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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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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