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Becoming Carmen Sandiego: Part 1 is the first episode of season one and the first episode overall of the 2019 Netflix series and is followed by its second part.


In the present, Carmen Sandiego's theft in a Poiters estate belonging to her former teacher leads her to be hunted by a French Interpol Inspector, she is soon cornered by her old ally, Gray, now an operative known as "Crackle" who forces her to explain her time at V.I.L.E Academy before her defection and how she came to be Carmen Sandiego.

The Eye of Vishnu[]

One night in Poiters, France, Inspector Chase Devinauex and his partner Julia Argent, drive through a road as Chase brings up a case that involves a thief by the name of Carmen Sandiego as the former claims that the thief stole millions of dollars from a bank in Switzerland, a well secured art gallery in Cairo, Egypt and an amusement park in Shanghai, China. As Chase drives on, Julia notes that their suspect had always seemingly disappeared from the scene before she could be caught, she then further explains that Interpol has no further connections that link the crimes with Carmen but holds up her tablet noting that Carmen wears a red fedora and matching trench coat and that she made public appearances hours before committing the robberies, Chase then recalls that they had previously saw Carmen earlier that day at a cafe.

As Chase continues to drive, he ponders on why a thief would draw attention to herself and wear a bold color, such as red, Julia suggests that all of Carmen's crimes must only be a game to her as Chase then states that the thief will be stopped as he will catch her that night. Unsure why Poiters was targeted, Julia attempts to explain that with it having a rich and valuable background, it makes a perfect target for a thief of Carmen's standards, though as she goes into further detail about the place, Chase insists she stop and mentions how she has only recently joined Interpol and how he is more experienced than she is though unbeknownst to him, Julia then notices Carmen far in the background and after a brief moment of Chase still bragging, she manages to alert him that their target is in the area, as Chase looks over, the two watch as Carmen uses her grappling hook to ascend onto a rooftop, Chase then turns the car in an effort to catch her.

As the car skids to a reckless halt, the two Agents of Interpol exit from the vehicle and watch as Carmen looks on in the distance, Chase commands Julia to stay by the car as the latter questions if she should call for back-up though Chase denies the offer and claims he will catch the thief by himself. On the rooftop, Carmen notes that from her location, she can see the La Cathédrale Saint-Pierre but is told by Player to put her job first before the sight-seeing, as Carmen agrees, Player reclines in his seat, stretches and talks to Carmen about Paris, he states that it is lovely in virtual form, he continues to type and synchronises the intel before telling Carmen that she should go fifty yards ahead of her to reach her destination, Carmen then runs ahead and wonders if she is close, Player informs her that she is getting close and finally tells her that the building she makes it on is where she needs to be. Carmen then extends a grappling hook from her sleeve and ascends onto the rooftop where she then grabs some lipstick out of her pocket and presses a button, she then places it in a USB socket as the details of the building's security then go to Player who disables the security systems.

As Carmen removes the lipstick from the socket, Player admits that there is another signal in the area as he urges Carmen to be careful, the latter then silently unlocks one of the top windows and enters, as she descends, she promises to watch where she is going as a few arrows fly towards her, as her instincts kick in, Carmen kicks a nearby shield into the air and uses it as defense claiming that the value of the shield has dropped. Still hunting down Carmen, Chase runs into the building and gets into the elevator, he yells in frustration as its ascension is slow. Still in the other room, Carmen nears a wall and questions why an atrium of all rooms should be boarded off, as Player remarks that whoever did it must have preferred storage space, over natural lighting Carmen then teases him for knowing what that is like as Player defends himself by claiming that he is content within his dark room. Realising that it is a hollow room behind the wall, Carmen looks around for a hidden lever of some kind and finds it in the form of a candle on the wall, as she pulls it, the wall moves aside revealing a silver door sealed vault, as Carmen praises her helper for guessing would could have possibly have been there, she scouts through the inside of her coat for the tool that is more helpful, she pulls out a device and places it onto the door.

Meanwhile, Chase runs out of the elevator only to notice that he is only on the next floor, not wanting to waste any time, he begins running upstairs. As the device finishes going through possible combinations, it turns green with the correct numbers and opens up to reveal a valuable room with many treasures inside, though the one that catches her eye most is a large diamond named "The Eye of Vishnu" though Carmen stops and glances at something behind her causing Player to wonder if something is wrong, as Carmen assures him that what she is seeing is something she believed she would have never seen again, Player questions if it is more valuable than the jewel. As Carmen asks her assistant to define what valuable means, the two hear a voice as Chase manages to find the room in which his target it is, Player then tells Carmen to grab the Eye of Vishnu and escape, as Chase manages to get into the room, he watches as Carmen places the jewel inside a bag and prepares to try and arrest her though Carmen kicks a stool towards him, she then jumps up and lands her hands on his shoulders which sends him to the floor, as Carmen mockingly asks on whose authority, Chase goes to reach for his badge only for Carmen to show off that she had been able to take it from his pocket, she then throws the badge back to its owner and wonders if the Inspector can live up to his name, she escapes through the rooftop window with her grappling hook, Chase then follows after her and demands she stop, she does so but only briefly as she then continues.

