‘The Brothers Sun’ Ending Explained & Series Summary: Will Frank Ma Be Killed?


Netflix’s action-comedy series, The Brothers Sun, starts fun, but the predictable plot and one-dimensional characters left us disappointed. Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once) is perhaps the only reason to watch this eight-episode series. She delivers a promising performance and keeps the interest going, but an actor can do only so much. The episodes feel unnecessarily lengthy, and there is an obvious lack of logic in several circumstances.

At the center of The Brothers Sun, we have the Sun family, a Chinese gangster family with a thriving presence in Taipei. The Sun brothers, Charles and Bruce, were separated when they were young. Charles lived in Taipei with his father, Big Sun, and grew up to become a killing machine. Bruce moved to Los Angeles with his mother, Eileen, and he studied to become a doctor. Bruce had no idea about his family, and when Charles traveled to Los Angeles in search of his mother and brother, chaos was unleashed.

Spoiler Alert

Plot Summary: What Is The Series About?

Charles was one of the best assassins in Taipei, and his only secret was his love for baking. He was trying to perfect a cake recipe when three killers attacked him at his apartment. Charles managed to murder all three killers, and his father stepped out of hiding to make sure his son was well. While Charles immediately concluded that it was Sleepy Chan’s men who attacked him, his father was not as confident. He believed there were better opportunities to kill Charles if someone wanted to harm him, and he scolded his son for not keeping alive one of the assassins to find out the truth. It did not take much time for them to find out the actual purpose behind sending men to Charles’ apartment. The ones who attacked knew that Big Sun would come out of hiding if his son was harmed, and they were successful in doing so. A bullet from the next building went straight into Big Sun’s body, and he collapsed in his son’s arms. Before going unconscious, he mentioned his wife’s name, Hsiao Han. Charles was taught from a young age that his sole purpose was to protect his family, and he knew that his father wanted him to protect his mother and brother. The attackers followed Charles to Los Angeles and into his mother’s modest household. Thankfully, no one was at home, and Charles managed to take care of the assassin. Eileen (Hsiao Han) was glad to see her son, but she was aware of the mess he brought along.

Who Were The Boxers?

It was initially assumed that Sleepy Chan’s men were behind the sudden killings, but eventually, in The Brothers Sun, we find out that there was a rebel group working against the Taiwanese Triad heads. The gang members always sported red ribbons, and they believed in the motto, “The Riddance of Evil must be thorough.” The gang mostly consisted of young members, and they confronted Eileen to name the tribe heads; they operated almost like ghosts, and the rebel gang could not find every member. They did not have a chance with Eileen, but Bruce was a weak target. Eileen had taught Bruce all the secrets she knew to help him save his life if he ever ended up in danger. Well, danger had always been looming around Bruce. We eventually figure out that Bruce’s romantic interest, Grace, was one of the leading members of Boxers. She had befriended Bruce, knowing that he was a weakling and that he would make it easier for them to keep an update on the Sun family. Bruce invited Grace to the hideout to spend quality time, and when she invited him to the NGO she worked at, he happily accompanied her. Upon reaching the NGO, he realized it was a trap. Everyone around him was wearing the same red ribbon he had come to fear.

The Boxers consisted of victims of the crime syndicate who were out for revenge. Grace’s parents were illegal immigrants smuggled to the United States by snakeheads. They were forced to pay off their debts in Chinese restaurants, and they were treated with complete disrespect. Grace grew up witnessing the mistreatment of her parents at the hands of powerful individuals. She watched her parents being mercilessly killed when they protested against the injustice. She eventually joined the non-profit organization and connected with more individuals with a similar past. The Boxers intended to push back the organized crime syndicate that had started working against its own people. Bruce did not have much of a stand about the entire situation; all he cared about was having his old life back. He assumed that the only way he could protect his mother and his brother was by assisting the Boxers. But Bruce was unaware that his mother had planned everything well ahead. She knew that Bruce would fall weak and name the ghosts sitting at the top of the triads if he was ever in danger. Eileen traveled to Taipei and warned every leader about the possible threat, and when the Boxers attacked, they were grateful to Eileen for her assistance. Eileen planned to win favor, and Bruce unknowingly helped her with it.

How did the restaurant killing affect Big Sun’s plan?

