Iron Reign Season 1 Ending, Explained: Who Tries to Kill Joaquín?

The first season of Netflix’s Spanish crime series ‘Iron Reign’ ends with Víctor Julve and Rocío Manchado discovering who tried to kill the latter’s father Joaquín Manchado and steal the czar’s mail from the Port of Barcelona, right under the noses of the Manchados. The discovery is followed by an integral development concerning the fate of the Manchado patriarch, who has been fighting to stay alive in a hospital while his loved ones have been hurting each other. Ariel and Lucía Ramírez-Pereira further increase the stakes for Néstor, who runs the cocaine trade of the Manchados, as Mexican siblings abduct his loved one Sandra! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Iron Reign Season 1 Recap

‘Iron Reign’ begins with Joaquín Manchado waiting for the czar’s mail, a consignment of cocaine from Mexico’s Don Rafael, guided to the Port of Barcelona by the latter’s two children Ariel and Lucía Ramírez-Pereira. The consignment is awaited by Massimo Carfora, an Italian drug dealer who has a deal in place with Joaquín, and the mediator, El Francés or the Frenchman. After the consignment reaches the port, Joaquín assures its quality before the handover to the Frenchman, who is asked to receive it on behalf of Massimo. Before Joaquín could move forward with the deal, an anonymous individual makes him rush to the port, only to try to kill him.

Joaquín ends up in a coma, forcing his brother Román Manchado and son-in-law Néstor to hand over the consignment to the Frenchman. Víctor Julve, an undercover cop who works for the Manchados, reveals the place of the handover to his superior, who sends a team of officers to confiscate the cocaine and arrest the drug traffickers. However, during the trade, all the parties realize that the consignment is stolen. Ariel and Lucía, along with the Frenchman, give the Manchados a deadline to find the czar’s mail. Román and Néstor set out to figure out what happened to the consignment, only to discover a part of the shipment in a local cocaine lab, where they also see the truck of Ricardo Manchado, Joaquín’s son.

Román believes that Ricardo, a gambling addict, is the one who stole the czar’s mail. As he tries to find his nephew, he shares his suspicion with Rocío, Ricardo’s sister. When Rocío confronts her brother, Ricardo says that Román stole the shipment and is trying to pin the same on him to elope with his lover. He attacks his uncle’s occasional partner, provoking him. Without trying to learn about the truth behind the theft, Román and Ricardo attack and eventually kill each other. In addition to Víctor, an undercover cop named Núria works at Joaquín’s port. She gains the trust of an officer to get into the office of Miki, a lawman who is a part of the Manchados’ cartel.

Núria steals a piece of evidence from Miki’s office and drops it in the bag of Rocío. Miki then catches and abducts her. Even though Víctor tries to save her, the undercover agent fails to protect the life of his fellow officer. Meanwhile, Ariel seeks the help of a shaman to lift the cloud of death that has been following him in Barcelona. Borrás’ life hangs by a thread when his bank account gets frozen by the authorities. He fails to transfer back €40 million Massimo gave him through the Frenchman to close the deal with the Manchados and the Pereiras.

Massimo cuts one of the fingers of Borrás to threaten him. His attempts to gather enough money to pay back the Italian drug trafficker fail as well, forcing him to just run away. Rocío manages to retrieve the data stored in her father’s SIM card but the same gets stolen by a kid who lives nearby Víctor’s apartment. The undercover cop helps her retrieve the card and they watch a threat Joaquín received right before nearly getting killed.

Iron Reign Season 1 Ending: Who Steals the Czar’s Mail?

Néstor steals the czar’s mail and tries to kill Joaquín. The video the Manchado patriarch receives right before nearly dying features an anonymous person stealing the cocaine shipment. After watching the recording, Víctor identifies the place where it was shot and guides Rocío to the same. They see Miki loading the cocaine into a van, only for two others to steal the shipment from him. As Miki dies after getting attacked by the duo, Néstor calls the officer seeking an update concerning the czar’s mail, making it evident to Víctor and Rocío that he is the one who tried to murder the latter’s father and stole his consignment.

