Netflix’s thriller series ‘Kleo’ follows Kleo Straub, an unofficial Stasi assassin who is part of the Minister’s “special issues” task force. Kleo passed her training with flying colors and special appreciation from her superiors. The same also led her to be a part of East Germany’s several high-profile secret missions. In 1987, Kleo kills an unknown man in West Berlin to fulfill a mission given to her by her superiors.
Even after completing the mission as told, Kleo gets imprisoned soon, without even offering her clarity regarding the charges against her. As she sets out to find the reason behind her imprisonment after getting released from prison, the viewers may want to know the same. Well, let us share what we know! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Why is Kleo Sent to Prison?
In 1987, Kleo travels to West Berlin and kills an unknown man at a disco bar named Big Eden. After killing her target, Kleo returns to her “normal” life, working at a factory. However, in a few days, her superior Colonel Ludger Wieczorek receives an order to imprison her. Her own grandfather Otto Straub testifies against her by saying that she is capable of assisting the enemy powers. The judge convicts her for treason and sentences her to life imprisonment. When Germany gets reunified, the government releases the political prisoners including Kleo for her to start the journey to find the truth about her imprisonment.
Kleo joins hands with former West German cop Sven Petzold to find out what really happened behind the scenes concerning her arrest and conviction. After meeting every person involved with her imprisonment, Kleo finds out that the last mission she completed is the reason behind she was put behind bars. To solve the mystery, Kleo then starts to find out whom she killed at Big Eden and the contents of the red suitcase he had with him. Kleo and Sven obtain the suitcase from Chile despite Comrade Ramona’s efforts to stop them. The suitcase was filled with documents concerning a pact United States president Ronald Reagan had made with then-East German official Honecker.
When East Germany was struggling financially, Reagan realized that it is essential to keep the communist-socialist nation as a powerful threat for the United States to fight the same, which opens a gateway for the superpower to make its presence known in Europe. The pact, however, gave Minister Erich Mielke an opportunity to blackmail Honecker. The latter’s wife Margot sought the help of Kleo’s grandfather Otto to settle the affair. Before Margot and Otto could do anything, an army officer stole the documents to give them to a West German informant. To put an end to the army officer’s efforts, Otto employed the best agent at his disposal, his granddaughter Kleo.
Kleo succeeds in her mission to stop the official but her involvement in the same becomes a headache for Otto and Margot. Since Otto and Margot use Kleo as an assassin for their gain, it was important for them to erase their paths. They destroy every document concerning the mission so that nobody can trace the murder back to them and the Reagan-Honecker pact. Since Otto, Margot, and Honecker do not anticipate the fall of East Germany in 1987, they realize that the assassin they have used should be kept in the dark.
In usual cases, Honecker may have arranged the assassination of the assassin to keep the mission a secret. However, since Kleo is Otto’s granddaughter, they fail to kill Kleo, the closest relative of their most pivotal ally. Thus, they seemingly settle for Kleo’s life imprisonment. Otto, who feels relieved that he managed to avoid Kleo’s death, agrees to her imprisonment and testifies against her as well. Honecker, Margot, and Otto may have thought that Kleo will never get released from prison for her to confront them about her fake imprisonment, only for the fall of the country to change their understanding.
As far as Otto is concerned, sending Kleo to prison is his way of protecting her from death. The moment Otto disappears, Andi receives an order to kill Kleo to protect the documents and hide the reason behind her imprisonment, which involves powerful individuals like Honecker and Margot.
Read More: Is Netflix’s Kleo Based on a True Story?