Siempre Bruja (Always A Witch) Season 1, Episode 1 “A Leap In Time” [Series Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Siempre Bruja (Always A Witch) Season 1, Episode 1 - Title Card
88.89% (3)

Siempre Bruja (Always A Witch) gives us that long desired focus on a Black witch but complicates things with her loving her master and a war between warlocks.


Network
Netflix
CreatorAna Maria Parra
Director(s)Liliana Bocanegra
Writer(s)Ana Maria Parra, Diego Vicanco
Air Date2/1/2019
Genre(s)Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
Good If You LikeWitches At War

Time Travel

Fantasy Stories Starring Black and Brown People

Stories Dealing With Trying To Save A Loved One

Isn’t For You If YouAre Tired Of Witches, And Other Supernatural Beings
Introduced This Episode
CarmenAngely Gaviria
AldemarLuis Fernando Hoyos
CristobalLenard Vanderaa
NinibeVeronica Orozco

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The Introduction

Things begin in 1646 Cartagena, Colombia and Carmen, accused of putting a spell on the upper-class Cristobal is accused of being a witch and burned at the stake. However, she avoids death thanks to making a deal with an immortal wizard named Aldemar. A man who asks of Carmen to travel to the future to give a stone to someone named Ninibe which, in exchange, he will help her travel to the past to save Cristobal. For, you see, during Carmen’s trial, he spoke out against the church and, with it being 1646, and it being assumed he was bewitched by evil, he was killed – by his own father.

So, to undo that tragedy, as Carmen burns, she speaks a spell and ends up in 2019. There she finds Ninibe in time but finds herself dragged into a war. One which a being named Lucien seems to be on the opposing end of, but who is to say whether Carmen is on the side of good or evil. Especially considering how suspicious everyone seems.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Carmen is only 18 while going through all this.

Highlights

A Black Witch

Carmen (Angely Gaviria) during a slave auction.
Carmen (Angely Gaviria)

While The Vampire Diaries and American Horror Story have featured Black witches, they were in supporting roles. In Siempre Bruja, Carmen is an Afro-Latina witch, unfortunately of slave status, but with noting her formerly being a slave comes recognition of many things. The first being the existence of Afro-Latinas on a major platform, but also the history of Black people in the Latin world. Also, while we do see magic done, there is also the use of herbs, and we could see bits of how west African culture influenced Colombia. Be it in dance, music, or other aspects.

But, that is just speaking to what can be shown in the past. When it comes to present day, there can be the topic of colorism and so many other things gone into. For while magic and a love affair might be one of the primary focuses, once we saw a man who was whipped to the point of welts and blood, Siempre Bruja brought in the idea this isn’t going to be some basic time traveling story. It may hit on my topical topics.

On The Fence

The Cristobal Romance

I don’t know if it is because Cristobal is light skinned, that he gives Thomas Jefferson vibes, or what, but I’m finding it hard to get into the idea of him and Carmen together. If he too were a slave, there would be no obstacle. However, with him purchasing her and him falling in love, there is a slight uneasiness to all this. Even if he did get himself killed to prove his love wasn’t due to a spell but authentic.

The Battle Between Lucien and Aldemar

While we see Aldemar lift Carmen with magic, also see Carmen manipulate animals, and short circuit electrical systems, neither of these things make her being part of a war that interesting. Especially when we see some cloud-like shadow attack Nininbe. It gave the show an almost 90s, early Buffy: The Vampire Slayer vibe – but not in a good way. Making the idea of Carmen getting sucked into their battle certainly not a selling point.

First Impression: | Mixed (Stick Around)

I’m kind of disappointed but not fully turned off. Though, I must admit, if Gaviria was light skinned or passing for white, I’d probably stop watching. For the saving grace of this is having a Black – Afro-Latina witch and the curiosity of how they will address her past in the present. Also, taking note of the trailer, what kind of hijinks and silliness will she get into? For while it was established there would be some kind of villain, they’ve been presented in an unflattering fashion which seems straight from the CW. Then, with the Cristobal romance, being that he was a master and all the complications which come with that, it makes it difficult to see her love for him, or him for her, cute.

Hence the mixed label. While Gaviria presents us with a character you could fall for, what drives her and what trouble she finds herself in will challenge her as lead and leave you to wonder if she will be enough. That is, unless first impressions can’t be trusted when it comes to this battle between Lucien and Aldemar, as well as Vanderaa figuring a way to make the whole slavery thing not taint his character’s love for Carmen.


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Season/ EpisodeSynopsisDirector, Writer, and Introduced ActorsTopics & Focused Characters
Season 1, Episode 10 "The Final Trip" [Season Finale]As the show has been lackluster, so is its ending which sets up a second season which could begin with some hijinks.
Director(s)Mateo Stivelberg
Writer(s)Ana Maria Parra, Diego Vicanco
Air Date2/1/2019
  • Prepping For One More Battle: Carmen, Sandra, Det. Corcel, Ninibe, Aldemar
  • Betrayals & Twists: Aldemar, Lucien, Johnny, Carmen, Mayte, Ninibe, Alicia, Daniel, Det. Corcel
  • The End of One Thing, Prelude To The Next: Johnny, Carmen, Esteban, Cristobal, Ninibe, Det. Corcel
Season 1, Episode 9 "The Time Portal"As Lucien waits in a cell, Johnny and everyone contemplates how to speak, even physically get to Carmen. Someone who is in a world of trouble.
Director(s)Mateo Stivelberg
Writer(s)Ana Maria Parra, Diego Vicanco
Air Date2/1/2019
Newly Noted
HildaMayra Luna
  • Anyone Can Do Magic: Johnny, Carmen
  • A Failed Revolt & Rescue Mission: Hilda, Carmen, Cristobal, Fernando, Isabel
  • Back To The Future: Johnny, Carmen, Hilda, Cristobal, Lucien, Ninibe, Aldemar
Season 1, Episode 8 "1646"With a taste of what the future holds, it seems Carmen returning to the past is bittersweet and makes things with Cristobal complicated.
Director(s)Mateo Stivelberg
Writer(s)Ana Maria Parra, Diego Vivanco
Air Date2/1/2019
Introduced This Episode
FernandoEdu Martin
IsabelCristina Warner
KankawimakuNelson Camayo

