30 Coins Episode 5 recap: [SPOILER] is killed by a horrifying monster

Víctor Clavijo and Megan Montaner in 30 Coins Episode 5 - Courtesy of HBO
Víctor Clavijo and Megan Montaner in 30 Coins Episode 5 - Courtesy of HBO /

30 Coins Episode 5, “The Double,” begins in the distant past, during Vergara’s childhood. At first, it seems like we’re being treated to more significant flashbacks about the priest’s background, including an incident where he played fetch with the family dog and it went tragically wrong.

But it soon becomes evident that something is seriously amiss. Santoro is holding the real Vergara hostage in a cell and manipulating his memory to try and coerce him into giving up the final coin’s location. It works. Vergara’s child form admits that Elena is the last person to have the coin.

Speaking of Elena, Paco and Lagunas introduce her to her “husband” Mario, who has somehow magically reappeared after two years. We know that “Mario” is actually a scarecrow brought to life by the mysterious witch/necromancer who has been spotted lurking in the shadows. Elena just thinks her husband has finally returned. You’d think she’d ask more questions about his whereabouts but Elena just slips back into her old habits with him and they almost immediately have sex.

Most disturbingly, the witch is still completely in control of Mario. While Mario and Elena are in the throes of lovemaking, the witch is halfway across town with white eyeballs, seeing all and speaking for Mario like a puppet.

30 Coins Episode 5 recap: Sandro is killed by a horrifying monster.

Sandro manages to infiltrate Santoro’s visions and warn the young Vergara to stay put because he’s going to try and come get him. Since Vergara is being housed in the Vatican after his visit to the pope, Sandro slips in through the Vatican WWII museum, pausing only to notice the infamous lance of Longinus, or the Holy Lance, a.k.a. the spear that pierced Jesus during his crucifixion. We know items that harmed Christ are dark and powerful, so surely this lance will come back later.

After his brief pause, Sandro incapacitates a guard and slips past a velvet rope into the hidden area where Santoro and all of his other white-suit-wearing-cult-priests are hanging out. Santoro introduces Vergara, who is now wearing his own white suit, to the crowd. He wants his old friend to join him and his crusade. But they’re interrupted by Sandro who stands out like a sore thumb in his black outfit.

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Sandro is captured and taken into a cell to be beaten and tortured while Santoro escorts Vergara into the Vatican library to show him the alleged real gospels of Christ which show you how to “be a God,” and practice magic. He wants to seduce Vergara into joining their cause and Vergara pretends to go along with it. He even throws a few punches at Sandro in his cell to sell the story.

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His final test is to slit Sandro’s throat. But Vergara uses it to stab Santoro instead, eliminating some of the other priests in the process by hijacking a gun and shooting everyone in the vicinity before setting Sandro free so the two can escape. Except it’s never that easy, is it? Santoro uses some of his “magic” to turn one of the fallen priests into a giant, Eldritch monstrosity similar to the one we saw in the first episode.

The creature scampers through the Vatican tunnels after Vergara and Sandro until they emerge in the museum. Poor Sandro doesn’t make it out alive, but Vergara manages to stab the monster with the Holy Lance, seemingly killing it. Vergara escapes and hightails it back to Pedraza so he can warn Paco and Elena of what’s to come.

30 Coins Episode 5 recap: Roque is now in possession of the coin.

Back in Pedraza, Elena is reconnecting with Mario. Unbeknownst to her, the entire town is in a tizzy over Mario’s return, especially the local hunter Jesús. See, Jesús killed the real Mario two years ago, that’s why he supposedly “never returned.” So, he’s genuinely spooked when he sees “Mario” suddenly up and walking around town again. Not only did Jesús kill him, but he buried the body and everything. He starts acting really weird and even gets his gun to go after Elena and Mario.

Paco intervenes and finds out the truth from Jesús. He and Lagunas head out to the spot where the real Mario’s corpse is supposedly buried and start digging. When they find the skull, Paco is horrified and immediately scared for Elena. He has every reason to be since Mario convinces Elena to leave town with him. During their drive out of town, he starts to show his true colors, assaulting Elena in the car and demanding she tells him what happened to the coin. She admits that she threw it into the dam.

Enraged, Mario drives the car over the side of a bridge, knocking Elena unconscious. Then he carries her to a gas station where he accosts a couple, kills the man by forcing him to guzzle gasoline from the pump, and steals their car. Elena comes to just long enough to shoot off a few texts to Paco for help while Mario drives her to the dam.

According to him, the coin will find its way back to Elena somehow, but he doesn’t have time to wait for that. He forces her to stand on the precipice of the dam, prepared to jump with her. But Paco and Lagunas arrive in time and manage to rescue Elena, even as Mario hangs onto her legs. She kicks him repeatedly until he’s reduced to ash and dirt once again.

Back on solid ground, Paco and Elena essentially admit their feelings for each other but Elena is still adamant about leaving town. And who can blame her? In the final moments of 30 Coins Episode 5, we go to Paris where Roque has selected a fish to eat in a posh restaurant. But the chef preparing it unearths a strange coin inside the fish’s body and hands it, Roque. His friend remarks that it’s a “good luck charm.” Hm, not quite!

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What did you think about 30 Coins Episode 5? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

New episodes of 30 Coins air Monday nights on HBO at 9 p.m. ET.