‘Bandidos’ Ending Explained & Series Summary: Is Lili Dead Or Alive?


Bandidos is a 2024 Spanish-language action-adventure series streaming on Netflix, set in the Yucatan region of Mexico and involving a combination of real and fictional elements of local history. The show revolves around Miguel Morales, a trickster and hustler who gathers a team of misfits in order to find and retrieve a legendary historical treasure, both for its monetary value and also to prove his worth to his archaeologist father. Bandidos does not make any attempts to be serious, and this style, along with the general comedic tone, makes the series an entertaining light-hearted watch.

Spoiler Alert

Plot Summary: What is the Netflix series about?

Bandidos begins with a quick introduction to the core group at the center of the tale, with Miguel Morales being the self-appointed leader. Despite being the only son of renowned archaeologist Juan Morales, Miguel had no interest in academics, and he did not even finish school. The young man is rather interested in finding the easy way out in life, and his current profession is to cheat and trick tourists with fake replicas of artifacts and take people on fake tours around ancient tombs and temples. Miguel’s partner-in-crime, in most cases, is his uncle Wilson, a retired counterfeit expert who still creates the fake replicas for his nephew’s illegal trade. A young, attractive woman named Lili is also part of the group, although she had suddenly gone away for some time abandoning her romantic relationship with Miguel. Lili’s skill is to charm anyone and get hold of their credit cards, which she easily duplicates and wipes out of their bank accounts. Lastly, a teenager named Lucas works as the hacker in the group and also provides for the very important base of operations for the team, since Lucas’ parents are billionaires who own a luxury hotel in Yucatan. 

Miguel is currently a worker at the same hotel, where he looks for targets to scam, when he suddenly runs into a drunk man at the local bar one night. This man introduces himself as Luis Fernandez de Montejo, a descendant of the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo. In a drunken state, Luis talks about a secret treasure that has still not been found and mentions that his grandfather had revealed that it was still at the same place where Francisco had hidden it. Hearing all this makes Miguel’s eyes light up, for he has heard about this secret treasure of Aj Took ever since his childhood days. Along with enormous gold and jewels, the treasure stash is also supposed to contain an artifact called the Kaan Balam, which is a jaguar statue made of solid gold. Luis mentions that he has the exact location of the treasure tattooed on his chest, since he has been looking for it for quite some time, and he agrees to show Miguel the tattoo as well. The two men return to Luis’ hotel room, but Miguel leaves soon after, having photographed the tattoo, since Luis passes out quickly. 

However, Luis goes missing the next morning, and his dead body is found only some time later by the Mexican police, with the skin on his chest peeled away. This confirms that someone ruthless and violent is also searching for the Aj Took treasure, while on the other side, Miguel gathers his team to look for the same and make themselves rich once and for all.

Who are the new members who joined the group?

Miguel’s efforts at finding the treasure first require him to break into the city’s museum and photograph detailed maps from the Spanish Inquisition. The difficulty in the matter is that the museum belongs to a man named Ariel, who happens to be a famous archaeologist as well and also the favorite student of Juan Morales. Because of Miguel’s choices in life, Juan has always considered Ariel like his son, even adopting him legally, and he is all the more biased towards Ariel at present because of his failing memory and dementia. Therefore, Miguel wants to find the treasure as a means to prove to the world that he is better than his rival, Ariel. The protagonist realizes that the tattoo on Luis’ body was only a part of the real map. Miguel and his group have to find and collect a particular stone from the bottom of a cenote, and so they need a skilled diver.

Incidentally, Miguel’s phone gets stolen by a young woman who casually dives into the nearby river in order to escape, making it clear that she is a very experienced and skilled diver. The protagonist approaches this girl, Citlali, who happens to belong to a poor household where she is the only earning member, and her mother is an alcoholic. Thus, it is not very difficult to convince Citlali to join the group, and although she is initially hired for only one specific job—to retrieve the moon stone from the cenote—she obviously wants more. Citlali ensures to stick with the group against the guarantee that she too will get a share of the wealth from the treasure. Since she and Lucas are of similar age, the boy is immediately smitten by her, and eventually, they have their own romance as well.

