‘Who Killed Sara’ is a Mexican mystery drama on the online streaming platform Netflix. Written by Chilean writer Jose Ignacio Valenzuela, an award-winning telenovela writer and a huge fan of Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, it’s no surprise the show is a taught combination of murder mystery and family drama. The story follows Alex Guzman on his quest for revenge from the wealthy Lazcano family for the murder of his sister, something he has spent the last 18 years in prison planning.
However, he soon realizes that it is unclear who actually committed the crime. In classic whodunnit form, one by one, the motives of the characters are revealed, shifting suspicion between them. But who actually did it? And with a climax like the one that season 1 presents, we are truly left with more questions than we started out with. Let’s jump right in and try and untangle the plot of ‘Who Killed Sara.’ SPOILERS AHEAD.
Who Killed Sara Recap
‘Who Killed Sara’ starts with a simple enough premise. Alex Guzman has been greatly wronged by the wealthy Lazcano family. It starts with the death of his sister, Sara, who was killed while paragliding due to what they believed at the time was a case of negligence. To keep the reputation of Rodolfo, one of the Lazcano boys and Sara’s boyfriend, from being tarnished, the patriarch of the family, Don Cesar, convinces Alex to admit to the negligence. In return, Don Cesar promises to pay for Alex’s ailing mother’s treatment.
Already crushed by the sudden death of his sister and with further convincing and reassurance from Don Cesar’s wife Mariana, Alex agrees to take the fall instead of Rodolfo. But he soon finds that he’s been cheated and is given a sentence of 30 years instead of the few months that Don Cesar had promised. Furthermore, 8 months into his prison sentence, Alex’s mother dies, showing him that Don Cesar has broken his other promise as well.
Alex vows to take revenge from Rodolfo, who he believes killed Sara by damaging her parachute straps, and from Don Cesar for breaking his promise. Whilst in prison, he is approached by another inmate who claims his daughter, Flor, was taken by the Lazcano family and made to “do things” and seeks revenge from the family too. With his help, Alex confronts the Lazcano family only to realize that it’s not Rodolfo who is responsible for Sara’s death.
Another mysterious character, known only as “Diana the Huntress” because of her chat profile picture, sporadically contacts Alex, giving him vital pieces of information about what happened on the day that Sara was killed. Over the course of season 1, we see each member of the Lazcano empire come under suspicion of killing Sara as their motives are revealed. However, after a point, we see that all three children of the Lazcano family, Jose Maria, Rodolfo, and Elisa, begin to help Alex. Meanwhile, Don Cesar’s dark secrets are slowly revealed.
First comes to light his brothel of illegally trafficked women that he keeps in the basement of his casino, and then surfaces his sexual encounters with Sara, as well as Rodolfo’s wife, Sofia, both of whom become pregnant with his child. He is also shown to be at least partially complicit in the brutal murders of the girls that work in his casino, which are carried out by his sinister colleague, Sergio. It is, however, at the very end of the season where we truly see the depths of depravity that not just Don Cesar but other characters are capable of too.
Who Killed Sara Ending: Did Elroy and Mariana Kill Sara?
In the final episode of season 1, we see more of what happened on the day that Sara was killed, as well as Rodolfo and Elise coming to terms with the full extent of their father’s savagery as they watch the video of Flor being murdered. Elise confronts her father, calling him a woman killer. For once, we see regret and sadness on Don Cesar’s face as his daughter tells him that she never wants to be near him again. It is the first time in the show where it seems that Don Cesar might not have been responsible for Sara’s death.
We also see Bruno, Don Cesar’s step-grandson, begin to realize that something sinister is afoot when he sees one of the women from the casino on the news, dead. Concurrently, in a flashback, there is a long sequence in which Don Cesar’s wife, Mariana, takes Sara for a walk, explaining to her that she will be taken care of by the Lazcano family, despite the complication of her carrying Don Cesar’s child. Mariana is then seen giving Elroy a knife, and later, as Sara is being rushed to the hospital, we see her disposing of the same knife in the lake.
