‘Code 8’ Recap And Ending: Things To Know Before Watching The Sequel On Netflix


Jeff Chan’s 2019 sci-fi thriller film, Code 8, runs on an interesting premise that thematically explores discrimination in human society. Set in a fictional Lincoln City, the film revolves around a group of superhumans called Powers, where each superhuman is born with a special power like fire, electricity, wind, healing, etc. You get the gist. It’s an X-men kind of universe where humans and individuals with special abilities co-exist. As these superhumans came to light, the people of the United States of America accepted them with open arms. They harnessed their powers to build their fast-growing economy but soon realized the potential dangers. 

As the economy progressed further, the Powers were replaced with heavy machinery, leading to massive unemployment. The employers refused to hire a power-enabled person, and they were pushed into a world of crime to survive and sustain themselves. It led to the creation of a sophisticated cartel called The Trust, which started extracting spinal fluid from the bodies of powered people and selling it as a drug called Psyke, commonly used by non-powered individuals. The addictive drug soon became America’s favorite poison, forcing authorities to take immediate measures against these drug traffickers. It led to the creation of a new technology with automatic drones and robotic officers called Guardians, who would shoot the Powers on sight if they were found using their special abilities. If one wants to draw a relevant parallel, then Jeff Chan’s Code 8 thematically hints at America’s current condition and its inhumane behavior toward colored citizens. But that discussion is vast, so without going into that, let’s explore the important events of Code 8 and what we can expect from the second part of the film that is going to hit the Netflix screen soon.

Spoiler Alert

Why Did Connor Reed Become a Criminal?

Code 8‘s protagonist, Connor Reed, was a superhuman with the ability to generate electricity through his fingertips. However, due to the extensive discrimination against the Powers, the 26-year-old Connor failed to find a white-collar job as per his qualifications and became an unregistered laborer to arrange money for his ailing mother, Mary. Connor’s mother had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, because of which Mary wasn’t able to control her freezing powers. She worked as a storekeeper and refused to leave her job as she didn’t want to become a burden on her son.

While hunting for an odd job, Connor came across a man, Garrett Kelton, who worked for a mob boss named Marcus Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe ran a number of illegal Psyke Farms to extract spinal fluid from superhumans and later sell it on the streets or in his shady club. However, recently, Sutcliffe’s drug business faced a huge setback after the Lincoln City Police Department (LCPD) raided most of his secret apartments and seized his priceless drug. Because of the bust, Sutcliffe was unable to pay his share to the cartel, The Trust, whose members threatened to kill him if he failed to make the payment in a week.

Connor, in search of some easy money for his mother’s treatment, helped Kelton break into a chemical facility to steal 200 gallons of hydro, a special chemical used in the creation of Psyke. After the successful operation, Kelton brought Connor to Sutcliffe’s nightclub and met a woman named Nia, who was a healer and was able to mend even the deadliest of wounds. It turned out that Sutcliffe had been suffering from a life-threatening lung disease, which was why he had kept Nia captive so that he could use her powers to keep healing himself as long as he could. Nia, on the other hand, had her father’s debt to pay to Sutcliffe and also got hooked on Psyke, because of which she failed to escape the drug leader’s grasp.

From the moment Kelton met Connor, he knew that the young lad was one of the most powerful Electric (term used for electric wielders) in the city. However, in order to test his powers, Kelton not only trained him but also took him to a bank robbery operation, which failed miserably. Kelton’s plan was to steal the cash from the vault to pay the cartel and clear Sutcliffe’s debt, but to their surprise, the bank had already moved the cash before the robbery. In the end, Kelton and Sutcliffe had no other option but to hit the Psyke run, a special operation initiated by the LCPD to incinerate the busted drugs.

What Happened During the Hit on the Psyke Run?

Garrett Kelton was done working for Marcus Sutcliffe and desired equal power in the gang, which was why he made Sutcliffe an offer. He would steal his 10 million dollars’ worth of Psyke from the LCPD only if he would make him a partner in the business. It was evident that Sutcliffe didn’t like Kelton’s greed, yet he agreed because he wanted the job to be done as quickly as possible. At this moment, Connor also made a deal with Sutcliffe. Connor knew that doctors wouldn’t be able to save his mother, and therefore, he needed Nia to cure his mother’s tumor. He agreed to do the job only if Sutcliffe would let Nia go with him, and again, Sutcliffe would never have done so as Nia was his only lifeline, yet he agreed because he needed the man for the suicide mission. On the day of the operation, Kelton and his team did steal the drugs, but before the police arrived, Sutcliffe’s armed men opened fire on Sutcliffe’s Powers and killed them on the spot. Only Kelton and Connor managed to get out in one piece.

