Based on Jakub Zulczyk’s novel, Feedback is a Polish Netflix series that revolves around an alcoholic man whose son goes missing all of a sudden. Marcin Kania, a former musician and real estate agent, finds himself always drawn to alcohol, even though he has lost everything that mattered as a result of his addiction. Marcin was the last person his son, Piotrek, met before he disappeared, and therefore, Marcin’s statement to the police was crucial, but he could barely remember anything from the meeting. Marcin’s family had lost their trust in him a long time ago, and even though he claimed to be innocent, the police and his family could not completely rule him out for being involved in Piotrek’s disappearance.
Plot Summary: What Is The Series About?
The morning after meeting his son for dinner, Marcin woke up with his shirt soaked in blood. He had wounds on his face, and his memory was a complete blur. In the five episodes of Feedback, Marcin remembers bits and pieces of their conversation, and he tries to connect them to form an idea of what went down. The police initially assumed that maybe Piotrek had gotten involved in gambling or had become an addict, which was why he decided to disappear. Since Marcin was an alcoholic, they concluded that his son might have taken the same path, but Marcin refused to believe it. According to him, Piotrek could never choose the wrong path, and he decided to find the truth behind his disappearance on his own. Marcin gradually remembered watching a few men dressed in black clothes and masks drag Piotrek away from the restaurant and into a car. He followed them to the train station, and when he tried to stop them, they punched him.
Marcin had no recollection of who those people were or why they were after Piotrek. He remembered that his son was extremely afraid of something, but the alcohol in his system made it impossible for him to figure out what exactly Piotrek had been talking about. As much as Marcin tried to focus on finding the truth, he was repeatedly forced to confront the fact that he had been a terrible father to Piotrek. His family had to constantly bear with his aggression and madness that descended every time he gulped down pegs of alcohol. At one point, Marcin was convinced that his family was making his life all the more miserable when they forced him to seek help. He had been sober for two months, and it took him seconds to convince himself that he deserved a few shots. While Marcin searched for answers outside, he eventually figured out that all he had to do was look within.
What Did Marcin Believe Happened To His Son?
Marcin’s investigation started to take shape when a stranger identified Piotrek. Apparently, he trespassed into her house and was caught stealing. Later, upon questioning Piotrek’s friend, Lolus, Marcin found out that his son was working for a tenants’ association, and since he was good with computer programming, he helped them with anything related to computers. Previously, Marcin and his therapy group acquaintance, Jadzia, had visited the house of a woman named Orszanska, who fought for the rights of tenants in Warsaw and Podkowa. Upon reaching the place, the masked men arrived, and they assaulted Jadzia, and she had to be hospitalized. Marcin was convinced that it was the tenants’ association that got his son involved in something sinister, and he begged police officer Cezary to investigate the association. Orszanska’s daughter, Ewa, answered the door when Cezary and Marcin waited outside the house.
Ewa admitted that Piotrek worked for the association and particularly took care of the work that needed to be done on computers. She believed he was searching for a purpose, and the cause caught his attention. Tenants were evicted from government-funded apartments, and Piotrek helped the organization set up a website and upload documents about illegal reprivatization. Ewa was frustrated with how the police functioned, even after knowing that her mother was tortured and their house was attacked. The conversation heated up, and Marcin and Cezary were forced to leave. Marcin concluded that the people who kidnapped his son were the ones who attacked Orszanska. Soon, Marcin received the heartbreaking news of his son’s death. Piotrek’s body was found in the forest, hanging by a rope. It was assumed to be suicide, but Marcin did not think he had any reason to give up on his life, and he was confident that someone framed the suicide.
Years ago, Marcin’s old bandmate, Zbyszek, introduced him to a business idea that involved buying apartments for cheap and selling them after ten years for double the price. The illegal reprivatization involved buying apartments with people living in them and eventually killing those tenants or finding a way to drive them out of their apartments forever. Marcin joined hands with Gigaplex without realizing how his decision could impact the lives of others. It was while studying more about reprivatization to investigate his son’s ‘murder’ that he learned about all the killings of the tenants who used to live in the apartments he bought. Marcin had gifted Piotrek one of his apartments.
We eventually found out that Zbyszek had employed Piotrek to find useful information from the tenants’ organization. But after joining the organization, Piotrek started to sympathize with the cause, and he became determined to help Ewa and her mother. He had changed as a person, and for the first time, people around him could see how deeply he believed in the issue. Lolus thought Piotrek’s wife, Kinga, was one of the reasons why he was frustrated. He had cut off his connection with all his friends, and one day Lolus found him lying in the bathtub with his wrist slit and blood everywhere. Even after finding out that Piotrek had attempted suicide before, Marcin refused to believe that Piotrek had killed himself; he rather blamed it on “them” for pushing his son over the edge.
