Holiday Secrets: Season 1, Episode 2 “Sonja’s Secret” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Peter walking towards Sonja's home.
60.13% (2)

As we dig deeper into the past, so comes the answer as to why some are so troubled in the present.


Directed By Samira Radsi
Written By Katharina Eyssen
Air Date (Netflix) 11/20/2019
Introduced This Episode
Walter Thilo Prothmann
Anton (Present) Golo Euler
Anton (Younger) Ludwig Senger
Jenny Josefine Voss

Recap

1989: Olaf, Alma, Peter, Eva, Sonja

In 1989 Sonja got pregnant by Peter before taking the world by storm, and when it came to Olaf, it seemed he didn’t really care. Though, taking note how he passively blamed Sonja for the death of her would-be little brother when she was 3, let’s consider that his way of trying to get her not to have a child. Or perhaps to be an ass. Either way, he drowns, so he gets what is coming to him.

But, outside of the pregnancy, Sonja learns from Alma that the house they live in belonged to Sonja’s grandfather Alfred, who we don’t meet, who had an aunt who was discovered dead in the home she bequeathed to them. Now, who killed her? That’s hard to say. Only Alma has any memory of this, and while Eva acknowledges her childhood was not pleasant at times, she doesn’t confirm whether her mother actually killed people or not. All that is clear is they didn’t take a train, a bus, or car to get to the house but a boat.

Comment Down Below
  1. Could it be Alma was a refugee, and maybe Alfred’s death triggered her leaving the country, or area, she was originally from?

2004: Anton, Vivi

2004 is a bit uneventful after the last episode, and while there is still bickering between Sonja and Eva, what matters more is Anton and Vivi’s relationship. Those two were high school or middle school, sweethearts, and seemed like they could have become something. At least, there was a chance they could if Vivi wasn’t her mother’s daughter.

Present Day: Anton, Vivi, Peter, Sonja, Lara, Walter, Ljubica, Jenny

Jenny (Josefine Voss) and Anton arriving to Vivi's home.
Jenny (Josefine Voss) and Anton

For, you see, Vivi, like her mom, isn’t someone you can necessarily rely on for consistency, hence why Anton ends up with Jenny. A girl who used to bully Vivi, but at least when he made plans with her, she showed up. But, luckily for Vivi, she isn’t the only one with boy problems. Ljubica, when it comes to Walter, also has issues. It’s just, unlike Vivi, her issues with Walter stretch all the way back to 1989, and aren’t just a little more than a decade old.

Though, the main difference between the two is Vivi is willing to admit and give in to her feelings, hence her and Anton making out. As for Ljubica, she’d rather yell out how nothing is going on and, honestly, maybe there isn’t. But, considering Walter is one of the few men her adopted family have ever seen her interact with, its hard to not assume something is going on, or could.

Stepping aside from romance, or cheating in Anton’s case, there remains mother/ daughter issues. The big one being that Vivi learns her father didn’t die in a car accident when she was little, somewhere in South America. Nope, instead, he is a terrorist. One who just got out of prison and the way the end of the episode is set up, he is on his way for a visit.

As for Lara? Well, she has a quiet and sweet moment with her mom. One which deals with her seeming uncomfortable with being the normal one in the family for with being the normal one comes being the Black sheep. Also, with Vivi poking and prodding at her relationship, it seems the question of whether she is picking the safe choice, rather than what she is passionate about, is coming to mind.

 

Review

Trajectory: Plateau

Highlights

Peter Just Got A Lot More Interesting

Peter being painted as some charismatic guy who swept the sheltered Sonja off her feet wasn’t dull but certainly wasn’t exciting. So learning her was a terrorist adds a whole new element to things. Especially since he took part in the killing of an American ambassador and was part of a major terrorist organization known as the RAF or Red Army Faction. Which leads to the predicament of, how to handle a criminal of that ilk possibly coming back into your life? Specifically for someone like Vivi who doesn’t have a relationship with them and as much as there is this criminal past, you have no personal history with them to say they are evil. To you, they are an absent parent you’d like to know.

So watching the reconciliation between the man Sonja knew, the person painted on the news, who he is now, and what kind of father he’ll try to be should be something.

The Dynamic Between Sonja & Her Daughters

While Eva is around, her relationship with Sonja isn’t played up to the point of driving focus to her. Heck, even Eva’s relationship with Vivi and Lara isn’t gone into much thus far. So when it comes to Sonja, she benefits greatly in trying to reconnect and deal with the possible damage done from her absence. Granted, not in some huge and earth-shattering way that brings you to tears, but, as said in the premiere, it is the lack of over the top dramatics which makes this mini-series interesting.

Anton & Vivi

Though there are quite a few couples on this show, most of them seem safe or lacking passion. This makes Anton and Vivi’s relationship stand out for whether we’re talking the puppy love of 2004 or the present-day version wrought with complication, it draws you in. Even to the point of never minding Anton cheating on a woman who is dropping hints that she’d like to get married.

On The Fence

Lara and Monitz’s Relationship

Lara and her fiance in bed.

Being that Lara is the self-proclaimed “normal” one, of course her well to do boyfriend and their relationship will barely be on your radar. Heck, whether talking about Lara in present-day or 2004, what is there to take note of? The fact she, unlike most of her family, has a respectable and likely high paying job? That she is the polar opposite of Vivi and Sonja?

Those two things could be of interest, but there is so little built around Lara that unless she reveals a major secret, or knows one, I think she’ll be considered a forgettable part of a tame, but likable, story.

Walter and Ljubica

As noted, everyone pushes Ljubica to like this man more than she seems interested. So with Walter not being presented as much more than someone who delivers meat late, always with an excuse, what is there to take note of here?

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