Gloria Season 1 Finale: Recap, Review & Ending Explained

New Man

Joao joining the KGB

Episode 10 of Gloria Season 1 begins this finale 6 months earlier to the events of our story. Joao shoots a man dead in the middle of the streets as he gets a bit handsy with a young lady. Now, we soon find out that this guy is James Earl Ray, the man responsible for killing Martin Luther King.

Joao heads into a club and meets Alexandre, expressing how disillusioned he is with the war effort in Africa. As they talk, Joao reveals that he’s been attending a lot of communist meetings over the weeks. It seems this is the turning point for joining the KGB, with his time in the war being the big trigger.

Is Joao caught?

Back in the present, Goncalo’s news is met with a desire to try and bring Joao in. They’re clever, using Goncalo as a messenger to organize a dinner. Joao gladly accepts, while the pair continue to find themselves worked over by Ambassador Parker. He directs traffic with building the new antenna, and even makes plans to have Anne replaced. The order comes directly from Richard Helms in Washington too, so there’s no way back from this.

That evening, Goncalo breaks into Joao’s apartment and begins looking around while Joao entertains the other operators. Unlike Bill, Goncalo is wise and checks the toilet basin. There, he finds the hidden tapes for Wilson and Anne. With his worst fears confirmed, Goncalo rings Henrique and lets him know.

Only, when Goncalo shows up at the meeting spot with the tapes in his pockets, the meet is intercepted and he’s caught red-handed with the tapes. It certainly doesn’t look good, and makes him look like the dirty spy in all this. Henrique has completely played him.

What is Ramiro’s secret?

With Sofia missing, Ramiro remains determined to find his wife. Joao hops along for the ride, pointing a gun at Ramiro the whole time as they head up to the cabin by the lake. There, Ramiro reveals all. He was the one who killed Mia, smacking her upside the head with a pan that night. It wasn’t a hammer after all, and it comes off the back of Mia doing her best to protect her lover from Ramiro.

Joao has the situation taken care of, killing Ramiro and staging the scene so it looks like Sofia is shot by him before he turned the gun on himself. Now, the attack on RARET is being organized by Joao, but while it was originally supposed to be on the antenna, Alexandre changes his mind and decides he wants the explosive actually inside the building.

What happens between Joao and his father?

News of Ramiro and Sofia’s death reaches Wilson, while Henrique arrives to see his son, asking about the antenna. He hands over the tapes and demands he take a walk. Now it becomes clear that Henrique was the one behind detaining Goncalo to protect his own son. Goncalo, as we soon find out, is beaten down to a pulp and forced to a sign a confession that he was the mole.

Joao meanwhile, is forced out the country by his father. He’s going to be shipped out and away from Gloria. The official story is that he’s taking care of family. Unofficially? Well, that’s up to Joao to figure out. As Henrique hands over his tickets, he gets back in his car and drives away.

How does Gloria Season 1 end?

Joao heads into RARET one last time and plants the explosive, just as Alexandre commanded. Given he’s leaving anyway, there’s nothing left for him now. As he drives off, RARET blows up while Henrique heads into the cell to find Goncalo shivering and naked on the floor.

The final scenes show Joao heading up to see Mia, who’s actually still alive and telling her they can leave now.

The Episode Review

The finale resolves most of the big plot points here but it does so with an open conclusion too for a possible second season follow-up. The show has done an okay job to keep things interesting, but the soapy melodrama has sometimes felt a little dominating to the main espionage story.

The actual drama involving Joao and his torn allegiance to the KGB, and to those at RARET is a nice touch though, especially when he covers for Goncalo early in the season. Only, the irony is that Goncalo is the one who discovers the truth about him.

Interestingly, Henrique covers for his son but the ending seems to hint that he and Goncalo may actually end up working together in the future – we shall see.

Either way though, Gloria bows out with a decent enough conclusion, although there are big question marks over where this one could go next.

So what did you guys think? Did you enjoy Gloria? What did you think of the ending? Let us know in the comments below!

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You can check out our full season review for Gloria here!


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26 thoughts on “Gloria Season 1 Finale: Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. They never explained what was in the note the boy handed Carolina. I suspect the note was from Joaz and a request to meet at the tower location to escape and it was Carolina who was there in the final scene. Joaz’s point of view was already shown to be unreliable. He first imagined he shot James Earl Ray before replaying the event where he in fact didn’t. So he probably thought he saw or wanted to see Mia when in fact it was Carolina. If Mia had been alive all along and only presumed dead, she could’ve escaped before the show started. The KGB thought she was dead from Day 1. Finding the killer didn’t give her an alibi to escape with – she already had one. Not to mention she was a lesbian, in love with Sophia, so why would Joaz attempt to run away with her at all?

