Now a second series has been announced – is it worth tuning in to?

The story of this series is based on true events, which happened in the Azores, on São Miguel Island, in Rabo de Peixe locality. In that village, in 2001, a huge amount of cocaine washed ashore at the port of Rabo de Peixe, leading to high consumption of pure cocaine by the citizens. Those who realised that money could be made by selling the product started trafficking the drug, and the police had the difficult task of eradicating the drugs and the trafficking.

Regarding fictional events, besides the main story of Turn of the Tide being very similar to reality, the plot created by Augusto Fraga has all the components to make the story addictive.

The story

Focusing on a group of friends who discovered not only the effects of cocaine but also how it can be profitable, Turn of the Tide tells a story about four friends who want to conquer their dreams. The narrative of the series flows at the right time, making it easy to understand what is happening. The dialogue is real, which means, that the script was written believably, without having some weird moments in conversations, that would make our parents say, “Of course this is a film, nobody would say this!”. Some people did not like the amount of curse words used, but, in my opinion, it is not a problem, as it is quite common to hear younger generations speak that way.

Addiction issues, male chauvinism, power abuse, homosexuality, and a lack of opportunities due to poverty are some of the social issues that are represented in the series, along with some Catholic guilt.

Filled with plot twists and even some analysis, the story may gradually grow on you, even though I did not find it was the kind of series that I could binge-watch and see all seven episodes in a day.

The cast

José Condessa, Helena Caldeira (Sílvia), André Leitão (Carlinhos), Rodrigo Tomás (Rafael), Albano Jerónimo and Maria João Bastos are part of the main cast. José Condessa plays Eduardo, a poor boy who wishes to move to America and lives with his father. After collecting a huge amount of cocaine, Eduardo manages to persuade his friends to start a trafficking network, what they were not expecting was that Arruda (Albano Jerónimo), would try to mess with their plans, at the same time that the police inspector Frias (Maria João Bastos) would be suspicious of them.

With great actors, some of them known to the Portuguese public, I must highlight the acting of Albano Jerónimo, Maria João Bastos, Dinarte Freitas, and Afonso Pimentel, who had a secondary role as Zé do Frango and Ian, respectively.

The youngest actors, part of the main arc, were also great when it came to acting, offering truth to what is supposed to be fictional. All the cast members are known for other roles, however they managed to build completely different characters from previous performances.

Some critics said that the lead actors were very fit for poor people. I do not know what they mean by it, as they probably do not know how much strength fishing requires, as both José Condessa and Rodrigo Tomás played fishermen. Plus, Rafael was a famous football player in the series. And to be fair, being poor does not mean that someone cannot practice exercise and eventually grow muscle.


Turn of the Tide, the second Portuguese Netflix series is a great example of how Portuguese people are great at doing amazing productions, even without as much money as international productions.

Picking some of the great actors from Portugal was definitely a clever choice, even though those who are not as famous as others, like Helena Caldeira and André Leitão, gifted the audience with great acting.

Portugal is a country that stuck to soap operas as the biggest audiovisual productions, and it is great to see that, despite the possible lack of experience with streaming, the team managed to make a product that could be easily compared to international series that occupied the Netflix’s top 10 in several countries.

Nevertheless, sometimes less is more. Good acting and, a good script, but too much drone filming and some weird shots during the series. Probably a director’s choice, but sometimes it was disturbing to see characters' emotions in a weird close-up.

Turn of the Tide, or better said, Rabo de Peixe just proves that Portugal could be producing amazing content if proper investment could be made in culture. Whether for streaming, cinema, television, theatre, and even music.

Out of 5 stars, I would give 4,5 stars to Rabo de Peixe, only because of the drones and weird shots. Now, with all this success let’s wait for the second season, and let’s hope it can be as good as the first one.


Deeply in love with music and with a guilty pleasure in criminal cases, Bruno G. Santos decided to study Journalism and Communication, hoping to combine both passions into writing. The journalist is also a passionate traveller who likes to write about other cultures and discover the various hidden gems from Portugal and the world. Press card: 8463. 

Bruno G. Santos