Bruce could not accept his mother’s sudden inclination toward the crime world. He struggled to recognize her anymore, and when she expressed her desire to be named the Dragon Head, he was completely shaken. A dragon head is the head of the syndicate who would be responsible for marking territories, resolving disputes, maintaining peace, and, if needed, calling for war. Eileen had obeyed her husband all her life, and when the need came, she agreed to start her life afresh in Los Angeles. But her only condition was that her husband must inform her if anyone close to her needs her. When Eileen contacted her mother upon reaching Taipei, she found out that her sister had passed away. She could not forgive Big Sun for betraying her trust, and she decided it was time she did what her heart desired. After living in her husband’s shadow, Eileen was ready to lead the crime syndicate. Da Sun was admitted to the hospital, and she had managed to win the trust of the heads of the Triads. It was important to choose a new dragon head given the circumstances, and Eileen knew she had the best chance. But Big Sun was not as inactive as Eileen assumed him to be. The man had been pretending to be unconscious to stay out of trouble, but he had his eyes and ears all around. Xing secretly worked for Da Sun and kept him updated about everything that had transpired in LA.

Bruce was not happy about the entire situation. He had hoped that the Boxers would destroy the triads and that his family would finally leave their criminal lives behind, but none of that came true. Bruce was not ready to give up easily, and he decided to seek Grace’s help once again. After losing several of her gang members, Grace was not interested in meeting Bruce, but he caught her attention with a very sweet deal. He informed Grace about the grand meeting that was to take place. Grace realized this would be the only time she would get all her targets under one roof, and she had no intention of missing out on the opportunity. Bruce believed he was protecting his family by snitching to the Boxers, as silly as it might sound! He started to doubt his decision when he watched Charles get dressed for the meeting. He found it impossible to wait in the hotel room and decided to head to the restaurant where the meeting was taking place.

Bruce did not expect his mother to be there at the meeting after his father had announced that Charles would be the next leader. Eileen had no intention of giving up on the position, and as it turned out in The Brothers Sun episode 7, some of the members of the syndicate were willing to hear Eileen out. While Eileen did have a good chance, circumstances were not in her favor. Not only were the Boxers ready to disrupt the meeting, but the FBI had also managed to find their way to the building. Alexis had strategically placed a tracking device in Charles’ phone when she had access to it, and it eventually helped her get close to the heads of the Triads.

Why did Charles disobey his father?

By the time Bruce realized he had messed up, it was too late. The police and the Boxers had entered the building, and it ultimately led to complete mayhem. Bruce managed to find Eileen in the chaos, and the two escaped from the location. Meanwhile, Charles assisted his father, and once again he lived up to his nickname, Chair Leg. It became obvious to Charles and Big Sun that it was Bruce who had informed the Boxers. Charles was ordered by his father to execute Bruce. Eileen, too, was upset with Bruce’s decision to betray his family. Even though he believed he was protecting everyone, he did not realize that he alone wanted his old life back. Eileen had always dreamed of leading the syndicate, and now that she was so close, her son ruined her chance. She was disappointed in him for making a vital decision on her behalf without ever consulting her. Bruce soon realized he had made a stupid mistake.

Charles stormed into the motel room Bruce and Eileen were staying in. He attacked his brother and wanted to pull the trigger on him, but he could not make himself do it. Charles could not return to his father without killing Bruce, but at the same time, he simply could not kill his brother. Eileen helped Charles realize how his father had always manipulated him into being his protective shield. Charles was never given a choice, and at the end of The Brothers Sun episode 8, Charles found out that the first time he killed a man was not in an assassination attempt, as he was made to believe, but a test that his father organized. His father had decided his future long before he could make a sound decision. Charles realized his life had been a lie, but instead of escaping from his father, he decided to face him.

Did Bruce kill his father?

