Netflix’s Spanish series, “Control Z,” depicts the dark side of the digital world, which has become our alternate reality. Most millennials use these digital platforms as an escape from an unfortunate reality, and it often becomes the place where they can be their true self or share their darkest secrets without the fear of being judged, as most things are shared anonymously. But what if someone hacks your digital life and reveals your secrets to your friends, family, and other people around you? Will you have the courage to face reality? Will you be able to run away from those revelations? And most importantly, will you be able to “Ctrl+Z” or undo things in the past? These are the questions that “Control Z” narratively explores through its ensemble cast, who are all college students at National School, but each one is hiding a secret or has a past that can destroy their entire present and future.
‘Control Z’ Season 1: Recap
Season 1 began with Sofia Herrera, a teenage student who didn’t have any friends at college. She roamed around all by herself and used to sit on the terrace while closely observing her classmates and the minute details that everyone else failed to notice. In the past, Sofia was diagnosed with clinical depression and had been admitted to a psychiatric facility after her father died in a house fire. But later, it was revealed that her father was very much alive and had faked his own death, a mystery about which only Sofia was aware of and had been hiding the truth from everyone, including her mother, Nora.
In the present, everything was going perfectly fine until one day, an anonymous hacker released a video of a student named Isabela de la Fuente. As per the video, Isabela was born as a male child but later decided to operate herself and change her gender. Soon after the surgery, she changed her town and came to a new city to start a new life. But after the release of the hacker’s video, her life was destroyed entirely. After the incident, the hacker with a user id called “_allyoursecrets_” started contacting students on social media and blackmailed them to reveal their secrets if they refused to follow his chain of commands, thus slowly turning each student against each other. The community of National School, which once lived in a pretentious peace, now had to face a chaotic reality from which they couldn’t escape.
Amidst such chaos, there was a student named Gerardo “Gerry” Granda, who was a homosexual but had been suppressing his true feelings because his toxic father wanted his son to be masculine like him. Gerry had been bullying an extremely vulnerable classmate named Luis Navarro, who secretly liked Gerry, but when he tried to express his feelings, Gerry bashed him in front of his classmates in order to hide his own identity and not to become a laughing stock among other students. Gerry’s physical assaults against Luis went too far, and Luis ended up in a hospital, where he finally died from a stroke. The news of Luis’s death tormented other students at National School, while in the meantime, Sofia, along with a new student named Javier Williams, who happened to be her love interest as well, investigated the anonymous hacker and finally found out that it was none other than their classmate, Raul Leon.
Raul was the son of a corrupt politician who once eavesdropped on his classmates and figured that they were just pretending to be his friends because of his money. On the same day, a devastated Raul came across Sofia on the terrace, who shared with him that she was fed up with pretending to be someone she was not. She thought it would be easier to survive in the world if everyone would have told the truth instead of lying to the people they cared about. Raul pondered the thought for some time when suddenly he observed the school IT guy, Bruno, taking out money from the garbage that Raul left. Earlier, Bruno hacked Raul’s cell phone and tried to blackmail him. Through this instance, Raul got an idea to expose the secrets of all his friends. He teamed up with Bruno and made a social media handler, “_allyoursecrets_,” where he slowly posted the secrets of his friends. However, his act of revenge went too far, and the events stirred by him killed an innocent Luis. At the end of “Control Z” Season 1, Raul confessed to Sofia that he did everything to get her and make her happy. However, at this moment, Sofia revealed that she already knew Raul’s secret identity as she saw a mask under his bed, which he used to threaten Sofia while he kidnapped her from his house party. While Raul was confessing the truth to Sofia on the terrace, Javier, standing at a distance, recorded Raul’s confession on a video and released it at the NONA party that was attended by almost all of the students of the National School. The students went hysterical and created havoc under the roof, from which Raul somehow escaped. However, outside the premise, Gerry, who had also seen Raul’s confession, confronted him and revealed to him that because of his prank, Luis had lost his life. Gerry wanted to shoot Raul, but Sofia and Javier intervened, and in the fuss, Gerry accidentally shot Javier in the stomach, while Raul used the opportunity to escape from there. The season ended without revealing the fate of these four lives interconnected with each other.
‘Control Z’ Season 2: Recap
The second season didn’t have many twists and turns and was rather stretched too far. The opening montage quickly established that Javier survived the gunshot and returned to school two months later. Gerry, on the other hand, was still on the run, and police had been searching for him. And last but not least, Raul had escaped to some secret place where he was enjoying his father’s money and living a happy life while his fellow classmates mourned Luis’s death. Similar to the previous season, as soon as episode 1 began, another video was released by an unknown hacker who called himself/herself “The Avenger” and swore to take revenge on all those people who directly or indirectly caused Luis’s death. And Sofia and Javier once again teamed up to investigate the attack on their classmates in order to find the identity of the avenger and stop him/her as soon as possible.
