The Netflix series, “Wrong Side Of The Tracks” (or “Entrevías” in Spanish), is a collection of cliches that are not only repetitive and monotonous but also extremely sluggish for no apparent reason. At the center of the affair is a teenage Vietnamese girl named Irene, adopted by a dysfunctional Spanish family called the Abantos. Irene lives with her adoptive mother, Jimena, in La Moraleja, which is a posh colony in Madrid. However, despite all the wealth at her disposal, Irene feels lonely around her rich friends. While visiting her grandfather, Tirso Abantos, a hot-headed ex-military man who owns a hardware store in Entrevías, Irene meets a street boy named Nelson Gutierrez and instantly falls in love with him. Irene and Nelson are everything Irene has been looking for, and the two plan to escape the neighborhood to spend a peaceful life somewhere near the beach. But Nelson is a part of a drug gang, and hence the question here is, will he ever be able to leave the crime world behind to start a new life with Irene?
Created by David Bermejo, “Wrong Side Of The Tracks” in eight long episodes, tries to explore Irene and Nelson’s love story where a racist, prejudiced old man, Tirso Abantos, becomes their sole protector against the menacing drug lords and corrupt cops. While in the entire Season 1, there is no particular transformation in any character except Tirso, the narrative becomes extremely messy in bringing about a change. It could have been a captivating story but somehow turned out too melo-dramatic. Let’s explore the story further.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Wrong Side Of The Tracks’ Season 1: Plot Summary
An ex-military man, Tirso Abantos, owns a hardware store in the neighborhood of Entrevías, where criminal activity is on the rise. Young college kids are distributing pills and hash for a drug lord named Sandro, who runs his operation from a nightclub called La Rosa. On Tirso’s birthday, Tirso’s children, Jimena and Santi, organize a small party along with the other members of the family. Tirso’s son, Santi, wants Tirso to hand over the ownership of his hardware store in Rufina Blanco to him so that he can manage the business as per his wishes. But even though Santi is struggling financially, Tirso refuses to part with his store and refuses to sell anything. At the birthday party, he finds out that his granddaughter, Irene, has dropped out of college and is dating a punk named Nelson from the neighborhood.
Nelson has stolen some drugs from Sandro to arrange money so that he can run away with Irene and escape the influence of Entrevías forever. However, on the night of their escape, Nelson is chased by some cops, and hence he hands over the packet to Irene, who, out of fear, calls her grandfather to take her to his apartment. Tirso gets suspicious and checks Irene’s bag while she is sleeping and finds drugs inside it. He confronts his granddaughter the next morning, and after Irene rebels, Tirso drains the entire packet of drugs into the sink. Later, Nelson tells Irene that Sandro’s men are looking for him to recover the drugs, and as things get messy, Irene decides to take matters into her own hands. She visits Sandro’s drug house, where Sandro’s most loyal henchman sends her to visit the other side of the tracks, where a black car picks her up. Irene doesn’t remember anything from the night as the men in the car drugged her. The next morning, she wakes up in a dump with bruises all over her body. Irene finds out that she has been sexually assaulted, yet she hides the fact from everyone around her, including Nelson.
In the meantime, a corrupt cop, Ezequiel Fandino, steps in to save Nelson’s life and save the teenagers from the mess after Tirso refuses to help them. Ezequiel has been working for Sandro for a long time, yet has a moral conscience and thus maintains law and order through his own corrupt ways. He pays Sandro out of his own illegal money. But as soon as Ezequiel gets rid of the drug problem, Tirso finds out about the assault on Irene. Burning with a vengeance, Tirso, Nelson, Sanchis, and Pepe, (Tirso’s friends from the military), burn down Sandro’s drug house, thereby inciting a war with the drug lord. The series further explores Ezequiel’s struggle to contain the war and maintain peace in the neighborhood, but soon things go out of his control, and there is no way out but to put an end to the root of all evil, i.e., Sandro.
Who Was The Phantom?
Ezequiel’s senior officer, Amanda Martos, revealed to Ezequiel that they had been keeping an eye on Ezequiel for four years and already knew that he was working as a snitch for Sandro. The Internal Affairs wanted to arrest Ezequiel, but Amanda thought Ezequiel could become an asset for the department and would lead them to Sandro’s boss or the person who had been running the cartel from the shadows. Amanda called this man “The Phantom,” as no one had ever seen him or knew his real name. According to Amanda, The Phantom contacts small gangsters from the neighborhood like Sandro and finances them with drugs, weapons, and other illegal items. Amanda needed Ezequiel’s help to get Phantom’s whereabouts from Sandro, which was why she sent him to La Rosa with a microphone taped to his chest. However, Sandro found out about the wire and decided to kill Ezequiel, but he was saved by a hooded man who shot Sandro and disappeared from the scene.
