‘The Black Book’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: How Did Paul Edima Avenge Son’s Death?


Netflix’s The Black Book is a film that revolves around corruption and justice. After living away from the world of crime for nearly 24 years, one of Nigeria’s most notorious criminals was forced to pick up his weapon when his son was wrongfully murdered. The Black Book is all about a father’s vengeance, and it also goes on to show how corruption results in broken families. After walking away from his dark past, Paul Edima lived a peaceful life with his son. Paul had devoted his life to God, but his son did not believe in the higher power. While this often led to disagreement, the father and son were inseparable in other aspects of life. Damilola worked in advertising, and after his father repeatedly requested that he attend church, one day, he finally decided to do so. As Damilola was traveling from his work to the church, a group of SAKS (Special Anti-Kidnapping Squad) officials stopped his car and shot him dead.

Spoiler Alert

Who Ordered The Kidnapping?

The chaos started when family members of Professor Stella Craig, the director general of NEOC (Nigeria Energy and Oil Company), were kidnapped. Her husband and toddler son were in their car when armed men forced them to get out. Even though one of the kidnappers was caught by the SAKS men, he eventually escaped. It was evident that the kidnapper who was arrested was well-connected, and his escape was only possible because the police sided with him. The escaped kidnapper was a tall, dark man with dreadlocks, and the SAKS searched for him all across Lagos. They were not after the actual criminal; rather, they were searching for a man who would fit the description, and as it happened, Damilola was a perfect match. The SAKS men shot Damilola to please the public and close the case.

Meanwhile, the kidnappers contacted Professor Craig, and as it turned out, they were not after a ransom. Instead, they wanted to mentally break the general director to the point that she decided to resign from her position. The first time they called, they asked her to choose between her husband and child, and even though she begged them to leave her baby unharmed, they murdered the child. She was asked to resign to free her husband, and while she did so, the kidnappers did not keep their end of the promise and killed her husband as well. We find out in The Black Book that the motive behind the kidnapping was to place someone who would be open to corruption. General Issa, the leader of a private military squad designed to carry out illegal operations, was the mastermind behind the crime. By destroying the Craig family, he was able to declare one of his boys, Jubril Dauda, as the new director general of NEOC.

Who Was Victoria?

In The Black Book, we learned that Victoria’s mother was also a journalist, and she was killed after she figured out some truths that the powerful wanted to keep hidden. Victoria wanted to make her mother proud, and she always searched for stories that were compelling. Victoria started to investigate the murder of Damilola, and she realized that he must not have been the kidnapper after all. She offered to help Paul, but he declined. Paul contacted men from his past association, and he decided to find out why his son was murdered. All Paul wanted was the body of his son to be buried, but even that was denied to him. After kidnapping the SAKS men who had shot his boy, he learned that the actual kidnapper was a politician’s son. Paul had recorded the confession, but the next morning, when Victoria came to visit him, she took away the memory card. Victoria believed that the world deserved to know how the SAKS were controlled by politicians, but the editor of the newspaper refused to publish it. While she pretended to care about Victoria’s well-being, in reality, she too worked for the corrupt senator. Angel murdered the SAKS officer who had confessed to Paul and blamed the death on Paul. Gradually, Paul became the most wanted man in Lagos.

Victoria decided to help Paul Edima get the justice he deserved. She arranged a meeting between Professor Craig and Paul. Professor Craig was completely devastated after the deaths of her husband and child. By then, she knew that the kidnapping was conducted to force her to leave her position. Professor Craig had always voiced against corruption, and the moment she started to take a close look at a few oil blocks, the threats began, suggesting that they were involved in ruining her life. By studying the files handed over by the professor, Victoria found out that the ownership of Patriot Oil was confidential, and Paul instantly knew who was behind it. He requested that Victoria leave the case, but she was determined to find the truth. Angel’s men swarmed into Paul’s house, and Victoria was forced to hide in a confined space. That was when she discovered articles about her and her mother. Paul was no ordinary man, and Victoria was shocked to realize that he knew who her mother was.

