Netflix’s new teen comedy-drama series “Freeridge” does initially seem like a usual tale of the supernatural with a comic touch to it. The plot deals with four close high school friends who stumble upon an old mystery box that is supposedly cursed and then try to find their way out of the apparent deadly fate. But as the series progresses, it is clear that the main focus is absolutely on the teenagers and their struggles with life at such an age. Overall, “Freeridge” is a fairly entertaining watch, even though the end is inconclusive, with the series possibly eyeing a second season.
‘Freeridge’ Plot Summary: What Is The Series About?
In the Southern California neighborhood of Freeridge, Gloria, and Ines are teenage sisters quite different from many other such siblings. Unlike many who are close and friendly with their sisters, Gloria and Ines are always at each other’s throats for any and every small reason. “Freeridge” Season 1 begins with a fierce physical fight between the two girls in their schoolyard while all the other students enjoy the free entertainment. A call to the principal’s office and a stern warning to both of them reveal that such fights have happened before and will probably continue to happen too. We are gradually learning more about Gloria and Ines, whose mother passed away from cancer when they were kids and who are now raised by their single father, Javier. But since Javier is mostly away throughout the day at his job, his brother, Tonio also stays at their house and usually looks after the two girls. Although Tonio is very close with his nieces, the man is always up to all sorts of crooked ways of making money, even taking money from the girls for pretending to be their father in front of the school principal. It is, in fact, to pay off their debt to Uncle Tonio that Gloria and Ines decide to host a yard sale to earn some money by selling off their family’s old things. At that very same time, their neighbors also hold a yard sale, and Gloria agrees to sell their stuff for a commission. Amidst the things of the neighbors is a small wooden box with the initials “MM” carved on it, which soon becomes the center of the plot.
Gloria and Ines are also very close to their two friends at school, Demi and Cameron, or Cam, and the four teenagers do most things together. At the time of this yard sale, Cam thinks of ways to get his clingy boyfriend Drew to break up with him. Believing that an old box with the wrong initials would be a gift that would ensure his wish, Cam buys the box from Gloria and takes it away. But trouble starts to brew soon after, as an old woman comes searching for the box and even offers a huge amount of money for it. While the teenagers do not give her the box, the woman tells them that it is cursed and leaves as mysteriously as she had appeared. Even though they do not initially believe such a statement, Gloria, Ines, Demi, and Cam soon start to feel that the box has indeed brought a horrible and deadly curse on their lives. What is worse is that the box contains a photograph of the same woman who was asking for it, and when they show it to the neighbors, the man reveals that she is his mother, who had passed away a few years ago.
What Is The Real Effect Of The Cursed Box? How Do Teenagers Try To Negate It?
Ever since hearing from the old woman that the box is cursed, the four friends have had differing opinions about it. Demi is passionately interested in magic and witchcraft, and she, therefore, believes a curse is upon them immediately. Gloria, on the other hand, is the most rational among the four, and she completely denies the possibility of something as absurd as a curse. Cam and Ines do not give as much thought to it, as they are busy with their own problems in life. But Gloria’s perspective turns into fear sometime later, as she takes certain occurrences to be the result of the curse. A couple of days after the yard sale was her father Javier’s birthday, and due to a lack of money, the daughters decided to gift him a knife that was inside the wooden box. But soon after gifting him this knife, Gloria and Ines find out that Javier has cancer, which gets diagnosed when Javier accidentally cuts himself with the knife and then gets a twitch on his back when he goes to clean the wound. Now believing that it was because of the curse that their father has cancer, Gloria and Ines convince Cam and Demi to help them out and work as a team to stop the curse. At first, they approach a young woman who claims herself to be a witch and posts such content on TikTok. This woman, named Cinnamon, says that although she is not powerful enough to deal with curses, she can sense an aura of darkness among her friends. To Demi, she says that the girl needs to break something in order to fix it. To Cam, she says that he must choose one option among two, but whatever his choice, it would be the wrong one. Lastly, Cinnamon warns Gloria that one sister will be the reason for the other’s downfall and that someone will die. These warnings, which Cinnamon claims to be prophecies she gets suddenly when she meets someone, do not really help the teenagers with the matter of the cursed box, except for Demi.
After the box gets broken and Demi sits down to fix it, she finds a hidden compartment in it and realizes that Cinnamon’s prophecy meant that she needed to break this compartment to fix their situation. From inside this section comes a torn-off invitation letter to a man named Henry’s 50th birthday party. This letter, as a note on it reveals, had been sent to someone named Marisol by another named Mariluna. After Demi tells of this to her friends, the group enquires more about the matter from the origin of the cursed box—Gloria and Ines’s neighbors. They get to know that Marisol was the neighbor’s mother, who had passed away, and the box had also belonged to her; therefore, her initials MM are engraved on it. But the neighbors cannot help with anyone named Mariluna, as they have never heard this name before.
