“42 Days of Darkness” is a 2022 Chilean suspense drama that is directed by Gaspar Antillo and Claudia Huaiquimilla. It is the first Chilean series to be produced for Netflix. The series not only makes a promising debut but provides you with an extremely meaty and intricately woven investigative drama, that keeps you enthralled for its 6 episodes. So without wasting a moment, let’s savor the Chilean platter and examine the various ingredients used for the concoction.
Major Spoilers Ahead
What Had Happened To Veronica Montes?
Karen, a.k.a. Kari was in that phase of her life when young adults start to feel rebellious towards their parents, and often there is a lacuna that develops between them. She was, a lot of times, rude to her mother, Veronica, and often misunderstood her intentions, as many of us do in that brooding age. Most of the time, we get an opportunity to look back at our actions and understand that it was just a phase and that our parents always wanted the best for us. But at times, life is so brutal that it does not give time for that much-needed reconciliation. Kari had not been talking to her mother properly for quite some time. Her mother was supposed to pick her up from school, but she didn’t turn up, and Kari had to walk back home. She found her house in a mess, as if somebody had vandalized it. She called her dad and told him everything. Instead of coming home, her father, Mario Medina, went straight to the police station and filed a complaint about the kidnapping of his wife. He said he had received a call earlier from the kidnapper, who had told him that he would hurt his wife.
Cecilia Montes, sister of Veronica, arrived at the scene, as she used to stay in the same vicinity. Police and Mario, in their respective vehicles, were heading towards the latter’s home in Altos Del Lago, but Mario took a detour, for no apparent reason. Toledo told Mario that a police offender would be present at all times at their home, in case the kidnapper called once again.
An attorney, Victor Pizarro, who had been convicted for malpractices, and whose suspension had just got revoked, got to know about the case. He saw it as an opportunity and got in touch with his old team, which consisted of two people, Nora and Braulio, who had their own specialties, and together they had solved many cases earlier.
Mario had told the police that he was in a bank when he got the call from the kidnapper. The police tracked his number down and found out that the call was made from an internet café. The owner of the café was contacted, and a sketch of the kidnapper was prepared.
Cecilia had her doubts about Mario. When everybody was searching the area with the police, Mario had called it a day as he was tired. It almost felt like he was unaffected by the disappearance of Veronica. Kari’s younger sister, Emi, had moved into her aunt’s house. Kari had decided to stay with her father, and more than dealing with the trauma of her mother being kidnapped, she was somewhat perplexed by the kind of behavior her father was showing. He was acting in a very peculiar manner and was surprisingly impassive in his approach.
In “42 Days of Darkness,” we witness that Victor Pizarro was conducting his own parallel investigation. He found that Veronica had bought a film called “Heaven’s Burning” from a video rental store. The film was about a woman in China who had faked her own kidnapping to get rid of her husband. Pizarro, Nora, and Braulio didn’t understand why Veronica would fake her own kidnapping. Why would she abandon her two daughters? The theories were becoming muddled up, and the trio was not able to ascertain which direction to proceed in.
Why Was The Investigation Made Confidential?
Braulio set up a secret meeting of Pizarro with the police chief, M. Toledo, but it was an unfruitful effort as even the chief didn’t know much about the disappearance. In the second episode of “42 Days of Darkness,” we see that an anonymous letter was sent to the police headquarters in which details about Veronica’s extramarital affairs had been stated. The police had interrogated Carmen, who was Veronica’s friend, a couple of times, so even Pizarro went there in order to get his hands on some information. Carmen told him that Mario knew about his wife’s affair, as she had told him everything herself. Mario, on the other hand, hired a lawyer as he couldn’t trust anybody around him. Victor Pizarro goes directly to Cecilia and gives her an offer to be the official counsel for the Montes family. The police had made the investigation confidential, and Pizarro was asking the Montes family to file a lawsuit against them. A lot of revelations were being made, and the police knew that the media would question their credibility, and their every move would be scrutinized. Also, not a lot of kidnappings had happened before, so the police force did not have any precedent to refer to, and often found themselves clueless about what they should do next.
Was Mario Behind Veronica’s Kidnapping?
Nora checks the call logs of Mario to find an anomaly and luckily gets more than one. Firstly, Mario had not called her wife, even once after she had gone missing. Now that either meant that he didn’t care, or maybe he knew that she wouldn’t pick up. In either of the cases, his innocence was under major jeopardy. Pizarro and Nora feel that Mario was involved in the disappearance of his wife. The evidence suggested that, though time and again, Braulio reminded them that it was still not incriminating in any manner, and could have been a mere coincidence or a mistake.
Secondly, Mario had said in his statement that he had called his daughter Karen when she was on her way back from school. But the call logs didn’t say so. Karen also corroborated the fact that her father didn’t give her a call since her phone was switched due to low battery. Pizarro suggests to Cecilia that they should give a statement in the press about how the investigation was not going in a manner that they would have liked. Cecilia agreed that Mario had obnoxious behavior from the start. He was more worried about petty things when his wife disappeared. He was not even consenting to any sort of psychiatric or blood tests. He was acting all stingy while announcing a reward for getting information. He was quite pragmatic for a person whose wife had been kidnapped.