Meanwhile, after confronting Angel, Paul learned that the men were sent upon Senator Dipo’s instruction. It was not General Issa who wanted him dead, but Dipo, who was afraid that Paul would hunt him and his son. Paul met General Issa the next morning. When it came to honor, he trusted the general more than Dipo. Paul agreed to walk away in exchange for his son’s body and a confession from the senator, his son, and Angel. War was declared when the general did not agree to Paul’s terms and conditions.

What Was The Connection Between Victoria And Paul Edima?

General Issa became powerful from 1982 to 1984. While drug trafficking had become a problem for the state, for him, it was simply the most profitable business. Issa trained his men to operate the drug trade, and Paul Edima was recruited into his private squad. Issa was able to buy off the press as well, and those who refused to bow down were punished. Dipo used to be General Issa’s biggest drug smuggler, and Victoria’s mother found out about it. Paul was assigned the task of getting rid of the journalist, and while he performed his duty, he was startled when he found a little girl standing in the room. According to the instructions he had received, he should have killed the child as well, but he could not. Paul dropped the little girl off at a church, and he paid for her upbringing. Years later, when Victoria approached him, he already knew who she was, and that was why he wanted to push her away. Victoria was horrified when she found out the truth. The man she wanted to help turned out to be her mother’s killer. She lost all respect she had for Paul and believed that he deserved to be punished. Soon after Victoria found out the truth in The Black Book, she was kidnapped by General Issa’s men.

How Did Paul Edima Escape The Death Of His Son?

Paul Edima joined forces with Big Daddy to destroy General Issa. It was under General Issa’s instruction that Big Daddy’s people were murdered, and she wanted revenge. Years ago, when Paul rescued Victoria, General Issa offered him two options: he could either kill himself to protect the child, or he had to murder the little girl. Paul chose neither; instead, he offered another deal. He stated that in all the years that he has been working for Issa, he has noted down every operation and trade that they participated in. The black book could destroy Issa, and Paul chose to use it to his advantage. In exchange for his black book and the one that found in the journalist’s house, he agreed to distance himself from the life of crime. Paul knew that the only way to destroy the general was through the black book, and he hoped to hand it over to Victoria this time. Using his contacts who worked within the squad, Paul and Big Daddy planned on invading the general’s ranch and extracting Victoria. To distract the police and the military, they planted a bomb at the football field. Big Daddy’s army of women entered the ranch, while Paul walked in unarmed to make the General believe that he had given up. Paul was taken into captivity, and in the meantime, Big Daddy’s army gradually took over the ranch.

At the end of The Black Book, General Issa was busy teaching Paul a lesson, oblivious to the fact that Big Daddy had gotten access to his safe. The safe consisted of a hard drive along with the black book. The hard drive had a video of General Issa’s men killing four Nigerian army men to protect the general’s illegal mining operations. As Big Daddy’s expert hacker worked on decrypting and uploading the video, they created a distraction to make the general’s men believe that they were winning the game. As soon as the video was sent to the army officials, all the men who once supported General Issa walked away from him. They knew that it was the end of Issa, and they chose to protect themselves. Once the military was against him, the general had no way out. Paul offered him a gun to take his life, but the general showed his cowardice by pointing the gun at Paul. The gun was not loaded, and Paul walked away. He never took the general for a coward, but his inability to accept the truth proved otherwise.

During The Black Book‘s ending, we learn that Paul sent the Black Book to Victoria. She had always wanted to become a journalist as brave as her mother, and Paul believed she must do the work that her mother started. He thought exposing corruption was a necessary step, and he did not care if he was punished for all his wrongdoings as well. Victoria learned that the editor was responsible for her mother’s death since she was the one who informed the general about her investigation. Paul was ready to face the consequences of his actions after he buried the body of his son, the one last thing that he had been wanting to do for so long. Victoria came to visit Paul; it could be that she forgave him after he fought for justice in the end, or she wants him punished for his past actions.

- Advertisement -
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
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.

Must Read

DMT Guide

More Like This