‘High Tide,’ a Dutch teenage drama show, tells the story of three distinct individuals whose lives intersect one fateful summer that brings ugly truths and uncovered realities to the forefront. In the town of Knokke, Belgium, Louise Basteyns and Alexander Vandael, belonging to high society and wealthy families, are dating, in love, and expected to end up together. As such, their relationship wavers when a new boy, Daan Paroti, biracial and residing in a trailer park with his mom, arrives in town and catches Louise’s eye.
However, unbeknownst to the trio, Daan’s mother, Melissa, chose this town for their vacation to investigate her sister Claudia’s disappearance. As the plot progresses, Daan, Louise, and Alex’s personal problems continue to cause shifts in their dynamic, inciting a love triangle between Louise and the boys. Meanwhile, the truth behind Claudia’s fate threatens to be darker than previously imagined. SPOILERS AHEAD!
High Tides (Knokke Off) Recap
When Daan leaves his home in Breda and moves to a campsite in Knokke for the summer, he doesn’t realize his mother has ulterior motives behind the move. Nevertheless, his paths end up crossing with a young rich girl, Louise, who takes an instant interest in the boy despite her long-term relationship with Alexander Vandael. Even though Daan doesn’t know it yet, the Vandael family is actually the reason Melissa chose Knokke as the spot to spend their summer.
A while ago, Melissa’s sister, Claudia, went missing from Knokke, the former’s last place of residence. Although the police searched for her for more than an entire year, they couldn’t find the woman due to a lack of credit cards or other traceable activities. Since then, Claudia’s absence has been plaguing Melissa until it brought her to the town with a gun in stow. Consequently, Melissa manages to find a job as a Nanny for the Vandaels, whom she suspects to be involved with her sister’s case.
The Vandaels have their own set of problems. Alex’s mother, Eleonore, is constantly paranoid about her husband, Patrick, cheating on her. Meanwhile, Patrick continues to be disappointed in his son, for whom he seems to hold inexplicable contempt. While the boy’s entrepreneurial ideas are unconventional, considering his dream is to open a nightclub that “radiates pure sex,” his father is harsher with him than necessary. As a result, he ends up developing harmful drug habits and uses alcohol and cocaine to numb himself.
Furthermore, Louise’s growing closeness with Daan presents a new threat to Alex, who worries about losing his girlfriend to the other boy. For the same reason, Alex and Daan’s tentative friendship remains rocky. Meanwhile, Louise decides to go off her bipolar disorder medication after a conversation with Daan, wherein he asks if the pills suppress her true self. The decision ends up having an expected negative effect on her since her mood swings continue to hurt others around her.
Eventually, Alex’s relationship with Patrick reaches a breaking point, leading the son to set off on his own to achieve his nightclub dreams. While he busies himself with establishing the business, Louise starts feeling neglected and gives into her attraction toward Daan. The two soon start an affair behind Alex’s back. Unexpectedly, the same brings a clue about Claudia to Daan after Louise recognizes the boy’s aunt as a nanny who used to work for the Vandaels. As the story goes, Claudia apparently stole jewelry and money from the family and made off with it. However, Melissa can see the lie for what it truly is.
The Vandaels’ History With Claudia
While the complicated relationship between Daan, Louise, and Alex certainly drives the show’s plotline forward, Claudia’s disappearance remains the biggest mystery throughout the show. Since Melissa’s uncontrollable urge to investigate the same brings these characters together, it’s only fair that the investigation’s conclusion ends with the story.
After Louise spots the similarity between Daan’s aunt, Claudia, and Eleonore’s nanny, Claudia, proving them to be the same person, Daan shares Claudia’s story with Louise. Even though the girl freaks out at first, assuming Daan is using her to spy on Alex, whom he suspects to be involved in Claudia’s disappearance, she becomes understanding of the situation just as quickly.
Yet, even though the couple continue to see each other afterward, their fling comes to an end shortly after Alex learns about it. The other boy has a violent reaction to it, resulting in his attempts to drown Louise and a rage-filled hockey stick taken to Alex’s head. As the trio remains scattered, Louise’s mental health worsens, and she finds the perfect opportunity to abuse substances at her older sister’s bachelorette party.
As such, Louise ends up overdosing. During her recovery, Louise chooses to be with Alex and talks about Claudia with him. The conversation leads to Alex’s fear-stricken confession that his father murdered Claudia. By now, Melissa has pieced together that Eleonore and Claudia were involved romantically during her employment. Therefore, she realizes Patrick must have killed Claudia out of his jealousy after Louise informs her and Daan about Alex’s confession.
As a result, Melissa confronts Eleonore about the same, who tries to evade it. Nevertheless, she truly seems to care about Claudia and decides to help Melissa get her revenge. Still, Patrick is powerful enough that reporting him to the police will do them no good. Consequently, Eleonore schemes to use her friend Christine, who is having an affair with Patrick, to set him up at their 25th wedding anniversary party.
Meanwhile, Alex discovers that Louise told Daan about his confession, which leads to an argument between the couple wherein he tries to assault her. The same results in Louise storming off from the party as Alex’s head fills with dark thoughts. Therefore, he decides to share a video of his father having sex with Christine with everyone at the party to humiliate and belittle the other man. The ensuing chaos leads to his little sister, Olivia, breaking down and hiding herself in Alex’s room.
During this time, Melissa tries to prevent an angry Patrick from getting to the girl and accuses him of killing her sister. Thus arrives the grand reveal of the actual truth behind Claudia’s disappearance. The woman was indeed having an affair with Eleonore, which led to a violent showdown between them and Patrick once they were found out. However, even though Patrick tried to strangle her over the balcony on that dreadful night, he didn’t kill her. Instead, Alex pushed the woman off the railing in his hasty attempts to free her from his father’s clutches.
In the end, an overwhelmed and desperately disturbed Alex confesses to the true nature of Claudia’s death. The news explains why Eleonore covered up her lover’s death since Patrick could always use the actual truth against them. Furthermore, it provides insight into Elenore’s almost desperate attempts to catch Patrick cheating on her, as well as Patrick’s powerful hold over his son. Still, Alex’s push may have killed Claudia, but it was Patrick’s attack that led to her death.
Ultimately, the man meets his demise in an unlikely place after Olivia emerges from Alex’s room with a gun and points it at her father. Throughout her life, Oliva has lived in a dysfunctional family, and she unequivocally blames her father for it. She may be a child, but she has watched her father hurt her mother and brother time and time again. As such, in the end, Olivia pulls the trigger on her father and delivers him to his death.