The 2022 Spanish series, “Intimacy,” lifts the veil and exposes the hypocrisy and discrimination that women are subjected to, in our society. Every single day, they have to fight the stereotypes and prove their worth in the eyes of the inept flag bearers of patriarchy. “Intimacy” shows us how conveniently the blame is put on the victims, especially if they are females, and instead of finding the perpetrators, their character and morality are put under scrutiny. For years, women in our society were subdued and had to play a secondary role, and so we are not accustomed to seeing them in positions of power or raising their voices against the wrongs committed against them. We always expected them to suffer and it is often considered a yardstick for judging their character. Itziar Ituno plays a character that resides in the same alley as Raquel Murillo from the “Money Heist,” only this time, instead of a professor, she steers her own ship. Created by Veronica Fernandez and Laura Sarmiento, “Intimacy” not only solves the conspiracy but also tries to present an argument against the hegemonic ideologies and the established norms of society.
‘Intimacy’ Season 1: Plot Summary – Privacy Violation And Victim Blaming
Malen Zubiri was the Deputy Mayor of Bilbao, and in “Intimacy” episode 1 we see that her party was ready to announce her candidacy for Mayor of the city. Miren was her guardian angel who was handling her campaign together with Hugo. Malen was standing against the patriarchy and challenging the beliefs of those who felt that a woman couldn’t handle a position of power or wasn’t capable of being a leader. But her campaign suffered a massive setback when a private video of her making out with an anonymous person was leaked. Society was quick to judge her character, and it didn’t matter whether it was not her fault or not. Her party knew that she was the most deserving candidate for the mayorship, but they found themselves obligated to abide by the flawed and fickle public perception, and as usual, the flag bearers of justice and equality were too meek to take a stand. Malen was already facing issues in her personal life. She had entered into an arrangement with her husband, Alfredo, and both had mutually decided to start seeing other people. Her teenage daughter, Leire, was also facing the consequences of the video being leaked. Her batchmates had started talking behind her back and even her boyfriend Xabi, instead of providing her with much-needed emotional support, decided to cut off from her.
Ane Uribe, a factory worker, had to face a similar situation where her privacy was violated. Pictures and videos of her in compromising positions were circulated in her workplace from an unknown source, and instead of raising their voices and standing with Ane, her colleagues seemed to enjoy the show. She tried to complain about the issue to the higher authorities, but instead of taking punitive action against the factory member who circulated it, they blamed the victim and questioned her character and credibility. As if the circulated pictures didn’t cause enough mental trauma for the innocent girl, her colleagues also made her go through hell. She was denigrated and objectified to the extent that she could not take it. Her partner, Kepa, and her sister Begona (Bego), had no clue about what she was going through. Ane feared that they would abandon her if they came to know of the things she had done in her past.
Malen refused to back down from the mayor’s candidacy, against the wishes of her party, and decided that she wouldn’t go down without a fight. But Ane Uribe didn’t have that liberty. She was not a politician who could put her side of the story in front of the world. Nobody was there to listen to her, and as usual, people were quick to make a judgment. Ane committed suicide as she felt that taking her life was much easier than facing a hypocritical society.
Inspector Alicia Vasquez arrived at the scene, and she met both Bego and Malen. Whereas, on one hand, Bego was not ready to bog down without finding the killers of her sister, Malen didn’t want to file an official complaint, as she knew that because of her political campaign, her case required a lot of discretion and she just wanted to make sure that there was no talk about it in the public domain. Bego, who was a teacher in the same school where Leire was studying, had met Malen Zubiri. The deputy mayor had suggested she take legal advice from her father, Juon Mari. Alicia Vasquez tried to persuade Malen to seek justice for herself also, but Malen had made up her mind. She just wanted to move on and focus on her upcoming campaign.
Who Had Leaked Ane’s Pictures And Video?
There were two things that needed to be ascertained in Ane’s case. Firstly, who had made and leaked the video, and secondly, who was the source in her factory, who had first gotten the video and then circulated it among the other workers. Bego was questioned by Alicia, and they both considered it to be a possibility that some ex-partner of Ane must have done so. But Ane was a serial monogamist, and to find out who all she had been with in the past and among them who had done it, was a tedious task. Alicia found out about the club where Ane’s video was filmed. The club was named Pattaya, and Alicia found out about a person who was a regular there and was also present in the video. She meets him in the hope that he might have filmed the whole thing, but she comes to know that there was another anonymous man who had done it. She sends his picture to Bego, and they realize that the man was named Jon Aldaola, an ex-flame of Ane’s. Alicia reaches his brother’s house and finds out about the whereabouts of the suspect.
Meanwhile, Bego had found the therapist whom Ane used to visit, and through her testimony, they now had incriminating evidence against Jon Aldoala. The factory management was ready to negotiate terms and make a settlement. But Bego was adamant. She knew money couldn’t compensate for the loss of her beloved sister. She wanted to find the perpetrator who had circulated the video, who instead of helping Ane, had tried to put the blame on her. Ane had tried time and again to seek help from them, but they asked her to keep quiet if she didn’t want to lose her job. Bizen, a colleague of Ane, disclosed the name of the official who had first gotten the video from Jon and then had it circulated throughout the whole factory. With the perpetrators facing trial, Bego could finally grieve in peace.
