“The Resort” is a comedy-drama series that mingles with magic realism. The series unfolds in the south of Mexico in the Riviera Maya, a district that is popularly known for tourism and all-inclusive resorts. The couple, Emma and Noah, had been married for ten years now and wanted a relaxing vacation to celebrate their anniversary; Bahia del Paraiso seemed like the perfect option. Clearly, Emma and Noah are far from an affectionate couple. They are no longer adventurous and lack zeal. Emma would often wonder if their marriage had lost its meaning.
The first episode is bound to remind you of “The White Lotus,” though “The Resort” does not follow the same route and instead takes an unexpected turn. What seemed to be a couple’s vacation turned into a true crime thriller, which later turned into a tale of magic and fantasy. “The Resort” is profound and memorable. I kept going back to it several times. At a time when we are bombarded with thousands of shows and films, “The Resort” manages to hold its place firmly.
‘The Resort’ Plot Summary: What Is The Series About?
Even though they had a dinner plan, Noah fell asleep. They were no longer the young couple beaming with energy to try something new. Emma looked at herself in the mirror and every flaw was magnified. We get a closer look at the belly stitches, indicating birth, yet the fact that they were not accompanied by a little one told a different story. She could feel her toothache as she brushed her teeth. Emma’s losing interest in her relationship was further confirmed when she took an online test, though we never got to know which option she chose for a question asking if she envisioned her future with her spouse. The next morning, the couple participated in a group trip during which Emma fell off her ATV and rolled down a forest path. As she opened her eyes, she noticed a cell phone. It was an old, dusty phone left in the middle of the forest, but for some reason, she decided to take it along with her.
As Noah fell asleep, Emma walked out of the resort and bought a similar phone to insert the sim card from the old phone. She discovered pictures of a young man, Sam, and while looking at someone else’s world seemed interesting at first, it gradually became concerning. Emma came across texts from his parents asking him about his whereabouts. She went out again to check the Oceana Vista Hotel, where Sam stayed with his parents. The hotel was destroyed by a hurricane, and people were killed as a result. She returned home and looked up the incident on the internet. She read about the hurricane, a dead body, and two missing individuals, Sam and Violet. Now that she had found the phone, Emma had a purpose. She had to find out what had happened to Sam.
Meanwhile, the audience has the upper hand since we get to learn about Sam and Violet’s story before Emma figures it out. Sam was on vacation with his parents and his girlfriend, Hanna. On their way to the Riviera Maya, Sam found out that Hanna was cheating on him with her professor. He never confronted her but started to maintain a distance from her. Oceana Vista seemed strange from the get-go, with a headless iguana and a fancily dressed head of security. Sam’s path crossed Violet’s as he was skating across the resort. She helped him stitch his head after he fell off the skateboard. That was how the two strangers turned into friends.
Noah trusted his wife, but he was curious when she received a message. He stopped himself from being the doubtful husband, and as he tried to keep the phone back, he found the old phone. While having breakfast, he confronted her about the phone. Emma was visibly irritated by the fact that her husband looked into her bag. But she went ahead to confide in him what she had discovered. She discussed how Sam went missing fifteen years ago, along with a girl named Violet. Though the police found no evidence pointing to the fact that the girl and the boy knew each other, Therefore, it was investigated as two different missing cases that occurred at the same time and at the same place. Meanwhile, a body washed ashore. It was unrecognizable due to mutilation and decomposition, though it was confirmed that it was not Sam’s body. It was a lot of information for Noah to process, but what bothered him the most was Emma’s intention with the phone. She was passionate about the case, but they had traveled to spend a relaxing vacation and not solve a crime. Even though Noah was apprehensive at first, he gave in to it knowing how his wife felt about it. They agreed to submit the phone to the police before leaving, but till then, they would accumulate as much information as they could. Even though it was Emma’s project, something that she wanted to work on alone and have just for herself, they ended up joining the pieces together and learning more about Emma and Violet.
Who Were The Frias? How Were They Connected To Sam And Violet?
When Emma and Noah studied the deleted messages, they learned that Sam and Violet were indeed connected. They met one another at the resort and became friends, though they failed to understand a text message that read, “don’t mess with the yellow snake; it has four noses.” They asked around about it and were informed that the house symbol of the Frias family was the yellow snake. They were an empire that had an influence on politics as well as real estate. They started as a clothing business and continued to be the best at it. Since they were an influential family, it was advised to stay away from them and to cause no trouble for them.
