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30 Coins Episode 3 recap: The Mirror

In 30 Coins Episode 3, Paco, Elena and Father Vergara must contend with a strange mirror.

What if Judas’s betrayal of Christ was all part of God’s divine plan? That is a question posed by 30 Coins Episode 3. The episode, aptly titled “The Mirror,” introduces us to a haunted mirror, a parallel universe and the Gospel of Judas. It also finally delivers on some much-needed answers revolving around the coins and their ultimate purpose.

The hour begins with an opening sequence that bears a resemblance to how the first episode began. A mysterious man in New York robs a jewelry store for a coin, killing several of the attendants in a wave of gore in the process. The evil priests have collected yet another coin and are that much closer to possessing a divine weapon composed of dark, powerful energy.

But before we get to that, let’s back up a little bit to a wedding held at Merche and Paco’s hotel. It’s held up because Tomas, the man in charge of delivering the cake, is running late. He’s running on fumes thanks to a mysterious mirror haunting him every second of every day. Tomas never makes it to the wedding, and neither does the cake. He crashes headlong into a tree and lands himself in a coma.

Having become the local aficionados on mysterious supernatural incidences, Paco takes it upon himself to investigate the mirror that caused Tomas’s downward spiral, enlisting Elena to assist. It doesn’t take long for them to realize something is off about the object because it reflects a book that isn’t there.

Wanting Father Vergara to admit that something is wrong in their town, finally, they call him over to examine the invisible book. Even he can’t come up with a suitable explanation for how a book could be visible in a mirror, but not in reality. Vergara decides he will spend the night in front of the mirror, watching it like a hawk all night to find out the truth.

Unbeknownst to the good father, Paco has borrowed some cameras from a friend and secretly hides them in a room. Now he and Elena can watch him and make sure he doesn’t try any funny business. Neither is sure they can trust him yet since the only thing he is consistent about is his lies.

Paco’s plan turns out to be a good one since Vergara falls asleep. The footage reveals that while the real Vergara nodded off in his chair, Mirror Vergara did not. Given the hard evidence in front of him, Vergara decides the best move is to bust the mirror open with a sledgehammer. Sensing this, his mirrored self suddenly appears again out of a sense of self-preservation and duplicity. Vergara demands Elena and Paco leave him alone with his mirror self to sort things out.

30 Coins Episode 3

Eduard Fernández in 30 Coins Episode 3 — Photograph by Courtesy of HBO

The second they’re out of the room, Vergara destroys all of the cameras, leaving him alone with his reflection. Mirror Vergara offers the real Vergara the one thing he wants most of all — a chance to chat with Giacomo and beg for forgiveness. It works, and Mirror Vergara is able to take advantage of Vergara’s vulnerable state to kidnap him and yank him through the mirror. His reflection steps out and takes his place.

Mirror Vergara finally breaks down the coins and their importance to Paco and Elena (and the audience). Like how certain items are believed to hold immense power because of their relation to Christ — a vial of his blood, etc. — items that once hurt Christ are also powerful, but with dark energy. Cainites follow the Gospel of Judas. Everything they stand for is, in essence, the “evil” reflection of good. Hence why everything in this episode is about mirrors and mirrors.

The Cainites seek items like the nails that fixed Jesus to the cross, the thorns from his crown and, of course, the 30 pieces of silver that Judas used to betray Jesus. Because betrayal is one of the worst and most significant ways to hurt someone, the coins are the most powerful of all of these items. If you assemble all 30, then you’ll have a weapon more powerful than the ark of the covenant.

All Mirror Vergara wants is the coin, which he convinces Paco and Elena to retrieve. They go to the vet clinic where Elena works to retrieve it for him, but then at the last second, Elena seems to realize that Mirror Vergara is not the real Vergara. Understanding this, they race back to the mirror and go through the looking glass (yes, like Alice) to find and save him before it’s too late.

They find him in the priests’ clutches on the verge of being sacrificed as punishment for not bringing his coin. Based on this scene, it looks like the priests already have almost all of the coins, which is why they’re especially intent on getting the one Elena has since it might be one of the last ones they need.

30 Coins Episode 3

Manolo Solo in 30 Coins Episode 3 — Photograph by Courtesy of HBO

While Paco and Elena are roaming a trippy, hall-of-mirrors-type setting in search of the real Vergara, Mirror Vergara is wreaking havoc in the real world. He gathers many of the locals together at the church. He incites a riot against Paco and Elena, convincing Merche that they’re sleeping together and that Paco is betraying all of them as their mayor. Mirror Vergara seems to conduct some kind of mass hypnosis to make the others follow him as they listen to what he says and take it at face value. They turn into an angry mob and attack the vet clinic, setting the place on fire.

But once Paco and Elena manage to return to the real world with the real Vergara, Mirror Vergara vanishes, and everyone seems to come back to reality, confused as to what just happened. Yeah, I probably would be too.

In the final moments of 30 Coins Episode 3, Elena finally drops that damn coin off a bridge into running water. I’m sure it’s going to come back somehow, but like, why didn’t they do that way sooner!?

What did you think of 30 Coins Episode 3? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

New episodes of 30 Coins air Monday nights on HBO.