‘Raising Voices’ Recap (Episodes 1-8) Explained: Is Berta Dead Or Alive?


Raising Voices is a Spanish-language Netflix original adapted from a novel that is a coming-of-age story that consists of all your usual teenage-drama tropes but at the same time stands out from the crowd as a thought-provoking piece of media. It’s a show that predominantly tells the story of Alma, a girl who is different from the rest of her classmates and is finding it hard to be a regular 17-year-old. Her life is completely turned upside down when she learns that one of her close friends was assaulted at her school. However, the story doesn’t simply focus on Alma; we have three more protagonists: Berta, Greta, and Nata. Greta is Alma’s childhood best friend, while Nata is a newer friend from school. Berta, on the other hand, used to be a good friend of Alma’s until she went through some trouble at school and left, joining art school and completely transforming, or so we think. Let’s get into the details of Raising Voices.

Spoiler Alert

Why does nobody believe Alma? 

To understand why Alma is treated as just a rebel, we need to understand how she’s been through her school years. See, Alma’s always been a bit rebellious, but at the same time, she’s also been doing badly in school and started taking drugs. I suppose we could say Alma doesn’t really fit in. Raising Voices begins with Alma putting up the banner that reads “Be aware, this school is protecting a sexual predator” on the school gates. The rest of the show is about the events that led up to this moment. Alma’s story begins when she decides to run out of the house when she’s grounded for doing badly in school. Her parents are tired of her shenanigans and don’t know how to get a handle on her. Alma takes a ride with strange drug dealers because she’s afraid her parents are going to go after her, and she missed the bus. They verbally tell her some terrifying things, but she manages to leave the car before anything else happens. Finally, after some time out, Alma and Greta make it to the club, where Greta’s brother is waiting with their passes. Alma has a massive crush on Greta’s brother, but he doesn’t seem to reciprocate her feelings for the time being. When Nata learns about the party through social media, she gets mad at her friends for not even asking her. Alma and Greta take some drugs in the club, and it has an adverse effect on Alma. She starts to think dark thoughts. When Greta leaves her for a few minutes, Alma meets an old friend and goes away with him. When she returns from the club and gets home, she’s bombarded by her parents, and her father even hits her for ill-treating her mother. 

What Happened to Alma After the Club? 

Alma’s first sexual encounter is a terrifying one. Though Alma tells her friend Hernan that she wants to have sex, she realizes very soon that this is not how it’s meant to be. In her drugged-up and drunken state, she’s unable to tell him to stop and later gets traumatized by the experience. She keeps getting flashbacks of the day and can’t remember who was with her. When she does realize it’s Hernan, she calls him out for taking advantage of her in a drugged-up state. She says a better friend would’ve simply taken her home instead. This makes Alma feel like it’s all her fault and there’s nobody else to blame for what happened to her. However, Alma’s torment gets worse when she starts to get pictures from an unknown account online. Later, it is revealed that the pictures are from Nata’s boyfriend, Alberto, not Hernan. Hernan apologizes to Alma for not taking her home that night and for taking advantage of her state. 

How Do Greta and Mercedes Get to Know Each Other? 

Greta finds a much older woman in a grocery store and ends up becoming her drug dealer. Mercedes and Greta like each other’s company a lot, and Greta allows Mercedes to believe that she’s not a minor, though she’s only 17. Greta’s brother has been running a cannabis business because their family was in financial trouble. However, he refuses to give Greta the weed she’s asking for, and so Alma and Greta end up going to the terrifying dealers from earlier. They learn that Mercedes is a police officer, and Greta thinks she’s been set up so her brother can be caught. However, this was not actually the case. Mercedes had had a mastectomy, and to deal with her loss, she needed some weed to make herself feel better. She was with the police, but not the narcotics department. Greta and Mercedes’ relationship is still problematic, though, because Greta is 17. So, finally, Mercedes tells her that they can be friends and meet up occasionally. 

Why does Nata start to break into houses? 

