Tonight Tell me how it happened will say goodbye forever. The longest-running series in the history of television in Spain and the sixth in the world is leaving with a bang: 420 episodes, 23 seasons and 22 years on the air. More than two decades telling the history of Spain, but also the story of each person, the story of each family, of each parent, of each grandfather, of each child. Tell me, it’s the misunderstood daughter, the son who leaves home, the grandmother who sacrifices herself for her family until the end of days, the parents who with great effort manage to move forward… It’s us.

During all this time, each episode of Cuéntame and each season has recounted key moments of the last 40 years of our country, but also suffering, effort, joys and sorrows that were and are experienced in many homes. That has been the key to his success, according to members of his team. Each chapter was a tribute, an audiovisual newspaper library, a history book turned into a series. Dozens of actors, directors, scriptwriters, documentary filmmakers have passed through it… A mammoth team that has always had to work like the machinery of a Swiss clock. Reliving the past and present is never easy.

Tell Me How It Happened became our Sound of Music: the team behaved like another family and that is what had to be transferred to the other side of the screen. And what less than saying goodbye to the series that has marked three generations giving voice to that family that was always behind it.

Choosing among more than 400 chapters which would be the episode without which Cuéntame would not have been the Cuéntame that accompanied us for 22 years is an almost impossible task. However, five members of the series have taken a risk and have chosen the chapter that for them is “essential” in the long history of this fiction.

Jacobo Delgado, scriptwriter of the series for years and coordinator of scriptwriters in the last season, would choose the most obvious: the first or the last. However, we pressure him to search his memory and his heart and it takes him two minutes to give a name: Hitting Rock Bottom, episode 60 of the series.

It was season 3 of Tell me how it happened. Jorge Lastra (Pepe Martín), Don Pablo’s partner (Pepe Sancho), and the money from the construction company still do not appear, to the despair of Antonio (Imanol Arias), who does not understand how it is possible that Don Pablo simply trusts in waiting for your partner appears. What Antonio does not yet know exactly is the responsibility that he has to assume after the money disappears. Mercedes (Ana Duato) abandons everything to help her husband and, as always, she hides what is happening from her children to protect them.

Directed by Patrick Buckley, this episode is the most viewed in the history of Cuéntame: 51% screen share and more than 7 million viewers. For Delgado this is important, obviously, but what led him to choose this one and not another is that this chapter “has it all.”

“On the one hand it has the resolution of the plot that we carry for dozens of chapters of the rise and fall of Antonio, who goes from being an orderly in the Ministry to managing director of a construction company in a very short time at the hands of Don Pablo. On the other hand , because it tells very well the corruption linked to the construction so typical of the Dictatorship and that continues to this day. And, thirdly, because it tells us about a family, the Alcántara, who leave everything to help one of their members. In short, it is a chapter that has it all: dreams, picaresque and family, one hundred percent Spain,” he explains.

Wild Daisies was the last recorded episode of the so-called “specials”, those that went outside the main plot and the season in which they were broadcast. It was in season 22 and is for Antonio Cano, one of the directors of the series, the “essential.” Of course, he confesses that “saying or highlighting” only one chapter out of many is “very difficult” for him: “It’s like when they ask you which child you love the most. You can’t answer because, although they are very different from each other, all of them you want equally. The same thing happens to me with the Cuéntame episodes.” For Cano, each chapter of Cuéntame “is an act of love.”

When you ask him, many come to mind: Summer Vacation, Vivir, Martini with Vodka, Holy Week, which “we united two chapters into one and it became an extraordinary film”, First Afternoons with Teresa, nominated for an Emmy, or Próxima stop in Perpignan, “which I am very fond of because they gave me the best director award at the Seoul International Festival.”

We force him to keep one. She thinks about it. Doubt. And she answers: Wild daisies. In it. The appearance of some bones in a ditch in Sagrillas makes Herminia relive an episode in her life that she has had buried for years. A story that speaks of loyalty and betrayal, of memory and oblivion, but also of life and death. The remains found belong to Dr. Moreno, a former doctor from Sagrillas to whom Herminia (María Galiana) is eternally grateful. It was the first chapter in which Cuéntame made us believe that Herminia was leaving. But Herminia did not leave, “Herminia clung to life.” “She has all the ingredients that have made our series so special,” Cano closes.