Sofia discovered that whoever the avenger was, he/she had been using Luis’s dark paintings as an inspiration to punish Luis’s perpetrators. Luis was a shy and self-centered student who never spoke ill of anyone. However, after Gerry started bullying him, Luis got highly traumatized, and he used his art as a medium to channel his anger onto paper. These drawings depicted how Luis wanted to punish or torture the people who harmed him, and thus the avenger decided to fulfill Luis’s last wish. But the avenger once broke the pattern when he/she attacked Raul at his house, and instead of punishing him, the avenger stole all the money that Raul kept in his safe. And thus, Sofia and Javier discussed who needed the money the most at school and finally figured out that it was Alex. She wanted to be with her girlfriend, Gabriela, who was going back to Paris after she lost her job at National School at the end of Season 1 when Raul exposed her secret that she was dating a student (Alex) from the school.
Alex blamed Gerry for everything, as he was the one who bullied Luis in the first place, and because of that, she lost her only friend. It was she who persuaded Luis to share his drawing with Gerry in order to express himself, but because of his own insecurities, Gerry began bullying Luis, which eventually led to his death. Alex just wanted Gerry to kill himself and take away the guilt that had been weighing her down. Finally, Gerry felt that everything was happening because of him and thus decided to give himself to the avenger to end the chaos for once and for all. At last, Alex called Gerry on the school terrace, where she finally revealed her secret identity, and at gunpoint, she forced Gerry to jump off the roof to end the chaos. At the same time, Sofia and Javier arrived on the terrace to stop Gerry from killing himself. Eventually, Raul inquired about his money, which Sofia revealed was kept inside Luis’ locker, but Javier had already told Maria Alexander and Pablo Garcia about the money, as they needed a large sum of money to save Natalia from some threatening drug dealers. Earlier in Season 1, Natalia lost some drugs during the NONA party, and since then, the dealers have been threatening Natalia to reimburse them for the lost items. However, as soon as Maria took out the money from Luis’ locker, her new principal, Susana, saw her in the corridor, and suddenly they heard the sound of gunfire coming from the terrace. They all rushed to the terrace where they saw Alex pointing a gun at Gerry while everyone else around was trying to stop Alex, but as soon as they all saw the bag of money, they tried to snatch it from Maria for different reasons. And finally, a tragedy happened.
Pablo, who had been waiting outside the school for Maria to return with the money so that they could go and save Natalia, witnessed a few notes falling from the terrace, and as soon as he looked around, Susana’s body hit the ground along with the bag full of money. Susana probably slipped from the terrace because of the argument and struggle between the group. And while Pablo was shaken from the tragedy and was grieving for his teacher, Maria from the terrace looked at him and signaled him to grab the bag and run to save Natalia.
What To Expect From Season 3?
The trailer of “Control Z” Season 3 reveals that the teenagers have decided to hide the fact that they had anything to do with Susana’s death and have promised each other to forget that they were even there on the terrace on the night of the tragedy. However, as usual, an anonymous hacker finds out their secret and starts blackmailing them through the untraceable texts, after which Sofia, Javier, Raul, and others start yet another investigation to catch the hacker before he/she can expose to the world that they were involved in Susana’s accident and much more than that, they lied to the authorities and hid the facts from the police. Susana didn’t deserve to die in the first place, but at least after her death, her students should have morally told the truth to the police or at least to her husband. What’s more disheartening this time is that even Sofia is part of the conspiracy. Because Season 3 is the final season of “Control Z,” we can hope that there will be no more secrets to discover by the end of the series and that all of the characters will have received their well-deserved closure.
As we can already speculate from the trailer, Raul hosts a lavish party at his place for his friends to forget the tragedy and move on with their lives, when suddenly he receives a mysterious parcel delivered by a drone. Inside the box, Raul finds a camera, and the parcel is marked with the same logo that Raul used to blackmail the students in Season 1. Whoever the blackmailer is, he/she has decided to turn the tables around, and this time it is Raul’s own game against him and his friends. The hacker has designed some sort of classic clue/puzzle game which he decides to play with the culprits in Susana’s accident, and it will surely add some thrill to the narrative. However, while being a part of this game, the teenagers are slowly losing their minds, and it will be exciting to see who will eventually survive in the end, and whether their secret will come out to the public or be buried forever.