The Spy: Netflix: Ending Explained Breakdown, Spoiler Review And Real Life Story Of Eli Cohen. I discuss the new show starring Sacha Baron Cohen.
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The Spy Plot Recap
The Spy centers around Israel’s top Mossad spy Eli Cohen ironically played by Sasha Baron Cohen. Eli is an Egyptian Jew was a key player in smuggling Jewish people out of Egypt but since then, life has become slightly mundane for him. Eli starts the show as a lowly typist in an office, often looked down upon by those in upper society but after being recruited by the Israeli government he slowly finds himself on a downward spiral that sees the man losing his family, life and even identity.
Eli is a natural when it comes to espionage and the character is played expertly by Cohen who perfectly portrays all of the subtle nuances that lace the performance with a subtly that makes Eli engaging, methodical but also dangerous. Even with a mustache that should scream Borat to people, Cohen still completely avoids this stereotyping and makes the role his own. You can tell that Cohen put a lot of work into this and it’s an authentic and believable performance that beautifully showcases the conflict of a man leading a double life that is based on lies and mistrust.
There’s an air of Schindler’s List about the piece with a man using his charms to integrate with society and it’s clear that Eli is very skilled at befriending and manipulating people.
The Spy Ending
When a bloody coup against the government is staged, which he is instrumental in it becomes clear that Eli may be in over his head, acting as a double agent that has helped to topple a government in order to complete his mission.
Eli comes face to face with the Bin Ladens and a young Osama as he slowly works his way up the ladder in the penultimate episode but the sharks slowly start to circle him, suspecting that there is a spy in their organisation. Eli is asked to be the new deputy minister of defense.
The Real-Life Story Of Eli Cohen
In real life, Cohen asked to leave the operation to witness the birth of his third child just before his eventual capture but Israeli intelligence ask him to return to Syria one more time which ended up being his last visit for all the wrong reasons. It’s a heartbreaking element to the story that really shows just how tragic the entire ordeal was.
Eli is tortured and interrogated and after being found guilty of espionage at a military tribunal and he sentenced to death. Israel did try to get the spy freed through a campaign of clemency but this fell on deaf ears even with the intervention of Prime ministers and the pope. Syria went ahead with the execution and in his final letter, Cohen wrote:
…I am begging you, my dear Nadia, not to spend your time in weeping about something already passed. Concentrate on yourself, looking forward for a better future!
The Spy Ending Explained
Eli was executed on the 18th of May 1965 in Damascus but his legacy lives on. In the finale we see a moth fly into a lightbulb and die and this works as a metaphor for the entire show. Like a moth to the flame, Cohen knew he was in danger but he couldn’t resist the allure of power. His ambition drove him and allowed the man to work his way up from a lowly desk clerk to someone that was considered for a huge position of power.
He flew too close to the Sun however and had he flat out refused to return to the country he would likely still be alive today. The government too do not come off scott free in the show either and it highlights just how expendable they view those as that they rely on the most. We watch in the finale that the government is still trying to recruit spies and Eli remains merely a statistic even though he helped to establish the intel
Instrumental by Homage