Criminal (Spain) a part of the twelve-episodes journey of different suspects in the interrogation room is quite different from those used in France, United Kingdom and Germany. This part also contains three episodes with cases that are odd rather than thrilling.
All three episodes are more inclined to show the moral compass of every crime. Often some crimes are wrong but have a good or kind intention behind them. These intentions are good for a long period drama but it certainly disrupts the tension of a limited premise or should I say only small premises like the interrogation room. The basic cliche dialogues, the cases lacking any sort of suspense and underwritten characters make the Spain version of Criminal, the weakest in the lot.
Episode 1: Isabel
Detective Rai (Álvaro Cervantes) and Detective Carlos (Jorge Bosch) are interrogating Isabel (Carmen Machi) who tells them about the idea of love. She talks about her dog passionately and how her dog is the only one that gives her peace. After a weird dramatic act in the interrogation room, Maria (Emma Suarez) is forced to take risks to solve a murder. The crime is quite predictable and the tension of the interrogation room is disrupted again and again because of Isabel's odd character and dialogues. They are fun to watch. They are like a break to the tension the other parts have provided but they weren't needed. Episode 1 and 3 were pretty weak and less dramatic or rather less tensed. They are good but they do not fit the structure and theme of the show.
Episode 2: Carmen This episode is one of the best acted, highly tensed, thrilling in approach and has a very suspenseful story among a whole lot of stories from all the other countries. Carmen is questioned about her sister who is found dead in the bathtub. Interrogation is started by Luisa (Maria Morales) but was soon interrupted by Maria. Luisa's character is quite underwritten. Maria and Rai are the only well-scripted characters of this part. Others are just like ballons of the party, sure they are important but a party doesn't stop without them. Inma Cuesta as Carmen is just mind-blowing. She acted very well. This episode is a must-watch.
Episode 3: Carmelo Now suddenly the show decides to change its purpose of showing the moral conscience of a crime into a personal war interrogation. Eduard Fernández as Carmelo Al Huzain is an amazing actor and his character is also pretty well written. But the show forgets in order to show a passionate personal war among the two characters, you need to show a background so that the audience feels connected to the war. But the show has a limited premise, not a shot goes out of the interrogation room or the hallway to the interrogation room. So you cannot clearly show a background story of the characters thus it is a very wrong choice for a show with limited premises.
Thus, the Criminal (Spain ) is well-acted and has good intentions but it clearly forgets to maintain the theme of the show.
FINAL VERDICT - 3 / 5.
Give it a try, but only episode 2 maintains the show's theme and has a good plot.