  2. Hey, MaryL: It was not Sophia who had an armless baby. It was an Ann and Bill’s employee. She later committed suicide by drowning, with the baby in her arms.

    We enjoyed this series, although we wish it had been less violent, and not as complicated to follow. We did believe it was not Mia’s body found in the water, and understood that it was Mia in the “tower” at the end.

  3. I love spy thrillers and enjoyed Gloria. It is a very stylish and well done series capturing (for me) a little known historical event. I agree with the previous comments regarding the incredibly high body count and unnecessary deaths i.e. Miguel and Sofia and the inexplicable appearance of Mia. Also, Joao was a far more interesting character before he turned into a ruthless killing machine. I would definitely watch season two.

  4. Mia IS still alive. Vidal needed to convince KGB (as well as PIDE and the Americans) that she was dead and her murderer was killed, in order to start a new life with Mia out of KGB. Vidal is going to do the same with himself, i.e. fake his own death and start a new life in Brazil. Vidal probably got involved with KGB for Mia, not for commitment to communism.

  5. I found the TV series to be very educational and thoughtful, although a bit confusing at times. Watching events and behaviors of a different time and places is useful to think about history. I tended to despise the evil Russian KGB leader, but that needed to be put into the perspective of the more refined and many more activities of the US CIA and State Dept. Interesting. Also, I find it a bit funny that some people object to things like the abuse of women and smoking. It is a realistic view of different times and cultures. It is good to see that 50 years latter and in other places, some of those things have changed. The many comments about the appearance of Mia at the end of the last episode surprised me. Did the show say or imply that woman was Mia? I didn’t catch it. Although Joao was a bit delusional at times. Why the scene of the killing James Earl Ray was included is a mystery to me. Although in reality he did travel to Portugal, he was later arrested in the UK. Maybe Joao dreamt and acted as if he was doing good deeds. So, for him, killing enemies, and threats to the KGB (eg. Sofia and Ramiro) made sense. Yes, I want to know what Jaoa (and new friend) and the KGB do in Brazil.

  6. Last episode good until last scene where Joao meets Mia (who is supposedly dead) and says “let’s go”. On that confusing note I hope this series isn’t extended..Joao is a ruthless killer and needs to be brought to justice not granted another season . Let’s go with a season “mercy killing”…. please.

  7. I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought the last episode made no sense! And did everyone forget they showed Sophia having the baby and it was armless? I Renner her giving the baby to Anne at the hospital and Anne saying Sophia needed help she Wasn’t well. And then I thought that was her that drowned herself with the baby. So how did Joao kill her and Romiro very confusing! They need to get the writers to explain these inconsistencies.
    I too was enjoying the espionage part of the story, it seemed he gradually progressed to be an uncaring killer.

  8. Agree! Last chapter is a big disappointment! And for next season, please minimize the smoking. It seemed like cigarette advertising. It was suffocating! Also, it would be good know if KGB infiltration at RARET was so intense. Did they really blow up the facility? Never heard that before.

  9. Just confused as to when yer American fella suddenly learnt Portuguese? His pork and cheese is pretty appalling throughout but when he gets the call about Ramiro and Sophia’s bodies, he suddenly understands just fine…

    As for Mia’s appearance at the end, I don’t know why she is there or why she is wearing that hideous wig.

    Looking forward to the next season, those KGB lads are snacks.

  10. In the final scene, it was not Mia in the lighthouse. I think that it was Irina, the other KGB agent that could kill people without so much as a thought. I think that Joao genuinely loved Mia and came to Gloria just for her. Upon finding her missing, then dead, he set out to solve who the killer was and exact revenge. In the end, that is why Ramiro and Sophia were killed. After that, it would make some sense for Joao to leave with Irina rather than Carolina as he had bedded them both, but Carolina really wasn’t going to fit in with his amoral existence whereas Irina was his equal in that regard.

  11. Did every character (with the exception of Carolina, Sofia and the other village women) have to be a chain smoker? Watching them continuously smoke made me want to gag. Too many killings, too much smoke, and no plausible explanation for killing Ramiro and Sofia. And the plot line of Jaoa’s obsession with Mia doesn’t hold together at all if he knew she was alive all along. I considered abandoning the series half way through but stuck with it. I won’t watch a second season, though. Way too much gratuitous violence and mistreatment of women.