The finale also shows us the breakdown of both the Lazcano sons’ relationships. Rodolfo asks his wife Sofia to leave after confirming that the child she is carrying belongs to Don Cesar, and we see Lorenzo leave Jose Maria and Clara at the house after being fed up with all the chaos surrounding them. Lastly, we see two major revelations concerning Alex.
The first is that (still unbeknownst to him) his secret helper in the case, “Diana the Huntress,” is actually Sara’s childhood friend, Marifer. The second is Alex’s discovery of Sara’s second diary, which shows her to be deeply disturbed and suicidal. She also knew there was a corpse buried in the backyard, which Alex subsequently digs up. This opens up a whole new chapter of the mystery as it is revealed that there is a lot more to Sara’s past than we have seen so far, and even though we see Elroy with the knife and parachute, did he actually cut the straps which eventually caused Sara to die?
A major question that is answered in the final episode is how strong Mariana’s motive is to kill Sara. After finding out about Sara carrying Don Cesar’s baby, she reassures Sara that she will be taken care of but also stresses how important it is for her to do all the adventurous things she won’t be able to do later in her pregnancy. This is a blatant admission of Mariana’s motive as she suggests to Sara to try out the new parachute, which is eventually how Sara dies.
We see further proof on multiple occasions, first when she gives Elroy the knife and then when she pretends to call an ambulance for Sara. Though not expressly shown, it is very strongly hinted that she killed Elroy while he lay in hospital, most likely to protect herself in case Elroy decided to spill the beans. However, despite the motive and means being present, we can’t know for sure whether Mariana and Elroy are responsible for Sara’s death. We see Elroy holding the knife and the parachute, but he does not specifically damage it. Hence, the mystery of who actually damaged the parachute, and therefore murdered Sara, remains.
What Happens to Don Cesar Now?
Over the course of season 1, we see Don Cesar’s troubles mounting. Starting with his casino events being hijacked by Alex, which ruins his public reputation, to his children turning against him one by one, Don Cesar keeps losing allies. We see him truly shocked when even the trusty family assistant Elroy threatens to disclose his secrets. Still, for the most part, Don Cesar seems confident that he will overcome these obstacles.
However, when his murdering colleague Sergio admits to Alex that Don Cesar is a man who “wants to burn the world just to watch the glow,” we begin to see that Don Cesar might not have everything under control but is just reveling in the chaos that he is causing. This makes his character even more unpredictable, as we do not know how much he is willing to sacrifice. By the end of the first season, it is clear that Alex has enough evidence to destroy Don Cesar’s reputation and business, which has been significantly damaged already. This possibly means that the present-day Don Cesar will not play as significant a role in the following season. However, the Don Cesar of the past, who we now know to be someone who revels in chaos (if we choose to believe Sergio), is likely to be a big piece of the puzzle in the season ahead.
What Happens to Lorenzo and Jose Maria?
Near the end of the first season, Lorenzo, tired of all the chaos surrounding the Lazcano family and Clara’s ex-boyfriend, leaves Jose Maria’s house. Since we see him in the season 2 teasers, we know that he’s not left for Atlanta as he suggests. Interestingly though, also in the season 2 teasers, we see him standing over a body being excavated in Alex’s backyard, as well as Alex telling him that he needs to find Sara’s killer. Knowing that Lorenzo is a lawyer, it could just be that he is offering his expertise to help Alex.
However, it could also hint at the fact that something makes Alex suspect Jose Maria again, and the closest person to him that he can talk to is Lorenzo. Could it be possible that in the next season, Alex finds an unlikely ally in Lorenzo? We all know that Lorenzo has no sympathy for the Lazcano family. There is also a lingering suspicion of Jose Maria being guilty, especially because he destroys the tapes.
