‘Code Name: Emperor’ Ending, Explained – Does Juan Expose The Corruption In The Bureaucracy?


Netflix’s Spanish thriller film, “Code Name: Emperor,” directed by Jorge Coira, follows the journey of an intelligence officer, who, while doing his job, realizes that what he was doing was not exactly ethical. He realized that he had become an inevitable part of a corrupt capitalist setup, but his unprecedented involvement with a girl made him think about his life decisions and choices.

Spoilers Ahead

‘Code Name: Emperor’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?

Juan had been vested with a lot of responsibilities. He was the best in the business, and his superiors knew that he was a man who could deliver, even when the odds were not in his favor. He was working for an intelligence agency under the state police. He was given specialized tasks and covert operations, where often he had to put his life at risk. He reported directly to Galan and had a small team of two officers: Ana and Chema. Galan was interested in getting some dirt against a congressman named Angel Gonzales. Juan had been trying to get some information that could give him leverage over the politician, but he was not able to find anything. He tries telling Galan that the man was clean, but Galan was not ready to take no for an answer. He had a simple philosophy that if there was nothing against a guy, then you throw him bait and then see if he falls for it or not. Juan was not somebody who liked getting involved in corrupt practices. But this time, he had no choice. He had to do what his boss was asking him to. Simultaneously, he was also trying to tap the house of a person who was suspected to be involved in some illegal practices. Juan had no clue what this man was up to, so he found a way to enter his house and rig it with hidden cameras and microphones. He hired a couple of guys to scare a woman named Wendy, and then came himself and pretended to save her from them. It was a smart ploy to win the trust of the lady, who then offered him to come to her house, as she saw him bleeding. Wendy was actually working as a house help for the very people Juan was after. He knew that Wendy stayed in their house, and if she saw him bleeding, she would offer him to come to her place. As soon as he got the opportunity, he went into the living area and planted hidden cameras all over the place. Juan and his team saw in the footage recorded by their hidden cameras that a man named Gunter Schull was meeting with those people, and they were trying to sell something to him. But Juan wasn’t able to find any sort of incriminating evidence.

Juan once again went to the house to see if they were missing out on some detail. There was one CCTV camera in the house that was pointed toward a shoe shelf. He found it very weird and thought that either the shoes were really expensive or maybe there was some secret storage space somewhere on that side. The team did strike gold. They saw a man taking out a laptop from the secret storage space in the wall. Juan decided to once again use Wendy for his purpose. He met her and by the time they were together, the team had taken all the information from the laptop. They found out that a metal called Cobalt 60, used to make bombs, was being smuggled throughout Europe. They needed an informer who was a part of the inner circle and could give them insights and details about the smuggled goods. Juan met Lazslo, whose 50 kg of cocaine had been confiscated by the authorities earlier. Juan offered to give him back his whole consignment if he, in turn, gave him the information that he needed. Laszlo did tell him that the base from where the goods were smuggled was Bilbao Harbor.

Juan and Ana tracked a guy working in the harbor and checked his vehicle for any evidence. But they couldn’t find anything. Later, they learned through the CCTV camera footage of Bilbao Harbor that he had stopped at the security checkpoint and given his key to the guard. The goods were taken out of his vehicle and placed inside another one standing next to it. Juan and Ana found out that Gunter Schull had taken a sample to get it checked. They knew that the whole deal would be taking place anytime now. Meanwhile, Wendy got to know that Juan had been placing cameras in her boss’s house, and that was the reason he had come in contact with her in the first place. She is disheartened as she had started developing feelings for Juan. But she realized that she was merely a pawn in his chess game. Wendy decided to pack her bags and stop working there. Juan goes to meet her immediately and tells her that if she leaves the house so suddenly, her bosses will hunt her down. Wendy gets convinced and decides to stay back.

‘Code Name: Emperor’ Ending, Explained: Do Wendy and Juan End Up Together? Does Juan Expose The Corruption In The Bureaucracy?

Juan and his team eventually got hold of Gunter and stopped Cobalt 60 from getting smuggled into Europe. Juan had been unsuccessful in getting any dirt on Angel Gonzales. He knew that Angel was all clean, but Galan didn’t want to return empty-handed. He was getting irritated because Galan was making him do all sorts of cover-ups that he didn’t like. A footballer named Fernando had beaten his lover mercilessly. The girl was now threatening him to go to the police. The owner of the club for which he played knew that Fernando was an important asset for them. So Juan was sent to mitigate the circumstances. Juan showed that it was a case of robbery and coerced the girl to not report the crime to the police. He told her how dangerous these influential people were and how her statement could compromise the safety of her family.

