“Lies and Deceit,” a Spanish thriller, is an adaptation of the British series called “Liar,” written by Harry and Jack Williams. The narrative is like that unique concoction that derives its authenticity from the preciseness of the ingredients that are put together. The emotions are relatable, and even when a situation seems a little far fetched, the performances make sure that it doesn’t stick out. If I describe the narrative literally, there would be nothing that you haven’t heard or seen before.
But what distinguishes “Lies and Deceit” from the other stories is the pragmatic nature of the screenplay, which sticks to its pace and never overemphasizes any aspect. The series stays aloof from blatantly commercializing its execution, but at the same time, never falls short of providing that much-needed thrill that keeps you on the edge of your seats. It is extremely important in such a genre that the screenplay is able to maintain that ambiguity to the point that you don’t know which side to lean.
The first three episodes of “Lies and Deceit” are able to do just that. You are almost deceived into believing something even when you have a hunch that it is not true. The story has a very subtle way of making comments on the stereotypes that exist in our society and often provides a deep analysis of new-age relationships. While making these comments, the narrative never becomes preachy or melodramatic in any manner. Everything is so beautifully webbed together that it flows almost organically, never losing sight of the main conflict or digressing from it.
Nothing about Xavier Vera could have been more perfect. He was a successful surgeon and an able single father. His wife had committed suicide, and since then, he had lived with their son, Lucas. Laura Munar had just broken up with her longtime boyfriend, Ivan. Coincidentally, she used to teach in the same school as Lucas and was acquainted with Xavier from before. When Xavier comes to drop Lucas off at school one day, he meets Laura and, despite the fact that she had just broken up, asks her out. Laura accepts the offer as she is evidently infatuated by the magnetic personality of Xavier, and the two meet for dinner. They go back home, where they have a drink together. Laura wakes up the next morning, and somehow she cannot remember anything from last night, from the point where she had that glass of wine in her home with Xavier. She checks her mobile to find texts from Xavier saying how good the last night was for him. Laura is not able to decipher what exactly happened. She knew that she was attracted to Xavier, but in her senses, she would never have consented to having physical intimacy so quickly. She wanted to take her time, but she didn’t realize what changed overnight: how she consented to something that now she doesn’t have any clear memory of. Laura meets her sister, Cata, and tells her that she has this inescapable feeling that she was drugged and raped. Laura, herself, isn’t entirely certain of the facts. But her instinct tells her something which she is not ready to ignore.
Laura decides to report it to the police. Victor Silva and Daniela Bauza, the detectives, come onboard for the investigation. Laura goes through a medical check, and Xavier is called in to give his testimony. Xavier is baffled beyond belief. He doesn’t understand why Laura would do what she did. Xavier tells the authorities that nothing of that sort happened. It was Laura who called him inside her house, and she was the one who initiated everything. Even the drug test couldn’t prove anything. With no evidence against him, Xavier is released from custody, and Laura is infuriated that he could get away even after doing such a criminal act. After the incident, Laura starts living with Cata.
Another revelation is made when Cata goes to meet Laura’s ex-boyfriend, Ivan. We come to know that they had a secret affair going on, which neither Cata’s husband, Sergio, nor Laura knew about.
Laura gets flashes of the events of that fateful night. She realizes that Xavier had changed the wine glass and was drinking from hers. She remembered seeing her lipstick mark on his glass. It was possible that he had mixed something in her wine. She goes back to her house to find that the glasses have been washed and kept by Xavier. She is even more certain that Xavier did so to remove the strains of the drug used. In his defense, Xavier says that he was just being polite.
Laura cannot take the fact that the culprit walked away so easily without facing any punitive actions. She puts out a post on social media telling everybody that Xavier had raped her.
The social media post that Laura wrote created waves in the lives of all those who were directly or indirectly involved. Lucas is branded as a rapist’s son and is made to feel wretched for the actions of his father. Lucas’ girlfriend, Amal, believes Laura, which creates a rift between the two teenagers. Lucas was very sure that his father couldn’t do something like that, and even Xavier tells his side of the story and makes his son understand that he was being defamed and there was no truth in what Laura was saying.
Some come out in support of Laura on social media, while others consider her accusations to be dubious in nature.
Laura believes that if the detectives searched Xavier’s house, they would definitely find some drugs. She has this intuition that he didn’t do this for the first time. Seeing that the detectives couldn’t do anything without evidence, she steals the keys from Lucas’ bag and trespasses at Xavier’s house. Unexpectedly, Xavier arrives at his house. Laura somehow scampers out of the house without being noticed.
Ivan is able to get a house search warrant somehow, but to the disappointment of Laura, nothing is discovered from Xavier’s house that would incriminate him.
Xavier gets an unknown call and finds it to be from a man named Mario Cuevas. He tells him that he was not the first person that Laura had falsely accused. Mario explains that Laura had accused him and then taken back all the charges. He was innocent, but still, his whole life was turned upside down. At this moment, you are inclined to believe that there is some merit to what Xavier is saying. You start entertaining the possibility that maybe he didn’t commit any crime.
Laura starts feeling a little better and decides to go back to her house, as she had been staying at her sister’s all the while. Mario Cuevas gives his testimony in front of the detectives. Lucas still gets bullied and harassed by his schoolmates. Amal gets to know that she is pregnant. She goes through a miscarriage, and Laura takes her to the hospital. Lucas is also called to the scene, but Amal pleads with Laura to not tell her father about it. Xavier also arrives at the hospital and comes face to face with Laura. It agonizes Laura to see that he believed himself to be a nobleman, not even once feeling guilty about what he had done.
