‘Recurrence’ Ending, Explained: Who Had Murdered Samantha Sosa?

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“Recurrence” is an Argentinian film about a retired cop who coincidentally gets entangled in a murder mystery. Pipa chose to live her life in peace with her son and her aunt, Alicia, but it all changed when one night she noticed a young woman in her backyard who was found murdered the next morning. Samantha Sosa was a recovering addict who worked as a waiter at the Carreras party held the previous night. While it was concluded by the police that Sami died as a result of a fire accident, Alicia could not accept it right away. She requested Pipa to look into the case as it was only her conclusion that she could trust. While the plot did sound interesting, “Recurrence” failed to keep me interested in the murder mystery tale. From the overcrowding of the subplots where one revelation was followed by another, to the background score that was at times misplaced, and the cinematography, which was quite average, particularly the first oddly paced drone shot that “Recurrence” used to establish the story, completely threw me off. The set location worked for the film, perhaps the only interesting aspect of “Recurrence.”

Spoilers Ahead


‘Recurrence’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

Samantha Sosa was mesmerized by the extravagant lifestyle of the Carreras. Even though she was a waitress at the party, she could not help but indulge in the luxury. Samantha sneaked into one of the rooms and tried her hands on the makeup that was lying on the dressing table. She was found by Cruz, the son of the esteemed family. Samantha was last seen by her friend at the party, enjoying herself with Cruz and his friends. Naturally, Pipa doubted Cruz and confronted him. He readily denied the allegation, admitting that he gave her his sister’s jewelry but did not know that she was burned to death the same night. Even if Cruz was not responsible for Sami’s murder, Pipa knew that there was a secret that the family was hiding.

Meanwhile, the police arrested a Qulla leader named Nahuel Mamani the same night that Samantha was murdered. While the mayor wanted to set an example with the arrest, the indigenous community publicly expressed their anger at police brutality. The indigenous population was protesting against the un-rightful occupation of their land by the Carreras family for mining, and the arrest was a way to silence the community. The mayor’s son, Augustin Oregon, was engaged to Mercedes, the daughter of the Carreras. Therefore, it was the family dynamics and mutual benefit that led to the mayor’s support in repressing the voice that spoke against the occupation of the property.

After Maria exposed a picture of Augustin with Sami taken on the night of the party, Pipa knew that those involved would try to flee. She doubted Louis Paredes, who worked for the Carreras. He was seen in front of her house around the same time that she spotted a woman escaping. He reasoned that he was out hunting for a cougar, but Pipa no longer believed it to be true. She reached his place and found that he was indeed trying to escape. She accused him of attempting to rape Sami and killing her after. Paredes could not deal with the accusation and admitted that he had killed her by mistake. He was not supposed to murder her, but after holding onto her tightly when a group of strangers crossed them, Samantha passed away. But Pipa could not help but wonder why Paredes was following Sami. Had Sami witnessed something that threatened the entire family?


How Was Sami’s Phone Crucial In Solving The Murder Mystery?

The most important link in the case was Samantha’s cellphone. Pipa knew that it was the key element to figuring out what had happened that night. She and Rufino, an indigenous policeman, worked on the case together in secret. Rufino informed her about the cellphone’s location the moment he saw that it was switched on. As it turned out, the phone was with Pipa’s son, Tobias. He and his friends took pictures of cougar footprints with the phone camera, unaware of the importance of the phone in the case. It was not just Pipa who was looking for the phone, but also the senior policemen who worked for the Carreras to protect their secret. Tobias ran away from the police when they attempted to snatch the phone from him and went to his aunt’s place. He explained that he had found the phone in the backyard. Alicia found a video taken by Sami that could be the reason for the murder.

The video was of an intimate moment between Cruz and his sister, Mercedes. The incestuous relationship was a secret that the family wanted to protect, and for that, they hunted Sami. Throughout the film, it was established that Cruz was disturbed by his sister’s marriage to the mayor’s son. To make Mercedes jealous, Cruz had dressed Sami in her clothing, and Mercedes made out with him after noticing his sudden interest in the new girl. Cruz was initially unaware of the fact that his family was responsible for murdering the girl. His mother denied it, stating that her death was an accident and not something that she intended to do. Gradually, we get to know that it was not just the death of Sami that bothered Cruz, but also a secret that he and his sister desperately tried to hide. They had murdered a man, though Mercedes does not mention his name. Did Samantha know this secret? Was she murdered to hide the details of another murder?


‘Recurrence’ Ending Explained: Who Had The Carreras Sibling Murdered?

Alicia asked Tobias to find his mother and hand her the phone. In the meantime, she was greeted by the police commissioner, who expressed his interest in searching for Tobias. Alicia explained that she had the phone now. She went into her room and returned with a gun in her hand. While she threatened the police to leave, she was shot in the chest by the commissioner. Pipa found her son right outside their house, hiding. The commissioner was informed that the boy had left, and they took off, leaving a policeman behind. When he started torturing Alicia, who was struggling to breathe, Pipa attacked him and stabbed him to death. In her final moment, Alicia instructed Pipa to hand the phone to Rufino and bring justice to Sami.

The video not only contained the intimate moment between the siblings but also showed how Mercedes murdered Paco when he entered the room. Paco always had his eyes on Cruz, and Mercedes did not like him for it. Now that he had witnessed them getting intimate, she attacked him, fearing that he would tell everyone the truth. She asked Cruz to find her mother, and, in the meantime, she smacked his head with an object, which led to his death. Sami had recorded it all, and at the end of the video, it is clear that Mercedes had seen her hiding. Pipa knew that she had to protect the phone at all costs, so she removed the sim card from the phone. The police announced a search warrant for Pipa as she fled away with her son. They were followed by a police car, and she entered the abandoned mine to protect herself. She informed Rufino that Sami and Paredes were murdered by the Carreras family. She asked him for help and protection.

Due to a prior injury, Pipa started feeling weak. She asked Tobias to find Rufino and hand him the phone. The police entered the mine and soon found the mother and son. The police commissioner pointed the gun at Pipa and asked her to hand over the phone. It was during this conversation that he explained the reason why he protected the Carreras family; it was all for his son, Cruz. He had a relationship with Etelvina, and Cruz was their son. After the shocking revelation, Pipa informed him that she did not have the phone. When he asked Tobias to hand it over, the mother and son coordinated their move and managed to shoot the commissioner to death.

At the end of “Recurrence,” Rufino testifies in court about Sami’s murder. The mining property is protected due to the ongoing litigation between the indigenous population and the town council. Pipa and Tobias mourn the death of Alicia. Therefore, it can be assumed that the video helped in bringing the attention of the law to the Carreras family. They no longer had the commissioner to protect them, and Rufino cared only for the truth. Apart from the murder mystery, “Recurrence” comments on how the native population is treated in a country where the white man continues to be dominant. It also highlights the easy availability of firearms, which is accessible to the young population as well.


“Recurrence” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Alejandro Montiel.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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