Now and Then (Season 1), Episodes 1, 2, 3 Recap and Ending Explained: Apple TV’s latest offering ‘Now and Then’ is a bilingual thriller, in Spanish and English, created by Ramón Campos, Teresa Fernández-Valdés and Gema R. Neira. It deals with a group of five friends, separated in their youth by a traumatic tragedy, who are brought together in their middle age when the remnants of it come back to haunt their present-day existence and threaten to tear it apart. It stars Marina de Tavira, Rosie Perez, José María Yazpik, Maribel Verdú, Manolo Cardona, Soledad Villamil, Željko Ivanek and Jorge López.
Set in a world that looks exactly like what one would expect the world of De Palma’s ‘Scarface’ to look like a few decades in the future, it’s a stylishly made show that makes full use of Miami’s 1980s garish iridescence. ‘Now and Then’ is no ‘True Detective’ but has a reasonably gripping plot that thankfully moves along at a really brisk pace, at least the first three episodes do. In fact, given its depiction of a city’s high life, the pitfalls of it, and mixing it with a hefty though not overbearing dose of sex, drugs, and twists, it falls perfectly into the dubious category of that kind of a ‘weekend watch’ which you go for when you’re terribly indecisive about what to watch and want something quick and easy, even though the plot does get a little convoluted over time.
Now and Then (Season 1), Episodes 1, 2, 3 Recap:
Episode 1: ‘20 Years’
In the year 2000, six friends, Alejandro, Ana, Daniela, Marcos, Pedro, and Sofia are partying at night in Key Largo to celebrate their graduation. Marcos and Sofia are lovers. The night turns wild as one of them mixes ecstasy, or ‘molly’, in their beers, and Alejandro takes a turn for the worse from it. They hurriedly get into their car to go to the hospital and, in their inebriated frenzy, crash into another car.
The other car’s driver, Jessica Thompson, dies right away from the crash, as does Alejandro, while the others are injured. They realize that a charge of murder would ruin all their futures so they decide to come up with a story to clear themselves from the deaths of Alejandro and Jessica, which is, that they were all partying together to celebrate their graduation till at 2 a.m., Alejandro left as he was feeling sick and the rest continued their party after which they returned to Miami in a cab. As a way of ensuring that there’s no proof of what led to the accident, Marcos throws away the tape that Daniela had made of all of them that night at the party.
Officers Sullivan and Flora, in charge of the case, interrogate everyone involved in the party, the latter being suspicious of a cover-up given the perfectly accurate consistency of everyone’s stories and the back door of Alejandro’s car being open, despite Sullivan’s cynical resignation to the obvious. The autopsy of Alejandro’s body reveals that he had died before the crash took place, which only furthers Flora’s suspicion that the others were involved. Also, Alejandro’s cell phone was missing from the crime scene.
In the present day, some 20 odd years later, the remaining five are blackmailed into attending their university’s reunion party via a similar text to each of them, lest their crime be revealed. Marcos has started working at his father’s lucrative plastic surgery clinic; Sofia tells her peers that she’s a lawyer, which she clearly isn’t; Pedro, who was the son of a woman that worked at Alejandro’s house, is now running for mayor and is married to Ana and the only information on Daniela is that she is a mother.
Reluctantly, they all do where each suspicious of the others. The recollection of Alejandro’s death disturbs them all but when Pedro decides to make a speech in his honor, it greatly irritates the others. As Marcos is about to leave the party, they simultaneously receive a text asking them to pay a million dollars each in order to keep their crime under wraps. We’re also told that Marcos’s father helped save the five after what happened that night twenty years ago, though in what capacity, isn’t revealed just yet.
Marcos consults his lawyer who recommends exposing his friends to the law before they themselves do that, or pay. Keeping faith in their friendship, he decides to go ahead with paying the money. Ana decides against paying but Pedro, given the upcoming elections, is too terrified to try and test the outcome of not paying. So he embezzles money from his own election fund to pay the blackmailer on behalf of both of them.
Except for Ana, who stays back with her children or is possibly unaware of the deal, the other four meet to pool their money. Marcos’s lawyer takes the money to the blackmailer. Having met Sofia after all these years, the old flame is reignited so Marcos has sex with her despite being engaged to be married. After that, Sofia goes to stay in a motel instead of the hotel where Marcos dropped her off and she gets a call from someone called Bernie asking her to return the money she took from him.
Related to Now and Then (Season 1), Episodes 1, 2, 3 – Shining Girls (Season 1) Episode 6: Recap and Ending explained
Now and Then Episode 1 Ending Explained:
Late at night, Marcos’s lawyer visits him to reveal that Daniela is the blackmailer. The action shifts to a murder scene where the police have arrived and it’s soon revealed that Daniela has been murdered after she walked into suspects robbing her place. Marcos is at the crime scene and seeing him makes Sergeant Flora, now a senior detective, comment that they have unfinished business.