Sergio finds out that Cata has been lying to him about her on-call hospital duties. She was actually not going to the hospital at all. When confronted, she lies to Sergio and says that she had been taking therapy and didn’t want to share the fact with anyone.
Ivan was in the police force and thought that he would be able to help Laura in some manner. But he becomes helpless. Even after being told by the detectives to not poke his nose into matters that didn’t concern him, he was not able to control his urge. He stops Xavier and gives him a threat, but it backfires when Xavier tells him that he knew about him and Cata.
Daniela, who was the lead detective, feels powerless as she empathizes with Laura. She goes to meet Xavier just to intimidate him, but he, without even flinching, tells her that the court has acquitted him of all the charges, and he has no reason to get threatened by her.
Laura’s ring, which was given to her by her mother, had been missing for a few days. She suspected that it would have fallen in Xavier’s house when she trespassed the property. Also, she had thrown a soft toy that reminded her of the fateful night. She wakes one morning to find the soft toy with her mother’s ring on it, kept in her bedroom.
This last sequence of “Lies and Deceit” Episode 3 hints that Laura is being watched, and maybe Xavier knows that she trespassed his property in search of evidence.
Laura is just not ready to believe that what she felt was just a figment of her imagination. She knew that Xavier had raped her, even if the evidence pointed otherwise. She goes to meet Xavier’s mother-in-law, Teresa, as she had once filed a complaint against Xavier when her daughter committed suicide. Laura tries her best, but Teresa doesn’t speak a word against Xavier. She looked petrified and just wanted to end the futile conversation. Laura then meets Elena, who was Xavier’s wife’s best friend. She tells Laura that she too slept with Xavier, or at least she felt that way for the longest time. She said that she had a couple of drinks and woke up the next day in the same bed as Xavier. She knew that she wasn’t that drunk, but like Laura, she couldn’t remember exactly what had happened. She gave into her doubt, but as soon as Laura’s social media post surfaced, she knew what had happened to her. She says that she would testify in court, but just at the last moment, she has a change of heart and leaves Laura stranded once again without any evidence to support her cause.
Daniela, the detective, had tried to intimidate Xavier and, in the process, hurt his ego. He wanted to prove a point. He enters her house and puts a drug called Scopolamine in one of her juices kept in her fridge. Daniela was also pregnant, so when she wakes up feeling a bit under the weather the next morning, she thinks that it is her pregnancy. When the report comes, she comes to know that she had been raped and drugged. It shatters her, and Victor Silva, her colleague, and friend, assures her that he will pin Xavier down.
Laura comes to know that her sister, Cata, had an affair with her ex-boyfriend, Ivan. Before she could fully recover from the existing trauma, she got another setback to cope up with, and this time it involved her own sister.
“Lies and Deceit” Ending Explained – The Revelations of Episode 5 and 6
Daniela decides to put a GPS tracker in Xavier’s’ car. She is having a hard time too, but she refuses to give up. Cata tells her husband, Sergio, that she had an affair which was now over. Sergio feels emotionally crippled by the revelation and decides to live separately for the time being, while he figures out what he wants to do.
Laura convinces Ivan to give her a gun. She thinks hard, but not finding any other way, she decides to directly confront Xavier. She enters his car and, at gunpoint, takes him to the place where she used to come canoeing. She takes him inside a storeroom where all the canoeing equipment is kept. They get into a scuffle where they both injure each other. Detective Daniela arrives at the site, but she couldn’t do much as Xavier was brought there against his will, at a gunpoint. At that moment, Daniela knew that she had to rethink her strategy to incriminate the clever Xavier, because clearly he was a step ahead each and every time.
Daniela planted a spy named Julia in Xavier’s life. Everybody believed that Julia was Xavier’s love interest, but in reality, she was working for Daniela and trying to find evidence against Xavier. Even Laura didn’t know this time that Julia was, in fact, working towards creating a trap for Xavier. Luck seemed to be on Xavier’s side once again, and he came to know that Julia had been playing along all this time. Julia isn’t able to collect any evidence and the plan fails miserably.
Laura encounters Xavier once again, and she gets a hint that he might be recording all his intimate encounters. With Ivan’s and Cata’s help, she hacks into Xavier’s mobile and gets to know that he often keeps his belongings at his mother’s place. She texts Mia from Xavier’s phone number, as she had hacked into it. Mia was his mother’s house help, and when she received a message from Xavier that a colleague would be coming to pick up some stuff, she did not think it to be fishy in any way. Laura goes and searches the storeroom, where she finds the vials that had Scopolamine, the drug that was used by Xavier to intoxicate all his victims. She also finds the recordings that Xavier used to watch often. He had this fetish, something like somnophilia, where he watched those recordings for pleasure.
The evidence reached the detectives, and Xavier understood that now there was no way out. He went missing after the news broke out, and a couple of days later, his dead body was found on a shore.
Laura could finally move on. Had she given up like the others, then surely the catastrophe would have defined her life. But she stuck to her intuition, and it all fell into place.
“Lies and Deceit” is a 2022 Spanish-language drama thriller television series created by Curro Novallas. It makes for an entertaining and gripping watch, with some appeasing performances and a tight screenplay.