Pipa is back in ‘Recurrence,’ but is it the best of the movie series? — Eclectic pop


“Recurrence” (aka “Pipa”) is the third film in what Netflix classifies as the South American series. It continues the story of Pipa (an always salient, Luisana Lopilato). Unlike the standards of movie series, the final episode takes viewers into an alternate timeline. Let me explain to you.

The first film in the series (“Perdida”) kicked off “the present day”. Although it is the third film in the series, “Recurrence” is the sequel to “Perdida” in terms of chronology. In the original film, the story switches between past and present to reveal the shocking truth shaping Pipa’s future. The second film (“Intersection”) returns completely to Pipa’s past.

In it, Pipa’s life as a detective and her mentorship under the captivating Francisco (Joaquín Furriel, “The Orc Lighthouse”) serve as the driving force behind the film. The common thread running through all the films tends to push Pipa to her tipping point and force her to choose between a choice between good and evil, moral and ethical, legal and illegal. The “recurrence” stays the course. There is only one problem.

Three films in and without the star of “Gran Hotel” – Amaia Salamanca – mysterious character or equivalent, Pipa has no viable counterbalance here. “Recurrence” has unspoken villains and easy-to-guess motives. Gone are the crazy twists and turns of previous entries in the series. I would have preferred to see “The Gray Man” again, which wouldn’t take much persuading.

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Pipa continues to stall as a character. His regression makes sense in “Intuition,” given the flashback nature of that movie. However, this only adds to the anticipated accumulation of those we expect to see in “Recurrence” and do not recognize. The awkward timeline makes Pipa’s lack of personal growth in the “present” all the more frustrating and glaring.

Would the South American collection have been better served to take the path of the Spanish Baztán trilogy? This trio of films tells the story of its heroine, Amaia, in sequential order while delving into often confusing flashbacks. Upon reflection, it feels like Amaia’s trilogy is an easier tightrope for viewers to walk than Pipa’s.

The “recurrence” has massive potential that it can’t quite reach, mostly because it’s too busy solving a simple mystery. The perpetrators are obvious from the start, and the twist can be predicted from the start. It’s also worth remembering that “Perdida” and “Intuition” appealed to forces that provided friction, igniting a spark for Pipa.

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Without such an entity in “Recurrence”, Pipa has no semblance of life force. As a character, Pipa thrives when challenged to meditate more deeply on life’s more complicated angles. Besides the obvious bad guys, only good people surround Pipa in this trio, not letting anyone question her black-and-white mindset.

Gray characters were the driving force behind the trilogy. Without them to enrich it, this third part lacks the depth of a third dimension. Now on to the good news. You can stream the three films that currently make up the South American collection on Netflix. Time will tell if more movies will follow “Recurrence” (aka “Pipa”). Hoping they do!

Andrea G. Henderson