Emma concluded that she had seen the Frias symbol at the Oceana Vista resort, and the couple decided to talk to the Frias to find out more. At Casa de Moda Frias, Emma and Noah talked to an employee and found out that the eldest son of the Frias family worked at the Oceana Vista resort. Balthasar Frias was the most talented tailor in the Frias family, but he gave it all away. They went back to the resort and searched for pictures of Oceana Vista resort, where they spotted Balthasar, and beside him stood Luna, the woman who greeted them at the entrance of the hotel they were staying in. They rushed to Luna, who refused to give them information. She only stated that Balthasar worked as the head of security. This further raised suspicion, and they went to the policeman who was investigating the case to confirm their doubt. Turns out, he too believed that it was Balthasar Frias who was responsible for the missing individuals, but due to the hurricane, he lost all evidence and could not charge him. He warned Emma and Noah to not lose themselves in uncovering the mystery. Meanwhile, Luna met Balthasar at Izamal, Yucatan, and informed him about the tourists who were searching for him.
Emma concluded that if she could match the wall that was in the picture taken of Sam and Violet on his phone, she would be able to solve the case. She assumed that the two went to Balthasar’s room to get the skateboard, and he killed them there. Noah and Emma went to the abandoned Oceana Vista Resort, but no matter which room she went into, she could not match the walls. After looking at the hotel from afar, she realized that the picture had arches that were present in the top-floor rooms. They climbed up but realized that the top floor room did not have staircase access and was rather connected through emergency stairs. Even though Noah thought it was a bad idea, Emma went ahead and climbed the stairs. The room was strange; it had a mural of the hotel and innumerable sticky notes pasted all across the walls. Soon, they heard a noise. There was someone else at the resort. They hid at first, but Emma jumped out and attacked the man, who turned out to be Balthasar Frias. He got hold of the phone, which had Sam’s sim card, and Emma attacked him. As a result, he dropped the phone, and it broke into pieces.
After a few minutes, Balthasar gained consciousness, and he was stunned to learn that Emma and Noah thought he was the culprit. He asked them for evidence, but they barely had any. He added that he came from a family of tailors and not murderers; therefore, it was strange for them to assume that he was the killer. He made fun of the novice detective duo for not conducting a thorough investigation and started narrating the true story.
Who Was Alexander Vasilakis? How Was He Connected To The Disappearance Of Sam And Violet?
Balthasar narrated the story of Alexander Vasilakis, the misunderstood owner of the Oceana Vista. No one knew where Alexander came from; he simply appeared from a jungle one day and decided to build a resort. Balthasar described him as profound yet not brilliant. He interviewed Balthasar in his unique way and managed to find out his real passion. Knowing how he wanted to become a detective, he was assigned the post of head of security. Balthasar became his close confidant, and he trusted him blindly. Alex informed Balthasar that he suffered from memory leakage. He could feel his memory leak through his ears. Even though Alex seemed eccentric, he managed to run the resort smoothly for five years and provided a safe space for his employees. They had all become a family by then, and they were grateful to Alex for bringing them together. But gradually, Alex’s memory leakage started to affect the business. He distrusted his employees and doubted that they stole from him. He chopped the heads of iguanas because they gave him the creeps. He barely had any memory of his childhood, his parents, or even his first love. He was a human being living without any knowledge of his past. He started to write whatever seemed important and stuck it to the walls. He believed that the resort would be destroyed by a natural calamity, and he stopped caring about the business altogether. The mural on the wall was his creation to remember the people associated with the resort, but gradually it became the memory of the resort. The mural denoted all that the resort witnessed, and strangely enough, it had the image of Sam and Violet standing next to the window of his room.
Alex met Sam and Violet on Christmas Eve. They joined the party of the resort staff and were having a gala time until they noticed Alex. Violet had seen Alex riding Sam’s skateboard before; she instructed him to take his room keys to get back the skateboard. After Alex refused to discuss the skateboard, Sam stole the keys, but he soon received a blow on his face from Alex. Sam and Violet ran to Alex’s room; they were drunk and charged with sudden excitement. They shared a kiss and proceeded to make out in Alex’s room when they heard someone enter. Balthasar had seen in the CCTV footage that Alex had followed the young couple, and the next thing he knew was that Alex left in his jeep early in the morning. When Balthasar questioned Alex, he did not remember anything. The skateboard was in his room, and he stated that it was his. He told Balthasar that the storm would solve all the problems. After the hurricane, no one would find out or remember the missing individuals. Till now, Balthasar doubted Alex, knowing how obsessive he could get when he thought someone stole from him and believed that the mural on the wall was a meaningless scribble. But it all changed when he noticed that the mural had images of Emma and Noah. A mural that was drawn 15 years ago predicted that they would become an integral part of the Oceana Vista Resort. Balthasar no longer tried to study the case objectively; he was trying to understand the deeper philosophical reasons that led to the discovery of the phone and the uncovering of a case that was discarded fifteen years ago.
How Was Alex Responsible For The Present Discoveries?
