Muted, or Silencio, is a new Spanish mystery drama series on Netflix that sets out with the unusual promise of having a mute protagonist accused of committing a heinous crime. The plot centers around Sergio Ciscar, a young man who pushed his parents off their apartment balcony when he was still a legal minor. Although Sergio had been jailed for his actions, he had never spoken to any of the police or legal authorities about why he had committed the crime, even after six years. Despite an interesting premise and an entertaining visual style, Muted ends up being too unconvincing and self-indulgent and is ultimately not worth the watch.
‘Muted’ Plot Summary: What Is The Series About?
Muted begins with a scene on one evening when a woman calmly rides her bicycle down a main road but is horrified to suddenly see someone fall from a high apartment balcony. As the victim, a woman, lies dead, another victim, this time a man, also falls in the same manner. With a crowd gathering near the two dead bodies, we are taken inside the apartment from where they had fallen, with a teenager named Sergio in focus. It is evident from the state of the apartment that a huge fight had taken place there, and Sergio is left shaken and nervous from the whole incident. He walks around the place calling out for someone named Noa, and it is then revealed that Noa happens to be his younger sister, who is a child of seven or eight. Sergio sits down to comfort Noa, and as the siblings embrace, the timeline shifts to six years later.
Having served most of his prison sentence, Sergio Ciscar is being released from juvenile prison, and the man still remains silent with the authorities. Throughout this entire time, Sergio has talked to only a few selective people, and he has not spoken about his murder to them either. Dubbed the “Balcony Killer,” his image in public is still tainted, as most want him severely punished for having killed his parents. In order to understand the man’s reasoning and mindset, a psychiatric expert named Ana Dussuel gets special permission from the court to conduct a detailed study of Sergio. As part of this study, Sergio’s apartment and building are planted with numerous hidden cameras, and Ana gets access to all security cameras in the city as well. The plan is to keep track of Sergio at all times and form an analysis of his psyche. However, what turns up at the end of this experiment is something quite unexpected for all the characters involved.
What Was Natanael Torroja Involved In?
The very conditions on which Sergio is released from prison are two: that he will always keep his ankle monitor on and stay out of any trouble, and that he will serve the rest of his prison sentence by doing community work with a religious organization. A man named Natanael Torroja runs this organization, which offers a second chance to ex-convicts and criminals by allowing them to work in a big greenhouse, where various plants are farmed. It was the judge in Sergio’s case who had appointed Natanael, who is also an evangelical priest, to be the young man’s tutor. Natanael’s role is to help Sergio reach a mental state in which he can be reintegrated back into society without being a threat to anyone’s safety. Despite the apparent psychological and religious associations involved with the whole matter, Natanael’s character and his greenhouse farmland seem extremely fishy and dubious.
The first few days are very smooth, as the priest introduces Sergio to his wife and the rest of the workers, and he even protects the young man from some of the other ex-convicts who do not like him. But soon after, once Sergio starts regularly visiting the farm to work, Natanael grows quite controlling and harsh on the protagonist, often ordering him around. He makes Sergio write him a list of all the people that the young man considers close, almost as if there is some ulterior motive behind it. Even the way in which Natanael’s greenhouse farm operates makes it seem like the man is actually secretly growing drugs at the place.
Although Muted never shows anything like this or even clearly states why Natanael’s character is being developed in such a negative manner, the man keeps looking more suspicious with every episode. The whole matter escalates with the arrival of another young woman named Arantxa, who comes to the farm soon after Sergio. The woman shows some interest in Sergio, as both are of the same age, but Natanael does not take this well. He tells Sergio to stay away, and then it is ultimately revealed that Natanael was making Arantxa get sexually intimate with clients from high positions of authority and government in order to gain favors with them. It seems likely that Natanael Torroja actually has some involvement in criminal or illegal businesses, and in order to get support from corrupt men with power, he makes Anrantxa get intimate with them. It is also most likely that the man coerces Arantxa to get intimate with him as well. In the case of Sergio and the other male members, Natanael possibly wants to train them to become criminals for his organized cult-like group, and this is why he helps juvenile convicts.
In the end, Sergio confronts Natanael, and the older man is about to attack him when Arantxa lands a severe blow on the vile man. By now, Arantxa had been taken advantage of numerous times, and as her revenge, she wanted to hurt Natanael all by herself. But one more woman joins in—Natanael’s wife, Silvia—who also now wants revenge against the man for having cheated on her and also for destroying the life of a young woman. Arantxa and Silvia both kill Natanael together as Sergio walks away from the place.
Why Did Sergio Kill His Parents? Where Was The Younger Sister, Noa?
Gradually, as the plot progresses, the real reason behind Sergio’s silence about the murders he committed is revealed. After Marta successfully gets close to him, he shows her videos that young Noa used to take on her phone all the time. Investigating these videos, Ana learns that Sergio was being given ampules of drugs by his mother, Blanca. As Ana knew very well, Blanca Ciscar was a renowned psychiatrist with a lot of experience in the field. In fact, Blanca had been very supportive of Ana during her academic and professional days, and the two almost had a mother-daughter relationship between them. Later on, when Sergio gets a chance to talk about this, the young man says that he was indeed being given experimental drugs by his mother as a sort of cruel experiment. Sergio was very negatively affected by these drugs, and although he wanted the experimentation to stop, Blanca would always manage to get him to take the medicines.
