FUBAR (Season 1) Recap & Ending Explained: The Netflix show’s title, FUBAR, may sound peculiar at first glance. The term itself, an acronym for “Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition,” basically means extreme failure or looming destruction. However, the name aptly goes with the chaotic nature of the show’s events, where characters find themselves entangled in turbulent circumstances and face overwhelming odds.
FUBAR follows the lives of Luke Brunner and his daughter Emma who have been lying to one another about leading a double life as CIA operatives. However, when the truth finally comes to light, it completely shatters their understanding of each other. When assigned to the same case, Luke and Emma gradually learn about each other as they discover that trust and honesty are essential in navigating the complexities of their intertwined lives – building a bond beyond their shared profession.
FUBAR (Season 1) Recap:
Episode 1 – Take Your Daughter to Work Day
The first episode begins with a CIA agent Luke Brunner (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger), carrying out a mission in Antwerp to steal diamonds as a cover to expose a top diamond seller and his boss. He successfully retrieves the diamonds and returns home to New York, intending to retire.
At the home front, Luke faces family complications, including being divorced and wanting to reconcile with his ex-wife, Tally (Fabiana Udenio). However, his plans are interrupted when his colleague, Barry (Milan Carter), informs him about a dangerous situation involving an operative named Panda in Guyana. Panda is undercover with a criminal named Boro (Gabriel Luna), who plans to auction off a suitcase nuke. Luke, also known as Finn Hoss, is tasked with helping Panda and resolving the imminent threat.
In Guyana, Luke discovers that Panda is actually his daughter, Emma (Monica Barbaro), who has been working for the CIA for the last three years. Luke is upset about his perfect daughter lying to him all this time, but they must focus on the mission. They have a limited time frame to prevent Troy, Boro’s right-hand man, from exposing Panda’s true identity. Meanwhile, Luke receives a plea for help from William, who wants to save his family. Emma believes it’s a trap, but Luke is torn about helping them. Amidst arguments and conflicts between Luke and Emma, they accidentally kill someone and draw suspicion. With the nuke suitcase in their possession and William’s family rescued, Luke and Emma find themselves surrounded by Boro’s men at the airstrip, with Barry missing.
Episode 2 – Stole Train
After being surrounded by Boro and his men, Luke buys time by engaging Boro in discussing his father’s final moments while a helicopter arrives and provides cover fire. While Boro is able to escape the scene, Emma, at the same time, takes matters into her hand and tries to save Luke by killing one of the goons.
CIA director Dot (Barbara Eve Harris) decides that Luke and Emma must work together, despite their conflicts. We also get to know that Emma turned off her comms to prevent officers from being killed. Meanwhile, Luke hacks into Donnie’s (Andy Buckley) laptop to gather information and learns about his involvement in his son’s app.
Soon after, the group receives a briefing and discovers that Boro is still alive and planning another nuke auction. They learn he is in Kazakhstan, transporting Cesium 137 on a Maglev train. Luke and Emma attend mandatory therapy sessions, which causes more tension between the two. As they prepare for the mission, Luke compliments Emma for finding inconsistency with gear. Emma, on the other hand, struggles to lie to Carter (Jay Baruchel). During the operation, Luke makes a mistake due to miscommunication with Barry and speeds up the train, leading them toward disaster.
Episode 3 – Honeyplot
Episode 3 opens with Emma and Luke working together to slow down the train carrying the nuclear sludge. While their teamwork improves, Emma finds it challenging to balance her work and personal life, especially her relationship with her boyfriend, Carter. Meanwhile, Boro captures William and demands information about Luke and Emma. William only mentions the words “violin” and “Emma” before being tortured.
The NSA analyst, Tina (Aparna Brielle) who Barry has a crush on, joins Luke on his ship. They receive a bot alert about a kidnapped Moldovan scientist, Dr. Karl Novac, who knows about extracting nuclear material from waste. The team plans to use Aldon (Travis Van Winkle) as a honeypot to trap Nika Stalinovich, but to their misfortune, it turns out to be Nik A instead. Emma steps in and goes undercover while Luke and Roo try to locate Nik’s house. Meanwhile, Emma seduces Nik and manages to access his safe, stealing the hard copies of the research papers. However, she is soon caught by Nik, who points a gun at her, and the episode ends on a tense note.
Episode 4 – Armed & Dane-Gerous
The next episode shows us Luke saving Emma from a dangerous situation, and the group manages to escape without raising any suspicions. Meanwhile, we see a worried Emma contemplating the challenges of her job and her crumbling relationship with Carter. However, when Carter proposes to her in a grand gesture involving a violin, Emma feels pressured and says yes, causing tension between Luke and Carter. In the meantime, Boro interrogates Dr. Karl Novac to obtain the necessary components for his nuke briefcase.
