The Secret in Their Eyes

In June 1974, judiciary agent Benjamin Espósito investigates the rape and murder of Liliana Colotto de Morales. Espósito promises her husband Ricardo he will find the killer and give him a life sentence. Espósito is helped by his alcoholic partner Pablo Sandóval and the new department chief Irene Menéndez-Hastings. Romano, Espósito’s rival, accuses two immigrant workers of the murder, which angers Espósito upon discovering that both of them were tortured to obtain a confession.

Espósito finds a lead while watching old photos of Liliana, which Ricardo gave him: many of them featured a man, identified as Isidoro Gómez, staring at her suspiciously. Espósito and Sandóval sneak into Gómez’s mother’s house in Chivilcoy. During the break-in, they find some letters from Gómez to his mother. Sandóval steals them and Espósito finds out after returning to Buenos Aires. Their “visit” only causes them trouble with their higher-ups, and they are unable to find any evidence in the letters. Gómez is still on the loose due to a careless phone call from Ricardo to Gómez’s mother, in a desperate quest for his wife’s killer. Ultimately, the case is closed.

In 1975, Espósito finds Ricardo in a train station in Retiro and discovers that he was trying to find Gómez in multiple stations. Espósito convinces Menéndez to reopen the investigation. Meanwhile, while getting drunk in a bar, Sandóval makes a discovery: an acquaintance of his identifies several names on the letters – seemingly without any connection – as footballers of Racing Football Club. After identifying him as a Racing fan, Espósito and Sandóval attend a game between Racing and Huracán, in hopes of finding Gómez.

While keeping an eye on the game’s attendees in Huracán’s stadium, Espósito and Sandóval locate Gómez among the crowd, but a sudden goal causes a hubbub and allows Gómez to flee. A chase ensues and Gómez is caught by the stadium’s security guards. Espósito and Menéndez then grill him illegally, with Menéndez making Gómez confess after hurting his male pride. Gómez is tried and sentenced, but Romano bails him out one month later and hires him as a hitman for the right-wing faction of the Peronist Party in order to get revenge on Espósito. Espósito and Menéndez try to reverse it, but are stopped by Romano’s intervention. Espósito informs Morales that his wife’s killer will never go to prison.

Weeks later, Sandóval gets in a bar fight, causing Espósito to take him to his flat and fetch his wife. They find the door pried open, his pictures flipped over and Sandóval shot dead in his room. Espósito soon concludes that Romano sent assassins after him, but Sandóval impersonated him to protect his friend. Fearing for his life, Espósito goes into hiding for 10 years in Jujuy Province with Menéndez’s cousins. Espósito returns to Buenos Aires in 1985 to find Gómez missing, Romano murdered during the National Reorganization Process, and Menéndez married with two children.

In 1999, Espósito tries to make sense out of the case and visits Ricardo, who moved in 1975 to an isolated cottage in a rural area of the Buenos Aires Province. Ricardo loses control when Benjamín asks him how he coped with his wife’s death and the unfair end of the investigation, since Gómez was never seen again after becoming part of Isabel Perón’s security detail. Ricardo tells Benjamín that he kidnapped and murdered Gómez years earlier, and Benjamín leaves. Moments later, however, Benjamín drives back to Ricardo’s house, where he finds Ricardo giving food to Gómez, whom Ricardo kept imprisoned for 25 years without talking to him. Gómez begs Benjamin for human contact, but Ricardo tells Benjamin, “You promised me a life sentence”.

Back in Buenos Aires, Benjamín visits Pablo’s grave for the first time. He then goes to Irene’s office, ready to confess his love to her, something she was always expecting from him. Smiling and expectant, they stay in the office together and close the door.