‘God’s Crooked Lines’ (Los renglones torcidos de Dios) is a Spanish mystery thriller revolving around Alice Gould. She is a private investigator who infiltrates a facility for the mentally ill to solve a case. However, once inside, she must find a way to prove to the authorities that she isn’t a patient.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
‘God’s Crooked Lines’ opens in 1979 as Alice Gould de Almenara enters a mental institution due to suffering from paranoia. She has all papers of admission signed by her husband, Heliodoro, and a note from her family physician, Dr. Donadío.
Before admission, she is interviewed by Dr. Teodoro Ruipérez, who reads Dr. Donadío’s note, which states that Alice has a unique ability to possess an answer for everything, even if she has to lie for it.
During the interaction, Alice states that she has been legally kidnapped and sent here as her husband believes she tried to poison him. However, she believes it is the other way around because Heliodoro wants her massive fortune for himself.
Alice then meets the Deputy Director of the facility, Dr. Montserrat “Montse” Castell. Before leaving, she asks about the Director, Dr. Samuel Alvar. Ruipérez reveals that he is on vacation and will return in two or three weeks.
Montse gives Alice a tour and then makes her go through the pre-admission procedure. She submits all her belongings at the reception and undergoes a brutal medical examination.
Alice manages to convince Montse to let her have one of her books, and she agrees.
It is then ousted that Alicia is a private investigator hired by a man named Dr. Raimundo García del Olmo. Her task is to solve the mystery behind his son’s death at the facility a little while ago, which the authorities labeled a suicide.
She has a collection of newspaper clippings of the case inside the book she took into her cell, and she goes through them again. During the next few days, Alice tries to investigate the case but is shocked at the horrible living conditions of the patients.
After freshening up, she has a consultation session with Dr. César Arrelano, who also notices Alice’s tendency to deliver sharp retorts to his questions. However, she refuses to answer some questions, stating that she will reserve those for Dr. Alvar.
Eventually, she befriends a hydrophobic man named Ignacio Urquieta, who appears saner than the others she’s surrounded by. He introduced Alice to a pair of twins named Romulus and Remus. Born inside the facility, the two are extremely unique.
Romulus is a mimic and spends his days imitating others, whereas his brother is mute and stares into space most of the time. The former also cares deeply for a mute girl, who he considers his sister.
However, she also meets some not-so-friendly people. A perverted dwarf named Luis Ojeda tries to sexually harass her. As Ignacio tries to defend her, Ojeda is protected by a hulking patient known as the Elephant Man.
Alice keeps her investigations going and follows Ojeda into the woods after he bothers another female patient. There, she meets Romulus, who claims she is their mother. Out of pity, she plays along.
Soon after, they hear a sound and Alice goes to investigate. She is attacked by Ojeda, who then tries to rape her. The dwarf is hit in the head by someone and the screen cuts to black.
Alice wakes up strapped to a bed and confused. César is next to her and informs her that she killed Ojeda. She tries to remember and claims that it was self-defense.
Meanwhile, Dr. Alvar returns and speaks with Alice. She is relieved and explains the findings of her investigations to him. However, she is shocked when Alvar refutes any knowledge of a private investigator infiltrating the institution and tells Alice that she is sick.
She doesn’t take this well and tries to escape. Alvar has no choice but to sedate her, and she is put back into her cell.
Is Alice mentally sick? Or is she the victim of a twisted conspiracy?
God’s Crooked Lines ending explained in detail:
How does Alice plead her case?
Montse comes to check on her, and Alice convinces her to hold a meeting with the doctors. She believes del Olmo’s son did not commit suicide but was murdered.
At the meeting, Alice reveals that her husband, whom she shares a loving relationship with, knew del Olmo and introduced them. The old man brought up his son’s death and requested Alice to investigate it.
They then started exchanging letters with Dr. Alvar (Who denies this) to get information about the institution. Alice claims it was Alvar who suggested she feigns Paranoia to get admission.
She then discreetly had her husband sign the admission forms and forged the note by Dr. Donadío to convince the authorities of her condition. It was del Olmo himself who dropped Alice at the facility. She also confirms that Heliodoro has no clue she is here as she did not want the details of her investigation to be known by anyone else.
The others are almost convinced that there is something wrong, but Alvar gets into an argument with Alice. She attacks his changing of the rules and treating patients harshly, whereas he still claims that Alice is making everything up.
What is Alvar’s version of the events?
Once Alice goes back into her cell, the doctors discuss the situation amongst themselves. Montse and César are convinced that they should cross-check everything with Alice’s husband, Dr. del Olmo, and Dr. Donadío.
