town were happy because their messiah delivered the job. What worries us is if Tuka’s fate will be exactly like Angelo’s. Since it is revealed that Jodie is the son of Lucifer, his powers could hurt the people he heals. Angelo was the first victim, and there is a possibility Tuka might face the same fate. It is heartbreaking to wonder if Tuka will slip back into becoming a quiet person, but his sacrifice could be needed to finally understand that Jodie might just be the Antichrist.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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