Who Had Leaked Malen’s Video? Who Killed Caesar?
Malen had met a stranger through a dating app while she was vacationing in France. She came to know that this stranger was the youngest son of the business tycoon, Peio Barretxeguren, named Cesar. Malen had reason to believe that Cesar had leaked the video. His face wasn’t visible in the video, and after the vacation, he had never tried to contact her. Cesar tried to contact her and told her that he had been coerced to lay the trap for the future mayor. He asked Malen for money as he was in desperate need of it, and his father had refused to help him this time. Malen doesn’t pay him anything and warns him that he would face serious consequences if he didn’t reveal who was behind it. Andoni Segurola, a long-time business rival of Peio’s and an investor in the failed businesses of Cesar, was the one who had orchestrated this whole fiasco. Malen had decided to regulate the real estate firms and agencies, and Andoni wanted to stop her from doing so. He knew that if a scandalous video was leaked, then the party would not vouch for her candidacy. Cesar’s businesses had incurred heavy losses, and to pay off his debt he needed vast sums of money. That gave Andoni leverage over him, and he coerced him to indulge with Malen and let him tarnish her image. But everything didn’t go as per the plan. According to Andoni, he had sent his men to renegotiate the terms of the deal, but in reality, they had gone to teach Cesar a lesson. They assaulted him brutally and left him with critical injuries. Cesar was hospitalized for a few days and, apart from the physical injuries, was put through a great deal of mental stress as his wife, Idoia, had decided to leave him after she got to know that he was the person in the leaked video with Malen. Cesar was driving alone when due to the concussion, he lost control of his vehicle, and met his fateful end. In the forensics report, it was revealed that though the cause of the death was the accident itself, his body had been inflicted with severe blows before that accident. But still, for Alicia to establish a direct link to Andoni was not possible as there was no evidence that suggested that it was his men who had beaten him. Idoia, Cesar’s wife, had found a bag in their house that had a mobile in it. Idoia re-dialed the number she found in the call logs, believing it to be Malen’s, but instead, Andoni had picked up. She had not reported it to the authorities. Eventually, she realized that if she wouldn’t do it, then the perpetrators who had killed her husband would go free. So she talks to Peio Barretxeguren to give the information to the police, who felt all the while that there was no use indulging in the case as no matter what they did, his son wasn’t going to come back. Peio gets convinced eventually, and both of them provide that information to Alicia. So, together with the findings made in the pre-accident neurological report and the call logs provided by Idoia, Alicia had enough incriminating evidence to prove the guilt of Andoni in a court of law. He was not only responsible for leaking the video together with Cesar, but also for the assault that led to the death of the 31-year-old entrepreneur.
‘Intimacy’ Season 1: Ending, Explained – Does Malen Quit Politics? What Happened To Leire?
Leire’s boyfriend, Xabi, had left her because he felt embarrassed being with her. Leire’s life was turned upside down. She had become an object of scorn, and even her character was questioned by many. After Xabi stopped responding to her messages, there was this fear that had been sown inside her subconscious that what if Xabi leaked her private pictures and videos? Seeing her mother in such a deplorable state, she was not ready to be put in a similar situation. She knew that maybe she was not as strong-headed as her mother, and might not be able to fight society. She was having a lot of suicidal thoughts and somewhere started blaming herself. She meets Xabi in the restroom and asks him on which website he had uploaded her pictures, as till then, she was convinced that the worst would have happened. But it was her troubled mind that was aggravating the situation and forcing her to live in a constant state of fear and anxiety. She brutally beats Xabi, and his parents file a complaint against Leire. Juon Mari fights her case and manages to save her from going to the juvenile correction home.
Gorka, was the rival of Malen, who knew that he had a chance of being the mayor, as the leaked video had severed a detrimental blow to her public image. Even the party didn’t want to support her candidacy. Malen had almost decided to give up her political career and resume her legal practice. But Hugo and Miren didn’t want her to do so. They knew that there was nobody more deserving than Malen to be the mayor of the city. Miren tells her that in the past, she had also been a victim of abuse, and she knew what it felt like. Malen has a change of heart and decides to lodge a formal complaint against Andoni for violating her privacy, this time not caring about what people would think or as a result her campaign would be sabotaged.
Gorka used to check-in at a hotel from 10 p.m. at night to 3 a.m. in the morning quite frequently. Hugo had found out that the hotel provides escort services. He used this piece of information against Gorka and made him quit the race for the mayorship. The party decides to give their unconditional support to Malen, and she once again gets ready to come back into the race to become the mayor of Bilbao city. Malen decides to reconsider her relationship with Alfredo, and the latter moves in back with her. Leire starts taking therapy sessions and starts mending her broken self. She knew that she could confide in her parents, talk to them, and that they always had her back in the face of adversity. At the end of the series, “Intimacy”, things got back on track for the whole family, and though they knew that the scars of the past couldn’t be removed, they had the strength to put them in the backseat and move ahead in life with a renewed faith.
“Intimacy” is a 2022 Drama Thriller series streaming on Netflix.