Néstor must have wanted to replace Joaquín as far as the throne of the Manchados in the European narcotics scene is concerned. He has been overseeing the cocaine trade on behalf of his father-in-law and his efficiency must have convinced him to aim for a higher position. Néstor may have believed that Joaquín is the only person in between him and the seat at the head of the table in his family. Since Ricardo is an irresponsible gambling addict, he doesn’t have to worry about Joaquín’s only son inheriting the drug lord’s business. Considering that Román is also unreliable, especially due to his obsession with his lover and his drinking problems, Néstor likely believed that he would inherit the throne of the Machados as the husband of Joaquín’s daughter.

Néstor may have wanted to present the czar’s mail, which he stole with the help of Miki, as something he recovered to project himself as the worthy successor of Joaquín. Considering the presence and influence of Massimo in the European continent, it is unlikely that Néstor would be able to sell the cocaine to any other buyer. Massimo is the last person he may want opposite him. Possibly with a fake recovery, Néstor would have tried to garner Massimo’s seal of approval as far as his capabilities are concerned. However, his plans to gain the throne meet a dead end, at least for now, when his lover Alex and the sportsman’s sister Sonia steal the cocaine consignment from the former.

Does Joaquín Die or Stay Alive?

After nearly getting killed by Néstor, Joaquín remains in a coma for a long while without showing any indication of returning to good health. However, in the closing scene of the show’s first season, he moves his fingers and opens his eyes, indicating that his condition has gotten better. Even though it is early to assure that he will live for many more years, especially considering his injuries and age, we may not need to worry about Joaquín’s fate for the time being as he is expected to remain alive. Although he defeats death, normalcy is far away for the drug lord, considering the developments that unfold while he is in a coma.

Joaquín is waking up from a coma in a changed world. Rather than a feared and revered drug trafficker, he is someone who couldn’t even identify his own son-in-law as Judas. His inability to recognize the true intentions of Néstor must have affected his credibility severely. Massimo has already lost a crucial consignment he promised to his European dealers and the Pereiras must have become Joaquín’s enemies after their consignment got stolen under the latter’s nose. With Román and Ricardo no longer alive, the empire Joaquín built is on shaky grounds. Even if he succeeds in calming Massimo and the Pereiras down, there is the threat of Néstor as long as the latter continues to live.

Néstor must have understood by now that someone has figured out that he is the mastermind behind Joaquín’s condition. He may want to kill his father-in-law for good rather than wait for him to learn the truth. Despite the setbacks, Joaquín is still a powerful figure and he can kill Néstor with a little movement of his fingers. Néstor may not want to take such a risk and it won’t be a surprise if he tries to kill his father-in-law again. To avoid losing her father, Rocío may have to rush to trap her husband.

What Happens to Sandra? Will Ariel and Lucía Kill Her?

When Ariel and Lucía get convinced that they won’t receive their cocaine consignment anytime soon, they abduct Joaquín’s granddaughter Sandra to force Néstor to find the czar’s mail in twenty-four hours. Ariel then makes it clear that he will hurt Sandra if he doesn’t get his cocaine back in time. Since Néstor is the one who stole the cocaine, he confidently asks the Frenchman to arrange a meeting between him and the Pereiras to hand the consignment over. However, Alex and Sonia steal the cocaine from the hands of Néstor, jeopardizing not only his plans but also the life of his loved one.

Ariel has already revealed that he will hurt Sandra or even kill her for that matter if Néstor fails to retrieve the czar’s mail for him. Even though the Frenchman and even Massimo could try to calm him down, they won’t blame him for hurting the girl if Néstor can’t find the cocaine shipment for the Mexicans. The Frenchman and Massimo are experienced players in the narcotics game who know that consequences follow unfavorable actions regardless of how cruel and condemnable they are. The duo is not expected to wage a war against Ariel if he kills the granddaughter of their business partner.

Such a predicament leaves Lucía, likely the only person who can stop Ariel. While her brother immerses himself in anger, she has been rational about their plans. Lucía promises Sandra that the latter won’t get hurt and she is expected to keep her word. If Ariel fails to listen to her, she may involve her father to stop her brother from killing the granddaughter of his business partner. Don Rafael and Joaquín go way back and the former knows the value of family. Rafael may not choose the Manchados’ eternal enmity to forget about his €40 million worth of cocaine.

Ariel is an inexperienced newcomer in the game, which explains his ruthlessness and impatience. Rafael can be the exact opposite of his son. Thus, he may ask his child to not hurt Sandra. Furthermore, Rocío’s revelation that Víctor is the father of her daughter may lead the undercover cop to track Ariel down with the help of his superiors to ensure the safety of his child.

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