‘Itxaso And The Sea’ Ending Explained & Series Recap: How Did Mikel Strike A Deal With Peio?


The Netflix Spanish series Itxaso and the Sea revolves around seventeen-year-old Itxaso, who met her father, Mikel, for the first time. Itxaso lived with her mother, Elene, and it was only after she was diagnosed with cancer that she decided it was time for Itxaso to live with her birth father. Moving to the seaside town of Donibane from Mexico City was a difficult change for Itxaso, but she was willing to give it a shot for her mother. The only family Itxaso had was Mikel, but when he failed to drive her home from the airport, she wondered if her mother had made the right decision. Mikel woke up with a hangover and realized that his phone had run out of battery. He struggled to remember how he ended up on the bed of a stranger, but first, he had to figure out a way to get back to his surfing school to greet Itxaso. She was extremely disappointed in her father, and she refused to engage with him. Mikel had to fix his relationship with his daughter and also find a way to keep his business afloat.

Spoiler Alert

Why did Elene keep Itxaso away from Mikel?

Through the course of Itxaso and the Sea, we find out that the reason why Elene chose to part ways with Mikel was because he was convicted of drug trafficking. Twenty years ago, Elene and Mikel met for the first time, and their shared interest in surfing brought them closer together. Life in Donibane was almost perfect for the young lovers, but that was before Mikel was arrested. Elene was pregnant when he was locked up in prison, and she initially refused to believe that he was at fault. Mikel was caught smuggling drugs hidden in his surfboard, and his best friend, Peio, was also part of the plan. When Mikel was locked up in prison, Peio helped Elene in every way possible. Elene did not give up on their relationship for the next two years but she soon realized that he was still addicted to drugs. It pained Elene to watch Mikel behave carelessly while she had to look after their toddler and manage everything by herself. Elene decided to call it quits on their relationship, and she left with Itxaso.

Mikel and Peio continued to be friends, and he had recently bought a share of Mikel’s surf school to start a bar. Mikel had promised Elene that he would be clean, and he stuck to his promise. He had been sober for years now and only focused on his surfing school. But Peio continued to walk on the path of crime and was involved with the Mexican mafia. He never stopped mentioning how Mikel owed it to him for taking care of Elene and helping him when he was in prison. 

Two months ago, Elene returned to Donibane to meet Mikel. She wanted her daughter to grow up with real people with honest intent instead of in a world where all anyone cared about was money. After living in Donibane, she knew it would be the perfect place for Itxaso to connect with her roots and bond with her father. Elene left behind a huge sum of money for her daughter, though she would only have access to it when she turned 21. Till then, Mikel was partly responsible for making decisions for her. Elene had built a restaurant empire from scratch, and she was aware that people would try to manipulate Itxaso for the wealth she would inherit. That was the reason why she wanted Itxaso to be surrounded by people who would truly care about her well-being.

What did Urko get involved in?

Itxaso took a liking to the most promising surfer boy in town, Urko. His mother was an addict, and he lived with his grandmother. While Urko was in a relationship with Jasone, he soon realized that he was head over heels in love with Itxaso. They had the time of their lives at the Iparralde surf show. Urko participated in the exhibition, and Mikel and Itxaso cheered for him. On their way back to Donibane, Mikel noticed the new surfboard Urko was carrying. He lied about receiving it as a gift from the exhibition, and because Mikel knew Urko all too well, he doubted him. When Urko and Itxaso stepped out of the van to grab an ice cream, Mikel decided to find out if his hunch was correct. As he tapped into the board, he knew it had drugs stored in it. When Itxaso and Urko returned, Mikel lied about a leak in the oil tank and asked them to leave with Ane. Mikel made sure that Urko knew that he had found out the truth. He advised Urko to stay away from him and his daughter.

After Itxaso and Urko left, Mikel walked into the woods and destroyed the surfboard. Their lives could have been ruined if Urko was found peddling drugs across the border. Mikel wanted to make sure that Urko did not make the same mistake that he once did. After returning to Donibane, Peio repeatedly contacted Urko, asking him about his whereabouts. He had taken advantage of Urko’s financial condition and made him believe that it was a safe path. Urko was taken into a garage and beaten up by Peio’s henchmen. Since the package was lost, Urko owed money to Peio. Urko tried to skip town, but Peio blackmailed him with a picture of his grandmother, and he was forced to continue working for him. Peio was in charge of laundering money for Mendoza, but he was struggling to get it done in time, and he had employed young boys to work for him.

How did Peio frame Mikel?