Still on the run, Carmen continues to evade her chaser by jumping across various rooftops, Chase follows though slowly as he does not possess Carmen's agile ability. Knowing that she can still escape, Carmen bids Chase farewell in French as Julia recognises who is above her, Carmen then fully escapes the scene using her glider. Julia and Chase then watch in awe as their target escapes, losing his balance, the latter falls from the rooftop and lands on the car, damaging it, as Julia grabs the keys to stop the car alarm, Chase wonders where Carmen has gone.

Meeting with Crackle[]

As Carmen continues to glide to safety, she notes that she is on time for her train as Player sends her a digital ticket. Meanwhile, Julia states that Carmen must have to land at some point and wonders where it could be as Chase realises that it is the train station that their target is going to, he then orders his partner to secure the crime scene and leaves her as he takes the car to go track down Carmen. As the latter descends onto the train station, she lands in casual wear and tied her hair into a bun as she then boards the train carrying a bag containing her items. As Chase arrives on the scene, he watches as the train departs from its station as Julia attempts to take the elevator to where The Eye of Vishnu once was. Chase, still determinant to not let Carmen out of his sight, calls Julia and asks if she knows if it is possible to catch the train in the car he is in despite its current state, despite Julia's uncertain answer, Chase continues to drive on.

Inside the carriage hallway, Carmen notes that she likes the first class service as Player mentions she deserved it. As Carmen pulls the bag containing the jewel out of the bag, Gray enters the same room catching Carmen's attention, he calls the situation a blast from the past and raises his Crackle Rod towards its target as it hits her, Carmen's signal vanishes from Player's computer as he hurriedly tries to get it back, Carmen, annoyed, indirectly insists that it was an unnecessary move as Gray mentions that it was a mere side effect claiming that all of the devices are useless due to the electromagnetic pulse, Carmen mentions that she is aware of what happened stating that she too passed Dr. Bellum's class. She then says the two have to tie up the loose ends but Gray insists she is the only end that needs to be tied up, confidently claiming he has captured Carmen, dubbing her as elusive, he then recalls her old codename of Black Sheep.

Time in V.I.L.E[]

A few years prior, Carmen was among the few seated in a room of V.I.L.E Academy's, she along with her assumed future allies listened as Coach Brunt explained their current situation. As the students listen in, Brunt explains that V.I.L.E stands for Valuable Imports, Lavish Exports, explaining that they traffic stolen good to the four corners of the globe, she tells the students that they were all hand-picked for the Academy's one year program, further claiming that they were chosen for their impulsive stealing habits and all had potential within them to be better than they already were, she introduces herself as Coach Brunt and that she has rules that must be followed, rule one being that none of them are to have contact with the outside world and that electronic devices, such as phones, are forbidden from being used and to get her point across, she crushes said device with her bare hand which socks, Sheena, Gray and Jean-Paul, though the young Carmen watches, unphased. Brunt then explains that her second rule is that operatives must only go by first names until they are given their codenames and diverts her attention to Carmen by calling her Lambkins, the nickname which causes Gray to tease the young girl for being a mascot, he laughs but is forced to stop as Carmen pulls him back explaining that only that her closest allies call her that stating that her codename is Black Sheep and demands he understand to which Gray does as Sheena watches from the side in disgust.

Train to Paris[]

In the present day, Gray mentions how he had been schooled the day he met Carmen as the latter remarks that she only wanted him to know who he was dealing with though Gray insists he is still unsure now that the girl he once knew as Black Sheep, is now going under the alias of Carmen Sandiego, Carmen then wonders if he wants the truth to which Gray notes that she only has until the train reaches Paris to explain who she really is.

Carmen's Story[]

Carmen then looks out of the window and explains that she was founded as a baby on an abandoned road just outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina and after being found, she was brought to an island and further confirms that it is the same island that V.I.L.E Academy resides on. Carmen then further explains stating that she had been home-schooled as a child by various nannies who taught her many things such as how to do basic things like reading and writing while others taught her geography and their cultures. As a young Carmen walks through the hallways of the Academy, her older self tells Gray that as she was found with no identification, she was given her codename at an early age and that she was still allowed to spend time around the operatives even though she was younger than them, as The Cleaners go about their job, Carmen then slides past them and easily takes the two sponges which she uses to slide across the floor, her older self claiming she was getting away with murder.