After suffering through these extremely tortuous tests conducted by Blanca, Sergio got to know that his mother was targeting his younger sister Noa next. Although Noa was an adopted child, she was always very close with Sergio, and the brother was always extremely protective of her. Sergio states that on the night of the murder, Blanca was determined to try her medicine on Noa, while the boy tried his best to stop her. He then got his father, Javier, involved, who also did not approve of Blanca’s plan, and this resulted in a major argument between the couple. The argument soon turned into a violent fight, and in the heat of the moment, Javier pushed Blanca from their balcony. Shaken by what he had just done and still very loving of his wife, the man then jumped from the balcony and killed himself. So, according to Sergio’s confession, it was his father who killed his mother and then committed suicide. The protagonist says that he did not reveal any of this earlier because he wanted to protect Noa from seeing her parents like that, and so he kept her company. By the time the police came, they were sure that it was Sergio who had committed the crime, and the boy never claimed his innocence since nobody would believe him.
It is also revealed that after the horrific incident, which had killed her parents and gotten her elder brother imprisoned, Noa was adopted by Ana and her husband. At present, Noa is a teenage girl living at Ana’s house as her daughter. Noa does vividly remember everything that happened at her earlier family house, but she seemingly does not say much about it to anyone. The girl is affected after seeing the news of her brother’s release from prison, but she cannot do much about it. Finally, when the chance comes for Noa to go and meet Sergio, she is adamant to do so, even against her father’s will. In fact, the final confrontation takes place at Sergio’s house, where Ana is already present, and then Noa arrives.
Why Was Police Inspector Cabrera Trying To Sabotage Ana’s Work?
From the very moment that police inspector Cabrera was made part of Ana’s team, there seemed something off about his intentions. The man claimed that he was part of the team because the police also wanted to keep a check on the psychiatric evaluation and on Ana herself. However, Cabrera repeatedly tries to create situations where the experiment can no longer take place, and Ana’s work has to be stopped. At first, he gets Sergio arrested for a framed crime, and this is a great relief for him as Ana can no longer track the young man since he is sent back to prison. When Ana manages to get Sergio out again, Cabrera steps up and recruits two of Ana’s trusted workers to instead work for him. At first, he gets Mikel, and through him, Cabrera plants a surveillance bug inside Ana’s office to hear all her personal plans. Next, Cabrera also hires Greta, who is Ana’s assistant and second-in-command, and intends to bring the psychiatrist down.
Inspector Cabrera turns out to be a corrupt cop who had been working for some influential and powerful man in either the government or the industrial sector. Although this man is seen a number of times, Muted does not seem to make it clear who he is or what his motive behind stopping Ana is. Going by the suggestions left in some of the scenes, it seems like the influential man was involved with the laboratory that made the neurotic drugs that Blanca had been trying out on her son Sergio. As public revelation about the existence and experimentation of such drugs would cause major slander against the laboratory, the man wanted this psychiatric investigation to be stopped and Sergio Ciscar to be returned to prison. This was why he had been paying Cabrera to sabotage the operation, and their final victory came when Cabrera was able to get hold of the medicine ampules that Ana had collected for evidence. Since the ampules are the only thing linking the laboratory to this case, the corrupt man throws them into the water, destroying the evidence. However, Mikel had managed to keep away one ampule, which he used to file an official complaint against the laboratory and Cabrera. In the end, Inspector Cabrera is arrested on charges of corruption, and he is understood to be jailed.
‘Muted’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Noa, Ana And Sergio?
When Noa finally arrives at Sergio’s apartment, which is the same place where their parents died six years ago, the girl lets her brother embrace her. It is clear that she, too, has enough love for the young man, but then Noa reveals that whatever Sergio had said in his apparent confession was completely false. Noa then makes the ultimate revelation—Sergio was already a bad kid with seemingly the wrong influences in life. He had also been suffering from multiple psychological disorders, for which Blanca herself had been treating him by giving him medicines. However, Sergio believed that these medicines were experimental drugs, and he also firmly believed that his mother was poisoning him intentionally. On the night of the murder, Sergio had returned home late in a very aggressive mental state, and he had a major argument with Blanca when she tried to administer the medicines. It was Sergio who then attacked his mother and pushed her off the balcony. When Javier came running moments later, the boy pushed his father as well, meaning that he was very directly responsible for the deaths of both his parents.
This revelation makes it clear that Sergio was indeed a psychopath who had been making up stories and convincingly telling them all this time to ensure his safety. On the other side, Ana was clearly suffering from hybristophilia, meaning that she was deeply attracted to the troubled psyche of Sergio Ciscar. Blanca had indeed been studying her son’s mental condition, which is evident from the fact that she would record videos of Sergio from her hidden room, but she was not doing anything wrong or intentionally harmful to him. But this does not really explain why the high-ranking man was paying Cabrera to sabotage Ana’s mission. Either way, Muted ultimately shows Sergio to have been the one to have killed his parents.
At the end of Muted, Noa asks Ana to leave the place with her, but the psychiatrist chooses to stay with Sergio. Almost as if feeling let down by what he had done, Ana hugs Sergio and then moves to the apartment’s balcony along with him. As we are then shown blurry and glitchy footage from one of the broken, hidden cameras, only one figure remains on the balcony, while the other body is seen falling down from the building and dying. The most probable outcome is perhaps that Sergio had killed his third victim, and he would be returned to prison, ruining his life forever. It could also be that it was Ana who had pushed Sergio off and killed him, as a weird tribute to her even weirder obsession with the young man. While the ending is intentionally left unclear, what is absolutely certain is that there could not have been a more pretentious end to an already hopeless crime drama series like Muted.