Along with the new addition to the group, the main antagonist of Bandidos is also introduced, although he remains unnamed throughout the series. The most distinctive feature about this mobster is that half of his face is burnt, and this is why he is referred to by many names like Burnt-Face and so on. As soon as Miguel gets hold of the important moon stone, Burnt-Face demands it, threatening to kill his friends otherwise, and as a result, Miguel swallows the stone to buy himself some time. This naturally gets the protagonist kidnapped and taken to Burnt-Face’s camp, and the others in the group have to go rescue him. Although Lucas is able to track down the compound with the help of his gadgets and cyberskills, the place is heavily guarded by an armed militia, making it impossible for the others to rescue their friend.

This is when the next new member of the group comes in, as Lili takes them to meet with an old acquaintance and lover of hers. Octavio was once a soldier in the Uruguayan military, but the corruption and general disregard for human lives made him leave the post and become a bandit. After getting involved in a grand heist at the Uruguayan Mint, Octavio now lives a solitary life in a boat but still keeps a whole arsenal of modern weapons at his disposal. It is mainly these weapons and his expertise in combat that the group wants, and since Octavio has been fighting a messy divorce, he agrees to be a part of the gang, all for a share in the treasure.

During this whole time, a police officer named Ines had been investigating the murder of Luis Fernandez, and she was quickly led to Miguel since the protagonist was the last person to visit the Spaniard’s room, according to the hotel security cameras. Ines is made to feel like an outsider in the department, as she is the only female officer, and her life is made worse by her vengeful ex-husband. The ex-husband is a senior officer in the Mexican police, and he kept Ines repressed for all her life, never even allowing her to have male friends. The depressed and desperate wife ended up sleeping with her female friend, and this led to a divorce. However, Ines’ ex-husband now wants to take away their son from her, and this makes her terribly frustrated at present. Knowing that enormous amounts of money can easily solve her current dilemma, Ines also demands to join the group and take a share of the treasure, threatening to incriminate everyone otherwise.

Why is Burnt-Face so vengeful against Miguel?

From the moment he meets Miguel, Burnt-Face suggests that he knows both the Morales father and son, and it is quite clear that he has some history with the two. Although Miguel does not recognize the man, the secret about his extreme vengeance against the family is revealed towards the end. Back when Miguel was a young boy, he would often go out on expeditions and adventures with his father. During one such adventure, Juan took Miguel to the site of an excavation, but the archaeologist started secretly placing detonators around the spot. In fact, the excavation was being conducted by a group of private researchers, as they wanted to get hold of an old Mayan artifact and sell it for large profits. The location was actually a protected archaeological area, as announced by the authorities, and this is why Juan wanted to stop such illegal activities.

However, Juan was found and questioned by the crooked researchers, and Miguel immediately jumped out of the car to protect his father. This led to utter commotion, but even in the frenzied moment, the boy noticed that one of the motorbikes was leaking gas, and he threw a lighter towards it, ensuring that the attackers would be stopped. The place indeed blew up in flames, but one of the men from the group, who was actually about to ride the motorcycle, was not killed. The fire greatly injured and damaged him, and he is the very Burnt Face who returns at present. The treasure of Aj Took was being searched by Ariel as well, also for his own indirect benefit, since he wanted to keep the Kaan Balam artifact at his museum, which would earn him money. Ariel had hired Burnt-Face to keep an eye on Miguel and his friends while also trying to find the treasure. It was Burnt-Face and his goons who had killed Luis, as they wanted to take off the map tattooed on his chest.

However, after realizing that his rival in this treasure hunt was the very Miguel Morales who had caused him so much pain, Burnt-Face disobeys all orders and wants to take revenge. He shoots Ariel when the latter tries to order him to stop, and then the goon also shoots Wilson, which ultimately leads to the beloved uncle’s death.

Who was the traitor in the group?

During their search for the Aj Took treasure, the group suddenly realizes that there is a traitor amongst them who has drugged their alcohol, leading to great trouble. Each of the characters is suspected and scrutinized by the others, and all of them have some secrets of their own. Wilson has been suffering from cancer with very little time left in his life, and he has accumulated a big debt in order to pay for his treatment. Lili is facing trouble from an unmentioned but powerful source, and she is in need of a new passport with a new identity in order to escape the country. In fact, Lili had been attacked by a man the previous night, and it was only because Miguel had been stalking her that she was saved. 