During the first of December, The Captain parks a boat by the docks and demands clearance as he offers a hand to his passenger, a woman by the name of Cookie Booker, from her hiding place, Carmen launches a red water balloon towards the two which catches the eye of The Captain who runs ahead to find the perpetrator, as he chases Carmen into the Academy, Carmen evades him by jumping over her older allies but slips on the floor only to be protected by Coach Brunt who lifts The Captain into the air and punches him, the hit lands on her target and The Captain slides across the floor as Carmen grabs the phone that landed but hides it away before she was seen with it. The Captain then watches as Carmen is placed onto Brunt's shoulder and is lead away.

Inside her room, Carmen empties the larger Russian doll of its few contents and places the phone she had stolen inside of it for safe-keeping. As time passed, Carmen became fed up with not being part of The Forty Thieves who graduated every year, still spinning the globe in her room, she is interrupted by the sound of a phone ringing which she quickly grabs and takes note on how the caller has a white hat as its caller identity, a message pops up from an unknown number suggesting that the place should have better security as they were able to hack in, Carmen replies instantly but becomes alert when the number calls, she nervously answers as the voice on the other end asks for a name, Carmen insists twice that her name is Black Sheep as the boy introduces himself as Player, he wonders who he has to notify about the weak security system as Carmen questions if he really wears a white hat like his icon suggested, Player goes to deny it but instead asks why it is so important, he further explains that he is a white hat hacker, a type of hacker who does hack into many things but only for good reasons to which Carmen says that such a thing does not make sense, she then asks him where he is calling from as Player admits he is at home in , specifically around the Niagra Falls area, Carmen in awe, asks which side of the falls he means as Player says that he is on the Canadian side to which Carmen instantly guesses that he is the Ontario part of Canada causing Player to be surprised how well she knew her Geography.

Carmen then wonders what it is like in Ontario as Player says that it is a nice place as he lists off what he has over there, he then asks where Carmen is and the latter admits she is in school causing the young hacker to wonder what kind of school would have twenty-seven layers of encryption to which Carmen does not answer. Now having the confidence to want to fully be an operative like so many of her peers, Carmen requests an audience with The Faculty, as she enters the room, Professor Gunnar Maelstrom demands to know why the young girl wished to speak with them, Carmen insists that she is ready to enroll at The Academy despite being younger than the age most of her peers were when the joined further claiming that she has what it takes to be the perfect thief causing Maelstrom to raise an eyebrow at her, Carmen then claims it was all in her own opinion. Dr. Saira Bellum then speaks up being the first to approve of the girl's insistence of becoming an operative stating that even though she is young, she has more experience to which Coach Brunt agrees with much to the dismay of Countess Cleo who claims that Carmen is a feral child with no manners, something she does not wish to have in her classroom. As Maelstrom claims that Carmen must have someone to keep an eye on her if she were to attend their classes, he then asks Shadowsan for his opinion though the latter states that the Academy is a vocational school and not somewhere for children to be in, Brunt then points out that majority vote wins by a landslide even if one votes against them.

Shadowsan then stands up and directly talks to Carmen, questioning if becoming a thief is what she truly desires to be even though that if she were to take that path, she would have no option to back out to which Carmen firmly double down on her proposal as The Faculty, save for Shadowsan, raise their hands in agreement giving the all clear that Carmen will be able to become an operative, something that Brunt sheds a tear over before Shadowsan exits the room using a side door.

As Carmen carries a box of her belongings inside the Academy, she places her items by her bed and watches as her future partners enter the room, Antonio, Jean-Paul and Sheena who introduce themselves one by one and then walk past the young agent-to-be, Carmen then looks on at the door as Gray then enters, something she becomes annoyed about.

Back on the Train[]

Annoyed, Gray urges that Carmen can skip ahead of her story as he was there from that point onwards though Carmen acknowledges it, she points out that, despite being there, he wasn't seeing things from her point of view.

V.I.L.E Academy[]

As Gray extends a hand to Carmen calling her Black Sheep, Sheena walks over to the Russian Dolls quartet that Carmen had placed on her bedside drawer, as Sheena then goes to grab one, Carmen politely asks her to stop but it does not steer Sheena away, only after Gray steps in does Sheena back away, the latter walks past the two stating that the contents were most likely just costume jewellery.