A reluctant Alvar is shocked that his staff cannot see the blatant psychological problem with Alice. He explains that Heliodoro and Alice did not share the most cordial of relationships.
The latter tried to poison Heliodoro on three different occasions, but he miraculously survived. Dr. Donadío showed up and saw signs of poisoning.
The shocked husband found a mysterious vial in the kitchen and put it in Alice’s drink to check. His suspicions were confirmed when she had the same violent reaction to it.
Dr. Donadío saved Alice’s life, but Heliodoro told him about her want to kill him. Not willing to involve the police, they decided to institutionalize her.
Which version is true?
As they discuss this, Alice and Ignacio show up to talk to them about Ojeda’s death. The latter reveals that Alice went into the forest seeking Ojeda. When she didn’t return he went to check on her and found the dwarf trying to rape her.
However, when he saw him, he tried to run away, tripped, and cracked his head open. As Ignacio went to get help, someone else found the body first and must have come to the wrong conclusion that Alice killed him.
Alvar seems convinced that the matter is closed, but a shocking twist awaits. Once Ignacio leaves, Alice tries to talk to an old man in the room, observing this conversation.
She believes he is a policeman, but Alvar reveals that he is Dr. del Olmo. Alice is dumbfounded as the real del Olmo claims to have never seen or met her before.
Also, Dr. Donadío is out of the country and her husband is MIA as well.
Who is behind the plan?
As she begins to act out, Alvar sedates Alice and makes her go through rigorous procedures like shock therapy to treat her. The rest of the doctors now believe their Director’s version of events.
Montse manages to put a stopper on the treatment, but Alice, in her sedated state of mind, cracks the puzzle. She realizes that it was all her husband’s doing.
He has enough power to fake a newspaper article about del Olmo and probably hired an actor to play him. He wanted to get Alice institutionalized so he can elope with her money.
She begs Montse to let her leave so she can check with her bank if her funds have been withdrawn. The Deputy Director refuses but decides to investigate herself. They also conclude that if Heliodoro is involved, he may have bribed Alvar as well.
Montse goes through the documents and finds a cheque worth a massive amount addressed to Alvar by Heliodoro. She confronts him, but he claims that it was a donation for the facility and all the money is accounted for. Furthermore, he fires Montse for disobeying him.
Meanwhile, César goes to the police station and files a complaint. He tells the officer in charge that Alice may be legally kidnapped and is being held on a pretense. The officer is reluctant to investigate but decides to check with the bank.
César also checks Alice’s house and finds that it has been emptied and abandoned.
How does Alice escape?
While all this is going on, Alice leaves her cell and hides in the toy-making facility. The guards come looking for her but the other patients protect her.
She then asks for their help to escape. That night, she uses paint thinner to start a huge fire as a thunderous rainstorm comes pouring down.
Meanwhile, Ignacio distracts a guard and gets out of his cell. He then proceeds to open every cell door, screaming at patients to get out because of the fire. In this chaos, Romulus is brutally murdered by someone.
What is the final twist?
Alice, unaware of the killing, makes her way to the gate. She runs into the coroner, who has come to investigate the body. Finally realizing what has happened, she cautiously attacks the coroner and makes her unconscious.
She then switches places with her and goes to check on Romulus’ body. Alice solves the murder but is found out by the authorities. Before the police arrest her, she reveals that it was the Elephant Man who killed the boy.
He often got into a tussle with Romulus over the mute girl. Romulus protected her like a sister, but the hulking patient was in love with her. It is also revealed that Romulus killed Ojeda when he tried to rape Alice, and the Elephant Man bore witness to this.
When they go to check on the accused patient, Alice’s theory stands true. However, she also figures out that the Elephant Man accidentally killed the mute twin Remus in the chaos, and Romulus is alive.
Alice comforts him and tells him not to feel guilty about his brother’s death. Furthermore, it is proven that Heliodoro withdrew her money from the bank account by the police.
Montse collaborates with other doctors and tells Alvar that they will be voting for his removal for bribery and everything he put Alice through. Also, since her removal was never recorded, Montse is still the Deputy Director.
The next day, there is a meeting of the medical board where Alvar resigns, and the others declare Alice medically sane. However, before leaving, he states that Dr. Donadío answered his messages and arrived to provide clarification on the situation.
As Alvar walks out, the same old man who Alice claimed was del Olmo walks in. He asks her what trouble she’s gotten herself into now as Alice looks bewildered before the screen cuts to black.