Big Sun cared about nothing more than his business, and the sudden deaths and arrests of the gang leaders provided him with the opportunity to take over all the businesses and run everything through Jade Dragon. He waited for Charles to travel back to Taiwan to execute his plan. Charles returned to the safe house and confessed to his father that he did not kill Bruce. He added that he was not ready to live the criminal life again and that he wanted a fresh start. Big Sun believed that America had destroyed his son, and he sternly stated that there was no life beyond the one they were bestowed with. He scoffed at Charles’s decision to stay back in the United States to live his life on his own terms. Big Sun instructed Xing to complete the task he had assigned Charles. Charles tried to stop Xing, but he ended up getting arrested. Eileen managed to choke Xing to death, and soon after, Bruce received a call from Alexis. Bruce agreed to get his brother talking, but his only condition was that the surveillance cameras inside the room had to be shut down. Once Bruce met Charles, he confided in him that he intended to kill their father. He believed it was a step that he had to take to protect his family. Charles did not stop Bruce and instead suggested a few tips to get the job perfectly done.

In The Brothers Sun Episode 8, Bruce finally pointed his gun at his father. But, to his surprise, the man was not startled by it. He praised Bruce for having the courage to confront him instead of hiding away like his elder son. He offered Bruce the chance to rebuild the empire with him, and he assumed that the opportunity would help him cut a deal with his son, but Bruce had no interest in it. He simply wanted peace back in his life, for his mother and brother to be safe, and for Big Sun to die, or at least be injured. Bruce shot at his father, and his college education finally came to an end as he found the perfect spot on Big Sun’s body to shoot at. None of his major organs were damaged, but at the same time, Big Sun had to call the ambulance to get help. Bruce knew that once he was brought into the hospital with a bullet wound, the police would be informed about it. Alexis was glad when she found out that Big Sun was admitted to a hospital; she could finally build her case. 

Why Does Eileen And Charles Return To Taiwan?

During The Brothers Sun‘s ending, Eileen finally decided to head back to Taiwan to take over the family business. She intended to win the trust of the gang members and remake the Triads. Bruce finally realized how important it was to allow the people he loved to do what they desired. He learned to let his mother live the life she had always dreamed of. Bruce got his old life back, and he also had a fancy car to flaunt now. Meanwhile, after getting released from interrogation, Eileen advised Charles to live his dream. She offered to help him start his own bakery, but he ultimately decided to assist his mother. He knew it was his duty to protect his family, and he believed spending time with his mother would help him get to know her better. 

Will Frank Ma Be Killed?

Before leaving for Taipei, Eileen had injected a dose of insulin into Big Sun. She falsified his medical document, and as a result, he was regularly injected with insulin even though he was non-diabetic. The wrong treatment resulted in the deterioration of Big Sun’s health. He was useless to the police because he could not speak, and he was equally unimportant to his enemies now.

The Brothers Sun‘s end-credit scene reveals that Big Sun’s right-hand man, Yuan, discusses his case with a lawyer, who admits that apart from Frank Ma’s testimony, there was no evidence. It is evident that Frank Ma will be found and killed before the trial. Possibly it is Eileen who has ordered her men to take care of the case to once again make their entire operation anonymous. But considering Yuan was a loyal soldier to Big Sun, it is also likely that he intends to continue to serve his master. Maybe Yuan will rescue Big Sun and help him take back his business in Taipei from Eileen.

What will happen to Bruce in America?

Bruce is happy to have his old life back. The ending suggests that he will continue to pursue his medical degree and, at the same time, follow his passion for improv. Bruce had always dreamed of owning luxury items, and it is reasonable to assume that he will always receive impressive gifts from his family. Money will never be an issue for Bruce, but the question is: will his peace last for long? Considering his identity is no longer a secret, it is doubtful that he will get away as easily. Enemies of Eileen and Charles will hunt him down, and he will once again have to get involved in the family business. Big Sun will never forgive Bruce and if he returns, he will make sure to turn Bruce’s life into a living hell. 

Will Eileen Be Able To Reunite The Triads?

Since most of the heads of the triads are either behind bars or killed, Eileen will try and execute the plan Big Sun came up with while waiting for Charles at the safe house. The idea was to convince all the gang members to join Jade Dragon and run all the businesses through it. Eileen will face initial resistance because a woman is not readily considered for such a position, but since she will have Charles’ support, she might be able to convince her targets. Also, Eileen is brilliant when it comes to winning favors, and we can assume that with a little blood and some sweet gestures, she will manage to convince at least a portion of gang members. Big Sun’s loyal supporters might end up causing trouble, especially if they find out that their leader will possibly make a return. The story has a long way to go, and we can definitely expect a second season of The Brothers Sun.

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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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