Walking through the hallways, Carmen asks Gray on what his life was like before he was recruited, Gray then brings up how he was once a junior electrician who worked in the Sydney Opera House, Carmen guesses that it is in Australian as Gray continues his story mentioning that during one time, a lightbulb went out and he used the opportunity to start his life of crime by stealing in the cover of darkness, he then asks for Carmen's story but she does not tell him it and instead insist that they do not want to be late for Stealth 101, inside Shadowsan explains that by teaching his students origami, the Japanese art of folding paper, it trains them to have a more nimble touch and will be helpful to them when it comes to picking pockets. During Self Defense class, Brunt calls out that the first rule in her class is to make sure the face is always protected as Carmen and Gray train using staffs, Carmen seemingly gains the upper-hand as Gray fights on equal footing with her.

During Upper Class Evil, Countess Cleo enters her classroom with a pop quiz for her class, she steps between two vases and states that one is nothing but a cheap replica while the other is a genuine vase that is valued at three hundred-thousand dollars, the class look on at the two vases as Cleo wonders which of them are worth stealing. During Dr. Bellum's Support Equipment class, she raises her new devices to which she tells her class she named it the Crackle Rod, as she shows off the settings, she mentions how it ranges from an Electromagnetic Pulse to a stun mode as well as other modes which excites Gray and Carmen who watch on in awe.

As Professor Maelstrom teaches his class, he explains that if one were to perform a perfect and successful bait and switch, the objects swap should be identical in weight and size as Sheena stands on the opposite side of the room from her teacher. Sheena opens her case revealing a large amount of money, the two then demonstrate and forcefully bump into each other causing them to drop the cases, as Maelstrom and Sheena switch sides, the former reveals he is carrying the case with the money and Sheena opens hers only to see that it is filled with bugs and insects which all fall out.

Managing to reconnect with Player again, Carmen mentions how fun her time is at the Academy as Gray gets her attention from a distance, Player wonders who it is as Carmen says that it is an Australian guy and says that he is her best friend which saddens Player, Carmen then rephrases her sentence by stating that Gray is her best school friend, she then says that she has to go as she does not want to be late for her Infiltration 101 class, which surprises Player who asks what kind of a school she goes to again, though Carmen does not give him an answer.

During Brunt's class, she watches as her students wobble on their poles and assigns them their objective of reaching the target. Confident, Jean-Paul kicks his way free and starts to climb the rock wall though Carmen presses a button which causes her pole to raise her upwards, she then presses the button first. During another lesson, the five descended down the same wall using rope. Despite being serious about their training, Carmen at some point convinced the other four to help her with Cookie Booker.

On the first of December, Carmen explains who their target it and brings up the fact that the item in Booker's hand, is a full of information provided by V.I.L.E operatives that have long graduated and that Booker was forced to bring it in person to avoid any sort of risks and that the boat was to avoid detection, the five then launch their water balloons which land on their targets, as they run, they are stopped by The Cleaners and end up being taken to The Faculty, Carmen then takes full responsibility of the incident as Shadowsan claims how he was right about how troublesome Carmen had always been. As Shadowsan then demands the young operative be expelled, Brunt claims that that is too far as Gray then steps in and claims that they had all urged Carmen to do what she did, much to Sheena's annoyance, Brunt says that they cannot just expel all five of them as the group then end up in detention.

As Carmen thanks the group for having her back, Sheena argues that she will go for her hide next but Gray calms her down and insist they all work on coming up with codenames as Antonio says that Gray should go by Shocker though the latter does not like the suggestion, Jean-Paul suggests Shocksmith but Sheena remarks that the name is also lame, Carmen jokingly tells him to go by Power Failure, Gray, still unsure of what to go by, mentions how none of the names have the crackle he wants causing him to want to go by Graham Crackle but takes out his name after Jean-Paul claims that they would not be taken seriously if they had pun sounding names. Jean-Paul then takes on the codename Le Chevre, stating that just like a mountain goat, he is better off doing missions from above, Antonio dons the codename of El Topo stating that just like a burrowing mole, he will be better off doing missions from down below, Sheena then believes she has earned her stripes and takes on the codename of Tigress. In the hallway, they come across Mime Bomb who tries getting his name through to them through mime though Sheena, Antonio and Jean-Paul only remark on how weird their quiet roommate has been, Mime then points to his wrist and imitates an explosion which causes Carmen to successfully guess his name.