The police procure a bunch of tapes from the scene of Daniela’s murder, which shocks Marcos. A flashback reveals that Daniela made a copy of the tape that night, numbering it ’35’. It also means that the copy Marcos threw away in front of the others, with everyone believing it to be the only one, wasn’t the only copy. As the others slowly try to settle back into their lives after Daniela’s betrayal, Sergeant Flora determinedly views the tape that had eluded her all these years.
Episode 2: ‘Buried’
We’re shown how back in 2000, Marcos and Sofia got together as well as the fact that Alejandro was a highly dedicated competitive swimmer. It is also disclosed that Pedro was attracted to Alejandro secretly and that Alejandro and Ana had their own romance.
After the accident, Alejandro’s corpse was put in the driver’s seat by his friends to make it look like he was driving, something that Officer Flora quickly figures out on getting a look at the car. Sofia secretly takes away Alejandro’s cell phone from his pockets that night. They all go to Marcos’s house where his father frustratedly tells them that whatever they do next with regards to the case will entirely be orchestrated by him, hence proving that he did help save everyone in the wake of the accident. Ana reveals to Pedro that it was she who secretly mixed ecstasy in the drinks, the very concoction that killed Alejandro, hence, technically making her his killer.
In the present day, everyone attends Daniela’s funeral who apparently has a young adult son, Hugo, much to the surprise of the group who had no idea about him. Hugo’s father left him and his mother a long time back. Flora makes a promise to him to find out who killed her. Marcos tells everyone that he went to meet Daniela to find out why she was blackmailing them, that there’s no word about their cash and also introduces everyone to his fiance, Isabel. In her investigation, Flora starts to take a look at the tapes found at Daniela’s apartment. Daniela recorded a lot of things during her time at college (in the opening of the first episode, she had said that twenty years in the future, she saw herself as an Academy Award winner for Best Documentary). Tape 35, one made on the night of the party, is missing, much to Flora’s chagrin as it disrupts the chronology of the tapes and also especially as the photo of the tapes from the crime scene shows it was there, making Marcos a suspect in having taken that tape.
Ana soon finds out that Pedro decided to go ahead with giving the blackmailer the money, which is disturbing enough but when it’s revealed that he took money from his own campaign, she is shook at the thought of how it could ruin them. Pedro promises to find a way to supply the deficit back to his campaign. The following day, they go to visit Alejandro’s parents and his father donates a large sum of money to his campaign to help him augment his publicity but Pedro cursorily eyes the stacks of cash in his locker. Flora brings Marcos in for interrogation as his alibi doesn’t stand and uses his consumption of oxycodone as leverage on him, something that gets him into trouble with his father later who sees this as his son again being reckless and bringing the law into their life unnecessarily. On being asked about the tape, he cryptically replies that given the number of police officers at Daniela’s murder scene, he couldn’t have taken tape no.35 even if he wanted to but goes on to disclose to them that she spent that evening with Sofia. When Flora checks at the hotel where Marcos dropped Sofia off, she finds out that Sofia never checked in there though video evidence of Marcos having sex with her in the parking lot proves his alibi. Marcos is surprised to find out that Sofia lied to him about her place of stay.
Back at her motel, some men, in all possibility those working for Bernie, come looking for Sofia and when she takes off, they pursue her. To save herself, she goes to stay at Marcos’s house under the pretense that her credit card has been declined and Isabel gladly welcomes her. When Marcos asks her why she lied to him, she tells him that she isn’t a successful lawyer and borrowed the money from a wrong person, having lied to Marcos to save face.
Pedro’s campaign manager, Ernesto, soon finds out that $2 million has gone missing from their fund, something Pedro asks him to keep to himself and it’s also revealed that Ernesto and Pedro are in a secret romantic relationship.
Now & Then Episode 2 Ending Explained:
In the past, after Ana’s revelation to Pedro, he disposes of the ecstasy and then tells the police that Alejandro wasn’t interested in swimming and was forced to do so by his father. To relieve his stress, he would take drugs and to that extent, was arrested for possession two months prior to his death. The record of Alejandro’s arrest is about to shut the case when Sullivan and Flora are told that his phone has been located after someone switched it on.
In the present day, Pedro breaks into Alejandro’s house and is about to steal the very cash he was eyeing when an apparition of Alejandro makes him pause. Sofia gets a message from an unknown number informing her that they know where she is and also sends her a video of her escaping her motel. A mysterious figure enters a car with the cash that the friends had given to the blackmailer and it’s shown to be Hugo.
