Coral (Verónica Sánchez) claims that she’s her pimp’s “favorite hooker,” and that pimp, Romeo (Asier Etxeandia) is the “second-biggest bastard” she knows. She’s taken an interesting route to the club in the middle of nowhere; she has a biology degree and then spent time as a frustrated housewife before turning to sex work.
Her best friends at the club are Gina (Yany Prado) and Wendy (Lali Espósito), but all the hookers at the club have formed a bit of a bond, considering they have to do all sorts of awful stuff to make a living, like when Coral describes how many gross men’s fingers she has to put in her mouth every day and pretend to enjoy it.
The club is actually closed because Romeo is mourning the death of his wife Clarita. His crew, Moisés (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and Christian (Enric Auquer) are on hand, and he tells them to find some mourners, because no one from the beach town of Tenerife has come to Clarita’s funeral. This is when we flash back to Coral’s first time in the club, applying for the job, because she thought it was a “good place to hide.”
Distraught, Romeo decides to open up the club that night. When he returns, Coral goes to see how he is and he wants to get intimate with her to ease the pain. She pushes him away just as Gina shows up. She owes him over 5,000 euros, and she’s there to settle up. But he informs her that she owes 7,000 euros more, because he charges her for things she buys for the business, like condoms and lube. Even the lingerie she thought was his gift was on his ledger.
When she realizes that she’ll basically be working for him forever, and he threatens her mother and son, Gina hits Romeo with the lid from one of his whiskey decanters. He starts stabbing her with a pencil. Coral and Wendy hear the fight and come to Gina’s defense; Coral eventually smashes a heavy trophy on the back of Romeo’s head, and he falls unconscious, in a pool of blood. He looks like he’s dead.
The three escape in the BMW, but Coral convinces them to go back to the club. There, they’re faced with an angry mob of their fellow hookers, and in the frantic attempt to leave, their madam gets hit by a truck. They end up going to Santa Cruz and seeing a veterinarian that’s a regular customer of Coral’s (he likes butt stuff, and Wendy uses that information to her advantage) in order to get Gina — who happens to be pregnant — fixed up.
Sky Rojo was created by Álex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato of Money Heist, and it has that hit show’s frantic tension and dark themes, tinged with a sense of humor. The episodes are pretty short, around 35 minutes or so, to help amp up the tension as Coral, Gina and Wendy try to escape the clutches of Romeo’s men, all the while trying to resist a situation that lands them in the hands of police.
For sure, the first episode is a bit of a fast setup; we don’t know a whole lot about any of the three women. Yes, we know that Coral was a biologist before getting this job, and she got this job to hide from someone or something. We also know that Gina has a son, is pregnant, and that Romeo has paid for some of her mother’s and son’s expenses. We know nothing about Wendy except that she can be viscous when she wants to be. Their friendship isn’t established enough to lead us to figure out why the three of them would so violently come to each other’s defense.
Our guess is that we’ll get this information as the women try to stay safe and strengthen an already strong bond. The performances of Sánchez and Etxeandia are especially strong, giving us more than enough information about Coral and Ramon to let viewers get at least a bit of a grasp on who to root for, who to root against, and some of the layers both of them have.
One thing that’s interesting is that Ramon sure looks dead at the end of the first episode, doesn’t he? But then we see an ambulance speed away from the scene, and we don’t know who’s in it. Considering Etxeandia is one of the show’s stars, it stands to reason that Ramon may not be as dead as he looks, which will make the women’s escape even more interesting.