Nata is a disciplined child whose every move is watched by her uber-rich parents. She’s been seeing Alberto for a few years, and her parents approve of him, too, but as it goes, Alberto isn’t the golden boy they think he is. Firstly, he’s the one sending pictures of his genitals to Alma and calling her names in front of the whole school. He is also the reason Nata drifts away from Alma, because Alma never liked Alberto. Feeling trapped, Nata decides to break into other rich people’s houses for her and Alberto to live out her fantasies and then vandalize the houses. I suppose Nata’s story is about female pleasure and how to take charge of it, but it’s also about the pressure that forces one to accept what’s pushed on them. On one of the nights, Alberto gets his friends to join the “fun” without Nata’s knowledge. She may have joked around about having many partners, but she never actually meant it. Alberto stands in the corner while his friends threaten to assault Nata. She’s terrified and whimpering, but he doesn’t do a thing. Fortunately, they hear police sirens and run away, leaving Nata physically unharmed but mentally broken. Still, Nata gives Alberto another chance, because her mom basically gives her the message “men will be men” and suggests she keep things going with Alberto, not knowing what he’s done. Ultimately, Nata realizes her mistake was forgiving Alberto and not reporting him. She tells him they’re done in front of all their classmates and that she’s going to tell the police everything before joining Alma in her protest. 

How Did Berta Die?

Once Alma feels violated, she changes and starts to work hard at school and be nicer to her mom. Alma stands up to Hernan, even gets an apology from him, and also gets those drug dealers arrested. Additionally, Alma and Greta’s brother do end up together, but he’s planning on leaving the country and traveling the world for a bit. He asks Alma if she’ll join him, but Alma tells him that that is his dream and she has to make plans for herself, which she ultimately does. 

Berta has been going to art school and now has blue hair and looks much better than she was earlier. However, in truth, the trauma of the sexual assault was too much for Berta, and when her mother leaves her alone at home, she tries to take her own life. At the same time, Alma gets late to a women’s protest march that she had promised to do with her mom and ends up in a car accident in the rush of things. Berta and Alma meet at the emergency center, leaving them some time to talk. Berta tells Alma what the history teacher did to her, and later Alma tells Berta that she had an inkling something like that was happening. I suppose Alma feels guilty because, at 13, she was unable to check up on Berta and help her, but Berta forgives her immediately and tells her that there was nothing she could’ve done because she didn’t know what happened inside the room. 

Alma and Berta start a social media account so that Berta can get her thoughts out while remaining anonymous. Alma uses the names of two victims of sexual assault who spoke up about their assault but were labeled liars to create the account name. They then start posting pictures with meaningful captions that girls who’d been assaulted would relate to. The account grows a decent following, and Alma feels like she’s actually doing something. 

Many months later, Alma, who needs to pass with a good grade to graduate, gets asked by the history teacher if she’d like one-on-one tutoring. She agrees to do it because she wants to catch him in the act and free Berta of her misery, but what she doesn’t understand is that this is completely against Berta’s wishes. Berta is dead-set against Alma being with the teacher alone because nobody will be able to save her in such a situation. However, Alma agrees to do it anyway, and to her surprise, he brings another teacher in to supervise the sessions. Berta then asks Alma if they can post a picture of the guy’s car so that if someone recognizes it, they could come out as a victim, too. It seems by this point, Berta finally sees a point in doing all of this, but Alma tells her about how her own encounter with the guy went, leaving her completely devastated. Berta then thinks Alma thought she was lying and ends up taking her own life by running into oncoming traffic. This makes Alma realize the seriousness of the situation, and she ends up planning a protest against the history teacher. Of course, Alma was also hurting from all the hate she received after it was revealed that the account was hers, threats saying she should be raped for real, but she couldn’t have known how Berta would’ve reacted to the situation. 

Does the history teacher get caught? 

With Berta dead, Alma fears something like this could happen to many other girls at her school. She then decides to paint that banner that the show began with and show the school what she’s made of. She also posts a picture of the man’s face online in case someone recognizes his face and comes out as a victim. It actually works, and the sexual predator is caught, leaving Alma and her friends proud and happy. Raising Voices is obviously a fictional tale, though it is still a very inspiring one. It’s a show that motivates those who suffer to not stay silent. The last bit is quite emotional and shows how important friendship and support are in such a case. Through the stories of the different girls, we get different perspectives on their reactions to assault. We also get to see the many ways someone can experience assault, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be the act of rape itself. If nothing else, I’d say Raising Voices can at least help spread awareness about such things through a typically teenage drama.

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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