After hearing what Balthasar had narrated, Emma and Noah realized that the case was far more complicated than they had thought it would be. Balthasar asked personal questions, believing that by only understanding the group’s personal losses, they could understand the case. While finding the cell phone could be a divine coincidence, what if it was all mapped out in time? What if it was Emma who had to live through the entire journey to understand her life better, which is why she was the one who found the phone? Balthasar knew that to solve the case, they needed to understand a lot more than logical explanations. He believed that only by going to the spot where the accident occurred could they chance upon other pieces of evidence.
Luna joined them as they searched the forest. They divided themselves into two groups: Noah and Luna formed one team, and Balthasar and Emma formed another. Noah discussed with Luna how losing their child right after giving birth affected them as a couple. He always believed that Emma lived with the regret of not looking at the baby’s face after giving birth. That regret tortured her every day and created a rift between the two. Meanwhile, Emma and Balthasar tried to emulate the accident. Noah thought Emma was injured again and rushed to help her, but he lost his footing and fell on his face. As he looked up, he spotted another dusty old phone. It had a video recording of Alex informing the viewers that Violet and Sam had gone to meet Illan Iberra to find Pasaje. Balthasar was not wrong; Alex knew the future, and he kept the phones exactly at the spots where Emma and Noah would find them. By now, it became clear that it was a lot more than a true crime, a story that involved a man who could see the future and transcend time yet remembered nothing of the past. As a result, Alex was no longer the suspect since Violet and Sam were not with him as Balthasar had initially believed.
That night, when Alex found Violet and Sam, he took the book that Violet had carried in her bag. La Desilusion Del Tiempo was a book that Violet’s mother had gifted her before she passed away. She wrote on the pages of the chapter named “Pasaje” that she would meet Violet there. Violet was desperate to know where Pasaje was, and she knew that only Illan Iberra could help her find it. When Alex read the first few pages of the book, he stated that the book was about him. Later, Iberra told Sam and Violet that he had traveled to Pasaje with his best friend, Alejandro. He managed to leave the place in 1982, but he is not sure if his friend ever made his way out. This indicates that Alejandro was Alexander, perfectly fitting the description of a man appearing from a forest since Pasaje was in the forest. Therefore, Alex was right to recognize the character from the book since Iberra did write about him. But throughout “The Resort” series, we do not get to know how Alex found his way back, or what helped him to get out of Pasaje, though one thing is for sure, he stayed way longer there than Iberra. After reading the book, Alex wanted to meet Iberra. He took out his jeep, and Sam and Violet accompanied him. But halfway through the journey, he had a change of heart, and he decided to not meet him. He stated that now he remembered what he was supposed to do, he advised them to not go to Pasaje and instead go home. After that, he placed Sam and Violet’s phones in the forest where they were discovered fifteen years later. Alex knew that the duo would head to Pasaje and would be lost due to the hurricane. It was his responsibility to keep the phones in the right places to help others find them. He was doing what he had already envisioned by transcending time.
‘The Resort’ Ending Explained: What Was The Pasaje? What Stopped Emma From Going Back To The Past?
When Emma, Noah, Balthasar, and Luna visited Illan Iberra, he informed them that he had asked the young couple to not go to Pasaje, but they challenged him. They asked him to prove if he truly went to Pasaje, which is why he took them to the jungle even after knowing the dangers. When he was asked why he did not inform the authorities after the hurricane occurred, he replied that he had forgotten about it. Emma was enchanted by the possibility of transcending time. She wanted to save Sam and Violet and, at the same time, travel to her past to undo a mistake she made. While Iberra was explaining the location, he recognized Balthasar and scuffled with him. He shared a terrible history with the Frias family, particularly Balthasar. The scuffle led to the death of Illan, and Emma was left alone to solve the mystery of the Pasaje. She read the book and figured out where the magical Pasaje could be. She drove there early in the morning without informing Noah. He woke up and found a map of the entrance to the forest, and he decided to follow her.
Before leaving, she called Violet’s father, who had dedicated his life to searching for his daughter and lost himself in the process. She explained the exact location, knowing how desperate he was to find Violet. Murray Thompson was at the resort when Violet went missing. He knew Balthasar from then on. He informed Balthasar that he had the location of Pasaje. While Noah found Emma by following her track, Balthasar and Murray flew down the resort’s helicopter service. Emma left Noah that morning, knowing how he tended to control her, especially after they lost their daughter. She wanted to find Pasaje, and she was determined to go for it and would not listen to Noah, even if he tried to stop her. Emma had realized that the past was the best years of her life, and the future could never be as good, which was why she wanted to find Pasaje, an underground room that existed outside of time. She wanted to find it by herself and do something on her own. She was tired of constantly doing everything together and doubted whether she even wanted to stay married.