During an engagement party, Luke discovers Tally has quit her job and suggests she work for him, leading to conflict with Barry. The team plans to use the imprisoned The Great Dane as bait to catch Boro but must break him out of a Turkish prison. Barry volunteers for the mission to impress Tina, while tensions rise between Luke and Aldon.
As Boro agrees to a meeting, the team scrambles to regain control of the situation, but The Great Dane escapes, leaving a message suggesting betrayal. Tensions escalate between Luke and Emma when she learns about Luke’s meeting with Carter and their truck being stolen.
Episode 5 – Here Today, Gone To-Marrow
We see an anxious Barry when Tina reveals that The Great Dane has run away with their truck. They need to find Dane to avoid more problems, but it turns out he wants to go back to prison for the sake of his children.
Meanwhile, Luke and Emma work together to retrieve stolen gear and prove Great Dane’s involvement. They use a wounded guard who resembles Dane to trick the thieves. On the other hand, we see Romi, who is sick, struggling, and needing a donor because of an adverse reaction to chemo. To help her out, Luke and Emma track down her father, Kyle, who demands a large sum of money. However, they convince him to help by offering a valuable diamond.
As the team discusses what to do with Boro, who has ties to terrorist organizations, Emma and Roo favor torture, but the others oppose it. Boro proposes a house arrest arrangement in Bora Bora, but if they decline, they will lose their chance to capture the buyers. Emma learns about an extradition order and is warned by Dot to control her behavior. Meanwhile, Luke discovers that Dot was scarred because of torture and not an IED explosion. Boro reveals that his buyers can be traced through the dark web, and they plan to film a video in a warehouse. However, the rival fitness twins observe their actions from afar.
Emma and the team face chaos at the warehouse while Kyle flees, prompting Emma, Barry, and Tina to search for him. They resort to bringing in a professional torturer to convince Kyle, leading to unexpected consequences. Boro intentionally gets captured to execute a ploy by Cain, causing Luke to reconsider and prioritize his family.
During these events, unexpectedly, we see Aldon and Emma share a kiss in the parking lot, and Carter, who happens to be there as well, notices this intimate moment. Tally receives a video of Kyle being tortured at Merry Fitness, leading her to question Luke’s involvement.
Episode 6 – Royally Flushed
Episode 6 opens with Luke sparring with Carter and realizing he is not a bad guy. Luke decides to be honest with Carter about Emma’s affair with Aldon and encourages him to talk to her. Meanwhile, Oscar plans to launch his app at Ralph’s bodega and invites Luke to join him. Emma and Aldon continue their affair, but Emma feels guilty about it. Luke suggests a family day off to help Emma refocus, but she prefers spending time with Carter instead.
Meanwhile, during a high-stakes card game, Dot calls a meeting and reveals their plan to target Cain, Boro’s right-hand man. The team aims to extract Cain’s GPS data to locate Boro. Barry and Tina, with the help of AI algorithms, a card shuffler, and special glasses, are chosen for the mission. Tally confronts Luke about the video she received, and Luke lies to protect Emma’s secret. He also makes a story involving Barry to keep the Twinning Formula guys from investigating Merry Fitness.
Barry and Tina encounter unexpected challenges during the card game, including Boro’s presence. They poison Boro with a special drink while extracting data from the phones. However, the game becomes chaotic when a Russian boss named Volek arrives, revealing the existence of a mole within the CIA. The mission dramatically turns as the cards are disrupted and the shuffler malfunctions. Luke and Emma have heated conversations in the bunker as they reveal personal secrets.
Episode 7 – Urine Luck
In the following episode, we see Tally and Luke continue their romantic involvement at Merry Fitness. However, Luke insists that Tally needs to tell Donnie the truth for their relationship to become official again. Meanwhile, Emma and Aldon have a conversation where Aldon confesses that their kiss meant more to him than just a casual moment. Still uncertain about her feelings, Emma asks for more time to think.
Meanwhile, the group receives a kill order for Boro, but their attention is momentarily distracted as they offer Barry advice on his romantic life. On the other hand, Emma is preoccupied with her situation with Carter, who confronts her about her lies and cheating, leading to a breakup.
Barry arrives late to the office after spending the night with Tina, who has orders to return to the NSA after the mission. Determined to keep Tina with the group, Barry persuades various employees to help him change her orders.
The team ventures on an elaborate plan that takes them to Azerbaijan, where they meet their supposed turncoat operative, Landon, inside Sardovia. However, Landon betrays them, and the group finds themselves fighting off his guards.
