Netflix’s ‘Burning Body’ follows the story of Rosa and Albert, whose lives are upturned after the dead body of Rosa’s partner, Pedro, is discovered. The investigation into the case leads the detectives to look closely into Rosa and Pedro’s relationship and her past, including her long-standing friendship with Albert. What comes out is a web of secrets and lies that make everyone’s head spin. The question remains: What happened to Pedro?
With every episode, the show peels off the mystery of Pedro’s death one layer at a time. Through different perspectives and testimonies, a fractured idea of what might have happened is concocted, but in the end, it all comes down to Rosa and Albert and whether they will tell the truth about that day. Here’s a look at the events in this series and what it means for the protagonists. SPOILERS AHEAD
Burning Body Plot Synopsis
A burnt car is discovered in the middle of nowhere. It is out of sight from the public view but is noticed by a passerby who informs the cops about it. The MO is that of a drug cartel. They are known to kill their enemies or those who have betrayed them by putting them in a car and burning them completely. It’s a neat trick that doesn’t leave any DNA evidence behind. The body found in the vehicle is charred to bits, leaving nothing for the cops to identify it with, except there is one thing. They find a piece of the thing that would have been inserted in the victim’s body if they’d received back surgery. It is used to identify the victim, and that’s where the real investigation begins.
The victim is a man named Pedro Rodriguez. He was a police officer in a relationship with Rosa Peral, another police officer. His death comes as a shock to Rosa, who reveals that they’d had an argument and Pedro left, as he usually did. She thought he’d come back after a couple of days, but this time he didn’t. When asked who could have killed her partner, she points them towards her ex-husband, Javier.
Detective Ester Varona is on the case, and she chases down every possible lead. She looks into the ex-husband and the possible cartel angle. However, she cannot shake off the fact that something is off about Rosa’s story. Once she starts digging into it, Varona discovers a string of lies told by Rosa over the years, which give her a faint picture of what might have happened to Pedro the night he was murdered.
Burning Body Ending: Did Rosa and Albert Kill Pedro?
After a detailed investigation, Rosa and Albert are arrested for the murder of Pedro. When asked about it, they both refuse having any part in the murder. The cops know they won’t get a confession, but they have enough evidence to hold both parties. Soon after, Rosa and Albert get separate lawyers, who present one option to their clients: turn the narrative in your favor before it’s too late. While Albert gets a lawyer first, he takes some time to consider his next step. By the time he agrees to put the blame on Rosa, she beats him to the punch.
Rosa claims that Albert killed Pedro. She and Albert had been in an on-and-off relationship over the years. This was when Rosa was married to Javier and, later, when she was in a relationship with Pedro. According to her, Albert was jealous of Pedro and wanted to get him out of the way. She claims Albert showed up at her house with an axe that night. Scared for her life, Rosa hid in the attic with her daughter, Sophia, while Albert went to the basement, where he killed Pedro.
When Rosa blames him for the murder, Albert comes up with his own version. He claims that he had nothing to do with the murder but was involved in cleaning up the crime scene and hiding the dead body. According to him, he received a distress call from Rosa, who told him that Pedro was abusive to her. She claimed that he attacked her and she killed him in self-defense. Because Albert cared for her, he showed up at her house and helped her dispose of the body. He also claims that he told her to go to the cops and come clean about it, but she was scared of losing custody of her daughter.
Both sides present their case in court, trying to get out of prison by blaming the other. However, the prosecution tells the jury not to go for either-or. There is a third scenario, where both were equally involved in the murder, which was not some accident or something that happened in self-defense. It was all premeditated. Detective Varona is called on the stand to present this scenario, backed with all the proofs.
Most of what Varona discovers about the murder comes from deleted chats between Rosa and Albert. While they never used the word “murder,” they clearly implied it and were even planning how to spend their time once the deed was done. This, in addition to the evidence retrieved from Rosa’s house, gives Varona an idea of how things might have gone down. It is confirmed that Rosa and Albert premeditated the whole thing and were equally responsible for it.
Albert came up with the idea of how to dispose of the body once Pedro was killed. One of his colleagues testifies that he had a conversation with Albert where the latter asked him how drug cartels usually get rid of a dead body so that it’s not traced back to them. Pedro’s body was disposed of in the exact same way. Meanwhile, Rosa comes up with a plan for how to kill Pedro. She overdoses him on the meds he received after back surgery and sends him to the basement to lay mousetrap. Once Pedro falls unconscious, Albert shows up, and they kill Pedro.
This is just a theory and cannot be confirmed until Rosa or Albert confesses. Varona bases it all on evidence and further reveals that Pedro’s dead body was kept in the trunk of his car that night. The next day, Rosa sent her daughter to her grandparents. That night, she and Albert took the vehicle to a desolate place, where they burned it to make it look like the cartel did it. Varona uses the phone location history of Rosa and Albert to prove all this.
What Happens to Rosa and Albert?
Following Varona’s testimony, it is clear that Rosa and Albert were in it together. However, when the time comes, none of them confesses. They both blame each other. Ultimately, the jury chooses to believe Varona, whose theory is backed by evidence, while Rosa and Albert are just trying to counter each other’s arguments and hope that the jury will take their word for it.
The jury declares both Rosa and Albert guilty of killing Pedro. Albert is sentenced to 20 years in prison, while Rosa receives 25. She gets an additional five over Albert due to her relationship with the victim. Despite the verdict, Rosa and Albert hold fast to their versions of the story and appeal it in the higher court. They are disappointed because the higher courts refuse their appeals, which means they will have to carry out their sentences.
Now that Rosa has been found guilty, she decides to meet her daughter, whom she kept away from herself for the past three years. Rosa assured Sofia of her innocence and claimed she would return home soon. But the more time passed, the more ashamed Rosa felt. She didn’t want to feel embarrassed in front of her daughter, so she never let Sophia come to see her in prison. Perhaps she believed that she would win it and get her freedom back.
Once it becomes clear that things will not go her way, she gives up and seizes the chance to see her daughter again. She lets Sophia come and see her, but too much time has passed by then. Sophia has moved on with her life or is trying to, considering how famous her mother has become and how this directly influences her life. Once again, Rosa promises Sophia that she will appeal the verdict and that things will turn out in her favor next time. But this time, Sophia knows her mother is lying and is unmoved by her promises and display of emotions. Later, alone in her cell, Rosa cries because she has also lost her daughter, the one person she loved the most in the world.
Read More: Where is Netflix’s Burning Body Filmed?