‘Last King Of The Cross’ Episode 1: Recap And Ending, Explained: Who Are Sam And John? What Is The Strip?

Set in Sydney, Australia, in the 1990s, “Last King of the Cross,” inspired by true events, tells the story of nightclub mogul John Ibrahim and his experiences growing up at King’s Cross, Sydney. From his childhood to becoming the owner of more than 40 venues at King’s Cross, John Ibrahim was involved in controversies up to the brim. The 10-part series explores John’s life from different angles, i.e., his family, his friends, his acquaintances, and his enemies. It also showcases the criminal world of Sydney, drenched in the limelight of the 1990s.

Spoilers Ahead


The Past Lebanese Civil War (1978)

Amid all the rubble, two young kids, brothers Sam and John Ibrahim search for anything that can be sold, like bullet casings, shoes off corpses, and other such things.


The Future: Western Sydney

Jamour Ibrahim, the father of Sam and John Ibrahim, passed away in 1993. In 1995, John Ibrahim, the “King of the Cross,” as the prosecutor addresses him, stood trial before the Royal Commission into Police Corruption for bribing police for the protection of his properties, like nightclubs. He is the head of the King’s Cross drug trade.


The Present-Day King’s Cross, Sydney (1987)

The Strip: King’s Cross is addressed as The Strip; it is the mecca of sin, a theme park for adults. The cops turn a blind eye to everything that goes on there, thanks to the handful of men who control the flow of money. Headed by Ezra Shipman [man in control of The Strip], who’s personally assisted by Big Tony, the group includes Frank Amante, AKA Ashtray Frank [runs the gambling clubs], convicted drug dealer Peter K AKA PK [runs Pinocchio’s Restaurant], Fat George [runs the strip club], new boy on the block and Fat George’s brother-in-law Angelo Lombardi [Club manager], Sam Ibrahim (Hassan to his mother) [most feared enforcer on The Strip] and Nasa Kalouri [financial head; maintains order in The Strip by collecting the protection money and distributing it to those who need to be paid off, and sending the rest off to Ezra]. Detectives Crellan and Mooney, King Cross’s finest officers, whose loyalty is on sale, help the group in their proceedings. Finally, we have 18-year-old John Ibrahim, AKA Johnny [Sam’s younger brother; Housam to his mother]. Sam and John have three more siblings, all of whom live with their mother, Wahiba. Their father, Jamour, is out of the country, and no one knows of his whereabouts.

The Job: John meets Dave, who goes on to become John’s closest friend, when he is training under his brother Sam, along with many other local boys. However, not having much to go on (Sam doesn’t bring much to the table and John doesn’t earn yet), John and his mother go to a contribution fund center, where they get coupons, and they promise his mother that they won’t ever have to do it again.

Looking for work, he approaches Ashtray Frank, who runs Club 77, but is ignored. Meanwhile, his father, Jamour, returns home after being away for so long. On another night, John, along with Dave and another guy named Brett, try to make some money. John manages to sneak into Club 77 as a delivery boy, bringing food for one of the gentlemen at the casino. Once inside, he sells the food to a random guy and, more importantly, receives orders from many more of them. However, before he can leave, Ashtray catches him and sends him off right away. Outside, Brett sees a man continuously harass Brooke, a lady he knows. He follows the two as they head to a dark alley and finds the man hitting Brooke. He tries to stop him but instead gets brutally bashed. Brooke runs away helplessly. John comes out of a shop carrying his fresh orders when he sees an ambulance pass by, followed by Dave, who tells him that Brett is being taken to the hospital. Dave then points at the guy across the street—the one who beat Brett, Kiwi Trevor. John rushes towards Kiwi and tries to hit him, but a guy, one of Sam’s, pulls him away. Kiwi Trevor escapes in a taxi.

The Deed: John returns and dials Molly, his girlfriend. While talking to her, Sam enters and tells him to come outside. Once out, Sam starts slapping John while explaining how foolish he was for trying to go against Kiwi. Sam tells John to stay out of it because what happened to his friend is just how things are at The Strip. However, John replies that he will get Kiwi Trevor. The next day, he visits Brett at the hospital, where he is still unconscious. He promises Brett that he will get Trevor. That night, John meets Brooke, Brett’s friend, and bashes Kiwi Trevor, who had already been heavily drugged by Brooke, using a baseball bat. The next morning, Sam and Nasa find John sitting on the pavement outside Kiwi’s apartment. Kiwi is put in intensive care. Big Tony finds out about it from the detectives, Crellan and Mooney, and informs Ezra.

A few minutes later, Angelo Lombardi approaches the detectives and pays them to talk to Nasa and give Angelo more time to pay his dues to Nasa. Tony tells Ezra that Sam knows that once Kiwi is released from the hospital, he will come after John. So Sam will try to get to him first, and knowing his methods, he will make it bloody in broad daylight, which will be good for business. Ezra decides to visit the Strip and get it sorted out. That night, Tony meets Sam and tells him to stay away from Kiwi and let him handle it. Ezra wants things done discreetly, and Tony assures Sam of John’s safety. Meanwhile, back in the alley, Ezra beats Angelo up badly. It seems that Angelo’s word to the detectives has reached him. A few days later, Fat George and a bruised Angelo meet Ezra. George promises Ezra to have Angelo’s payment cleared by the coming week. Sam visits Kiwi Trevor in the hospital and threatens him to leave the country and never return, or else he will have to die. John and Brooke bring Brett back from the hospital after many days and get him a room to stay. Nasa suggests Sam bring John into the business or at least get him involved in some work. Nasa then offers John a job.


‘Last King Of The Cross’ Episode 1: Ending Explained – Does John Get The Job?

After Nasa and Sam leave in the car, John notices Angelo fighting with a guy on the other side of the road. It is clear that Angelo owes him money too. John tries to stop them and gets mistakenly stabbed by Angelo, who runs off. John is taken to the hospital, where he goes into a coma. The same night, a couple of Sam’s men try to find Angelo at his club, but he isn’t there. Meanwhile, Fat George visits Ezra at his home and tells him that Sam has sent men after Stella, Angelo’s wife (George’s sister). He requests Ezra to talk to Sam and try to stop him from doing something wrong (killing Angelo or even Stella). Ezra asks George if he knows where Angelo is. George doesn’t. He tells George to leave and then tells Big Tony to find Angelo. Tony visits Angelo’s room and finds coke. He informs Ezra about it, who then tells him to find and kill Angelo. Big Tony eventually tracks Angelo down at Sydney Airport and kills him inside the airport washroom.

With Angelo dead, the risk of having Sam kill him like he would have killed Kiwi Trevor in broad daylight doesn’t exist anymore. Also, Sam’s revenge is complete. So Ezra’s business is safe. But having Angelo killed can easily turn into a favor that Ezra did for Sam, a favor that has to be returned. How? Most likely, Episode 2 will reveal that.


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Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata Dutta
Shubhabrata’s greatest regret is the fact that he won’t be able to watch every movie and show ever made. And when he isn’t watching a movie or a show, he is busy thinking about them and how they are made; all while taking care of his hobbies. These include the usual suspects i.e. songs, long walks, books and PC games.

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