Blood & Water on Netflix: Is the show worth a watch?

Is Blood & Water on Netflix worth a watch?

Did the Blood & Water Season 1 premiere convince me to keep watching? Absolutely! Blood & Water is a South African drama and one of the most recent Netflix Original Series. The show follows a teenage girl as she tries to solve a family mystery.

After reading the synopsis for Blood & Water, I decided to check out the series premiere. Luckily, the first episode of the series presented a compelling enough story that I was convinced to keep watching.

The central mystery of Blood & Water is whether the 17-year-old classmate of the show’s protagonist is her long-lost sister. In the show’s 43-minute premiere, the show presents that question and a plot twist that seems to add complexity to the mystery.

Through it all, we can sympathize with the main character’s journey to gain answers and move forward with her life. Let’s talk about the Blood & Water premiere.

Blood & Water Season 1 premiere

Blood and Water – Courtesy of Lindsey Appolis / Netflix

Blood & Water Season 1 premiere

Puleng Khumalo is a teenage girl living in Cape Town, South Africa, who’s always felt like she was standing in the shadows of a sister that she never knew.

Her older sister, Phume, was kidnapped as a child, and so for 17 years, Puleng’s parents, Thandeka and Julius, have held out hope that their firstborn will one day be returned to them.

While mourning their loss, Puleng’s parents have continued to celebrate Phume’s life by throwing her a birthday party every year. While both Puleng and her little brother Siya have always gone along with the festivities, Puleng is starting to wish that they could just move forward.

This is in part because Puleng has watched her parents’ marriage fall apart because of Phume’s kidnapping.

“I just wish…you would love Siya and I as much as you love Phume,” is what Puleng tells her mother after returning home after ducking out of Phume’s 17th birthday party to attend a more light-hearted celebration with her friend Zama.

While Puleng’s mother assures her that she loves her and Siya with everything she has, Puleng is unconvinced.

Puleng knows that her mother’s guilt regarding Phume’s kidnapping is all-consuming, seeing as her mother has continued to collect newspaper clippings regarding Phume’s investigation. She knows that her mother won’t rest until Phume is brought home, but that is an enormous burden for Puleng to bear.

Fortunately, it may be a burden that she doesn’t have to bear for much longer.

After getting ditched by Zama at the party, which was thrown by Zama’s boyfriend Chris, Puleng heads to the bar where she meets Fikile Bhele. The two girls have a pleasant interaction and go their separate ways.

Puleng, later finds out that Fikile is the birthday girl when a partygoer named Wade, who’s been hired to run the photo booth, remarks that they look similar.

This gets Puleng’s mind going as she starts to consider that Fikile might be Phume. I’ll be honest, at first, I wasn’t quite buying that this would be the inciting incident for Puleng’s investigation.

There are millions of people on the planet that I thought that it was odd that she assumed the first girl that bared a striking resemblance to her would be Phume.

However, her theory came together for me when she found a newspaper clipping that featured a police sketch of what Phume would look like at the age of 17. It’s a clipping that Puleng has probably looked at hundreds of times. So it would make sense of why she came to that conclusion.

The next day, Puleng, who’s on her school’s field hockey team, is distracted during a game by thoughts that Fikile might be her long-lost sister. Following the game, Puleng gets into a fight with one of her teammates when it’s revealed that new information in her sister’s case has led the police to consider her father as a prime suspect in Phume’s kidnapping. While the school’s headmaster is sympathetic, he informs her that because of the fight, she’ll have to attend a disciplinary hearing.

Unfortunately, she’s late to the disciplinary hearing as Wade invites her to a swimming gala at his school Parkhurst College, and Puleng decides to use this as an opportunity to get a DNA sample from Fikile who’s Parkhurst’s star swimmer. Unfortunately, she doesn’t end up getting the sample, and because she was late to her disciplinary hearing, she gets suspended.

That’s the least of her problems, though, as the minute they walk out of the school, the police are waiting to arrest Julius on the charges of selling Phume into human trafficking. While Puleng doesn’t believe that it’s true, Thandeka is wary of allowing Puleng and Siya to have contact with him until the charges are dropped.

With the pressure getting to her and aching to confirm her suspicions, as the episode closes, Puleng tells her mother that she wants to transfer to Parkhurst.

From the premiere, it seems that Blood & Water is not just about uncovering secrets but reclaiming identity. Puleng is seeking to bring her sister home so that her family may begin healing and figuring out what their life looks like post-tragedy. For too long, she’s been defined by her family history and possibly by her questions regarding her sister’s kidnapping.

She is searching for answers in the hopes that she can bring some much-needed clarity into her understanding of the world and her place in it.

However, Phume’s return might instead bring with it new questions that make her understanding of the world much hazier. You’ll have to watch past the Blood & Water Season 1 premiere to find out.

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Have you started Blood & Water? What’d you think? Leave your spoiler-free review in the comments!

Blood & Water is currently streaming on Netflix