Sep 9, 2022

"Tierra Incognita": Unknown Land? It's Well-Traveled Boy-Meets-Girl Territory

 Tierra Incognita, on Disney Plus: "Eric returns to Cape Qwert to solve the mystery of his parents' disappearance."  If he's still a minor, who's taking care of him?  Aimed at younger kids, so I doubt there will be gay characters, but maybe some subtexts.  I watched Episode 1, "The Labyrinth."

Prologue: The Cazadores de Miedo (Fear-Hunters) investigate a scary abandoned amusement park named...Tierra Incognita.  Funloving Lucio (Thomas Lepera) sneaks into a ride with a skull entrance, and screams!  He runs out, yelling "She's coming!"  They rush back to their van, but not fast enough.  The windshield ices over, and a hand reaches out and draws a circle in the ice. That's not very scary.  I expected them to be eaten.

Scene 1: Eric(Pepo Maurizi)  is watching the episode on his laptop and drawing circles, while the camera pauses on a photo of his parents, newspaper clippings about their disappearance, and an ouroboros (a snake with its tail in its mouth).  He is startled by Uma, a deaf girl who came into his room to call him downstairs.

All of the pictures of Pepo that I could find online show him kissing a girl or a girl kissing his cheek or feeling his face.  With the star such an aggressively heterosexual presence, I'm starting to have doubts about this series.

Scene 2: Downstairs, Grandpa and Grandma are cooking dinner.  So why did they call him, if it's not ready yet?  They ask if he has everything he needs for his school field trip: sleeping bag, flashlight, and so on.

Eric asks for the doorknobs to be replaced while he's gone.  Grandpa refuses; "We've talked about that."  Does he think that changing doorknobs will keep out the ghosts?

Uma gets offended, for some reason, and storms off.  They discuss how much she's improving.  Eric: "You shouldn't push her so hard."  Is she Eric's sister, traumatized by their parents' disappearance?  Or is this another trauma?

Grandpa asks for the phone number of where Eric is going.  This outrages him, but he consents.

Scene 3:  Establishing shot of a town named "General Karras."   Imposing granite house.  Room full of renditions of The Scream.  Uma, the deaf girl, is working on a Scream jigsaw puzzle.  Eric comes in and shows her the photo of their parents at the amusement park, just before they vanished.  So Uma is his sister, got it.

Next, he shows her the Cazadores de Miedo video, with the hand making a circle in the ice.  "It's obviously Mom."  How did he make that conclusion?  "So I'm going back to the Cape to find out what happened.  You can't come -- you're still traumatized."

Downstairs, Eric is ready to leave for a school field trip.  But there are five locks on the door, and he doesn't have the keys.  He calls Grandpa to let him out, but they're going to escort him.  A bit overprotective, aren't they?  

Scene 4:  They drop Eric off at the bus stop and watch as he joins the other students and teachers.  Uma causes a distraction, so they don't notice that he didn't get on the bus!  Instead, he sneaks away and runs across the entire town to get on another bus headed for Cape Qwert!

Scene 5: Cape Qwert: rocks, brown water, scary caves, "no swimming" signs.  But a middle-aged woman was diving in a wet suit, and emerged with slates.  They seem to form a map.  

Meanwhile, on his train, Eric flashes back to that day at the amusement park.  While Mom painted a disturbing scene of a clawed hand rising from a grave, Dad played on the rides with young Eric, his friend Pablo, and the near-baby Uma (it's been at least 10 years since the disappearance, and Uma is still recovering?).  Eric gets snippy because he wants to play more, so Mom gives him her ouroborous bracelet and draws a circle in the sand to demonstrate that "for every ending, there's a beginning."  Rather a profound response to a kiddie temper tantrum.

Back at home, Grandpa runs into the mother of Beja, one of Eric's friends: "What a shame that Eric couldn't go on the school field trip.  Beja was super-excited." Uh-oh, now Grandpa knows that there's some skulking afoot.

Scene 6: Eric arrives at the Cape.  Dead trees, deserted houses, a destroyed movie poster, police cars slowly driving past, twin girls slowly swinging, a crazy guy selling alfajores (Argentinian cookies).  Eric remembers him: Don Celestino!  He ambles off.  Finally former best buddy Pablo (Fernando Malfitano) arrives.  They hug.

"Wow, the town is so...sad."

"Everything went downhill when the park closed." 

Scene 7: Eric wants to go straight to the amusement park where his parents disappeared, but Pablo says that it will be too crowded with tourists right now.  He wants to eat first, at a run-down diner called Creepy Pasta (get it?).  They order the jellyfish hair with zombie brains, and spectral vomit to drink.  The waiter (Sebastian Sinnott) stares at Pablo.  Desire or disdain - I can't tell which.