How did Marcus Sutcliffe die?

During the robbery, Sutcliffe’s men opened fire on four policemen on the street, which shocked the entire police department. The authorities conducted a rigorous operation to put an end to the cartel business. Meanwhile, Kelton and Connor had no means to retrieve the drugs and Nia from Sutcliffe, which was why Connor decided to hand a tip to one of the police officers named Park. It could be speculated that Park had powers too but had been concealing his true identity for a long time. However, he was able to relate to Connor’s plight and the discrimination he faced in everyday life, which was why he wanted to help the young lad leave behind the world of crime.

With Connor’s help, Park found out about Sutcliffe’s secret nightclub, which was quickly raided by the LCPD. Kelton and Connor used the chaos to confront Sutcliffe, who was trying to escape with Nia. In the final battle that ensued, Kelton took revenge for his fallen teammates and killed Sutcliffe using his powers. Soon after, he took his share of drugs and left the building. Connor, on the other hand, had come to take Nia with him, but at this juncture, she revealed that she couldn’t heal anyone. Instead, she could only absorb their wounds into her own body, which meant if Nia helped Connor’s mother, then she would develop the tumor instead. But Connor had come a very long way and had committed a plethora of crimes just to save his mother. He didn’t want to let this opportunity go, so he forcefully took Nia to the hospital and asked her to heal Mary. As soon as Nia started healing Connor’s mother, she developed the same symptom in her body, which made Connor realize that his mother would have never wanted him to do something so monstrous to save her. In an earlier scene, Mary had asked Connor to let her go, and it was time for Connor to ponder on her mother’s words. He stopped Nia before it was too late and bid his final goodbye to his mother before she took her last breath.

During Code 8‘s ending, Connor decided to turn himself in so that he could serve a sentence for the crimes he had committed and make his mother proud. Mary didn’t want Connor to become a criminal like his late father, and therefore, to fulfill his mother’s only wish, Connor surrendered himself to the police. Before leaving, he gave his car keys to Nia so she could live the life she always wanted. She went to meet her father in prison and shared a moment with him. Kelton, on the other hand, sold the drugs to pay back The Trust and clear the debts. However, his last interaction with a member of The Trust hinted at his willingness to continue doing business with them and start a new gang from scratch, where he would be the sole leader. 

What to Expect From Part 2?

The trailer for Code 8: Part 2 begins with Connor walking out of a highly- secure prison facility in Lincoln City. After serving his sentence, Connor rebuilds his life and starts working as a janitor in a hospital. Through a voiceover, we find out that Connor owes a favor to a mysterious man who has done time in the same prison facility. It is likely that this man has helped Connor evade a sentence or has helped him in prison in some manner. Whatever the case may be, Connor needs to help this man get a 14-year-old superhuman girl named Pav out of the city. She could be the mysterious man’s daughter who is being targeted by the police, which is why he has enlisted Connor’s help to get her to safety.

As Netflix’s trailer suggests, it seems like an impossible mission, which is why Connor approaches his former colleague and old friend, Garrett Kelton, to seek his help. However, Kelton has now become an important gang leader who controls much of the cartel operation in the city. His new demeanor suggests that he isn’t much interested in helping Connor. As the trailer moves forward, a new character named Sergeant Kingstown is introduced, whose violent war against the Powers has made him a rising star in the LCPD. It turns out Kelton and Kingstown have been working together to maintain peace and order in downtown Lincoln. Kelton is free to sell the Psyke without any retaliation from the police, and in exchange, Kingstown gets his cut.

It seems that Pav is in direct conflict with Kingstown or some other officer who doesn’t want the girl to escape the city, which is why they release a new type of robotic police dog, or K9, to hunt the girl down. K9 has the means to track the special-ability individuals who can later be arrested for using their powers. In the first part of the film, we found out that City Hall had agreed to put The Power Ban Bill in Lincoln City on vote, which effectively made it illegal for all superhumans to use their superpowers. It is most likely that this bill has already been passed in the second film, thereby creating a conflict between normal humans and individuals with special abilities. Connor has no other means to help the girl except for taking help from Kelton. But will Garrett disrupt his precious arrangement with the police to help an old friend? Will Connor regret his decision to trust Garrett again? We’ll have to check out Code 8 Part 2 to find out more.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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