Netflix’s Dealer Ending, Explained

‘Dealer’ is a captivating and fast-paced French crime drama miniseries created by the duo Ange Basterga and Nicolas Lopez. The cerebral drama uses the found footage trope (previously implemented by horror series such as ‘The Magnus Archives’) to paint a compelling picture of the uncertainty of life in the ghettos. Presented in the backdrop of a troubled and war-torn neighborhood of suburban Marseilles, the story follows a music video director named Franck, who unknowingly enters a war zone of gang rivalry.

The series stars Abdramane Diakite as the gang leader who is in the center of the conflict, and Sébastien Houbani as Franck, the music video director through whose eyes the story unfolds. The series ends on an ambiguous note, and if you are thoroughly bamboozled by the final moments of the show, we shall try to break down the ending of ‘Dealer’ for you. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Dealer Recap

The series begins with Franck and his cameraman Thomas talking amongst themselves. We get to know from the conversation that they are about to film a music video for the gang leader turned rapper, Tony. Upon entering the hood of the gang, Franck and his cameraman are met with hostile glances from the members of the gang. A person shows up, gets in the car, asks them to show their IDs, and threatens to shoot them. Tony shows up, and we know from him that the person waving his gun is Tony’s left-hand man, Moussa.

While Moussa does not trust the camerapersons, Tony assures a scared Franck that the earlier episode was just a prank. Later in the scene, when Tony goes to meet his nephew, Kylian, a shootout erupts, putting Kylian’s life in danger, along with the others who are present on the scene. Tony gets rebuked by his sister and Kylian’s mother, Jess, who thinks that Tony is wasting away his life, tangled up in drug dealing and gang warfare. We come to know that Tony is out on parole and that he is terrified to go back to prison.

Tony continues to record his album, although interrupted by Moussa, who has information about the shootout. Afterward, they turn up at Moussa’s place, persuaded by Moussa’s mother. In the center of the orchestrated shootout was Steve, a rival gang member trying to move up the ladder. Thomas is worried that they may get killed in the process of shooting the music video, but Franck convinces him to keep working on the project.

As the story progresses, Franck gets more glimpses into the conflicted life of Tony, who admits to Franck that he wants to leave the ghetto life and achieve his career goals as a musician. On the other hand, Franck’s boss, Bruno, tells him that he is not too impressed with the footage that they have shot, suggesting that they should capture more visceral and violent scenes that go with the gang theme.

In a desperate move, Franck lends a GoPro to Kylian to help him capture a drug handoff, putting his own life as well as the life of Kylian at risk. After the handoff, Tony and his gang throw a celebration party, but Franck panics when he comes to know that Steve’s men have gotten a hold of Kylian. Following Kylian’s injury, a violent standoff erupts between an enraged Tony and Steve’s gang.

Dealer Ending: Is Franck Dead or Alive?

Franck trusts Kylian with the filming of a drug delivery between Tony and Steve. Kylian is seen by Steve’s men, who manage to heavily injure Kylian, who ends up in a hospital. While Franck knows about the whole ordeal, he is frightened to disclose the piece of information to a grieving and furious Tony. However, Tony finds out about the camera from Steve and goes after Franck.

The final episode of the miniseries opens with Franck and Thomas trying to escape the epicenter of the conflict, but Tony’s men catch him in the process of fleeing. In the next scene, the audience sees Franck captive in the trunk of a moving car. In the basement scene that follows, we see a devastated Franck trying to convince Tony not to kill him. Moussa is too eager to put a bullet in Franck’s head, and Moussa and Tony end up in a brawl of their own.

Steve shoots Moussa, and Tony reaches a boiling point, wreaking havoc on Steve’s gang. Franck tries to escape the scene but is lost in the labyrinthine corridors of the building. The final scene sees the battery of Thomas’ camera dying out, as the audience is left to speculate whether Franck lives to see the light of another day. But the found footage narrative of the show tries to convince us that they escape the hood and put the videos together in the form of a TV series.

Does Tony Achieve His Dream of Becoming a Rapper?

In the rooftop scene, Tony confides in Franck that he wants to leave the drug business and become a rapper instead. When Kylian is in the hospital, Tony tells his sister Jess that he wants to leave the disturbed neighborhood and take his sister and nephew along with him, an offer initially turned down by Jess. When Jess later pleads to Tony to leave this place, Tony, maddened with anger, tells her that it’s too late to move out. The final moments of the series see Tony in the middle of gang warfare that spirals out of control in no time.

When Tony’s childhood friend and partner, Moussa, gets shot by Steve, Tony takes a note to obliterate the rival gang all together, and an adrenaline-filled shootout ensues. We know that Tony has come out of jail on parole, and the audience can perhaps imagine what will happen to Tony afterward. The most plausible scenario is that Tony gets the 20-year sentence that he fears the most, and his dream of becoming a rapper gets shattered.

Read More: Where Is Dealer Filmed?