There was one point that Ezequiel missed in all these run-and-chases; when Tirso was following Sandro, he saw him carrying a black duffel bag, probably filled with money, to a lavish house in Las Ventillas. Tirso believed that Sandro was paying the drug money to the person for whom he was working for and wanted Ezequiel to investigate further, but a laid back cop like Ezequiel had no interest in it because of which the entire mystery around Phantom’s identity would now be explored in ‘Wrong Side Of The Tracks’ Season 2.
Who Killed Sandro?
Sandro had humiliated Ezequiel in public and had been threatening to kill him, because of which Ezequiel wanted to get rid of Sandro. He knew that Tirso and his group, (also known as The Robin Hoods of Entrevías), were trying to get rid of Sandro, so Ezequiel came up with a plan to use their secret identity. He convinced a kid named Nata to dress up like the Robin Hoods and use a similar white van to destroy Sandro’s secret consignment that he was taking to Nogueras Square. Nata was skeptical of the operation yet decided to pursue it as she too had a mutual interest in destroying Sandro, as she wanted to take Sandro’s throne after he was dealt with. To burn Sandro’s consignment, Nata sent her boyfriend, Ahmed Khalil, aka, Loco.
In the meantime, Ezequiel arrested Tirso in order to create an alibi for him so that Sandro wouldn’t come after him, and everything was going perfectly until, on the night of the operation, Ezequiel found out that Nogueras Square was a trap set up by Sandro to catch the Robin Hoods. Ezequiel tried to save Loco’s life, but it was too late. He was shot dead by Sandro’s men, and it was the first death in the neighborhood in a very long time.
After Loco’s murder, Nata decided to avenge his death and planned a shootout with Nelson. She planted a gun in La Rosa, and while Sandro was dealing with Ezequiel, whom he had caught wearing a wire, Nelson appeared in the bar wearing a hood and shot Sandro in the head. Nelson discreetly left the bar while the police raided the place and arrested Ezequiel. We won’t see Ezequiel again in the next season because he was charged with corruption and will lose his job. He wanted to leave Entrevías for a long time, and maybe his dream would finally come true. He may get some legal relief, but that depends on how far Amanda is willing to go to help Ezequiel.
‘Wrong Side Of The Tracks’ Season 1: Ending Explained-Did Irene and Nelson End Up Together? What to Expect From Season 2?
To be honest, if Irene and Nelson had walked into that happy ever after territory, then probably the series would have ended, but the makers decided to drag it further, so let’s bear it. After her traumatic assault, Irene had become addicted to Oxycodone, and as soon as Tirso found out about it, he instantly decided to send Irene back to her mother’s house. In the end, Tirso blamed himself for Irene’s drug addiction because it was him in the first place who convinced Irene not to take therapy for her nightmares, as he believed in the orthodox ways to deal with trauma, and like his friend, Sanchis, Irene too became a drug addict in the absence of proper psychiatric treatment.
Nelson, too, blamed himself for everything that Irene went through and thus decided to part ways with her for her own good. After Irene left Entrevías, Nelson went back to Nata, who was in love with Nelson and wanted his help to kill Sandro. As mentioned in a minor video clip at the end of ‘Wrong Side Of The Tracks’ Season 1, Sandro’s death would create a power vacuum in Entrevías, which would be filled by four youth gangs from the neighborhood, one of which would most likely be led by Nata, of which Nelson will be an important member.
On the other hand, Tirso witnessed another dramatic incident as his new love, Gladys, Nelson’s mother, was attacked by Sandro’s henchman, whom Tirso had captured in the basement of his hardware store. The henchman wanted to take revenge on Tirso and decided to stab him to death in Pepe’s cafe when Gladys intervened and saved Tirso’s life. While the henchman was arrested, Gladys was taken to the hospital. The ending suggests a potential feeling of love blossoming between Tirso and Gladys, which even Ezequiel pointed out when he asked Gladys to run away with him, but he soon realized that she was in love with someone else. Gladys didn’t mention the name of the person, but it was probably Tirso, and in the short clip at the end, we even saw Gladys kissing Tirso, so we can be certain of their love story. However, will their love be able to survive amid the chaos?
In the aftermath of Sandro’s death, the story may need a new villain to take the narrative further, and thus, the short clip also suggests the arrival of a new adversary, a real estate developer named Guillermo Salgado, who wants to buy the neighborhood and demolish it, probably to build high-rise skyscrapers and modernize Entrevías. Due to the increasing violence in the neighborhood, Pepe already wants to sell his cafe and most likely, more people will follow his lead for the same reasons. But Tirso, who had been determined not to leave Entrevías for the entire duration of Season 1, will so easily abandon his roots? Or will he raise his voice against Guillermo Salgado, leading to a potential rivalry between the two? Well, Season 2 will be able to tell you better.
See More: ‘Wrong Side Of The Tracks’ Season 2: Ending, Explained – Was Salgado The Ghost? What To Expect From Season 3?