Kleo Ending, Explained: What is in the Red Suitcase?

Clio Decision, Explained: What’s in the Red Suitcase?


Netflix’s thriller series ‘Cleo’ follows Cleo Straub, an unofficial assassin working for the Berlin-based Stasi, the state security service of the German Democratic Republic AKA East Germany. After completing a high-profile mission, Cleo is unexpectedly imprisoned for a crime she didn’t commit. After German reunification, Cleo is released along with other political prisoners, discovering the truth behind her incarceration and exacting revenge on the authorities involved. Created by Hanno Hackfort, Bob Konrad and Richard Kropf, the German series captivates viewers with an engaging story that culminates in shocking revelations. If you want to do the same in depth, let us be your partner!


Cleo Season 1 Recap

‘Cleo’ begins with Cleo Straub killing an unknown man as part of her job at a disco bar called Big Eden. After Cleo leaves, West German officer Ann Geeck takes a key from the dead man’s pocket and a red suitcase to send to Chile. A few days later, Colonel Ludger Wyzorek receives instructions to imprison Cleo on trumped-up charges. His own grandfather, a high-ranking East German official, Otto Straub, testifies against him. Cleo breaks up with her colleague and lover Andy Wolf, the father of her unborn child. In prison, she miscarries and is released three years later after German reunification.

Cleo visits Otto to find out why she was imprisoned. She fails to get a response from him and shoots her grandfather down as he pulls out an empty gun to scare him. She later meets Andy, who tells her that Wyzorek, who died while she was in prison, was the person behind her imprisonment. She killed the judge who convicted her. Cleo later meets Walter Bloom, a party official who has been in prison. She kills him and finds a photo of Wyzorek alive in Mallorca. The assassin then travels to Mallorca and kills Wyzorek, who informs her that Minister Erich Mielke is in prison before he dies.

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Meanwhile, Sven Petzold, a West German policeman who witnesses Cleo killing a man in Big Eden, begins to unofficially investigate her. Min Sun, a BND agent, offers Sven a job with the agency if he solves Cleo’s Big Eden murder case by gaining the killer’s trust. After Erich kills Milke, Cleo teams up with Sven to solve the mystery. Sven takes Cleo to Andy, who confesses that he tried to kill her. He reveals the involvement of a double agent and the suitcase the murdered man had with her. Friend Ramona, who plays Andy’s wife Anja, kills her husband before he can reveal anything more.

Cleo and Sven discover that the double agent involved in the predicament is Anne Geek. Both meet her and the latter tries to kill them both. Anne accidentally catches fire and dies. The killer assumes the suitcase must be in Chile after Cleo and Sven find an album filled with pictures from that country. They find a picture of George, Cleo’s old friend from Chile, in one of Anne’s photo albums. Sven loses his police position for watching the Big Eden case without permission. His wife, Jenny, betrays him by having an affair with his colleague, Frederick, and separates him from his family.

Ella Haase
Ella Haase

Does Cleo Find the Red Suitcase in the Season 1 Finale?

Yes, Cleo found the red bag. Cleo learns from Andy that the suitcase belonged to an East German military officer who wanted to send important information to West Germany. Otto, Cleo’s grandfather, and Margot Honecker ask Anne for help in getting the suitcase, and Margot then sends it to Chile for Georgie with the help of her friend Ramona. Sven retrieves a map from Ramona’s room with the location marked. He teams up with Cleo and they both find the suitcase inside the statue of Jesus, outsmarting Ramona who chases them to get the suitcase.

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The suitcase contains documents related to the agreement between Honecker and the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. West Germany, also known as the Federal Republic of Germany, served as Reagan’s entry point into Europe during the Cold War. Through it, the United States was able to influence European politics and take a stand against its relations with socialist East Germany and other communist countries. Reagan’s opposition to East Germany was the foundation of American relevance in Europe. Reagan wanted East Germany to be powerful enough to resist and fight it in order to maintain its relevance and influence in European politics.

However, East Germany at the time was a critical adversary for the United States despite its financial struggles. Reagan supported the county for continuing to serve as a “bogeyman” in European countries to justify American intervention. Army officer Cleo Giles wanted West Germany to obtain documents to show how capitalist and socialist countries had cooperated. Reagan gave the money without informing Congress, so Cleo’s grandfather Otto and Honecker’s wife Margot had to keep the suitcase secret.

Although Cleo kills the military officer, she makes things more complicated, giving the enemy a chance to find the suitcase. Cleo is sentenced to death by the East German authorities, not even aware of her wrongdoing. Otto prevents his granddaughter’s death and succeeds in getting the death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.

What prompts Min Sun to deliver the suitcase to America?

After West German agent Min Sun, Cleo, and Sven successfully locate the suitcase, he seizes it with Sven’s help. Instead of surrendering to his agency, the Federal Intelligence Service, he gives the suitcase to the United States in exchange for an unidentified package. Mini doesn’t give a damn about Germany anymore, her opinion. She has never received any respect from the nation or its intelligence for the work she does or the energy she presents. Worse, Annie gives the case to Min in the mistaken belief that Min can’t solve it.

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Anne, the power tycoon, is involved in the same situation, which makes her realize that the two heads of state only have their own interests in mind. After risking his life, Min would not want to help such a country or its leaders. She begins to move in the same direction as her officials, who put their own interests first by giving the suitcase to America, and doing so will make more money. By hiding the fact that Reagan supported a socialist-communist country, America hopes to save face. If documents related to the Reagan-Honecker pact become public knowledge, the United States will lose allies in Europe.

As a result, Min and America come to an agreement where Min gets what she wants. Although the latter is kept secret, it may be the documents that give Mini a place with an American agency so he can leave Germany.

Why does Brigitte reject Cleo?

Margot Honecker meets Cleo after she receives the suitcase and trades the location of her long-lost mother Brigitte, who fled to West Germany as a child, for the suitcase. When Cleo visits her mother, the latter suddenly closes the door on her life in front of her daughter. A constant critic of her father Otto and East Germany’s communist values, Brigitte believes that Cleo is nothing more than a byproduct of East Germany’s brutal intentions and policies. Brigitte sees Cleo as an assassin, trained to kill anyone who disagrees with East Germany’s ideology, including herself.

Brigitte must have thought that Cleo was dead the moment Otto took Cleo under his wing to train her as an assassin. She is of the opinion that such a person should never come into her life again. Brigitte has a quiet life with her son and may not want to invite a former East German spy who kills people like her into her life because it could cost her her life.