‘Untameable’ Episode 1 Recap & Ending Explained: Who Are Angel Cristo And Barbara Rey?


Cristo y Rey, or Untameable, is the story of Angel Cristo And Barbara Rey’s tumultuous marriage, and the first episode is the start of their relationship with each other. It is based on a real-life couple, which means that it is most likely to be a tragic story. Of course, couples with happy endings don’t have shows and movies dedicated to them, for example, George and Tammy or Pam and Tommy. It is as if the names of the parties are enough to signify the disaster of the union, which is why there is not even an attempt to be creative with the titles. Untameable is going to be an eight-episode story, and if the first episode is anything to go by, it is going to be a long one. This is the recap of the first episode.

Spoiler Alert

Why does Angel need Barbara’s help?

Angel Cristo was one of the most successful lion tamers in 1969, but 10 years later, he is struggling to keep his circus running. Six years ago, he had fallen in love with Renata, a trapeze artist who worked in his circus, and they had married each other. They were very much in love until seven months ago, when Renata passed away after fighting a hard battle with an illness. Since then, Angel has only done the bare minimum for the business, until the day comes when it is time to close it down. Angel is furious that his tigers are being sold to the rival circus for half the price, but that is the need of the hour if they need to keep things running. Blasco, who is Angel’s friend and handles the finances of the circus, asks Angel to try and arrange the sponsors, a meeting they should have had months ago, but now they don’t have a lot of time to fix things.

Angel is very confident that he can solve this problem in twenty-four hours, but he gets a reality check when the boss tells him that the reason they don’t want to invest in his circus is because it is outdated. While the circus continued to be a popular form of entertainment across the globe, in Spain, it was considered the entertainment of the old times, and it did not go with the theme of modernity that the company was aiming for. It is fair to argue that had Angel been more present in the business, he would have been able to gauge its needs and evolve accordingly. Right now, they just need to act fast, and one of the other artists, Jose Maria Inigo, suggests that they try bringing in Barbara Rey as a performer for their circus. Barbara is a popular star who performs in shows and is an adult film actress. Angel is not sure about her, and when Blasco says that she has refused to come on board due to her schedule, Angel decides to look at other options. But the truth is that there are no other options, and a defeated Angel decides to sell the circus so that he may at least be able to take care of the employees under him.

Why doesn’t Angel meet Barbara?

One of the reasons that Blasco is pushing for Angel to sell the circus is because he has taken a huge loan from Mancuso, and the only way it will be forgiven is if Angel sells to the competition. Angel doesn’t know this yet, and Blasco is doing everything he can to make sure that the final step happens fast. When Angel decides to sell, Little Clown tells him to try one last time and speak to Barbara to see if they can convince her. Angel agrees, and when they go to Barbara’s office to meet her, they are unceremoniously stood up, and Barbara has to rush out to meet her secret boyfriend. Angel and Little Clown see her leaving, and they are extremely offended at this treatment. As for Blasco, Little Clown has started suspecting that he is not doing all he can to save the circus.

Does Barbara agree to work with Angel?

Since Angel couldn’t talk to Barbara, he considers that he has fought all he can, and the show that night would be his last. Angel is rather upset about it, as he cannot help but think that a large part of this failure is of his own making. Blinded by that, he is unable to see that he has gotten another chance when Barbara walks in through the door to apologize for the morning and to hear what Angel has to say. Angel ends up insulting her, and that is the moment Barbara leaves. Little Clown tries to apologize on Angel’s behalf and explains the situation to her. While Barbara understands what he is saying, she knows that there is no excuse for what Angel has done. There is no doubt that Angel is not the first man to meet Barbara, who has insulted her work. Perhaps she has learned to take it with a pinch of salt since, at the end of the day, she has to live and function amongst people who are mostly like that. Angel knew what Barbara did when he needed her help, and it was only when she refused to help that he decided he had the right to insult her.

Little Clown knocks some sense into Angel, and they end up having a terrible fight. Perhaps getting sober also gives Angel some perspective, and he goes to meet Barbara after one of her shows. He apologizes to her and asks for a chance to show her his circus. Barbara wasn’t holding grudges against Angel, but she perhaps melted a little at his earnest apology and decided to see what he was offering. At the end of Untameable episode 1, Angel shows Barbara just how wonderful it can be to work with a circus by giving her a show with the elephants. Barbara is understandably wowed, but she still doesn’t commit to Angel’s circus. Promising to think about it, she goes back home only to find a car waiting for her, which takes her to meet her secret boyfriend, who is none other than the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I.

Final Thoughts

It is yet to be determined how much of the events depicted onscreen are fiction and how much is fact. For now, it seems like a decent watch, though it would have benefited from some faster pacing. But that opinion may change with subsequent episodes.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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