'Deutschland 89' Ending Explained: Cold War ends with a win for democracy, will superspy Martin Rauch return?
Does Germany even need spies anymore?
Spoilers for the series finale of 'Deutschland 89'
At the end of the penultimate episode of German series 'Deutschland 89', Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay) is unsuccessful in killing his fellow spy, comrade, aunt and psychopath Lenora Rauch (Maria Schrader). He had been on her trail all of this season and the cat and mouse game ends in a confrontation that both parties would rather have ended in bloodshed. As it turns out though, Martin is unable to pull the trigger on this woman who, quite literally, pulled his life apart.
He is then captured by Hector Valdez (Raul Casso), who under the garb of being a CIA agent wants to pin several atrocities on Martin and have him either convicted or killed. In the final episode of the series, Martin is tied on both ends with metal chains and tortured by Valdez. He even produces photographs of a brutally murdered photos of Annett Schneider (Sonja Gerhardt) forcing a confession out of him.
When the torture gets too much, Brigitte Winkelmann (Lavinia Wilson) swaps with him to interrogate. Only now it is not an interrogation between spies but that of ex-lovers. After three years, the two are in the same room confronting their past. Martin confesses to her that the reason he never returned to her was because of Max (Ari Kurecki) and that she wouldn't understand his situation because she isn't a parent.
Brigette knows that Martin is innocent and tells Valdez to free him. She then leaves to take care of Lenora's business. She soon finds out that Valdez had instead killed Lenora just ahead and realizes just how twisted his intentions had been along. Valdez gives Martin the impression that he is free leaving him alone on the premises.
While Martin manages to escape, this is only a trick used by the CIA to break the most resilient of their suspects. But it is at this point that Walter Schweppenstette (Sylvester Groth) finally shows up. Valdez is then shot and Martin rescued with the help of the CIA.
Now the CIA's plan is to make it look like Martin perished during this ordeal. So a funeral is set up where everyone including Max is there. Only to be later revealed that Martin and Nicole (Svenja Jung) are watching the funeral from a distance. At the end of the episode, she hands new passports to Martin and Nicole to start a new life in Marrakesh. Max is set to join them sooner or later with Walter's help.
And that's how 'Deutschland 89' arrived at its very interesting conclusion this week. Martin has finally escaped the labyrinth of espionage. Or has he?
In the end, Nicole asks him if the business is over. He says that capitalism and democracy have won — there is nothing left for the Germans to spy on. "Why would they still need spies?" he says. The series ends with a montage that draws parallels between the Berlin Wall and Donald Trump's border wall, among other political benchmarks.
Catch all episodes of 'Deutschland 89' on Sundance TV's official website.