What Is The Truth?: Mayte, Alicia, Daniel, Kankawimaku, Johnny, Lucien

Lucien, I Am Your Father: Lucien, Aldemar, Ninibe, Carmen

Maybe All Of This Was For Nothing: Isabel, Fernando, Cristobal, Carmen

Season 1, Episode 7 "Lucien"Carmen finally faces off against Lucien and both who he is, and who Aldemar is, you probably have guessed already.
Director(s)Mateo Stivelberg
Writer(s)Ana Maria Parra, Diego Vivanco
Air Date2/1/2019
  • Saving Mayte: Carmen, Mayte, Leon, Alicia, Daniel
  • Facing Lucien: Esteban, Carmen
  • A Deal Is A Deal: Aldemar, Carmen, Ninibe
Season 1, Episode 6 "The Ritual of Forgetting"Leon’s secrets come out as Cristobal tries to make a deal with Aldemar and, in return, Aldemar does something sinister.
Director(s)Mateo Stivelberg
Writer(s)Ana Maria Parra, Diego Vivanco
Air Date2/1/2019
Introduced This Episode
Detective Pablo CorcelJuan Manuel Mendoza
Sandra LimaDiana Angel
  • The Truth About Carmen: Det Pablo, Sandra, Johnny, Carmen
  • Forgetting Cristobal & Stalking Leon: Leon, Mayte, Carmen, Alicia
  • Another Mind Slave: Cristobal, Aldemar
Season 1, Episode 5 "The Festival of Candela"We get to learn about Carmen’s parents this episode, Alicia’s brother, and get a vibe there might be a new sense of urgency.
Director(s)Liliana Bocanegra
Writer(s)Ana Maria Parra, Diego Vivanco
Air Date2/1/2019
Introduced This Episode
BraulioJhon Alex Castillo
PaulaAna Mosquera
  • About JuanJo: Daniel, Alicia
  • Remember Who You Are: Braulio, Paula, Carmen, Mayte, Leon
  • It’s Hard To Say Goodbye/ My Eyes & Ears: Johnny, Cristobal, Carmen, Aldemar
Season 1, Episode 4 “Stolen Shadow, Witch Forgotten”Siempre Bruja (Always A Witch) may finally be building up steam after Johnny does something stupid and Esteban begins seeming rather suspicious.
Director(s)Liliana Bocanegra
Writer(s)Ana Maria Parra, Diego Vivanco
Air Date2/1/2019
Introduced This Episode
EstebanSebastian Eslava
MayteValeria Emiliani
LeonCarlos Quintero
BrunoVictor Gomez
  • Speaking To A Ghost: Aldemar, Johnny, Carmen
  • A Weight Off My Shoulders: Johnny, Carmen, Mayte, Leon, Alicia, Esteban, Bruno
  • Early Onset Dementia: Esteban, Johnny, Aldemar, Carmen, Daniel
Season 1, Episode 3 “Ouija”The ghost of Lucien finally appears, and we check in on Aldemar, who gets a surprise visitor.
Director(s)Liliana Bocanegra
Writer(s)Ana Maria Parra, Diego Vivanco
Air Date2/1/2019
Introduced This Episode
XimenaNorma Nivia
LuchoJose Restrepo
AngelEduardo Lopez
  • Atonement: Johnny, Carmen, Lucho, Alicia, Angel
  • Meanwhile, Back In The 1600s: Cristobal, Aldemar
  • You’re On Your Own: Ximena, Lucho, Carmen
Season 1, Episode 2 “A University Witch”While Lucien remains to be seen, and Ninibé is still AWOL, Carmen stalks Alicia and someone discovers her truth.
Director(s)Liliana Bocanegra
Writer(s)Ana Maria Parra, Diego Vicanco
Air Date2/1/2019
Introduced This Episode
DanielDuban Prado
AliciaSofia Araujo
Johnny KiDylan Duentes
AdelaidaConstanza Duque
  • In Need Of Friends: Alicia, Carmen, Daniel
  • I Know What You Are: Johnny Ki, Adelaida, Carmen
Season 1, Episode 1 “A Leap In Time”Siempre Bruja (Always A Witch) gives us that long desired focus on a Black witch but complicates things with her loving her master and a war between warlocks.
CreatorAna Maria Parra
Director(s)Liliana Bocanegra
Writer(s)Ana Maria Parra, Diego Vicanco
Air Date2/1/2019
Genre(s)Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
Good If You LikeWitches At War

Time Travel

Fantasy Stories Starring Black and Brown People

Stories Dealing With Trying To Save A Loved One

Isn’t For You If YouAre Tired Of Witches, And Other Supernatural Beings
Introduced This Episode
CarmenAngely Gaviria
AldemarLuis Fernando Hoyos
CristobalLenard Vanderaa
NinibeVeronica Orozco

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing! You’re the first person I’ve seen mention that there’s any slavery in this show at all? So at least I have some preparedness for viewing.

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