This article contains major spoilers for Kleo’s ending. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
Espionage stories are difficult to keep track of at the best of times, and Netflix’s new German spy series Kleo isn’t exactly the most straightforward piece of work. With an obviously eccentric sensibility, a politically tumultuous setting, and a fair amount of twists and turns, let’s do our best to unpack everything that happens at the end of the eight-part show.
So, the gist: Kleo follows… well, Kleo, a Stasi assassin who is denounced by the Democratic Republic of Germany after the completion of her final mission and sentenced to life in prison. She serves two years, violently loses her unborn child in the process, and emerges from prison after the collapse of the Berlin Wall ready for some vengeance.
Kleo ending explained
She starts with her own grandfather and beginning there, the trail leads in a winding fashion back to a mysterious red leather suitcase which contains some rather geopolitically important secrets. Everyone wants that suitcase, and in the finale, Kleo and Sven, a fantasist police detective who was a witness to her final assignment, track it to Chile and a man named Jorge.
After being confronted, Jorge is killed when he stops to point his gun at a pursuing Sven and gets flattened by a truck. Kleo goes to see a heavily pregnant Ramona and is outsmarted, having been poisoned by touching an open scratch to a nasty venom. Sven is able to save her just in time, and when they track Ramona down again, it amounts to a big cool-looking car chase and a giant crash.
In the aftermath of the crash, Ramona’s water breaks, and Kleo helps her deliver the baby. Since the loss of her own child was a primary factor in her revenge mission, this is things coming nicely full circle, thematically speaking. A grateful Ramona tells Kleo and Sven where the suitcase is. When they retrieve it, they discover it contains documents proving that the GDR and the United States had been making backdoor deals to preserve the status quo – a pact that would undermine both of the world’s major superpowers.
Now in possession of the case, Kleo and Sven are approached by Margot, who manipulates Kleo into handing over the case in exchange for the address of her birth mother, who apparently isn’t dead, as her grandfather had claimed, but was sold out and imprisoned by him just as Kleo was. Since Kleo is so deeply wounded by her various familial issues, she takes the deal, prompting Sven to contact a third party in order to ensure that the briefcase doesn’t remain with Margot.
In a rather crushing scene, Kleo tracks down her mother, and upon doing so is rejected. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a new life, apparently, and this one is just fine as it is – in other words, there’s no room in it for anything from the past, including Kleo. Dejected, she returns home with Sven, who has nowhere else to go, and they sleep together. In the morning, though, he confesses that he made alternative arrangements for the suitcase, and she chases him. They part ways without violence, as we see the briefcase being delivered by Min Sun to the United States, while Margot opens a replica full of toilet paper.
As the credits roll, we see Ramona happy with her child, and Uwe alive and out for revenge of his own. There’s an implication that there was something rather unsavory placed in the suitcase before it was handed over to the U.S., but we fade to black before we find out either way.
You can stream Kleo exclusively on Netflix. What did you think of Kleo’s ending? Let us know in the comments.