“Now and Then” Episode 1 opens with a group of six friends, Ana, Sofia, Daniela, Marcos, Alejandro, and Pedro, partying at a beach at night in Miami. Fast-forward 20 years, and they are all living their own lives with no contact with each other until they all receive the same anonymous text. Something happened that night at the party, and it just caught up to them after all these years.
Episode 1 is divided between the past and the present, just like the name of the show, i.e., “Now and Then.” And we will also divide the episode in that form. So let’s begin with what happened “then.” All that follows are recordings of Daniela’s handycam.
The Last Party
The year is 2000. At night, Ana, Sofia, Daniela, Marcos, Alejandro, and Pedro are celebrating at a beach in Miami. They have just completed college and are about to venture into their careers. Ana is with Alejandro. Sofia is with Marcos. Pedro and Daniela are single. Daniela is recording all the fun on her handycam. Meanwhile, Ana drops some “ecstasy” (drugs) inside the beer bottles before passing them to her friends. Sometime later, while Ana, Sofia, Daniela, and Pedro are relaxing on the beach, Marco, who was all this while enjoying the waves with Alejandro, yells for help. We next see all of them trying to revive Alejandro, who is on the ground unconscious. They take him to the car, intending to take him to the nearest hospital. Rash’s driving takes the shape of a bloodied accident that leaves Alejandro dead (or so it seems) along with the lady of the other car, which their car hit. All five of them start freaking out, scared that they will go to jail. They finally decide to come to an agreement that all of them will tell the police the same things when asked about the incident. They then left the spot.
An Unusual Death
The police arrived at the scene after some time. We have lead detective Sullivan and his assistant Flora, both from the department of homicide. Flora notices that one of the back doors of the car, in which Alejandro was found, is open. She finds this unusual, but Sullivan brushes her doubts off and decides to let Alejandro’s parents know about their son’s death. Both of them arrive the next morning at Alejandro’s home. His mother and father are grief-stricken, and they say that they tried to contact him when it was late (around 4 or 5 in the morning), but he didn’t receive their call. This means that he had a cell phone on him, something that was missing from the evidence. Flora calls his folks and tells them to search if there was a cell phone acquired. Flora then comes across Pedro, whose mom works at Alejandro’s house. That’s how they became friends and have been so since they were little kids. They also talk to Sofia regarding the accident. What Flora finds odd is the fact that both Pedro and Sofia know the exact time when they say Alejandro left the beach in his car but are unable to say anything else. As for Marcos, they are unable to get any information out of him, thanks to his family lawyer, Silvia Bartomeu. After they leave, Marcos calls Ana and tells her that the police are looking for Alejandro’s cell phone, which apparently she has. But Ana says that she has taken care of it, and it is not with her anymore.
Back at the morgue, Sullivan and Flora are shown Alejandro’s body and told that every wound is from the accident except one, a broken blood vessel in his eye, the most plausible reason for which is a punch. This means that he got into a fight at the beach. The other striking thing is that he didn’t die due to the accident but died earlier. The toxicology report revealed the drug “ecstasy” in his blood.
All Evidence is Gone
Ana, Sophia, Daniela, Marcos, and Pedro meet up at a bridge to decide what to do next. For the time being, they have evaded the police. But the last thing that remains to be done is to destroy the tape that has the recordings of that fateful night. Daniela has it on her, and she gives it to Marcos, who throws it into the river. All the evidence is now gone.
The Message from the Present
We arrive 20 years later in the “now.” Ana is now married to Pedro. Marcos is also married, but not to Sophia. Sophia and Daniela are leading lives of their own, seemingly unmarried. All of them receive a text that tells them to come to the college alumni reunion or else their secret will be out in the open. Sure enough, all of them arrived at the reunion and met each other after 20 years. As the projector screen shows Alejandro’s picture as a gesture of thanks to his parents for donating money for a new college library, Ana is taken back to all those years ago when she and Alejandro were together, only to return to reality a few moments later. After some time, all five of them receive another text; one that tells each of them to have one million dollars ready at midnight on the coming Friday, and the next instructions will be sent soon to them.
Should We Pay Or Should We Not?
A debate follows as to what they should do about it and whether they should give the money or not. Out of options, Marcos reaches out to his family lawyer, Silvia Bartomeu, who hasn’t aged much physically since her last appearance. According to her, Marcos can either go to the police and sell his friends out and make a deal, or he can pay the amount. But he isn’t satisfied with either option. He isn’t willing to sell out his friends, who have kept the secret along with him for 20 years. And he isn’t willing to pay because there is no guarantee that whoever is doing it won’t return for more money. However, Silvia tells him that time is required to find out who the culprit is, and that paying is the only way to buy that time.
That night, Pedro receives a call and finds out that Marcos’s lawyer thinks it’s better to pay, something to which both Sophia and Daniela have agreed. Pedro tells Ana this, who is not at all satisfied with the decision. But for Pedro, who is running his own election campaign, not paying means going to jail, which will ruin his whole political career. Ana, who isn’t over Alejandro yet, addresses Pedro as Alejandro and corrects herself. Pedro doesn’t say anything but goes on talking about the current scenario when Ana interrupts. Their son, Luis, is up after having wet his bed. Ana takes her son to the bathroom and ends the discussion with the words, “We’re not paying.”
Pedro decides to go against his wife, comes to his office, and takes one million dollars from his campaign funds. All of them come with their money, other than Ana. They get the money together, and Marcos hands it over to his lawyer, Silvia, who is the one tasked with handing it over to whoever is pulling the strings. Silvia leaves in her car with the money, and it is only Marcos and Sophia who are left behind, Pedro and Daniela having already left. They end up making love in Marcos’ car. Then Marcos drops Sophia off at her place and returns home. Sophia gets a call from a person who seems to be her boss of some kind and isn’t happy with her for taking his money without his permission. So, this is the person from whom Sophia took her one million dollars.
‘Now and Then’ Episode 1 Ending Explained – Who Killed Daniela?
Later that night, Silvia arrives at Marcos’ place and tells him that it is Daniela who is blackmailing them. Marcos tells this to Ana, who then tells it to Pedro. Marcos decides to pay Daniela a visit. The scene shifts to Daniela’s place, but it isn’t what was expected. We see a crime scene with lots of policemen and a dead Daniela on the ground. Her throat is slit. It was Marcos who found her body. And what makes things more interesting is that the officer in charge of the investigation is none other than Flora Neruda, who was the detective-in-charge for Alejandro’s case 20 years ago.
The police discover a box full of tapes that are sent to the lab. Marcos notices this and is transported to the same moment when he threw away that tape (number 35) into the river. “Now and Then” Episode 1 ends with Flora playing the tapes one by one and watching them, the last one being number 34. Only Episode 2 will reveal whether there is another copy of tape no. 35 or whether Marcos really threw away the only concrete evidence all those years ago.