The Defeated Finale: Recap, Review & Ending Explained


Do Max and Elsie catch the Angel Maker?

Episode 8 of The Defeated begins this finale with Max and Elsie following the clues and arriving at Gladow’s hideout. They work together, making their way swiftly to the main office.

The Angel Maker holds up Elsie at knifepoint but a swift headbutt sees Max take advantage, fire a well-timed shot and capture the man alive.

Sporting a bloodied shoulder and a nasty gun wound, Max takes Gladow down to the station for questioning. Unfortunately Elsie’s “scarecrows” have suffered a nasty blow, with five dead. Now that Anne Friedrich’s killer has been apprehended, Elsie contemplates whether to throw the diary away. Max however, believes she should hold onto it.

Does Elsie manage to get any information from Gladow?

Angel Maker is brought in the station but on a tight window. They have two hours until American intelligence arrive; the pair have little time to get answers. With Tom Franklin out the loop for now, Gad teams up with Elsie to try and squeeze information from Gladow.

In the dingy recesses of the basement, the pair sit with the Angel Maker, start the recording and start questioning him. Gladow is pretty smug, even going on to taunt Elsie, telling her he’s the one who started the war.

Gladow plays dumb too, claiming he doesn’t know who Karin is. Instead, he turns the interrogation around and mentions how he knows who Elsie is.

Over a decade ago she had ovaritis and Hans Vogel was her doctor back then. The expert he consulted? Yup, none other than Gladow himself! The irony here is that Gladow is directly responsible for saving her life – and now his hangs by a thread with Elsie stuck in the middle.

Gladow continues to play dumb and eventually asks for General Howley or General Clay. He’ll disclose information to them but has had enough of this “charade” with Elsie.

Knowing what the justice system is like, and that Gladow holds all the cards, it seems like the Angel Maker is going too get away with murder.

Where is Moritz?

Max meanwhile heads up to visit Tom at his estate but finds him gone. The driver is gagged and tied in the car, along with a note leading Max up to the farmhouse.

With Moritz maniacal and with Tom tied down, he pours glue over the man’s feet and forces him to suck on a Nazi tooth otherwise hell suffer from a nasty fate involving a candle, gunpowder and glue.

Moritz starts to read out his sick book called “Max and Moritz” detailing all of his trophy killings. While he does, Max finds his way to the estate. Outside, he finds Claire alive but knocked out in the car. Thanks to some quick CPR, he brings her back and manages to save the woman.

Tom’s screams echo through the air, bringing Max up to the attic. His superior is in a bad way, tied down to the floor and sporting blackened limbs. However, he’s still alive. And out the shadows steps Moritz.

What happened between the brothers in the past?

The final episode of The Defeated finally gives more context to what happened between Moritz and Max in the past. On that fateful night, they watched helplessly as their Father killed their Mother. Moritz shot their Dad – but not fatally.

With their Father still alive, Moritz stepped forward and shot him again, which seems to be the moment the boy lost his grip on humanity and slipped away.

Moritz however, sees this as his purpose. He wants to make his life have meaning and that involves instilling these same beliefs on his son.

Max is having none of it. In fact, he shoots his brother in cold blood, stopping his reign and believing he’s dead. That is, until he leans over the edge and notices Moritz has gone. Blood spatters in the hay serve as a final remnant of Moritz’s memory, who has high-tailed it away.

What happens to the Angel Maker?

Tom’s awakening brings Max to stand over him, demanding he listen to Elsie from now on and follow her guidance. If not? Well, let’s just say he’s going to swinging from the rafters sooner rather than later.

Bob Travis takes over interview duties with the Angel Maker. With Elsie watching from afar, she notices that Gladow has dirt on a lot of people. With the recording bearing no fruit, Elsie watches helplessly as he’s taken away.

In the wake of this though, Max speaks to Gad outside, telling him he’s a good cop. It’s a really nice reflection on the events that have transpired and a good bit of character growth for the pair. Max heads over to a bridge, where he symbolically throws the gun in the water below, finally deciding not to see his brother anymore and giving up on his search.

As Elsie heads back inside her apartment, she finds Leopold alive and well. A note writing “You are free now” serves as a nice touch, as this scene provides a good cathartic release. Of course, Leopold has tuberculosis and with the Dr telling Gladow he doesn’t have much time left, this “free now” is really only temporary.

How does The Defeated end?

The final scene of the series sees two German farmers find Moritz by the side of the road. The bloodied and battered brother awakens briefly, with labored breathing, asking to be brought to Italy.

Meanwhile, Karin finds a couple of German children who just so happen to be the two daughters of Trude. Of course, Trude was killed by the Angel Maker leaving these kids as orphans.

The “protect our children” is given a little more context here, as the bottom half reads “They are the soldiers of tomorrow.” This helps to provide more context over just what Karin is up to next.

The Episode Review

The Defeated bows out with a decent finale, one that rounds out all the big plot points while leaving enough of the table for a possible follow-up. The lack of a resolution with Moritz and the implication that Angel Maker will be absolutely fine – thanks to the information he holds – may irk some people, especially those expecting a more resolute conclusion.

However, all of our protagonists do get a decent send-off, including Max who symbolically throws the gun away at the end. It seems he’s about ready to let go of his brother now and move on with his life. Seeing Gad become a great police officer at the end is a nice arc for him, while Karin’s mission looks to be in full swing – a far cry from her early moments of despair in the show.

Overall, The Defeated ends with a decent conclusion, one that bows out this 8 episode post-war thriller with some good action and some closure for almost every character.



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7 thoughts on “The Defeated Finale: Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. OK so don’t trust voice command when writing a comment because it miss reads you.
    What happened to Claire in the end B of the TV show, The Defeated? We know what happened to Moritz because we find him dying at a tree.
    But Max was running looking for Claire and stopped in the middle of the field, and just stops looking and screams and walks away what the hell was that all about? Did you find your body? Then show it. I need a little more explanation, maybe I’m not too smart but I thought it was a pretty poor ending to a decent show.

  2. What an unimaginative ending to otherwise decent TV show. The psychotic brother unanswered Clair what happened to her he just stops looking forward to move a field? Or she dead lying there? They should’ve shown that. Poorly written episode eight

  3. Hey guys, thanks for commenting!

    @Jennifer – I’ve elaborated on that part of the post. The “fine now” bit was more in reference to his immediate danger rather than long-term. I’ve fleshed that bit of the article out so it should read better. Thanks for pointing that out!

    @Vicki – Thanks for the heads up! I’ve fleshed that bit out a lot more with that revised information. Thank you for that, it’s very much appreciated.

    -Greg W

  4. Karin doesn’t just find a couple of German children though. They were the two (now-orphaned) daughters of Trude, who was the German cop Karin abducted and the Angel Maker subsequently killed once he determined that she would no longer be of use to them. Karin had previously been at the home while the girls were sleeping in order to collect personal information about them as leverage to threaten Trude.

  5. Leopoldo was not fine though. He had tuberculosis and the Dr told Gadow he won’t see another sunrise despite their efforts to save him and keep his wife on the hook. So he let him go to spend his last night with her.

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