Peio was after buying the school land from Mikel, but instead of buying it in its entirety, he wanted to make use of the reputation Mikel had. The surf school was important, and he knew that Mikel’s presence would be of immense help in starting a local surfing competition. From a business perspective, becoming partners was more profitable. But that was not just what Peio was after, and Mikel learned about it the hard way. Aintzane connected Mikel with Carlos, who studied all the documents related to the business and informed him about a 2-million-euro loan that was taken in his name. Mikel went through the document and realized his best friend had stabbed him in the back. Peio had mixed untraceable drugs into his drink to make him sign the loan documents. Aintzane knew that it was impossible to cancel the loan, and Mikel could not report the situation to the police because he had his signature all over the documents. Aintzane was confident that Peio used Mikel to launder money. An account in Switzerland was used to transfer the money for the loan. She believed they had the two million sitting in an offshore account, and the loan was being paid off with black money. The repairs at the school, along with the championship itself, were ways to launder money. While Aintzane could get her name removed from the championship with the help of her lawyer, Mikel’s situation was extremely critical. His signatures proved his consent, and it was impossible to show in court that he was drugged when he signed the documents.

How did Mikel manage to strike a deal with Peio?

In exchange for Urko’s freedom, Mikel agreed to work for Peio. Mikel was assigned to make a delivery in Rotterdam on the day of the championship. Since the police would be busy managing traffic, it was assumed to be the perfect day for the delivery. Meanwhile, Aintzane’s husband, Albin, was determined to ruin Mikel’s reputation. After finding out that his wife had slept with Mikel, Albin started to track every movement Mikel made. After going through the documents, he was certain about the money laundering angle, and the fact that Mikel was an ex-convict helped him build the case. He had tapped Mikel’s phone and kept a close watch on him. With the help of the phone call Mikel made to Ane, he deduced that to catch Mikel red-handed, it would be best to search the surf school on the day of the championship.

Even after thorough searching, the police did not find any clue. At the end of Itxaso and the Sea, we find out that Mikel was aware that Albin was listening to his calls, and he intentionally threw him off track. Mikel had relocated the money way before Albin came with the police. Meanwhile, after seeing police swarm into Mikel’s surf school, Peio too assumed that the money had been seized by the police, and he tried to come up with an escape plan, knowing that Mendoza would not spare them if she found out that her money was gone. Peio decided not to inform Mikel about the current situation simply because he wanted Mikel to take the fall. Since every document had Mikel’s signature, he would eventually be arrested, and Peio concluded that it was for the best. 

Peio started to panic when he was told that Mikel was missing from the championship and also from his house. Using Mikel’s laptop, Txomin found out his phone’s location and arrived at the hotel where he was hiding. After the championship, Mikel and Itxaso walked into a hotel room where Ane had been waiting for them. Mikel explained to his daughter how Peio had wrongfully gotten him involved in a money laundering operation and was using his students to smuggle drugs. So, Mikel and Ane relocated the money that Peio had secretly stashed in the surf school.

While Mikel assumed he was out of danger, once he stepped out of the hotel, he realized he had to deal with Txomin. He pointed his gun at Mikel, demanding to know what he was up to. Mikel showed him the money he had and tried to buy him out. Txomin drove Mikel to Peio, and Mikel tried to strike a deal with him. Peio warned Mikel that the money he was hiding belonged to the mafia, and they could go to any extent to get back the money. In the end, Mikel demanded that Peio sign a document that would break any link that they had. Peio threatened him that the mafia was already aware of his involvement, and even without the documents, he would continue to be in danger. But Mikel did not give up; he knew that the cartel had no idea about how Peio was getting the job done. Mikel was ready to return the money as soon as the document was signed. With the police searching for the money, Mikel was hopeful that Peio would leave town as soon as the deal was done. He had ruined several lives, and Mikel believed it was time that he left.

Why did Peio meet Anartz?

As it turned out, things did go according to Mikel’s plan in the end. It is also revealed that Mikel and Ane shared an intimate moment after they shifted the money from the school to the hotel room. Their intimacy led to a little awkwardness later on, especially because they shared the same space. Mikel and the entire surf family celebrated Itxaso’s 18th birthday at the surf school. The surprise party left Itxaso emotional—after the demise of her mother, she did not expect to find another family so soon. Itxaso and Urko kissed and mended their differences. Even though she had decided to move back to Mexico City as soon as she turned 18, her heart broke a little thinking about staying away from her new family. When she arrived in Donibane, Itxaso did not expect to fall in love with the small seaside town.

During Itxaso and the Sea‘s ending, we find Anartz and Peio seated at a restaurant together. Anartz was Elene’s ex-husband, and he overlooked Elena’s distribution of wealth before she passed away. After their divorce, Elene left him out of her restaurant business, and Itxaso became the sole inheritor of the entire empire. But she had no control over her wealth or the business until she turned 21, and in the meantime, her tutor would be taking care of it on her behalf. Anartz was ready to come to an arrangement with Peio. The idea is to perhaps offer the restaurants as a cover to operate Peio’s drug business, and Anartz would earn a share of the profit. On her way back to Mexico City with Anartz, Itxaso listened to the birthday message her mother left her, and we can assume that she realized how important the people of Donibane were to her, and perhaps she would decide to stay back. Will Mikel find out about Anartz and Peio’s plan? And how will he handle the situation? Well, it seems the show creator has left some questions unanswered to return with a second season.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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