‘Florida Man’ Episode 1: Recap & Ending, Explained: Was Delly Really Dead?

“Florida Man” is a Netflix original dark comedy-drama that centers on an ex-cop, Mike, who travels to Florida in order to pay off his gambling debts. He arrives in Florida in search of a woman and chooses to take her to the mafia boss Moss, to whom he owes a lot of money. Although Mike was operating under the belief that sending Delly back to Moss will fulfill his obligation to pay the debt, he is obviously mistaken about that since Delly has a lot of devious ideas already stored in her head to get rid of her boyfriend, Moss. Let’s explore that.


Spoilers Ahead

How Did Mike End Up In Florida?

“Florida Man” Episode 1 opens with Mike discussing his situation in a group therapy session. He lost his job as a cop and became a gambler. Furthermore, his wife abandoned him in the meantime. It was a really depressing story, to begin with, but he added that it all started with a goldfish in a fish’s guts, which set his story apart from others. Simultaneously, we see a young Mike playing on a Florida beach with his parents and sisters, where they discover a golden coin inside the fish’s guts.


After one year, Mike’s gambling addiction had probably taken him too far, and he began to make restitution for the individuals he had damaged. One of them was a mobster named Moss Yankov. Mike had to work for him to settle his debt, sometimes as a driver and sometimes as his henchman. Moss, for example, sent him to intimidate one of the other gamblers who owed Moss a lot of money, Gil Franko. Despite the fact that Mike had just startled him, Gil fractured his leg by running from Mike. Gil was eventually taken to Moss, who beat him up since he still owed him money rather than a gold coin, which seemed worthless to Moss.

Mike met his ex-wife, Iris, in a pub and tried to win her back by handing her the ring back. His wife had resolved not to see him again, but she consented to meet him only because she needed a favor from him. She was lately serving as a detective in a task group, and her mission was to apprehend Moss Yankov. She urged Mike to assist her because he worked for Moss’s gang; however, Mike consented to one condition: if he assisted her, he wanted her to get back with him.


Moss had a beautiful girlfriend named Delly, who expected Moss to take her somewhere exotic for her birthday, which Moss duly fulfilled, but it irritated her when Moss gave her a stolen necklace with a lady’s hair still stuck to it. Delly became angry when she noticed Moss’s lack of originality when it came to gifting anything to his partner. She walked away from the restaurant, leaving Moss. Moss urged Mike to get her safely home, and Mike grudgingly agreed to it. Mike met Delly on the street when she was walking home alone, and it was immediately clear that these two had chemistry. Mike accompanied Delly to the pub and afterward bought her a coffee at her request, but Delly still didn’t want to go home so soon. She begged Mike to take the highway and drive to Florida for the holidays, but Mike refused, claiming that he was from there and had no plans to return.

Mike already had to perform the tasks Moss asked him to do; therefore, he didn’t want Moss to put his family in danger as a result if he ever failed to please him or settle his debts. That’s why he kept his family’s location secret from Moss. Moss called Mike the next morning. When he arrived at Moss’s villa, he saw that Delly had left. Moss had given her a BMW, which she used to travel to Florida without letting Moss know anything. Moss now needed Mike to travel to Florida and locate her. Mike refused it constantly, but in the end, he had to give in since bringing Delly back would allow him to finally secure a release from Moss. Moss arranged for him to fly and hire an economy car. However, upon his arrival in Florida, Mike unwittingly became a part of a viral news story. He saved a woman from drowning in the water but instead was accused of harassment and was bitten by a shark. The footage of him being attacked by a shark drew media attention, and the news platforms called him a local guy, which Moss happened to notice as well. Moss understood Mike didn’t want to tell him he was from Florida.


What Happened To Gil Franco?

After recovering from the shark attack, he ran across his sister, who was startled to see her brother after such a long time. She asked him to supper, but Mike needed to seek out Delly first. He created a false business card, posing as an independent insurance consultant, and reached out to the local police. Andy, the cop, recognized him as the son of the former chief of police, Sonny Valentine. However, the police at first had no information on Delly, but after some investigation, he discovered her BMW in a garage and alerted Mike about it. While looking for the vehicle, Mike received a call from Patsy, who informed him that Gil Franco’s mutilated body had been discovered in a gutter. Mike suspected that Moss had killed Gil owing to his inability to repay him. Mike was intrigued since Gil’s yacht had been discovered in Florida. Mike went to see the BMW and looked around the vehicle. He discovered some documents, which led him to a nearby store, where he finally saw Delly leaving with another person in a car.

Mike followed the car till he came to a stop near a bungalow. As Delly and the stranger were walking inside, gunshots were heard. When Mike entered the bungalow, he discovered Delly had been shot to death. He hadn’t expected her to be found in this manner, which surprised him. At the moment, all he could think of was his time with Delly. His memories revealed that he had slept with her more than once, and they had a mutual understanding between them. They both wanted to get away from Moss, and Delly pushed Mike to leave, which was something he couldn’t do at the moment. Mike searched Delly’s belongings and found the gold coin inside her purse. But before he could act on this, he fled the cottage quickly after hearing an ambulance siren, though we later discovered that he had been followed by someone. Mike’s father, Sonny, who was also a covert smuggling gang leader, dispatched his men to keep a watch on his son.


Mike escaped that night, but the police were notified the next morning. A neighbor heard the gunshots, but when the police came, the murder scene was totally clean. However, the officer, Andy, was alerted by a neighbor that she had seen a man with a pistol the night before. The police drew a sketch based on her description, and Andy recognized it as Mike. He subsequently told Sonny about it, which made him even more concerned about his son’s safety.

Mike, on the other hand, did not remain silent and continued his investigation into Delly. While questioning the shopkeeper, he saw a TV news report regarding the man who had been spotted with Delly the night before. This individual was found unconscious near an ambulance, which had been stolen by a thief. Mike was aware that the news reporter could assist him in this field. On the next day, he approached her and introduced himself as being from Washington, DC, and later, over breakfast, he requested the ambulance footage. He falsely offered to assist her in reporting a national story, which pleased her, and she agreed to supply the ambulance footage. Later, Sonny ran into his son and inquired about his role in the murder scene at the bungalow. Mike learned from his father that the crime scene was cleaned up after his departure. He also discovered no one inside the ambulance upon reviewing the clip. As a result, he resolved to speak with Moss, assuming that he had murdered Delly. He contacted Moss, who was shocked to learn that Delly had died. When Mike pressed Moss on his involvement in the murder, he continually insisted that he could never kill Delly because he loved her.


Why Did Delly Fake Her Death?

An agitated Mike returned to his cabin and saw that his door was unlocked. As he walked in, he was surprised to discover Delly laying on his bed, pointing a gun at him. We can see Delly is alive, but why is she pretending to be dead? To answer that, we can say that Delly had never been satisfied with her relationship with Moss; rather, it appeared that she was trapped and obliged to pretend that she cared for Moss, just as Mike was compelled to obey Moss’ commands. In addition, we see the same gold coin that Gil delivered to Moss in Delly’s handbag. She could have taken it with the intention of leaving Moss to make a better life for herself. But she also knew Moss wouldn’t abandon her so easily, so she had to fake her death with the assistance of that person. And now that she knew Mike had been in Florida looking for her, she could trust him that he would understand her and not bring her back to Moss. Therefore, to get Mike’s help in her journey to her fake “afterlife,” she met Mike at his cottage. Let’s have a clear perception of Delly’s motivation in the next episodes.

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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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