Juan made a fake account by the name of Sara and started talking to Angel on a social media messenger. Angel also used to do all this through a fake account by the name of Sergio. Angel was asking to meet, and Juan knew that now he had to arrange for an actual girl who would have to go to meet him. Juan hired Marta to do the job. She was the daughter of a famous actor and had been recorded on camera while indulging in a sexual act. Juan still had that video and used it to blackmail her into going and meeting Angel as Sara. Angel and Marta met, but the latter couldn’t find anything incriminating or suspicious during the first visit.

Meanwhile, Juan was sent to Panama City by Galan to get a Judge released, who had been held by the local authorities, as the boy with whom he was spending the night had died by falling from the balcony. In reality the boy hadn’t jumped by himself but was pushed by the judge from the balcony. The boy had gotten an epilepsy seizure and the judge got scared thinking about the implications of an escort dying in his room.  Once again, Juan witnessed how the corrupt deeds of a top-notch bureaucrat were being swept under the rug, while an innocent man couldn’t even receive any dignity in death.

Angel was attending a sporting event, and Juan intentionally made Marta also go for the same. He knew that this time Angel would fall for the trap. Juan had already placed a camera inside his room, which recorded everything that happened. Marta then banged her head on the washbasin and escaped the room. Juan arrived on the scene immediately and told Angel that he was in deep trouble. He pretended as if he had no clue about who Marta was. He asked him if he knew about any secret information that his enemies could have been after. But Angel wasn’t involved in any such activity that could have been used against him. Juan said the same to Galan, but didn’t tell him that he still had his video in which he was sharing an intimate moment with Marta. It was because Marta had made him realize how emotionless he had become doing all the dirty work for the government. She destroyed his laptop, which had the footage of Angel, but Juan had a backup in place. When Juan had almost decided that he wouldn’t tell Galan about the video, he realized that Wendy had been taken into police custody.

Galan had put a man behind Juan too, and all his activities were being tracked. Juan decided to give Angel’s footage to Galan, and told him that he wanted Wendy to be immediately released in return. Juan had contacted his acquaintance named Charo Montes, who was a journalist. He had given her the information about all the operations he had been a part of. The drive was protected with a password. Juan told her that she was a part of his contingency plan and that he would give her the password if everything went according to his plan. Once he made sure that Wendy was out of the country, he gave her the password. The corrupt practices of the government were out in the open. Juan also packed his bags and decided to leave the place. Maybe he would go to meet Wendy and, as he had told her, take her to the safe house where they could spend the rest of their lives together without any fear of getting caught by government officials.

Final words

Wendy was only supposed to be a ladder that helped them to accomplish their mission, but Juan actually fell for her in the process. In “Code Name: Emperor,” we see that Wendy was taken into custody for not having proper paperwork, as she was an illegal migrant, and Juan knew that he would do anything to get her released and ensure her safety. When Juan went to barter the information he had about Angel, Galan told him something that probably helped him take that drastic step of leaving his job and harboring dreams of settling with Wendy eventually. Galan said that to maintain the delicate balance of society, he has to do things that others would instead call unethical. Money was being laundered throughout the country, the rich and powerful were doing what they wanted, innocent lives were being taken, and justice was completely mocked at by these power brokers. Everybody was like a puppet, and their strings were being pulled by these people sitting conveniently at the top of the food chain.

Firstly, they needed some dirt against Angel because they felt like he was the kind of man who held morals and ethics in high regard and could go against them and do as he had promised to his loyal voters. They wanted to have some control over him. But now, they needed him, to clean up the image of the ruling party. So, he was immediately appointed to lead the coordination of the parliamentary caucus. The fates of people were decided based on the whims and fancies of people like Galan. Juan didn’t want to be a part of this fragile system and, through his journalist friend, brought their malpractices out into the open. Maybe if there was a sequel to “Code Name: Emperor,” then surely we would witness the authorities going after Juan with full force as their brittle egos had been shattered. 

“Code Name: Emperor” is a 2022 drama thriller film directed by Jorge Coira.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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