'Control Z' Ending Explained: Sofia figures out who the real hacker is but it may be too late for Javier
When a hacker starts exposing a high school's most popular and top-tier students, Sofia teams up with new kid Javier to solve the mystery. Sadly, it doesn't end well for either of them
Spoilers for Episode 8
High school politics, hierarchy, bullying, death threats and manipulative games later, we finally arrive at the big reveal of who the hacker is in Netflix's latest Spanish teen sensation 'Control Z'. The Mexican web series' formula borders along the lines of high school teen dramas where one student's secret getting outed leads to an entire school full of dirty indiscretions and closeted skeletons coming out; no pun intended.
But even with Sofia (Ana Valeria Becerril) figuring out the real identity of the hacker, what still remains murky is her new friend Javier's (Michael Rhonda) fate as the final scene fades out with him bleeding his guts out on the street from a fresh bullet wound. The premise kicks off when a hacker takes over the school wifi and starts blackmailing the popular and top tier elites with their deepest, darkest secrets, threatening to expose them if they don't expose their friends to him.
It starts with Isabella — who is revealed to be trans in the very first episode. Soon her boyfriend and close friends of the "it crowd" get exposed and nobody can help but doubt the complicity of Sofia — our protagonist. The penultimate episode ends with Sofia and rich kid Raul (Yankel Stevan) teaming up to bust new kid Javier for being the hacker, but through the season finale we learn their attempts weren't as triumphant as presumed before.
In the end, Sofia is finally able to get the actual person at fault to come forward. In that, she uses her extremely innate detective and observational skills to figure out what would irk the hacker the most: lack of acknowledgment. The final episode opens with Sofia and Raul at principal Quintanilla's office, testifying against Javier. After the two leave, Raul goes back to the office and his demeanor reveals it all.
He has video leverage over Quintanilla, exposing which would ruin the principal's shots at marrying his fiancee — Sofia's mom. It becomes obvious Raul blackmailed the principal to get Javier expelled for a simple video pulled out of context. But it is only later in the day when Sofia and Raul are seen engaging in some fun pillow talk at his home that a respite shines. When Sofia tells him that for some unknown reason she likes being with him, Raul's answer is where all the puzzle pieces fit together after the elaborate plan for revenge crumbles.
Raul tells Sofia the best things are never easy — a derivative of something the hacker himself had told Sofia in the past when he had kidnapped her. From being ready to indulge in some alcohol and pizza, Sofia suddenly can't wait to leave his house. Later at the newly reinstated NANO party thanks to Rosita, Sofia arrives to break up with Raul claiming if Javier really hacked people's secrets just to get close to Sofia — the way the hacker explained to her when he kidnapped her — she would want to be with him instead.
Desperate and clinging on to his last attempt, Raul finally admits the obvious: he's been the actual hacker all along. In a classic drama cliche, Javier has been recording all of this from afar and soon it is broadcast on a random screen set up at the venue. People find out about Raul, but he too isn't going down without a proper fight. The students mob-up and attack Raul the moment he reappears at the dance floor and he decides to end it once and for all by hitting the button to broadcast every saved secret on his phone.
Sofia's father being alive, Maria being Paulo's "hunny bunny" who he cheated on Isabella with, and far worse secrets unravel fast enough for Raul to rush out of the venue, followed by Sofia and Javier. Unfortunately, they are stopped by Gerry with a gun — freshly traumatized by the consequences of his persistent harassment of Luiz. The poor guy never makes it out of the coma — something that spurs Gerry's guilt hard enough to transform it into blaming it all on the hacker. So when he finds out about Raul, the confrontation comes with a gun. Sadly, it is Javier who tries to cool it down and bears the brunt of it all.
With everybody's secrets out all because Raul's obsession with Sofia leading him to expose everyone, it's unfair that Javier — who was actually the nice guy all along — had to suffer the most. But should he not survive, that would be another life lost because of Gerry's impulsive actions. But even though Gerry's mea culpa moment trying to avenge Luiz by shooting Raul was dimmed by another disaster, it was satisfying to watch Paulo get slapped by Isabelle after he practically tries to force himself on her.
The fact that Isabella doesn't know about Maria's pregnancy suggests an explosion to come in the second season. But it would also be nice to see what Natalia — revealed to embezzle school funds — will do when her drug-dealing boyfriend finds out she lost all her night's earnings during the school fight. The biggest question however remains whether or not Javier will survive, but given the fan craze that has already buzzed on social media about Sofia and Javier, perhaps that devastating bleeding out on the road scene isn't the last we'll see of the new guy.
'Control Z' premiered on Friday, May 22, with all eight episodes on Netflix.