From left to right: Eric, the town's belligerent bully, Pablo, and the sullen Waiter.

Uh-oh, Pablo grabs the waiter's hand for some reason -- maybe they're dating?  Is Pablo gay?  This knocks over a shaker of salt, which roll to the table of a crazy-looking lady.  She screams "The curse! The curse!" and rushes out.

Scene 8: Back home, Grandma is gushing her admiration for Uma finishing the Scream jigsaw puzzle.  Grandpa calls the school field trip number -- Eric's not there!  He roils with rage, and drags Grandma away from her gushing.  "Eric lied to us! He sneaked off to Cape Qwert!  I'm going to go there and drag him back!" Not only over-protective -- he sounds downright abusive.

Meanwhile, on Cape Qwert, the middle-aged skindiver is leading a class of six girls and a smart-aleck boy, Leo (Joaquin Ochoa, top photo), on a tour of some cave paintings drawn by the Niktu, the original inhabitants of the area: "Here's a hunting scene...these are shamans conducting a ritual...and here some Niktus are running away from something.  We don't know what, because that piece is missing."  Leo keeps smooching on his girlfriend and complaining.

Her phone rings -- Dad!  She doesn't answer.  I wouldn't answer either, in the middle of a class.

Back home, we discover that Grandpa was calling her.  Middle-aged lady is his daughter, Eric's aunt!

Scene 9: At the Creepy Pasta diner.  A teenage girl, Lila, comes in and greets Pablo.  Uh-oh. This is the Girl of His Dreams.  Or maybe the Girl of Eric's Dreams.

Eric's.  The music swells, his eyes bulge, his jaw drops, and heteronormativity drops an anvil on any hopes of Eric being gay.

Lila's dumb jock boyfriend (Tomas Kirzner) comes in, snarls at Eric, and barks an order at her "There are people waiting!  Stop wasting time!  Let's go!"  So this is a 1980s teen nerd movie.  Eric will have to wrest the Girl from a guy so boorish and mean-spirited that one can't imagine anyone wanting to spend time with him, even if he was hung to his knees.  

Scene 10: At the scary caves, the lesson is over, so middle aged lady -- Carmen --- calls Grandpa back -- and gets Grandma.  "He's on his way to the Cape to yell and scream at Eric."  "What a drama queen! Eric's a grown-up.  He can take care of himself!" 

Meanwhile, Eric and Pablo are headed for the abandoned amusement park, when a police car appears.  They hide in the bushes.  "This place is off limits," Pablo explains.  "If the police catch us here, they'll...."  Attach electrodes to our genitals? 

Wait -- earlier Pablo said that the amusement park would be crowded with tourists.  Why did he lie?

Finally they reach the rusty, chained-up amusement park entrance.  "I've been waiting for this day for a long time!" Pablo exclaims.  Couldn't he sneak in whenever he wants? 

Scene 11: Carmen finishes the tour -- she's a tour guide, not a teacher -- just in time to get yelled at by Police Officer Daniel (Lautado Delgado Tymruk): "You were skindiving at the beach again!  It's off limits! Also, your nephew Eric is back! Tell him that if he sets foot in that park, I'll attach electrodes to his genitals!"

At the park, Pablo and Eric are wandering around, looking, clues, I guess.  The night of the parents' disappearance is called the Night of Lights, because for some reason the whole sky lit up.  Why wouldn't Eric remember that? Wasn't he there?

The Labyrinth, where the Fear-Hunters took the video of the frosted windshield! Pablo warns that it's too dangerous, but Eric rushes in anyway..  It's full of spider webs and hornets' nests, but otherwise looks fine. Except for the scary ghostlike figure!  Eric tries to chase it, but is stopped by flashing red lights and a loud screeching noise.  He collapses in pain.  

When the noise ends, Eric approaches a sheet-ghost figure, thinking it's his Mom.  It's actually a screeching female monster with bleeding eyes.  Pablo drags him away: "That wasn't your Mom.  It's this place.  It's evil." The end.

Beefcake: None.  And none on the internet, either, just endless photos of the male stars kissing girls.

Other Sights: The scary amusement park.  Some other exteriors.

Heterosexism: Yep.

Gay Characters:  I don't think the's much hope for Pablo, but I'll go through on fast-forward, just in case.

Fast-Forwarding Results:  They divide into two boy-girl couples to solve the mystery, but neither boy actually kiss his girl, and there are a few Eric-Pablo hugs.  You might be able to do a gay reading, but it will be subtle.

My Grade: C-


  1. Cute boys but this is show was made in Argentina so I doubt you will get anything gay

  2. Yeah Argentina. All you get is gay in the USA.


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