  12. Gripping, some good dialogues about the cold war period, impeccable recreation of settings, attitudes, affects. The last episode is such a let down. It seems that the writers went on holidays and left with the kitty, so some mindless drudge wrote the ending with all the trappings of the usual drivel we have been served from Portuguese language soaps

  13. I was expecting all of the loose ends to be tied up. instead we were given an implausible explanation. If Jaoa knows Mia is alive, why search for her killers? Maybe the writer’s intent was that Mia was in on the deception and pretended to love Sophia in order to get her jealous husband to think he killed her. But if that was part of the ruse, Jaoa would know that and not have to search for her killer. We’re trapped in circular logic.

  14. It seems as if Mia had no interest in men so why was Joao obsessed with her?
    Did he really shoot James Earl ray or imagine it…..Hard to tell what was in his imagination.
    At the end was that really Mia or just his imagination?
    Too many questions in what good have been a good series, however it did string me along.

  15. it looked to me that the ending showing Henrique walking into Goncalo’s cell, hinted to the fact that Henrique was also a KGB agent. He could recruit Goncalo in exchange for his life/freedom.

    EVERYBODY was an agent. They all hated the Americans.

    Glad they killed Ramiro, stereotypically misogynistic, unbearable character.

    If you know anything abt rich boys from prominent families in Portugal, they play with servants but never elope with them. They prefer pseudo-intellectual foreigners, as long as they’re good looking AND obedient. Hahaha

  16. Having Mia alive and Joao somehow knowing it all along makes no sense. The only way that Mia is there is if it’s his imagination. Like killing James Earl Ray. He arrives and imagines she is there. We pan to see a single shadow or silhouette. He achieves his mission of revenge. His story is done. Why push with the doctor if she was alive? To see if the fake body was convincing? To know what kind of wound she had? I thought it was going to be Carolina at the end, with her husband’s gun to take out Joao: Raret is taken out, Joao is neutralized, Carolina can have revenge because she knows Joao will never take her away, Henrique still covers for his son, Concalo is still the fall guy, the Communists are the bad guys, Anne never gets proven right.

  17. I liked it until the end becaus4 it made Jaoa’s search for Mia meaningless. Also throughout the series he seemed like his life This was made painful by not having me in it, But she did not seem like a very strong reason for a man to be so obsessed. I also didn’t like the hideous treatment received by Carolina is by Carolina throughout the series, And then I realized what a misogynistic culture she lived in. Some of the characters were a little soap Opera types, And some of the violence was a little gratuitous. Also showed how Portugal could probably have maintained good relationships with its former colonies but instead chose to constantly engaged in wars with them.

  18. I enjoyed the series till the last episode – and then realised that nothing made sense. Mia showing up alive in the end raises unanswerable questions. If she was alive, and Joao knew that, then one of the major aspects of the series _- Joao’s search for Mia – falls flat. Also, why are Ramiro and Sofia killed? They are not agents. Their killing is pointless. Why would the KGB agent even help Joao kill them?
    If Mia was alive, then whose body showed up in the river? And why was Wilson so keen to hush up the manner of death of that person (Mia) going to the extent of threatening the doctor?

  19. Tried to like this but it just doesn’t work. My Dad was an US operative in Spain after the war. I had hoped that there would be some kind of tie into the reality of those cold war times, but this was just a brutal incoherent soap opera. No interest in seeing anything further from this group.

  20. entertaining, but way too many lapses & writer/director not gifted enough to tell a compelling story & connect-the-dots, making series somewhat frustrating. Mia’s body never shown; however, the scene where she is hit with a plate by Ramiro & left to die, is shown – duh??? why was Sophia killed? she was leaving and could care less about exposing Joao – senseless. Joao – misguided, and totally manipulated, became 1-dimensional, & basically an unfeeling killer, whereas the writers tried to make him into something he wasn’t. Could James Wilson be any more moronic? “Helms” should have kept Anne as CIA head. Mia – seriously? we were led to believe she was having an affair with Sophia, no connecting the dots relating to a love interest in men! enjoyed show, but upon reflection, a “C” at best. could have been much better.

  21. Hey Daniel, you’re absolutely right. I just rewatched that segment again and paused it over Mia’s face. I think the location, that being the same place Carolina patched up Joao earlier in the season, threw me off. I assumed Carolina left Fernando, got herself a new haircut and identity to fool the authorities and leave for Brazil.

    Thanks for the correction, it’s very much appreciated!

    -Greg W

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