Citlali had gone over to the house of Lucas to steal money, but she did not do so because she had already developed genuine feelings for him. Lucas had realized the intrusion, but he does not tell anyone about it at present since he wants to protect the image of his lover. Ines and Octavio had also been lovers in the past, and now they once again provide support, comfort, and passionate love to each other, and it is revealed that they had spent the previous night together. 

The identity of the traitor is finally revealed, as it is Lili who gets to walk away safely while the others are trapped inside a cavern. Lili meets with Ariel, whom she had convinced that she was working for him, but there is more to the matter than meets the eye. Miguel had figured out that it was Ariel who had kidnapped his father and was, therefore, the main criminal behind the treasure hunt, and so he and Lili made their own counter-plan. Once Lili convinces Ariel that she is working for him, she drugs the archaeologist with the same drink she had used on the others, and this gives Miguel and his friends enough time to travel back to the city and confront the man.

What happens to the Aj Took treasure?

Finally, Ariel and Burnt-Face are both removed from the scene, at least temporarily, as the former has to recover from his gunshot wound, and the latter goes in search of the treasure, believing that he has killed Miguel. But the group is able to survive, and so they, too, head towards the spot where the treasure is supposed to be hidden. The Aj Took treasure, which originally belonged to the Mayan kingdom, had been looted by the Spanish conquistadors Francisco de Montejo, Pedro de Alvarado, and Alonso de Alvarado. The three Spanish knights did not really have faith in each other and had stored all the gold and treasure inside a box that could be opened with three different stone lockets, which were divided among them. At present, Miguel only has the moon stone of Francisco de Montejo, while the two others have been taken away by Burnt-Face.

However, the reality of the conquistadors actually changes the course of this treasure hunt, as Miguel figures out that de Montejo had gone off with the treasure on one of his ships, which was not reported to have arrived at the next port. This meant that the ship had been deliberately sunk somewhere in the middle, and Miguel found the exact spot with the help of an old map being read with reference to the stars in the night sky. The group is finally led to the treasure, and they retrieve the box from the water, too. It is then also revealed that de Montejo actually had plans of keeping the entire treasure for himself, and since he was the one to have proposed the idea of the three keys, the man had ensured that only his key would also be able to open the box very easily. But de Montejo could not ever return to claim the treasure, and it is ultimately Miguel and his friends who find the invaluable gold and jewels, including the legendary Kaan Balam artifact.

Burnt-Face shows up once again, even injuring Octavio, but this time, the villain is shot and killed by another intruder at the place, Ariel. The archaeologist has come to claim the Kaan Balam statue, wanting to take it back to his museum, and he is ready to let the others take all the gold and jewelry for themselves. However, another betrayal follows, as Lili tries to flee with the jaguar statue, abandoning everyone else, and Miguel takes the difficult decision to shoot the woman, making her fall into the water and seemingly die. The Kaan Balam statue is taken by Ariel, who preserves it at the museum, while the rest of the treasure is liquidated into cash and deposited into the tax-free accounts of each of the remaining members, namely, Miguel, Octavio, Ines, Lucas, and Citlali. Each of their personal lives is bettered by the fortune, but Miguel remains heartbroken, having lost two of his closest people.

Does Lili really die?

During Bandidos‘ ending, one last twist is finally pulled, as Lili is seen meeting Miguel in front of the hotel and driving him away in her car. In reality, Lili had not died but had made a secret plan with Miguel, whom she had made her lover once again. As Lili desperately needed to escape the grasp of the dangerous people who were after her, she decided to stage a fake death with the help of Miguel. On that fateful day, Miguel fired his gun but did not hit Lili, while the woman had already prepared some fake blood and dived into the water, which convinced everyone that she was dead. In fact, the body of a different woman is also shown in the morgue to one of Lili’s assailants, who takes a photo of it to confirm that their target is actually dead. Lili had been left a fake passport by Wilson before his death, and she now uses it to change her identity while staying together with her beloved Miguel, who now wants to go on a new treasure hunt. 

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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