The series gets the comedy right, even during critical moments. The character of Murray Thompson is a complete package. Like a typical Western outcast, he pulls out his harmonica to play rather out-of-tune music. His hat, long hair, and overall appearance remind us of a cliché adventurer figure. The adventures of his life that he narrates to Balthasar when they are exploring Pasaje seem unbelievable, yet that was his truth. Murray evolved from a government employee to a man who lived his entire life in just fifteen years.
The next morning, the team finally discovered the tunnel leading to Pasaje. Emma was determined to go, and so was the rest. They went down the tunnel and came across a water body. They did not know if that was the end of it all, but soon they found a rope and pulled it to find a wooden frame on which they could balance themselves and cross the water. After crossing it, the cave opened to a clearing. They were surprised to find that it all ended there. They did not feel anything magical about the place and started to look around for other tunnels. They found two. Noah and Emma went inside one, and Murray and Balthasar went into the other tunnel. As Balthasar and Murray walked deep into the tunnel, Murray spotted eggs, and they were greeted by a hiss. It was a yellow snake that wrapped itself around Balthasar’s body. Balthasar looked directly at the snake. It was the symbol of his family that was trying to crush his bones, but he did not give up. He looked at the snake with rage, recognizing how it had four noses, as he had always heard of. The snake calmed down, and he asked it to let go of him. The snake followed the instruction, and Balthasar was free from its grasp.
Meanwhile, Noah and Emma ran to a corner when bats started to attack them. That was where she found a searchlight indicating that someone had been there. It was the dead end of the tunnel, but as Emma looked up, she spotted another small tunnel. Noah helped her reach it, knowing how desperate she was to reach Pasaje. Emma crawled in and discovered that the tunnel was a long one. Noah tried to reach it, but he could not. He waited patiently, as Emma continued to crawl through it. The tunnel kept getting smaller as she crawled in. At one point, her body got stuck; she could neither turn back nor go ahead. Emma was reliving the labor pains she had experienced before. She was hyperventilating, but Noah guided her breath. She calmed herself down and was determined to see the end of it. She pushed herself, groaning and screaming, to reach the other side. She would not give up; she had lost the first time, but now she had to meet her baby. After struggling, she managed to crawl in and walk up to Pasaje. She could hear the cry of her baby. The Pasaje was a magical body of water of sorts. She saw Sam and Violet floating in it. She, too, could go into Pasaje and delve into the past. On one side, she could hear her baby, and on the other end, she could hear Noah scream to make sure his wife was doing okay. Emma refrained from entering Pasaje. She pulled Sam and Violet out of it.
Sam and Violet had entered the cave on the day the hurricane started. The water level was high, and they eventually drowned, or that is what they thought happened. Sam and Violet felt they had been there for five minutes, only to realize that it had been fifteen years. It took them some time to accept reality and comprehend what they had experienced. When Balthasar asked Sam what he had seen there, Sam thought for a while and replied that he did not remember. His ears started to itch, and Balthasar recognized it. It was the memory leakage that Alex talked about. Emma asked Violet if meeting her mother helped her to cope with the pain of losing her, and she replied that the pain was still there. Emma comforted her by saying that even though the pain is constant, life gets better. Emma chose to not enter Pasaje because she did not wish to lose another fifteen years of her life, knowing what the absence does to the people they love. Even if she saw the baby’s face, she would still be in pain, and nothing could ever change that reality.
“The Resort” ends with Balthasar, the one who believed there was something magically at play from the beginning, handing over a letter to Luna, informing her that he would be traveling to a faraway ocean. He wore a jacket on which he painted the best moment of his life: the day he celebrated his birthday with Alex and Luna, lighting firecrackers. The ending could mean that Balthasar was going in search of Alex, though the dead body with blonde hair that floated ashore after the hurricane seemed to be Alex’s body. Or it could be that Balthasar is inspired to open a resort just like Alex did, in a place far far away where he would be able to offer a family to those who were rejected by society. The magical body added the perfect touch in the end. Pasaje was a nostalgia bed that could take one to the comfortable past but makes them lose their present. Losing someone is never easy in life but living in the past cannot be the best way to cope with it, no matter how warm it makes us feel. While Violet met her mother in the nostalgia bed, we never get to know what Alex and Sam saw. Sam was not suffering from loss; he simply accompanied Violet out of friendship and love. Does that mean his experience was different from that of Violet? Does Pasaje also show glimpses of the future that Alex often visualized? Were those without the experience of loss perceiving Pasaje differently? And did that result in the leakage of memories and past? These are the questions that remain unanswered, and the mystery of the magical Pasaje continues.
“The Resort” is a 2022 Drama Thriller Series created by Andy Siara.