Code 404 ends with both a satisfying resolution and a set-up for a sophomore season, capping off a perfectly enjoyable comedy series.
This recap of Code 404 Episode 6 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
As promised, DI John Major (Daniel Mays) really does know everything, and the Code 404 season finale begins with him proving it in a series of deductions about the last episode’s murder case. The Mrs. Barlow they arrested was really a paid accomplice, designed to distract the police so that the real Mrs. Barlow could make her escape. Dr. Parfit (Amanda Payton) is ecstatic. But Carver (Stephen Graham) is worried that if Major really does know everything, he also knows about his affair with Kelly (Anna Maxwell Martin).
In a panic, Carver calls Kelly to tell her that Major is suddenly clever and might be on to them. He wants to tell him the truth; she doesn’t since it might ruin the genuine chance she has of making their marriage work. It’s still unclear of exactly what Major knows, but when he makes Carver a snake balloon animal, the implication is clear. Now that he’s the super-cop that has been promised all season, he wants to investigate Operation Blue Finch. He has messaged Gilbert (Steve Oram) and Ryle’s (Emily Lloyd-Saini) contact from a clone of Gilbert’s phone to arrange a meeting.
At the meeting spot, Major pulls a gun — Carver thinks it’s at him, but it’s really at Cleasby (Richard Gadd). The low-level drug dealer is terrified and offers to help them unveil the Juggler. Major makes him call Gilbert and insists he’s going to grass if he doesn’t get to meet the Juggler tonight.
In the meantime, Major drives Carver and Cleasby to Kelly’s house. Carver asks why and Major replies that it’s like he says — he’s two steps ahead now. In the house, Major starts having flashbacks, though they’re deliberately unclear for now. Kelly and Carver, meanwhile, argue about their affair in front of Cleasby, who tells Major about it. Major says he’d already figured it out and that they’ll talk about it another time. When Kelly goes back inside, Major has left her a note. She reads it and exclaims, “Oh God,” though its contents aren’t revealed yet.
To bide time, Carver and Major take Cleasby to hide out in the file room where they’ve been investigating Operation Blue Finch, where Carver repeatedly tries to talk to Major, who isn’t having it. He instead declares that someone has been in the room; a pencil has been moved. When he examines it, it has been fitted with a recording device. (The only break in Major’s intense routine comes when he tries to open the door without the keycard and has to politely ask Carver for it.)
New plan: Carver is to take Cleasby back to the car while Major procures some bulletproof vests for their meeting with the Juggler. In the process, though, he stumbles on Dennett (Rosie Cavaliero) and Commissioner Chalmers (Tracy Ann Oberman), who has apparently just dropped in to celebrate the apprehension of Mrs. Barlow. Of course, why she’s really there is to shut Major off. He figures this out and is able to flee from the armed police, though admittedly without the vests.
Chalmers and Dennett want Dr. Parfit to track Major, but she pretends he’s found a way to block the signal. Kelly arrives at SIU, meanwhile, looking for Major or really anyone he knows, and Officer Not Judy (Michelle Greenidge) offers to take her to Parfit.
I suppose it’s only fitting that Code 404 Episode 6 ends where the series began: in the same spot where Major got shot and killed. This is where Cleasby is supposed to meet the Juggler. Major poses as him, and we see the flashbacks again, this time with more clarity — Major saw Kelly kissing Carver, and this was before he died. He decides now is the time to bring it up: “You were right, Roy. We can’t leave things left unsaid.” “Well, we can for five minutes,” Carver replies, somewhat hilariously.
What follows is chaotic. Ryle and Gilbert arrive, and then so does Dennett, who has followed them. Major still wants to talk about the affair while Carver demands that Gilbert reveals who they get their orders from. He does — it’s Cleasby, who is apparently not a low-level drug dealer after all. And now he’s missing, having fled from the back of the car where he was told to wait. Suddenly, the tell-tale red dot of a laser sight appears on Major’s chest, and Gilbert, rather inexplicably, jumps in the way of the bullet. Cleasby has opened fire on them. He’s the Juggler.
Major and Carver argue over who gets to protect and save the other. Both apologize and confess to whatever they can, both insisting that they deserve to be shot for the other, both rolling around on the floor until Kelly arrives and knocks Cleasby out.
A happy ending? Sort of… and then not quite. Gilbert survives, presumably, and is wheeled off on a stretcher, but not before making one last gag at Major’s expense: “You should have had backup.” You know… like a computer. It turns out that the note John left for Kelly was his blessing for her to be with Carver — though she was only supposed to read it if he died. Chalmers calls to let John know that, after apprehending the Juggler, he’s safe from being unplugged.
The romantic situation is a bit more complicated. Kelly asks Major to return home with her, but he walks away, and Carver follows him, not her.
In a final shot, Chalmers, alone in her office, picks up some apples from her fruit bowl. And starts to juggle them.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.