During the intense confrontation, Aldon gets shot, and Roo, who is under the influence of pills, steps up to save his life. Meanwhile, Emma and Luke continue their mission, searching for nuclear weapons. Luke hesitates when faced with the opportunity to kill Boro, and Cain blindsides him. However, Luke manages to eliminate Cain, but the explosion separates him from Emma, leading her to get trapped with Boro, setting up a dramatic cliffhanger.
Episode 8 – That’s It and That’s That
How does Emma survive?
In the finale episode of FUBAR, we see Emma separated from her team. She finds herself in a dangerous situation facing Boro amidst a raging fire and the threatening presence of the suitcase nuke. Wounded and armed with a pipe, Boro reveals his knowledge of Emma’s past and her personal connections, particularly her relationship with the violin.
Recognizing the situation’s urgency, Emma suggests an alliance with Boro to escape the looming danger posed by the nuke. She offers to let him go free in exchange for their survival, allowing them both to live.
On the other hand, inside the underground tunnels, Roo takes care of Aldon while Luke attempts to access the east wing and reach Emma and Boro. With only 15 minutes left, Luke reluctantly informs Director Dot that the chances of Emma surviving the impending blast are a mere 10%. However, he refuses to give up and resolves to defy orders to rescue her. Communicating through Morse code, Luke learns that Emma is still alive and with Boro. He urges her to escape as they only have 10 minutes left.
Meanwhile, Roo confronts her fears and trauma as she tends to Aldon. Haunted by memories of betraying her father for his drug use when she was just a child, Roo finds the courage to proceed with the life-saving procedure, inspired by Dr. Pfeiffer’s words of wisdom.
Is Luke able to finally retire as he always wished to?
As Roo and Aldon escape, Emma realizes the strength of her father. Upon reaching the vents, Emma and Luke turn the tables on Boro and decide to leave him to his fate. The facility erupts in a massive explosion, signaling a successful mission.
Emma and her father reconcile as she apologizes for her past mistakes. Meanwhile, Luke is guilty of Boro’s fate, feeling he could have done more to save him. During the debriefing with Director Dot, Luke shares everything that happened, and Dot recognizes the positive change in Emma’s attitude. She suggests that Emma’s growth could benefit her upcoming PCS assignment. On the other hand, Luke has decided to retire, leaving Emma uncertain about her future without his guidance.
What happens at Tally’s wedding to Donnie?
The story then takes us to the day of Tally’s wedding to Donnie. Luke is shocked to discover the news. Despite his feelings, he chooses to be the bigger person and decides not to overshadow their special day. However, deep inside, he feels a sense of emptiness after losing Tally.
Emma arrives and expresses her disapproval, believing that Tally is making a mistake by marrying Donnie and that her heart truly belongs to Luke. She acknowledges her past mistake of playing a matchmaker and sees this as an opportunity to make amends. Luke is torn about what to do and blames himself.
Meanwhile, Oscar receives an exciting breakthrough with his app when a national chain offers to buy his company for a significant sum of 4.8 million dollars. As Donnie is a shareholder, he stands to gain a 70k investment, bringing some positive news amidst the emotional turmoil.
On the other hand, Carter and Emma have an awkward conversation at the church, but they eventually settle in and prepare for the ceremony. Just before the wedding, Luke approaches Tally privately and confesses his enduring love for her, revealing his secret identity as a CIA operative. He displays his service medal and urges her not to marry Donnie.
The situation turns disastrous when armed guards arrive at the church, triggered by a car bombing. Chaos ensues as Emma, Barry, and Luke join forces to counter the gunmen, navigating through the crossfire. Meanwhile, Aldon and Roo, coincidentally in therapy with Pfeiffer, remain oblivious to Tina’s suspicious conversation in Russian. Is Tina a double agent?
FUBAR (Season 1) Episode 8 Ending, Explained:
Is Boro really dead?
Meanwhile, we see a disfigured and driven by revenge, Boro surprising everyone at the church, holding Tally hostage at gunpoint. Through detailed research, he has uncovered Emma’s identity using the bridesmaid list. Boro reveals his harrowing survival after being buried under rubble for two days, plagued by radiation poisoning and surviving on rat blood. Fueled by bitter vengeance, he forces Emma and Luke to face each other with guns drawn.
However, Luke’s quick thinking allows Tally to seize the opportunity, stabbing Boro in the leg with the medal. As Tally escapes, Emma and Luke kill Boro, with Roo putting the final headshot, declaring him dead.
With their cover blown, Tina urges them to get inside a van. As they drive away, FUBAR episode 8 ends on a note, with Luke assessing how their identities are now compromised. There seems to be more to the story, which most likely may continue in the next season.