¿Cómo se dice “I’m hooked” en español? Lifeline is so good, I’m doing the unthinkable: waiting to start the new season of Stranger Things until I finish this Spanish thriller.
Lifeline (Pulsaciones) had me at the naked man running for his life.
At least the homeless man did as the now-dead guy asked… before he went missing.
If it weren’t for the doggedness of junior reporter Lara Valle (Meritxell Calvo, Carlos, Rey Emperador), her mentor — famed war correspondent-turned-investigative journalist Rodrigo Ugarte (Juan Diego Botto, Good Behavior) — wouldn’t have started investigating a spate of disappearances across Madrid.
Meanwhile, renowned neurosurgeon Alejandro “Alex” Puga (Pablo Derqui, La catedral del mar, Night and Day, Isabel) has been taking drugs to keep up the brutal pace of surgeries, unbeknownst to his wife and fellow neurosurgeon Blanca Jiménez (Leonor Watling, Talk to Her). He’s the best and everyone knows it, including the powers that be at the Meyer Clinic, where he’s the lead candidate for Head of Neurology.
Then he has a near-fatal heart attack.
And Rodrigo dies in a horrific accident, leaving a devastated Lara trying to understand why he went incommunicado during the three months before his untimely death. Convinced that he was murdered, she begins her own investigation into his demise while recreating the details Rodrigo had collected and studied about the recent disappearances of dozens of athletic male and female Madrileños.
As unfortunate as the two men’s respective near-death and actual death are, the coincidental timing couldn’t have been better, because Alex’s life is saved, thanks to the transplant surgery using Rodrigo’s heart.
Then Alex’s near-debilitating nightmares begin. And quickly expand into his waking hours.
He is plagued by seeing what Rodrigo saw, feeling what he felt, and remembering bits and pieces of what the dead journalist experienced — including the intimacy Rodrigo had shared with Marian Gala (Ingrid Rubio, Infieles), Rodrigo’s widow.
A now-obsessed Alex is losing it, his life is rapidly falling apart, and his motto of “I always get what I want” has been replaced by utter desperation. And there’s only one man who can help him: Gabriel Escudero (José Pedro Carrió, Isabel), a former university professor who promoted the theory of “heart memories.” According to him, the only way Alex can get his life back is to settle the debts and finish the unfinished business that Rodrigo had left behind.
A chance encounter brings Alex and Lara together, and he ends up partnering with her to investigate Rodrigo’s death and the still-growing number of people who have gone missing, in order to get his life back to the way it was before his heart attack (minus the drugs).
In so doing, the pair put their lives in grave danger.
For Alex, it also brings about a major conflict: For as much as he adores Blanca, he falls in love with and now cannot live without Marian. (Talk about “it’s complicated.”)
I’m five episodes into this 13-part thriller and sense a massive conspiracy coming in the storyline. And I’m wondering if someone among Alex’s intimates could join the ranks of the missing. I’ll find out in relatively short order.
And you should, too, as Lifeline is an intricately-plotted and well-acted brain teaser that gets your heart racing in more ways than one.
Co-created by multiple-award winner Emilio Aragón (Médico de familia), Carmen Ortiz (Red Eagle), and Francisco Roncal (Paco’s Men), Lifeline features Alberto Berzal (Isabel), Antonio Gil (The Way), Carolina Lapausa (El internado), and Manel Dueso (Night and Day).
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