Macarena and Zulema (Najwa Nimri), now free from prison plan their final heist in “Vis a vis: El Oasis” 

Macarena, the character played by Maggie Civantos in “Locked Up”, was a naive young woman when she first entered prison. Hardened by knocks, after four seasons she has become a criminal with scruples who, now free, survives by pulling off heists together with Zulema (Najwa Nimri). One day, they decide it’s time for one last job with a new gang in the mansion of a rich Mexican kingpin. This is how “Vis a Vis: El Oasis” begins, an epilogue to the popular prison series created by Iván Escobar and produced by Globomedia (THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO), which premiered on Monday April 20th at 10:00 pm (CEST) on FOX. Paradoxically, it’s the audience who are now confined. “It’s a rare moment, of sadness. Within the horror, I’m recouping the time I couldn’t dedicate to myself during filming. And I’m writing a script.”, says Maggie Civantos.

How would you describe this final outcome?

It was necessary. “Locked Up” ends at the perfect time and in ideal fashion. This is somewhat of a different farewell, they’re out of prison and have a few new additions and finally, we can tell the unfinished story of what fans were calling for: the tale of Maca and Zulema. It hadn’t been fully explored and it was like having a thorn in your side, so bowing out like this has been a real delight.

For the first time, Maca and Zulema are out of prison, does this mean that they will be freer than ever?

In reality, no. They’re really slaves to themselves. Freedom is not like they expected, they continue to feel like failures, they needed each other and seek out one another without fully comprehending what it is they’re actually feeling. When I was playing Maca, I felt that she needed to be clear about everything, because she’s very rational, and it turns out that it’s not like that at all, she’s lost in her own feelings, something that happens also in life.

According to the show’s creator, “Vis a Vis: el Oasis” is a “Death of The Old-West” type of western, given also that you also shot on location in Almería. What it was it like filming the final scenes there?

I ended up filming with a dose of the ‘flu. We did the farewell scene backwards; we recorded the finale during the first few days and then we shot the beginning there. Everything was so fragmented that it was difficult to get your head around it, so was essential to have the entire episode storyline from the very beginning.

In these challenging times, do you fear the reaction of viewers to such a tough series?

I think the previous seasons were darker. The director, Sandra Gallego, says that there are moments of greater lightness in these episodes, maybe because of the exteriors, the desert, the characters … Maca is much more grounded, more serene, there is a light at the end of her path. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no violence, it’s very much still an action-packed, fast-paced show. 

Do you feel that “Locked Up” has marked a before and after in Spanish drama?

We knew that we were dealing with something special, that we were taking risks, and that’s something audiences appreciate, because not everyone is capable of putting their necks on the line like that. Globomedia (THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO), Antena 3 and then FOX did a great job there, launching into a series that was such a departure from the norm.  

Maca launched your career and Zulema brought Najwa Nimri to television, is it harder to say goodbye to characters like these?

Najwa and I have talked about this a lot during filming, because the journey of the characters has been spectacular. Although we started out from different points, because she already had a wonderful career, in a way it was similar, because for her “Locked Up” was a reset. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed bidding farewell to characters that have meant so much to us.

What advice would you give to the Maggie who was beginning her TV career back then?

Although wisdom comes from experience and years, I would say: “Trust, take it easy and keep breathing.”

Helena Cortés. Journalist (by profession) and audiovisual communicator, is the girl on TV on ABC and ABC Play. I was analyzing series and programs in Non Stop People (Movistar +) and Cope and now you can listen in to it on “Las Cinco Letras” of the “El enfoque” program on Onda Madrid. Learning and lecturing on Journalism at Universidad Carlos III.