Even though the teenagers are sure that Mariluna must have been Marisol’s sister (the ends of their names are also similar, with luna meaning moon and sol meaning sun), the neighbor replies that his mother only had brothers and no sister. But when the group talks to a close friend of Marisol, he reveals that the woman had indeed informed him right before her death that she had a twin sister named Mariluna. Now convinced that there was no curse involved with the box since the supposed ghost that’s haunting them turned out to be a real, living woman. But things take a spooky turn when Mariluna leaves a threatening message on Gloria’s bedroom window, asking for her box back. The teenagers do decide to return the box but then have trouble locating Mariluna.
Finally, one night, while having a party at her house, Gloria spots the woman and then sees her again the next morning. Mariluna walks out of one of the rooms and then leaves the house, which seems very strange to Gloria, but she then finds out that her uncle Tonio had rented out a room in their house to the old woman, who was staying there for a few days during school hours. On the other side, Demi and Ines take the box to another psychic, who is apparently more qualified than Cinnamon, and she now assures them that there is no curse upon them or the box. The psychic says that the teenagers were being spooked only because they believed in the curse, but there was no real curse at all.
Meanwhile, Gloria follows Mariluna to her rich, lavish mansion, and the real situation is revealed after this. Mariluna and Marisol were twin sisters who had been very close to each other ever since childhood. But as an adult, Mariluna got married to a rich man whose only request was that she not keep any contact with her family. Mariluna had agreed but would also miss her twin sister dearly. Unfortunately, on that same fateful day, when a grand birthday party was held for her husband, the man passed away in a car accident. Knowing that Marisol was settled in Freeridge as well, Mariluna finally decided to invite her to her husband’s birthday party, but the sister never showed up. Mariluna had then probably tried to get in touch with her sister herself and found out that she had always kept the box that Mariluna had given her before her marriage. This was the only reason she was now asking for the box back, as that box was the only memory of her dear sister that she could keep with her as Marisol had now passed away. The whole matter about the box being cursed was also totally made up, as Mariluna herself admits, for the two sisters would often call things cursed to prank others and make jokes. Therefore, the box had no evil curse looming over it, and whatever bad things followed were all just coincidental. In fact, as Javier had also revealed, he knew about his cancer before his daughters gifted him the knife, but he did not want to tell them about it for fear they would be scared.
How Does ‘Freeridge’ Talk About A Range Of Teen-Angst Issues?
Many of the eight episodes in “Freeridge” reduce the amount of supernatural mystery about the possible curse and give way to the teenagers and their lives instead. Cam and Demi are best friends and have been so for quite some time now, with stirring romantic chemistry between them. The two indirectly express this from the very first episode, but Cam also has a boyfriend at present. This boyfriend, Dre, is very close to Demi, too, as he considers her his best friend. Cam feels stifled in his relationship with Dre, and he prefers a more adventurous sort of relationship but also fears getting into one with Demi. This is because of an old matter from when they were twelve years old, probably sometime after Cam had realized his bisexuality. When the boy had expressed an interest in his best friend Demi, the girl had said that she would never kiss him because he had kissed other boys. This hurt Cam, making him feel that his best friend did not approve of his sexuality and found him unnatural. The two friends finally talk about the issue, and Demi agrees that she was ignorant at that age and did not know anything about the world. She now apologizes to Cam, and the two start a relationship as well. However, their romance fizzes out only in a few days, and the relationship is not as exciting as they had imagined it to be, so they break up once again. Cam now realizes what the prophecy made by Cinnamon for him actually meant—he had to choose between Dre and Demi, but no matter what choice he made, it would be the wrong one. Therefore, as Cam understands, he is supposed to stay single, and he does so in the end, remaining friends with both Dre and Demi.
On the other side, the two sisters, Gloria and Ines, have a roller-coaster ride of a relationship. It initially begins with bitterness and enmity but soon turns into a sweet one of supporting each other. In fact, the problem between the two is that Gloria always tries to preside over Ines, as she is the elder sister. Ever since their mother’s death, Gloria has grown extremely responsible for her sister and family, and therefore she often acts as a mother would with her daughter. Ines hates this treatment, as she needs an older sister, not a mother, to understand her and supportively tell her what is right and wrong. After staying comparatively loving and accepting of each other for some time, the two sisters again quarrel over a young man named Rusty. Their uncle Tonio had hired Rusty as an assistant to stay in the house and do chores, and the two girls develop romantic interests for the sensitive and charming Rusty.