Mario also entered into an argument with the police officer posted at his house. He asked him to leave the premises because, apparently, the officer had put more logs into the fire furnace without asking him. So basically, nobody was there at his home to monitor his movements. But Cecilia was still in two minds when it came to him being involved in the kidnapping. She didn’t think that he was capable of doing something so bizarre. But Pizzaro convinced her to not discard any theory. The Montes family gave their statement in front of the media. Though they never directly accused Mario of anything, it could be implied that they were pointing fingers at him. The family was now divided into two groups, and they were in serious conflict with each other.
Mario decided to retaliate with greater force. He went to the police station and changed his testimony a bit. He told the officers that he heard the voice of a woman when the kidnapper had called, and that it sounded like her sister-in-law, Cecilia. Chief Toledo, even though he believed that Cecilia was innocent, had to go to her house to investigate and record her statement. A canine search was organized by Victor Pizarro, as Cecilia’s brothers had asked for it. Mario also came on the scene and met the dog handler. He was very inquisitive about the capabilities of the dog. He somehow managed to call both Toledo and the dog handler inside for lunch. Mario engaged them in a conversation, and everybody forgot about the work they had been called to do. During the psychiatrist’s session, Mario referred to his wife in the past tense. The psychiatrist also seconded the viewpoint of Pizarro that Mario was not revealing everything he knew.
All the speculation made in the series “42 Days of Darkness” till now, pointed toward a basic fact: Mario was not only acting strange but was trying to hide something and was also misleading the investigation. But was he behind the disappearance of his wife? That was something that still could not be ascertained. Yes, there were perceptions, there were speculations, which hinted towards his involvement, but nothing was so conclusive that he could be charged for the same.
’42 Days Of Darkness’ Ending Explained – Who Killed Veronica Montes?
Mario Medina himself called the police because he had found the dead body of his wife in his attic. So basically, it was never a kidnapping. Veronica was either murdered, or she took her own life. The forensics report said that there was no involvement of any third parties. Pizarro couldn’t believe it, and neither could Cecilia. Pizarro, Braulio, and Nora went over the timelines once again, as stated by Medina himself, and found many inconsistencies in his statements. The question was, did he find Veronica’s body lying in the attic accidentally, or was it a well-thought-out strategy considering he knew that if the police officers conducted a canine search, they would get to know about it.
Twenty months after Veronica’s funeral, her body was exhumed and sent to forensics, but once again, no conclusive evidence was found. Though the report did rule out the findings of the official thesis, it was not enough to incriminate Mario Medina, who had filed a lawsuit to close the investigation.
People moved on with their lives, but Pizarro was still stuck. He had this belief that one day the truth would reveal itself, and justice would be served. Pizarro had lost a lot in the process. He didn’t have time for his son Joaco, and that had led to a lot of resentment in the kid. He felt that his father was never there to support him and that he was not his priority. Pizarro was left with practically no money and was in such a chaotic state that he was not capable of handling more legal matters. He was sharing a space with Braulio and was struggling through life. His friends had told him multiple times to stop thinking about the case because it was nothing more than a cul de sac, and it would not lead him anywhere.
Kari and Emi had also suffered a lot. They couldn’t understand what affected them more; the death of their mother or the suspicion that others had raised towards the involvement of their father.
In the 5th episode of “42 Days of Darkness,” we saw that a woman randomly walked up to Pizarro while he was out in the market buying stuff. She told him that he had helped her once and that she knew something important about Veronica’s case. She said that when the sketch of the perpetrator was being shown on television, her friend named Tomatito said that he looked like her psychopath ex-partner. Pizarro informed the police, and they went to the address given by the lady. They found a man named Jaimi Nunez Jara and also the missing camera belonging to Veronica and Mario in his house. The man confessed to killing Veronica, and told them that Mario had offered him a sum of money to do so. The killer, Jaimi and Mario Medina, were taken into custody. Pizarro thought that he had found the missing piece of the puzzle, but his exuberance was short-lived. He couldn’t establish a link between the killer and Mario Medina. It meant that it couldn’t be proved in a court of law that the killer did not act on his own accord. Pizarro asked for a reconstruction of the crime scene in the hope that some missing detail would come to light and it would prove that Medina was guilty. But it wasn’t. The alleged killer, Jaimi Nunez, didn’t agree to testify in front of the jury. Basically, whatever he had said in front of the police, did not hold any evidentiary value. It couldn’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Mario was involved in the murder of his wife, and so he was acquitted by the court.
No matter what Pizarro believed in, he had to move on with his life. He had to make things right with his son, Joaco. Emi and Kari had learned to fight the odds, and Cecilia knew that no matter how much she thought about that fateful day, and how she could have stopped it from happening, in reality, she couldn’t do much about it. All of them had to accept the fact that maybe it was not the whole truth. Maybe Mario actually killed his wife, or maybe he didn’t. It was not the obscure ending they would have wished for, but “42 Days of Darkness” reiterates one essential fact, that in life, you cannot ascertain a lot of things, and eventually, you have to let go.
“42 Days of Darkness” is a 2022 Chilean Drama Thriller series directed by Gaspar Antillo and Claudia Huaiquimilla.