As the class go through their final exams in order to graduate, the new Agents-to-be sit in Shadowsan's class he calls forth Sheena who confidently claims she will succeed, she raises her origami sheep and crushes it in front of Carmen, Sheena then rises and stands opposite her Instructor who explains that within his coat is a single dollar and that the coat has many pockets, he further explains that all Sheena must do, is grab the dollar with a time limit of two minutes, as the timer starts to tick down, Sheena places her visor on which easily locates the dollar, she then races ahead in an effort to grab it in one go but Shadowsan fights back and seemingly gains the upper-hand as he elbows his opponent in her back causing her to trip and land in the sand, Sheena then uses the sand as a distraction as she uses her claws to tear into the coat and grabs the dollar, Carmen whispers to Gray on how such a method would lead to Sheen's failure, Shadowsan notes that the method was an unorthodox one but still allows her to pass either way, Sheena returns to her places as Shadowsan calls upon Carmen who stands up to begin her test.

After the test is over, the class exit as Carmen walks out a little sad claiming that she found no dollar in the coat and that she hit every possible pocket, Gray assures her that it will not affect her grade as the two go check who passed and failed, as Antonio, Jean-Paul, Sheena and Mime Bomb celebrate over passing, Gray notices something wrong causing Carmen to believe he was the one who failed, he says that he is fine but she is not as Carmen then looks at the board to see she failed, Sheena then returns and drags Gray away to plot a caper.

Later that night, Shadowsan leaves his classroom and goes to lock his doors only to find that his keys are not in his pockets but in the hands of Carmen who demands he allow to her re-do the exam, the Instructor says that policies would not be bent for other students and they should no longer be bent for Carmen's sake, still angered by the thought of failure, Carmen accuses Shadowsan of having an empty coat, annoyed and angered by such an accusation, Shadowsan raises his voice at the young girl for suggesting a V.I.L.E Instructor like himself would ever cheat, she apologises as Shadowsan mentions that her unruly behavior and attitude must be kept in line, as he walks away, he tells her that those bad qualities are what is holding her back from graduating.

Later on, the still unrily Carmen places a globe in her bed and covers it with her duvet to give off the appearance she is sleeping though Carmen herself had snuck down into the sewer pipes which she manages to open, as she pushes herself to freedom, Mime appears from behind but does not make his present known. On board the helicopter, The Cleaners take off with Tigress, El Topo, Le Chevre and Crackle as Sheena becomes seemingly excited about finally getting a real caper, as the helicopter takes off, Crackle looks down below at the Academy and bids farewell to Carmen. Unbeknownst to him, Carmen had snuck away with the team and hid in a storage cabinet on board.


For the transcript of this episode, see here: Becoming Carmen Sandiego: Part 1 Transcript.


Team Red[]






In other languages[]

Language Title Meaning
Spanish La transformación de Carmen Sandiego: parte 1 The Transformation of Carmen Sandiego: Part 1
Swedish Att bli Carmen Sandiego: Del 1 To become Carmen Sandiego: Part 1
French Carmen Sandiego, les origines : 1re partie Carmen Sandiego, The Origins: Part 1
Portuguese Quem é Carmen Sandiego? - Parte I Who is Carmen Sandiego? - Part I
Italian Le origini di Carmen Sandiego: Parte I The Origins of Carmen Sandiego: Part 1
Hebrew להפוך לכרמן סנדייגו: חלק 1 Become a Carmen Sandiego: Part 1
Greek Η γέννηση της Κάρμεν Σαντιέγκο: Μέρος 1 The Birth of Carmen Sandiego: Part 1
Thai กว่าจะเป็นคาร์เมน ซานดิเอโก้: ตอนที่ 1 Carmen Sandiego: Episode 1
Arabic كارمن ساندييغو: جزء1 Carmen Sandiego: Part 1
Japanese カルメン参上! 前編 Calling on Carmen! Part 1
Korean 카르멘 산디에고의 탄생: 파트 1 The Birth of Carmen Sandiego: Part 1
Chinese 化身神偷卡門(上) Incarnation of the Carmen (above)


  • Julia Argent states that she's "not a math detective". This is likely to be a reference to Carmen Sandiego: Math Detective.
  • This episode, along with the following one, are the only two episodes to not feature Caper in the title.
  • The La Cathédrale Saint-Pierre is a real place in France but it is in the Beauvais, Oise area of with Poiters being a four hour and thirty-eight minute drive away.
  • Despite Abby Trott and Dawnn Lewis being credited on the IMDB page as their respective characters, Ivy and The Chief do not appear or are mentioned nor hinted at during the episode.
  • Both this episode and the following one have "Part I" and "Part II" respectively on the Netflix page whereas the title card has "Part 1" and "Part 2"

External links[]