Netflix’s thriller series ‘Kleo’ follows Kleo Straub, an unofficial assassin working for the German Democratic Republic AKA East Germany’s state security service named Stasi, based in Berlin. After fulfilling a high-profile mission, Kleo gets unexpectedly imprisoned upon getting charged with crimes she hasn’t committed. After German reunification, Kleo gets released along with other political prisoners, only for her to find the truth behind her imprisonment and exact vengeance on the officials involved. Created by Hanno Hackfort, Bob Konrad, and Richard Kropf, the German series keeps the viewers hooked to it with an engrossing narrative that concludes with astounding revelations. If you are up for a deep dive into the same, let us be your ally! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Kleo Season 1 Recap
‘Kleo’ begins with Kleo Straub killing an unknown man as part of her mission at a disco bar named Big Eden. After Kleo has left, West Germany official Anne Geike takes a key from the dead man’s pocket to take possession of a red suitcase which she sends to Chile. A few days later, Colonel Ludger Wieczorek receives an instruction to imprison Kleo with fake charges. Her own grandfather, a high-ranking East German official, Otto Straub testifies against her. Kleo gets parted with her colleague and lover Andi Wolf, the father of her unborn baby. At the prison, she suffers a miscarriage and gets released after three years, in the wake of German reunification.
Kleo meets Otto to find out why she was imprisoned. She fails to gain an answer from him and shoots her grandfather down when he takes an empty gun to scare her. She then meets Andi, who tells her that Wieczorek, who died when she is in prison, was the person behind her imprisonment. She kills the judge who convicted her. Kleo then meets Walter Blum, a party official who has played a role in her imprisonment. She kills him and finds a photograph of Wieczorek alive in Mallorca. The assassin then travels to Mallorca and kills Wieczorek, who informs her that Minister Erich Mielke is behind her imprisonment before he dies.
Meanwhile, a West Germany cop named Sven Petzold, who has witnessed Kleo killing the man at Big Eden, starts to investigate her unofficially. A BND agent named Min Sun offers Sven a job at the agency if he solves Kleo’s Big Eden murder case for her by gaining the assassin’s trust. After killing Erich Mielke, Kleo joins hands with Sven to solve the mystery. Sven leads 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 could reveal anything more.
Kleo and Sven find out that the double agent involved in the predicament is Anne Geike. The duo encounters her, only for the latter to try to kill them both. Accidentally, Anne catches fire and dies. Kleo and Sven find an album with photographs from Chile, which leads the assassin to the conclusion that the suitcase must be in Chile. They see a photograph of Jorge, a comrade from Chile who has a history with Kleo, in one of Anne’s albums. Meanwhile, Sven loses his police job 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: Does Kleo Find the Red Suitcase? What is in it?
Yes, Kleo does find the red suitcase. From Andi, Kleo comes to know that the suitcase belonged to an East German army official, who wanted to transfer sensitive information concerning his country to West Germany. Kleo’s grandfather Otto and Margot Honecker sought the help of Anne to gain the suitcase and the latter sends the same to Chile for Jorge to protect it with the help of Comrade Ramona. From Ramona’s room, Sven finds a map with a marked location. He joins Kleo and the duo finds the suitcase inside a Jesus statue, beating Ramona, who gives them a chase to retrieve the suitcase.
The suitcase is filled with documents concerning United States 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 AKA West Germany. Through the country, the United States found a place in European politics to oppose socialist East Germany and its ties with other communist nations. Reagan and the United States’ relevance in Europe started with its 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 financially struggling at the time to be a pivotal enemy for the United States. Thus, Reagan funded the county for it to remain as a “bogeyman” among European nations to attract US intervention. The army official Kleo kills wanted the documents to reach the hands of West Germany to reveal how the capitalist nation joined hands with the socialist one. Since 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 official, she has complicated the affair, letting the enemies get a chance to find the suitcase. East Germany officials demand Kleo’s death as a punishment for a mistake she wasn’t even aware of doing. However, Otto manages to reduce the death penalty to life imprisonment to not see his granddaughter die.
Why Does Min Sun Handover 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 the same with the help of Sven. Rather than submitting the same to her agency Federal Intelligence Service, she gives the suitcase to the United States in return for an unrevealed pack. As far as Min is concerned, she doesn’t care about Germany anymore. The country and its intelligence agency have never given her any respect 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 the same makes her realize that the two countries’ officials do not care about anything else other than their selfish aspirations. Min doesn’t want to help such a country and its officials, especially after putting her life on the line. She starts to walk in the same way as her officials, who prioritizes what they can gain, by giving the suitcase to the United States, who benefits the best from acquiring the same. America wants to save its face by hiding that Reagan funded a socialist-communist nation. If the documents regarding the Reagan-Honecker pact become public knowledge, the US will lose its allies in Europe.
Thus, the United States strikes a deal with Min, who receives something she wants in return. Even though the latter is not revealed, it can be the documents that offer Min a place in one of the US agencies for her to escape from Germany.
Why Does Brigitte Reject Kleo?
After acquiring the suitcase, Margot Honecker meets Kleo and offers the location of her long-lost mother Brigitte, who ran away to West Germany during her childhood, in return for the suitcase. Kleo visits her mother but the latter closes the door to her life in front of her daughter without a second thought. As far as Brigitte is concerned, who has always criticized her father Otto and East Germany’s communist values, Kleo is nothing but a product of East Germany’s barbarous intentions and values. When Kleo stands in front of her, Brigitte sees an assassin trained to murder people who oppose East Germany’s ideology, which included her as well.
Brigitte must have considered Kleo dead the moment Otto took the latter under his wings to train her to become an assassin. She doesn’t want such a person to return to her life. In addition, Brigitte is leading a peaceful life with her son and she may not want to welcome life-threatening trouble by welcoming a former East-German spy to her life, who has killed people like her.
Read More: Is Netflix’s Kleo Based on a True Story?