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‘Spenser Confidential’ Ending, Explained

March 6, 2020
5 min read

Netflix’s ‘Spenser Confidential’ is a crime drama that follows the story of a man who will stop at nothing in his quest for truth and justice. Laced with comedy and full of action, the film offers the entertainment that you can expect from a Mark Wahlberg film. The film centres on a mystery that expands as the protagonist digs deeper into it. Here we take a look at what it means for Spenser and the corrupt police department he had left behind. If you haven’t yet seen the film, catch it on Netflix. SPOILERS AHEAD

Plot Summary

Spenser is sent to prison for beating a fellow officer. He spends five years in prison, but the day that he returns, the same cop is killed. While he is interrogated as a potential suspect, another cop is pinned down as the murderer. Spenser knows that there is something fishy about the case, especially because the cop he had beaten was corrupt to the bone. When the cops close the case, he decides to look into it on his own and makes some startling revelations along the way.

Who is the bad cop?

When Spenser had still been on the force, he was partnered with Driscoll. When Gloria was murdered and he discovered that nothing was being done about the overwhelming evidence at their disposal, he knew someone was blocking the investigation. He tried to bring the matter to his superiors, but again, had to face the opposition of Boylan. This convinced Spenser that Boylan was deep into something corrupt and he had to find out what it was if he wanted to bring justice to Gloria.

He visited his house to question the man, but when he saw that he had interrupted Boylan beating his wife, his anger got the best of him. He had been close to Gloria’s family and the fact that they were in pain and did not get justice for their daughter was already weighing heavy on him. Boylan gave him yet another reason to lash out, which landed Spenser in prison.

One thing was for sure, Boylan was not acting alone. This becomes much clearer when on the day that he is released from prison, Boylan is killed. What’s more interesting is that even though Boylan was much loved, which resulted in other cops hating Spenser, his murder was being covered up. Another cop, who everyone knew was honest, was being set-up for it. This meant that Boylan had done something to receive the wrath of the people with whom he had been colluding. While following the trail of evidence, Spenser also discovers that FBI, too, is looking into the matter, which means there is much more to the whole corruption than meets the eye.

It is when Driscoll lies to him about not having visited Boylan’s murder site that he suspects something. Previously, he had had no reason to believe that his ex-partner could be a crooked cop. He had been nothing but good to him, and also sent all those books for him while he was in prison. But if he really was a good and dedicated cop, why wasn’t he looking more ferociously into the murder of another cop, and what was his chew stick doing on the crime scene, the one he had never visited? It turns out that Driscoll was the main bad guy all along.

The Ending

With the help of Hawk, Spenser puts together the whole picture. Terence Graham had been helping the FBI to gain intel from Boylan. The crooked cop wanted to cut a deal, giving up the people he had been in business with to not get prison time. However, Driscoll and the others came to know about it. So, they killed both Boylan and Graham and made it look like the latter had committed the murder-suicide.

What was really happening is that Driscoll and the other cops were in the drug business. Gloria’s activism was creating problems for them to create a casino in Wonderland, which would have been a front for their operations. This is why they got her killed and Driscoll and Boylan shut down the investigation. Somewhere along the way, the FBI came to know about them and they made Boylan flip. But that did not work out so well for him.

In the end, after a dramatic showdown between Spenser and Driscoll and his men, he finds enough evidence to prove what Driscoll had been doing all along. The journalist that had been digging around the same thing wanted something so unshakeable that no sort of argument could render it inadmissible. It had to be more than a video which could be called a fake, audio that could be called tampered, and theories that could be shrugged off as mere conjecture. He had gone down that road before and he knew that the corrupt cops had enough power at their disposal to shut down the investigation as soon as it started to turn into something substantial.

To counter this, Spenser gets both the drugs and the culprits in the same place. This way, there is no room for error. With the help of the previous evidence, they expose the whole operation. This also helps clear the name of Terence Graham and brings justice to his family.

In the last scene, as Spenser starts to turn back towards his initial plan of moving to Arizona, he sees another man on the television, someone he knows is a good man, being arrested for a crime that he could not have committed. This means that Spenser is not going anywhere anytime soon. He is jumping onto this case and there is a good chance that Hawk will put his own MMA plans at rest too, for a while, at least.

Read More: Spenser Confidential Review

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