Towards the latter half of the series, Rusty also shows his interest in Gloria, and the two kiss as well during their house party. However, on that same night, Ines tries to seduce him, and he confesses his love for Gloria to her. Instead of supporting her sister, Ines tells lies about her sister not being serious about Rusty and manages to ruin the relationship. Ines realizes that she is wrong in doing so and even partly does not want to be so cruel either, but she ends up making up these lies. It is almost like a natural struggle in some teenagers, at an age when the differences between right and wrong are still being set in the young mind. What hurts Ines even more, is the realization that Gloria has always tried to protect her from situations, and she continues to do so even now by fighting Rusty. On the other side, Gloria has her faults too, as the girl is often very demeaning to her sister, even saying that their mother had got cancer only when she was pregnant with Ines. Finally, in the end, the two sisters realize their own mistakes but still have one last argument over a major revelation. It is found out that uncle Tonio had hired Rusty to be romantically involved with his niece Gloria, possibly because the man felt that her niece was not acting her age. Gloria was always busy with thoughts of running the house and keeping her sister safe, sacrificing her own life in the process. At the Thanksgiving party held at Mariluna’s house, Ines reveals this information in front of everyone, and Rusty defends that he had only taken the money initially and had stopped after he started to feel for the girl.
After some time, though, everything seems sorted when Gloria meets her sister and Rusty in the garden outside the house and apologizes to both of them for her behavior. It seems certain that Gloria wants to continue her relationship with Rusty, as she understands the struggle of the boy who had once been a child actor but was now going through financial struggles. However, what Gloria remains unaware of is the fact that just before her arrival at the scene, Rusty and Ines had been making out passionately. Even though the two do not want to mess things up for Gloria, an intense attraction for each other remains between them, and they do end up creating a mess. Even though it is not revealed to anyone else, this might become a crucial point of drama if there is ever a second season of “Freeridge.”
‘Freeridge’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Gloria, Ines, And Mariluna In The End?
At the end of “Freeridge” Season 1, Mariluna hosts a Thanksgiving dinner party on the advice of Gloria and invites her friends and family members. The old woman had admitted that she felt very lonely by herself, and this was the reason why she would follow the teenagers around and had even rented a room in their house. At this party, Mariluna now makes acquaintance with all the friends of Gloria and also with her only living relatives in the form of Marisol’s son and daughter-in-law, who are Gloria’s neighbors. Earlier, it had been revealed that Marisol had solved the location of something called the RollerWorld prize money, which can be understood to be a local legend about some hidden money. Marisol and her friend had found this money and had also made a map to reach it. However, as the last episode seems to suggest, this money was originally owned, or wanted, by a local crime gang. The boyfriend of Demi’s sister happened to be a gangster in this group, and he had earlier overheard a conversation about the RollerWorld money being found. At the end of “Freeridge” episode 8, this man and his fellow gang member drive up to Mariluna’s house and wait for her to step out. When she does, they think that she is Marisol, who had duped them out of their money and decide to confront her. As the two men do so, Mariluna tries to convince them that she is only the twin sister of Marisol and that she has no idea about any money. The woman then pulls out a gun to show that she is armed, but the gangsters are irked by this and ultimately shoot her dead. The third and last premonition of Cinnamon also comes true, as one sister had become the reason for the other’s downfall, and that one of them had died. However, this warning was not about Gloria and Ines as was being thought but about Marisol and Mariluna.
Before stepping out of the house, though, Mariluna had gathered Gloria, Ines, Cam, Demi, and Rusty in a room to reveal a big surprise. Since the woman was always fond of riddles and pranks, she promised the teenagers a large sum of one million dollars right away. While the teenagers are immediately excited, Mariluna gives them a second option—if they could spend the entire money within just three months, then she would give them ten million dollars as a prize. The only catch was that they could not spend the money on things or products that they could keep. After saying this, Mariluna steps out of the room and the house to see off some of her guests, promising to return and sign the check for them. However, she never returns as she is killed by the gangsters, and what happens to the money is left unclear. This amount could have been a great way to treat Javier’s cancer, as the man had earlier admitted to his daughters that he did not have the money to get himself treated for very long. His cancer had also grown more threatening, and so Gloria most probably thought of her father’s treatment too, as this would perfectly help them get the ten million three months later. Maybe this whole matter, including whether Javier survives his illness, will be dealt with in the second season of “Freeridge,” if there ever is one.
“Freeridge” is a 2023 Drama Comedy series streaming on Netflix.