He claims that he is embarrassed by what was on them, but his demeanor is not convincing, and it is possible that by burning the tapes, he is also getting rid of incriminating evidence. Jose, though generally kind and good-natured, is also a manipulative character as we see him seduce Lorenzo multiple times just to have his way. This might just be the couple’s dynamic but could also point to something more sinister as it is reflective of Don Cesar’s attitude of deflecting anything he doesn’t want to talk about.
And lastly, in the season 2 teaser, we see Jose kissing a woman. If nothing else, this hints at some form of dishonesty on the part of Jose Maria. So far, Jose Maria has faced very little suspicion and has come across as a very unlikely candidate for the murderer. However, he does showcase dubious behavior, and with the writer of ‘Who Killed Sara’ being a fan of Agatha Christie, we cannot discount the role of the oldest Lazcano sibling.
What Secrets Was Sara Hiding?
In the later episodes of season 1, we are shown that Sara might have known a lot more than she let on. We already know this up to an extent as we see her lying to Rodolfo about who the father of her baby is. However, the biggest secret that Sara was holding is that of the brutal murders of the women who work at the casino at the hands of Sergio. Her knowledge of this secret plays a significant role, as apart from being the most heinous and incriminating of Don Cesar’s crimes, it is also something that none of his children or Alex knew about until 18 years later.
The incriminating tape of Sergio murdering Flor, which Sara stole from his residence and kept with her friend, Marifer, as insurance against Sergio and Don Cesar, is another of Sara’s secrets. She knew, or at least had an idea, of how ruthless Don Cesar can be because of how he treated her after they make love. There’s also his reaction when she told him about her pregnancy.
This, combined with the tape, tells us that Sara knew a lot about Don Cesar’s true personality, more than any of the other characters, with the possible exception of Elroy. Furthermore, by giving Marifer the tape, Sara might have unwittingly given rise to Diana the Huntress, who we find out much later is Marifer and who helps Alex on multiple occasions.
At the end of season 1 is when we get a glimpse of the true extent of secrets that Sara might be hiding. The second diary, which Alex finds hidden inside the wall of her room, shows us that Sara suffered from extremely dark thoughts that were paranoid and suicidal. A piece of paper found in the diary also reveals a much bigger and sinister plot: a corpse hidden in the backyard of Alex’s house. We further see that it is Don Cesar who is responsible for the corpse, as he shot the young woman who is buried in the backyard.
It is unclear just how much Sara knew. However, she knew that there was a dead body buried in her backyard and its location. In the teaser scenes for season 2, we see her in a mental institution with a scar on her head from a self-inflicted injury. We also see Alex speaking to her doctor, who claims, “You don’t want to end up discovering something you can’t handle.” All of this points to the fact that Sara was carrying around some kind of awful mental burden that was affecting her. But what is causing it is not revealed.
One possible scenario could be that after she finds out Don Cesar and Sergio’s secret, they blackmail her (Don Cesar hinted as such) into letting them bury the body of one of their victims in her backyard. Having to live with that knowledge without being able to tell anyone eats away at Sara, making her mentally unstable and resulting in her being sent briefly to a mental institution.
The other possibility is that Sara suffered from mental trauma before she met the Lazcanos and that her murderer is someone not associated with the family. This could make her childhood friend Marifer a potential suspect. Sara’s mental issues coming to light also hints at Elise playing a larger role in solving the mystery since she mentions on multiple occasions her plans to study psychiatry in Madrid.
Who Else Can be a Suspect?
The big question about the plot of the coming season is whether Sara’s psychological issues are a result of the actions of Don Cesar, or did she have them even before she got entangled with the Lazcano family? This will directly influence who is a suspect for her murder. From what we’ve seen so far, it is most likely someone that has already appeared or been mentioned on the show. With the Lazcano siblings almost cleared of suspicion, we still have Sara’s childhood friend, Marifer, and Rodolfo’s friend, Nicandro, who is now dead but was present on the day Sara died, as possible suspects, along with Don Cesar, Sergio, Mariana, and Elroy.
Read More: Is Who Killed Sara Based on a True Story?