What Changed Piotrek’s Mind?
Through the course of Feedback, we find out that Piotrek broke into Bugajski’s house (the middleman for Gigaplex) in the hope of finding evidence that could incriminate him, and he managed to get hours of audio tapes that proved Bugajski was guilty. Marcin believed that it must have been Bugajski who orchestrated his son’s murder, but he soon found out that was not the case. According to Bugajski, after receiving the tapes, his prosecutor informed the organization that they would end up in prison, and he believed that perhaps that scared Piotrek. The tapes were recordings of business deals, and they were not as illegal as they were assumed to be. Bugajski swears that he did not have anything to do with the murder of Piotrek. Marcin assumed it must have been Slawek at Gigaplex who murdered his son or even Zbyszek, but none of it turned out to be the truth.
It was true that at one point in time, Piotrek infiltrated the organization to gather information that could be used against them or to pass on information that could help Gigaplex win their legal battles, but eventually, he realized the mistake he made. When Piotrek found out that the apartment he lived in belonged to an eight-year-old woman who was murdered by the reprivatization mafia, he knew he was working for the wrong people.
What Happened To Piotrek?
Cezary informed Marcin about an audio recording found on Piotrek’s phone that explained what happened to him. Before committing suicide, Piotrek had recorded a message dedicated to his father. All his life, he considered Marcin to be a disappointment, and his opinion did not change the last time he met his father. While Piotrek spoke about his fears, Marcin was focused on getting drunk. Piotrek contacted his father after his first suicide attempt and hoped to unburden himself of the guilt he was suffering from. He could not bear the thought of Ewa hating him, and he did his best to explain to her how he had made a mistake. Piotrek had fallen in love with Ewa, and it pained him to know that she could not trust him anymore. While Piotrek poured his heart out to his father, Marcin barely listened to a word he said. He laughed at Piotrek’s trouble and made him feel worse. He failed to see that his son was suffering and depressed. Piotrek blamed his father for his miserable condition because he believed it had a lot to do with how he was treated as a child. His father destroyed everything he loved to force him into respecting him. Marcin made Piotrek feel as if he had no agency and his only option was to obey, and the feeling did not change ever after he grew up.
In the end, we find out that there were no men in black masks; it was simply a false memory Marcin created to counter the guilt he suffered from. It was he who followed Piotrek to the train station, and the two got into a scuffle. It was their toxic relationship that resulted in Piotrek hating himself and deciding that it was better for him to die than to live a pathetic existence like his father. Marcin refused to accept that he had failed as a father, which was why he could not comprehend the reason behind Piotrek’s breakdown. All his life, Piotrek had been searching for someone who would love him for who he was, and yet when he found the person, he did not know how to love them back. He believed that he ended up being a disappointment to Ewa, that there was no escaping from the truth, and that his existence would only lead to more suffering. He knew that he would eventually become like his father, who resorted to alcohol to overcome the feeling of loneliness or for being a person not worthy of someone’s love.
How Did The Incident Impact Marcin?
The message left by Piotrek left Marcin devastated. All this while, he had been trying to find someone to blame the death of his son on, but in reality, he had been the murderer all along. But once again, to cope with the pain he experienced, Marcin turned to alcohol for respite. As he stared at the glass of beer, he remembered how each time his addiction had turned him into a wild beast. It was not the men in black clothes who assaulted Jadzia but Marcin, who was drunk beyond his wit. Piotrek’s death helped Marcin acknowledge the fact that he was a coward who always ran from the truth, and he fabricated memories to his liking. The next morning, when he woke up with a hangover, his daughter, Ula, brought him fresh clothes. Even though she despised him, Marcin realized that she was his last chance to make it right. He lost his son as a result of his addiction, but he was not ready to lose his wife and daughter.
During Feedback‘s ending, Marcin finally got rid of all the bottles of alcohol in his house and tidied his apartment. He hoped to become a better person for his family, and instead of hitting the bar at night, he went home. Marcin later met Ewa, and to his surprise, she stated how much Piotrek loved him. She believed that his leaving a long message only for his father, in a way, showed his affection for him. Perhaps it was his love for Marcin that made him feel all the more disappointed in his father. Marcin returned to his therapy group meeting, and some members were not happy with his return. He had lied about being sober and had assaulted a member. A vote was conducted, but Marcin did not care much about it. He wanted to unburden himself, and he did so by admitting his truth.
Feedback ends with Marcin trying to keep his word. After years of lying to everyone around him, he wanted to be truthful and experience living a life of honesty. Hopefully, Marcin will stay committed to his recovery journey. It took him losing his son to realize how his behavior impacted his loved ones. Marcin realized how his addiction distorted his memories and took him away from the ones who truly cared for him.