Eres tú by Mocedades was playing and Carlos was reunited with Karina and his daughter on the other side of the Atlantic, in New York. It was the end of Ricardo Gómez and Elena Rivera in the series. It was the end of Carlos and Karina. For that reason and for everything it meant, the actress who for 14 years played Karina, Carlitos’ girlfriend, considers Searching to be her chapter.

“I have experienced many unique and magical moments in Cuéntame, but I prefer the episode in which Ricardo and I left the series,” he says. Chapter 348 of Cuéntame was the last episode of season 19 and marked the beginning of a new stage, not only for the two actors, but also for the series.

“For me it was like an early end to the series and for many viewers as well,” explains Rivera. “I think that from there the series began another stage.”

Elena Rivera only has words of gratitude for Cuéntame, “a series that transcends television”, “a cultural phenomenon” that no matter the years that pass “will continue to be a reference of our time.”

In this chapter “a stage of the most important television series in Spain closed.” “It meant a lot to me, especially on a personal level, because I felt like I was on the same journey as Karina,” he adds. Karina and Carlos “were taking a chance” and “well, as an actress, I was also taking a chance and I didn’t know what the future was going to hold for me either.” “Just remembering it makes me emotional,” she confesses.

Vivir will go down in the history of Cuéntame as one of the hardest chapters in the 22 years of the series and it is no coincidence. It is the episode in which the series wants to show the hardness of breast cancer, of those who suffer from it and of those around them. And for that reason, “because it deals with a universal issue that affects all types of women,” it is the “essential” episode for Carla Orete, the series’ head of makeup and hairdressing for these 22 years.

The Alcántara family decides to go to Sagrillas to spend a few days so that Mercedes can rest and recover. Miguel (Juan Echanove) and Paquita (Ana Arias) are waiting for them there, who help them with the house and food. The whole town is aware of Mercedes’ condition, something that she doesn’t like because they keep treating her like a sick person. A cold complicates her health and Antonio, who is never separated from her, tries by all means to find a solution so that her wife can improve.

For Orete, that episode caused “a very special atmosphere during filming in Sagrillas” for the entire team. It was the thirteenth season of Cuéntame and, although the team was already a family after so many years, that filming, that script, that performance by Ana Duato, the meaning, what had to be transmitted with it, marked a before and after.

In San Genaro, several kids from the institute are organizing illegal races. Bruno (Óscar Casas) is present in one of them that does not end well. The car collides with another car that is going in the opposite direction and which, unfortunately, is driven by Carlos (Ricardo Gómez) with Karina (Elena Rivera) as co-driver. As a result of the accident, Mercedes and Antonio begin to suspect that something is happening with Carlos.

Irene Visedo (Inés Alcántara) chooses, like Jacobo Delgado, a chapter in which it is again shown how the Alcántara abandon everything to support one of their own. The family is not experiencing its best moments, but everyone puts aside their differences to unite in one of the most delicate moments for the Alcántara family.

But not only for that. This episode is where Carlos’ addiction to cocaine explodes and is loaded with mythical scenes from the series. The first of them, that of Karina and Carlos in the car minutes before the accident, and in which Karina tells Carlos that she has told her father what is happening to her with the cocaine. But, above all, the choice of this chapter is due to the final scene: the conversation between Antonio and Carlos in the hospital and the end of the episode with Carlos and Antonio in the planetarium watching the Milky Way while Ship to Venus plays in the background. Meccano.

While Carlos talks to his sister María on the phone, Antonio rolls up a 1,000 peseta bill and snorts a line of cocaine. “Son, I’m trying to understand you. What’s good for you will be good for me, I say.” Carlos first panics and then takes all his anger on his father. “Ashamed of what? Why do you shove your entire salary up your nose?” The scene is, once again, key to understanding the sacrifices and sufferings of a family at a time when cocaine was beginning to destroy many lives. And, above all, to show “the omnipresent role” of Antonio “as a father.”