Episode 3: ‘A Bad Decision’
Back in 2000, we’re shown that the ketamine in possession of which Alejandro was arrested really belonged to Marcos, and the former didn’t reveal that information to the police. While Marcos was grateful to him, it soured their relationship. On the night of the party, Pedro lightly kissed Alejandro, which confused him and Pedro nervously ran away. After the ecstasy in the drink started to take effect, Alejandro got into a fight with Marcos owing to his lack of trust in him after the ketamine incident. When Sofia temporarily took Alejandro aside to implore him to delete certain messages, he fell down unconscious.
Having taken Alejandro’s phone secretly after the accident, Sofia deleted said messages and threw it into a pond. The phone is later recovered after Detective Flora’s persistent search. The police managed to retrieve the messages and during Sofia’s interrogation, she denies having taken his phone so they ask her about a message that was deleted in which she wrote to Alejandro ‘We need to talk. You can’t tell anyone. Please don’t do this to me. I need to see you, please.’ She tells Sullivan and Flora that it’s about a prank she was dared to pull at the university and when she got afraid of its consequences should it be found out, she requested Alejandro to not tell anyone and so he deleted the messages.
A key piece of information is that after Jessica Thompson’s funeral, Daniela, still guilty from the accident, reached out to her husband by acting as their son’s nanny, later getting romantically involved with him. Jessica’s then-infant son is revealed to be Hugo. Whether her husband found out about Daniela’s involvement in her accident isn’t revealed.
In the present day, Pedro steals a bunch of cash from Alejandro’s father’s locker and brings it home, where he hides it in a laundry basket to keep it out of Ana’s sight. Later, after resolving a problem he’s facing with his son at his school, he gets a phone call from Ernesto informing him that the police are on their way to investigate the disappearance of the $2 million. As he rushes to get cash out of the basket and put it in place back at the office, he discovers that his son has accidentally thrown out the cash which was in the basket in an attempt to secretly throw out his soiled bedsheets Alejandro tries to recover the money, but that turns out to be an impossible task.
In the meantime, Ana goes to meet her mother to ask her for the missing $2 million, a prospect Pedro had brought up in the previous episode and which Ana had dismissed immediately. Ana is shown to have a highly curt relationship with her mother, the reason for which isn’t revealed. Ana, instead of asking for the money, sells part of her inheritance to her mother to get it from her.
Detective Flora is suffering from breast cancer and, despite Sullivan’s exhortations, keeps up her obsessive approach to her job. She tells Sullivan about the missing tape and also shows him that she knows about Daniela and Jessica’s husband having gotten together after her funeral back in 2000 from one of the tapes. She is also informed soon about the two blackmail messages that Daniela received on her phone before her murder.
Marcos’s life is disrupted by Sofia’s presence at his home and is further unsettled when he finds out that his father has blocked his company credit cards. When Marcos confronts him, his father asks him to get his life in order, still angry at the oxycodone incident. He asks him to start doing that by kicking Sofia from his house, afraid that it might again rustle things up from that fateful night. Marcos then finds out that Isabel has been told by his father about his and Sofia’s history, but Marcos reassures her that she has nothing to worry about.
Sofia is taken in for interrogation after her fingerprints are found all over Daniela’s house. She tells Flora that after the reunion, she went over to Daniela’s house to celebrate their own reunion after all these years though the flashback shows the two of them actually fighting. When Sofia brings up Hugo as a witness, Flora talks about the peculiarity of Daniela having become Hugo’s babysitter and confusion at how she became his mother.
This information does not surprise Sofia, telling us that she knew about it all along, despite the surprise she feigned at Daniela’s funeral. Later that day, she goes out for dinner with Marcos and Isabel to an expensive Japanese restaurant, where she is confronted by Bernie. As Bernie is about to take her away to deal with her for having taken such a large sum of money from him and not having returned his calls, Daniela remembers how back in the day, Marcos had told her about his father’s wealth being largely illegal and how he planned on stealing from it to run away to Colombia. This recollection makes her ask Bernie for some time so that she can get him back more than what she borrowed. Sofia then asks Marcos and Isabel to leave the restaurant, and they go to a nightclub.
Now & Then (Season 1) Episode 3 Ending Explained:
Pedro, having failed to recover the money, returns to his office and confesses to Ernesto about being the culprit. He also requests Ernesto to not leak this information as he did it out of desperation and Ernesto lovingly assures him that he won’t. Back home, he is informed by Ana about her selling part of her inheritance to her mother to recuperate the money. This makes Pedro regret his burglary in the first place.
At his home, back from the nightclub (where he was being followed by Flora), Marcos again hooks up with Sofia once Isabel is asleep from being too drunk.
Back in 2000, the interrogation of the five becomes interesting for Flora and Sullivan when they notice Daniela’s wound from the accident, which she brushes under the carpet as a cycle accident. Their investigation has a major twist once they listen to the call that was made to 9/11 about the accident. As it turns out, Jessica made that call, not dead on the spot and passively revealing that there was more than one person in the car she crashed into, none of whom helped her.