What’s in the red suitcase? Understand the end of the Netflix series

The thriller series NetflixKleo‘ follows Kleo Straub, an unofficial assassin who works for the state security service of the German Democratic Republic, also known as the East German Stasi, based in Berlin. After fulfilling a high-profile mission, Kleo is unexpectedly arrested upon being accused of crimes she didn’t commit. After German reunification, Kleo is released along with other political prisoners, only for her to discover the truth behind her arrest and exact revenge on the officials involved. Created by Hanno Hackfort, Bob Konrad and Richard Kropf, the German series keeps viewers hooked with a captivating narrative that ends with surprising revelations. If you’re ready for a deep dive into it, let us be your ally!

SPOILER ALERT!

Kleo season 1 summary

‘Kleo’ begins with Kleo Straub killing an unknown man as part of his mission at a nightclub called Big Eden. After Kleo leaves, West German officer Anne Geike takes a key from the dead man’s pocket to take possession of a red suitcase she sends to Chile. A few days later, Colonel Ludger Wieczorek receives an instruction to arrest Kleo on false charges. Her own grandfather, a high-ranking East German official, Otto Straub, testifies against her. Kleo separates from his colleague and lover Andi Wolf, father of their unborn baby. In prison, she suffers a miscarriage and is released after three years in the wake of German reunification.

Kleo meets Otto to find out why she was arrested. She can’t get an answer from him and shoots her grandfather when he takes an empty gun to scare her. She then meets Andi, who tells her that Wieczorek, who died while she was in prison, was the person behind her arrest. She kills the judge who sentenced her. Kleo then meets Walter Blum, a party official who played a role in her arrest. She kills him and finds a photograph of Wieczorek alive in Mallorca. The assassin then travels to Majorca and kills Wieczorek, who informs her that Minister Erich Mielke is behind her arrest before he dies.

Meanwhile, a West German police officer named Sven Petzold, who witnessed Kleo killing the man in Big Eden, begins unofficially investigating her. A BND agent named Min Sun offers Sven a job at the agency if he solves Kleo’s Big Eden murder case for her, earning the killer’s trust. After killing Erich Mielke, Kleo teams up with Sven to solve the mystery. Sven takes Kleo to Andi, who confesses to trying to kill her. He reveals the involvement of a double agent and the suitcase the murdered man had with him in her case. Comrade Ramona, who pretends to be Andi’s wife Anja, kills her husband before he can reveal anything more.

Kleo and Sven discover that the double agent involved in the situation is Anne Geike. The duo find her, only for the latter to try to kill them both. Accidentally, Anne catches fire and dies. Kleo and Sven find an album with photos from Chile, which leads the killer to conclude that the suitcase must be in Chile. They see a photograph of Jorge, a Chilean comrade who has a history with Kleo, in one of Anne’s albums. Meanwhile, Sven loses his job with the police for investigating the Big Eden case without authorization. His wife Jenny cheats on him with his colleague Frederick, which further distances him from his family.

Kleo Season 1 Ending: Kleo Finds the Red Suitcase? What’s in it?

Yes, Kleo finds the red suitcase. From Andi, Kleo learns that the suitcase belonged to an East German army officer who wanted to transfer confidential information about his country to West Germany. Kleo’s grandfather, Otto and Margot Honecker, sought Anne’s help to get the suitcase and she sends it to Chile for Jorge to protect it with the help of comrade Ramona. From Ramona’s room, Sven finds a map with a location marked. He joins Kleo and the duo find the suitcase inside a statue of Jesus, hitting Ramona, who chases after them to retrieve the suitcase.

Image credit: Julia Terjung/Netflix

The suitcase is filled with documents relating to US President Ronald Reagan’s agreement with East German official Honecker. During the Cold War, Reagan’s gateway to Europe was the Federal Republic of Germany, also known as West Germany. Across the country, the United States found a place in European politics to oppose socialist East Germany and its ties to other communist nations. The relevance of Reagan and the United States in Europe began with their opposition to East Germany. To keep that relevance alive and be an influential part of European politics, Reagan wanted East Germany strong enough to oppose and fight it.

However, East Germany was struggling financially at the time to be a crucial enemy for the United States. So Reagan funded the county so that it would remain a “bogeyman” among European nations to attract US intervention. The army officer Kleo kills wanted the documents to reach West Germany to reveal how the capitalist nation joined the socialist nation. As Reagan provided the funds without even letting Congress know, Honecker’s wife Margot and her trusted ally, Otto, Kleo’s grandfather, had to keep the suitcase hidden.

Even though Kleo killed the army officer, she complicated the case by letting the enemies have a chance to find the suitcase. East German authorities demand Kleo’s death as punishment for a mistake she didn’t even know she had made. However, Otto manages to reduce the death penalty to life imprisonment in order not to see his granddaughter die.

Why does Min Sun deliver the suitcase to the United States? What does she get in return?

After Kleo and Sven manage to find the suitcase, West German agent Min Sun takes possession of it with Sven’s help. Instead of sending the same to her Federal Intelligence Service agency, she delivers the suitcase to the United States in exchange for an undisclosed package. As far as Min is concerned, she doesn’t care about Germany anymore. The country and its intelligence agency have never respected her for the work she does and the potential she offers. Anne even assigns the case to Min thinking that the latter will not solve the case.

Min’s boss Anne’s involvement in it makes her realize that officials in both countries care about nothing but their selfish aspirations. Min doesn’t want to help such a country and its officials, especially after putting his life on the line. She begins to walk in the same way as her employees, who prioritize what they can earn, delivering the suitcase to the United States, which benefits the most from acquiring it. America wants to save face by hiding that Reagan financed a socialist-communist nation. If documents relating to the Reagan-Honecker pact become public knowledge, the US will lose its allies in Europe.

So the United States makes a deal with Min, who gets something she wants in return. Even if the latter is not revealed, it could be the documents that offer Min a place in one of the US agencies for her to flee Germany.

Why does Brigitte reject Kleo?

After acquiring the suitcase, Margot Honecker meets Kleo and offers the location of his long-lost mother Brigitte, who fled to West Germany during her childhood, in exchange for the suitcase. Kleo visits his mother, but she closes the door on her life in front of her daughter without a second thought. As far as Brigitte, who has always been critical of her father Otto and East German communist values, Kleo is nothing but a product of East German barbaric intentions and values. When Kleo stands in front of her, Brigitte sees an assassin trained to kill people who oppose East German ideology, which included her as well.

Image credit: Julia Terjung/Netflix

Brigitte must have considered Kleo dead the moment Otto took him under his wing to train her to become an assassin. She doesn’t want such a person to come back into her life. Also, Brigitte is leading a peaceful life with her son and she may not want to welcome life-threatening trouble, taking a former East German spy into her life who killed people like her.

Read too: How did the sacrifice take place? Understand the ending of The Devil in Ohio


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The article is in Portuguese

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